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Secret Weapons of the Vietnam War 1975
The worse blow to the ARVN during its epic battle at Xuan Loc in 1975 was to its 52nd Regiment that had savage battles with the 341st moving down Rt. 20. The forward bases of the regiment were overrun by 10 to 1. The only thing left of the regiment were small groups who fell back to safety. To retaliate, the ARVN dropped a CBU-55 on unsuspecting troops entering from Cambodia, in this last use of the bomb, over 3000 NVA soldiers were slaughtered. Earlier, the ARVN secretly used one of the two US CBU-55 cluster bombs, which were dropped from a modified C-130. Each of the bombs weighed 750 lbs. The bombs had been flown in from Thailand in March. The C-130 itself was flown by USAF pilots and the bombs were dropped from 20,000 ft. The bombs were the most powerful conventional weapons in the world. One of the bombs devastated the NVA soldiers within the four acre fireball hell on the fringe of Xuan Loc at Xuan Vinh . The 300-400 NVA soldiers suffocated as the bomb consumed the oxygen. For those on the fringe, they suffered severe burns. They proved to be the great equalizer causing massive NVA loss. For once, the NVA commanders were speechless and in awe of ARVN power.
The Secret RGM-16 Weapon
Some sources indicate that the commanders of the ARVN 18th Division during its 10 day stand at Xuan Loc had created a “combat myth”. The RGM-16 is one of them. The weapon was a “radar guided” (RG) M-16 rifle that some ARVN soldiers carried into battle. It was hoped that the myth would make the NVA more cautious in combat actions for the weapon with its portable radar antenna (a badminton racquet, carried on the back) could differentiate NVA soldiers from civilians and ARVN, making the NVA unable to use innocent civilians as human shields or to blend among them. Also, a single bullet could penetrate several enemy soldiers when radar guided. It is unknown if the myth and rumor had any impact on the NVA soldiers when conducting close assaults like at Xuan Loc, but it is quite funny.