Documents of an Elite Viet Cong Delta Unit: The Demolition Platoon of the 514th Battalion

Part One: Unit Composition and Personnel

by David W. P. Elliott, Mai Elliott

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Translations of captured Viet Cong documents pertaining to the composition and personnel of the demolition platoon of the 514th Battalion. This report is first in a series of translations representing the entire file of unit records captured intact. (The others are RM-5849, RM-5850, RM-5851, and RM-5852.) The documents cover the period from early 1966 to mid-May 1967, a time when the battalion was under-strength and only infrequently saw action. The unit spent much time training, reorganizing, and bolstering morale. In Party membership, the unit was of the elite. Even though under-strength, it contained a Party chapter, usually found only at the company level. Seventeen personnel dossiers, compiled mostly by the men themselves, give accounts of battles, forced marches, and personal history that afford insight into Viet Cong practices and psychology.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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