|Garrison/HQ||Qu?ng Tr? Province|
Th?a Thiên-Hu? Province
Qu?ng Nam Province
Qu?ng Tín Province
Qu?ng Ngãi Province
|Motto(s)||B?n H?i H?ng Binh, Tiên Phong Di?t C?ng (Patriotic Soldier, Destroy the Communists)|
|Hoàng Xuân Lãm|
Ngô Quang Trng
The I Corps Tactical Zone (Vietnamese: Vùng 1 Chi?n thu?t) was a corps of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), the army of the nation state of South Vietnam that existed from 1955 to 1975. It was one of four corps of the ARVN. This was the northernmost region of South Vietnam, bordering North Vietnam. These five provinces are Qu?ng Tr? Province, (Khe Sanh, ?ông Hà, Qu?ng Tr? City), Th?a Thiên-Hu? Province, (Phu Bai, Hu? City), Qu?ng Nam Province, (?à N?ng, H?i An), Qu?ng Tín Province, (Tam K?, Chu Lai) and Qu?ng Ngãi Province, (Qu?ng Ngãi). The region included the DMZ area where 3rd Marine Division intelligence estimated the combat strength of NVA and VC forces in January 1968 was 40,943 troops.
I Corps became operational in November 1957.
General Hoàng Xuân Lãm (Hoàng Xuân Lãm) was given responsibility for the I Corps Tactical Zone in 1967. He coordinated the South Vietnamese Operation Lam S?n 719 offensive which aimed at striking the North Vietnamese logistical corridor known as the Ho Chi Minh trail in southeastern Laos during 1971. Due to his political connections with President Nguy?n V?n Thi?u, he was still serving as I Corps commander when the North Vietnamese launched the Nguyên Hu? Offensive (called the Easter Offensive) in 1972. Lãm was recalled to Saigon on 2 May 1972 by Thi?u, who relieved him of his command, due to complaints regarding Lãm's fitness and competency as a general. He was succeeded as commander by Ngô Quang Trng.
Military Region 1's forces disintegrated during the 1975 Spring Offensive (the Hue-Da Nang Campaign). The situation for the South Vietnamese in Military Region 1 had regained some stability after the defeat of a three-division PAVN push during late 1974. By early the following year, Military Region 1 fielded three infantry divisions (the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd), the elite Airborne and Marine Divisions, four Ranger Groups and the 1st Armored Brigade (established in 1969 to parent all the armored cavalry regiments in the MR). Until mid-March, the North Vietnamese had limited their offensive operations to attempts to cut Highway 1, the main north/south line of communication, between Hu? and Da Nang and between Da Nang and Chu Lai. To confront the South Vietnamese, PAVN Brigadier General Lê Tr?ng T?n had amassed a force of the crack 2nd, 304th, 324B, 325C, and 711th PAVN Divisions and nine independent infantry regiments, three sapper regiments, three armored regiments, twelve anti-aircraft and eight artillery regiments.
At a meeting in Saigon on 13 March President Thi?u was briefed on the military situation by Trng and another corps commander. Thi?u then laid out his plan for national consolidation. As Trng understood it, he was free to redeploy his forces to hold the Da Nang area. Trng was shocked to discover, however, that the Airborne Division was to be removed to III Corps (unknown to Trng at the time, the Marine Division was also already earmarked for redeployment with both units then forming a new national reserve).
General Trng was recalled to Saigon on 19 March to brief Thi?u on his withdrawal plan. The general had developed two contingency plans: The first was predicated on government control of Highway 1, which would be utilized for two simultaneous withdrawals from Hu? and Chu Lai to Da Nang; The second course presupposed PAVN interdiction of the highway and called for a withdrawal into three enclaves: Hu?, Da Nang, and Chu Lai. This was to be only an interim measure, however, since the forces that withdrew to Hu? and Chu Lai would then be sea-lifted to Da Nang by the navy. The president then stunned the general by announcing that he had misinterpreted his previous orders: The old imperial capital of Hu? was not to be abandoned. Making matters worse, Trng discovered that his force was to be reduced by the removal of the Airborne Division.