Information to Dave's book

Title: -Through Enemy Eyes
Author: -
Dave Sabben
Subtitle: -
Long Tan, the Vietnamese story

Description: -
Based on extensive research into actual events, this is an accurate retelling of the prelude to and the conduct of the Battle of Long Tan, told from the Vietnamese side by looking through the eyes of fictional VC and NVA commanders.

A quote from the book: -
"Quang felt a slight guilt at the ease with which he had finally made his destiny become a reality. The whole Australian base will be a ruin on the morning. Allowing for some soldiers to not be in base and for others to survive the debacle, there will still be more than 1000 Australians killed, maybe 1500. Their country couldn't support such a loss - it would have to withdraw all its remaining troops. Probably the Australian government would fall. The American aggressors will be shown to be powerless to prevent the slaughter of its only independent ally. The puppet regime will see the weakness of the Americans and not trust them to protect their own forces. This will change the course of the whole war."

Background: -
An Australian military base is established around a hill in South Viet Nam. It's only two battalions strong. The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army draw up a plan to eliminate the base and they assemble eight battalions for the task ... But the plan is thwarted when the Vietnamese attack force runs into an Australian company in the Long Tan rubber plantation.

This is a reliable account of the events leading up to the Battle of Long Tan and an accurate narrative of the battle as experienced by the VC and NVA.  The book  is categorised as fiction only because the original VC and NVA commanders were not available to provide their real stories.  Fictional characters have had to be substituted.

Thus qualifying as 'faction', the book is based on detailed research by Dave Sabben, one of the Australian platoon commanders in the battle.

About the Author: -

Dave Sabben was a first-intake National Serviceman in July 1965.  He graduated Second Lieutenant in December 1965 and joined 6 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), in January 1966.  6RAR was then posted to South Vietnam, arriving in June 1966.  72 days after arriving in the war zone, Delta Company fought the Battle of Long Tan.  Dave commanded 12 Platoon of Delta Company.  He survived the Battle and went on to complete a 12-month tour of duty.

He is one of the authors of The Battle of Long Tan as told by the Commanders published by Allen & Unwin in 2004.

  1. Reviews of Through Enemy Eyes: -
    'I doubted the hypothesis when I first heard about it but after reading the book I have to admit that it is all very reasonable and logical. It fits the facts and is a good read.'
    Bob Johnson, Intelligence Corps, posted to Nui Dat in 1968
  2. 'For the first time-an account of how close the Australians really came to disaster in Viet Nam.'
    John Orr, Veterans' Advocate and Consultant, Canberra
  3. 'Dave has put up some reasonable theories that stand up very well. A good read. Recommended.'
    Gary McKay, Australia's most prolific author on the Viet Nam war

    ISBN:  1741145619
    Paperback - C, 208 x 140
    More than 300 pages, many maps and battle diagrams.
    Planned publication date - August 2005.
    Publisher - Allen & Unwin