The Battle of Kampot

The Battle of Kampot was a major battle of the Vietnam War, also apart of the Cambodian Civil War. From February 26 to April 2, 1974, Cambodian government troops battled Khmer Rouge guerillas for the control of Kampot city.

The Khmer Rouge commenced their attack north of Kampot on February 26, pounding the city with 107mm rockets and 120mm mortars.

Kampot in 1974
Kampot in 1974

During the first week of fighting, elements of the Cambodian Army 12th and 68th Brigades abandoned their positions, while the 210th and 68th Battalions were deactivated after 300 soldiers deserted during the first day of the enemy onslaught. The desertions allow the Khmer Rouge to capture the city water works, as a result, 50% of Kampot’s inhabitants flee the city due to the dwindling water supply.

With support from the navy, air force and artillery units the 12th and 20th Brigades of the Cambodian army counterattacked the north-east. Rather than advance, the Cambodian government units developed a defensive posture as the Khmer Rouge’s positions were strengthened. Between March 2-March 10 Kampot was further reinforced with six 105mm artillery pieces as well as two more battalions. On April 3, government defensive positions near Kampot airfield were abandoned after the Khmer Rouge completely isolated it.

Despite the Cambodian Army’s heavy resistance the Khmer Rouge eventually captured the city of Kampot on April 2, both sides suffered heavy casualties during the fighting but many more civilians were rendered homeless. After the fall of Kampot the Khmer Rouge would launch another deadly offensive to capture Udong.

by Rikitikitavi

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