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50th Anniversary of Battle of Binh Ba – Operation Hammer

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  • 50th Anniversary commemorative

  • Remembering the supreme courage of our forces at Binh Ba

  • 1oz silver proof coin, with gold accenting

  • Worldwide edition limit of only 499




Between the 6th and 8th June 1969 one of the major military victories of the Australian Force in Vietnam occurred – one where once again true courage, heroism and mateship prevailed over a determined enemy.   

This conflict was the Battle of Binh Ba within the Phuoc Tuy Province, aptly known as Operation Hammer, and involved Australian Army troops from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR) a combined communist force of North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong.

Early on the 6th June 1969 whilst travelling along the “amber” classified Route 2 towards the village of Binh Ba a Centurion tank and armoured recovery vehicle were fired upon by an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade). Fired from a nearby house the Centurion’s turret was struck resulting in the wounding of the operator and inviting retaliatory machine-gun fire from both vehicles before they left the scene. This attack was to lead to a battle that raged for two days, and left Binh Ba in ruins and ultimately resulting in the Australian Task Force winning one of its most comprehensive victories of the Vietnam War.

This was an unusual battle in the fact that this Australian combat involved fierce close-quarter house-to-house fighting, even though the majority of enemy killed were through heavy artillery and air-bombardment. This was due to the Australians assaulting the village with the support of infantry, armour personnel carriers and helicopter gunships, which largely destroyed the village itself.

There was a great concern for the protection and prevention of civilian casualties during the conflict, which at times, was made that much more difficult due to the surrounding houses and vegetation, limiting the field of vision and therefore enemy visibility. This was made more challenging since the enemy forces started to discard their uniforms for civilian clothing making it hard to distinguish between the enemy and village residents.

Through the Aussie grit and determination our Australian Forces won the battle, seeing the communists forced to temporarily leave the province due to heavy losses – reports vary on the number of North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong killed in this battle but it would seem that this number would be more than 100. We lost one brave Australian soldier during this fierce encounter, which considering the absolute ferocity of the battle could be considered by some as fortunate.

The 1st Armoured Regiment, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment and The Royal Australian Regiment were all awarded a battle honour. Several individuals were also recognised for their bravery.

This exclusive Bradford Mint 50th Anniversary silver proof coin commemorates the supreme courage of our forces at Binh Ba.

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