They were the forward scouts, the mine clearers, the bridge builders and the tunnel rats. This is the story of the Sappers in Vietnam.
'We make and we break.'
They were the forward scouts, the mine clearers, the bridge builders and the tunnel rats. They were frequently not just on the front line, but right at the sharp end of the action. They were the legendary Aussie sappers, the army engineers, who were literally everywhere in the fighting against the Vietcong.
This special breed of soldier lived hard and played hard. They were there at the beginning of the war. They were also among the last to leave. And along the way, they fought with their mates in infantry and tanks to bear the brunt of the Vietcong's revenge.
To the rest of the world, Vietnam was a conflict of ideologies. On the ground it was a battle of wits and the sappers were at the forefront. This is their story.
Jimmy Thomson is a journalist, author and screenwriter whose credits include the ABC-TV series Rain Shadow. He is the author of Snitch, Tunnel Rats and Watto.
A graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, as a young captain Sandy MacGregor commanded 3 Field Troop in Vietnam, where he won the Military Cross. He served in the Army for 30 years, finishing as a colonel in the Reserves.
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