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ARVN Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1957-75

South Vietnamese M113 armored personnel carrier

The Vietnamese Armor Corps traces its lineage to the First Indochina War (1945–1954), when a Vietnamese reconnaissance company was formed in 1950. The unit received French M.1939 Panhard armoured cars, it had French officers and Vietnamese men. By October 1955, following the division of Vietnam, the South Vietnamese army had four armored regiments using World War Two vehicles and equipment handed down by the French army. When US advisers appeared in Vietnam in 1956, the existing South Vietnamese armored regiments were reorganized as armored cavalry regiments. Improved equipment was introduced in April 1962, when two mechanized rifle companies were equipped with American M113 armoured personnel carriers. Based on their successful combat experience, these two companies became the 4th and 5th Mechanized Rifle Squadrons of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ARVN). As more M113 APCs and M114 reconnaissance vehicles became available in late 1962, all four ARVN armored cavalry regiments were reorganized.

South Vietnamese Armored Regiment, 1955

  • Headquarters Company
  • Reconnaissance Company
    • M8 Armored Cars
    • M3 Half-Tracks
    • M3 Scout Cars
    • M8 Howitzers (towed)
  • Reconnaissance Company (same as above)
  • Reconnaissance Company (same as above)

ARVN Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1957

  • Regimental Headquarters
  • Reconnaissance Squadron
    • M8 Armored Cars
    • M3 Half-Tracks
    • M3 Scout Cars
  • Reconnaissance Squadron (same as above)
  • Tank Squadron
    • M24 Chaffee Light Tanks

ARVN Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1962

  • Regimental Headquarters
  • Tank Squadron
  • Reconnaissance Squadron (disbanded in 1965)
    • M8 Armored Cars
  • Reconnaissance Squadron
    • M114 Reconnaissance Vehicles, replaced by
      M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers after 1964
  • Mechanized Rifle Squadron
  • Mechanized Rifle Squadron (same as above)

ARVN Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1967

  • Regimental Headquarters
    • M577 Command Post Carrier
    • M577 Command Post Carrier
    • M113 APC
    • M113 APC
    • M113 APC
    • M113 APC
  • Armored Car Troop
    • V-100 Armoured Car
    • V-100 Armoured Car
    • V-100 Armoured Car
    • V-100 Armoured Car
    • V-100 Armoured Car
    • V-100 Armoured Car
  • Support Troop
    • M132 Flamethrower
    • M132 Flamethrower
    • M132 Flamethrower
  • Flame Troop
    • M106 Mortar Carrier (4.2 Inch Mortar)
    • M106 Mortar Carrier (4.2 Inch Mortar)
    • M106 Mortar Carrier (4.2 Inch Mortar)
    • M106 Mortar Carrier (4.2 Inch Mortar)
  • Tank Squadron
    • M41.A3 Light Tanks
  • Reconnaissance Squadron
    • M113 Armored Personnel Carriers
  • Mechanized Rifle Squadron
  • Mechanized Rifle Squadron (same as above)

Based on early combat experience of the ARVN Mechanized Rifle Companies it became evident that the American doctrine of mounted and dismounted mechanized infantry combat failed in Vietnam, because attacks tended to bog down when the infantry dismounted. As a result, ARVN mechanized infantry squadrons adopted armored tactics and fought mounted. In 1967, ARVN cavalry troops adopted the organisation of tank troops with five armored fighting vehicles each.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Mail Adresse – Published: 06.04.2005 – Updated:
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