The Battle of Fire Support Base Coral is one of the most important, yet little known, battles in Australian military history.
The Battle of Fire Support Base Coral is one of the most important, yet little known, battles in Australian military history.

Heroic battle revealed for first time on Remembrance Day

THEY were outnumbered, out-gunned and surrounded but managed to win the day against the odds.

The story of the Battle of Fire Support Base Coral during the Vietnam War will be told in full for the first time tonight - screened to millions of people across the world on the History Channel.

The documentary is the result of years of hard work by Toowoomba woman Leonie Jones, a lecturer in film at the University of Southern Queensland.

The writer and director said the battle, fought between Australian soldiers and North Vietnamese regular soldiers, was the "biggest and most ferocious battle" fought by Australians during the war.

Toowoomba woman Leonie Jones, a lecturer in film at the University of Southern Queensland, has brought this story to television screens for the first time.
Toowoomba woman Leonie Jones, a lecturer in film at the University of Southern Queensland, has brought this story to television screens for the first time.

She said it had never been properly recognised as part of the country's military and cultural history.

The documentary will be screened to an estimated viewership of six million people in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong to mark Remembrance Day.

It tells the story of a major frontal attack by a fully-equipped Vietnamese army on the fire support base (small base).

The enemy soldiers overran one of the six artillery guns at the base, but under heavy barrage the Aussie soldiers kept fighting.

Ms Jones said they were incredibly brave, at one point shooting with their pistols from fox holes.

Commander Tony Jensen and radio operator Alan Parr called in fire directly onto their position to halt the attack.

Ms Jones started researching the battle as an oral history project years ago and interviewed 160 veterans on both sides of the war.


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