Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)


School of Humanities and Social Inquiry


This thesis provides an account of the role played by seven veterans who fought in the Battle for Fire Support Patrol Base (FSPB) Coral, 12 May to 6 June 1968, in South Vietnam. The veterans interviewed are from 102 Field Battery Royal Australian Artillery and the First Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) Mortar Platoon. The veterans’ memories challenge the account given in On the Offensive: The Australian Army in the Vietnam War 1967-1968,1 the Official History series devoted to the Vietnam War. They believe the Official History is incorrect when it comes to four main matters: the intelligence provided to the units flying in to FSPB Coral, the positioning of the artillery batteries, two Final Preventative Fire tasks, and the use of splintex and ricocheting artillery. They also argue that the Official History has overlooked their role in the battle itself, one that was important in the overall outcome of the initial attacks launched by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong.