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{{infobox military conflict

|conflict    =Battle of Cam Duong

|partof      = the [[Battle of Lao Cai]], [[Sino-Vietnamese War]]

|image       =

|caption     =

|date        =22–25 February 1979 (3 days)

|place       =Cam Duong, [[Lao Cai Province]], [[Vietnam]]

|result      =Chinese victory<ref>Zhang, p. 102</ref><ref>O'Dowd, p. 62</ref>

|combatants_header =

|combatant1  ={{flagicon|China}} [[China]]

|combatant2  ={{Flag|Vietnam}} 

|commander1  =

|commander2  =

|units1      = 11th Army

*149th division<ref>Zhang, p. 101</ref>

[[13th Group Army|13th Army]]

|units2      = 345th Division<br>[[316th Division (Vietnam)|316th Division]]

|strength1   = 

|strength2   =  

|casualties1 = 

|casualties2 =

|campaignbox ={{Campaignbox Sino-Vietnamese War}}


The '''Battle of Cam Duong''' was fought during the [[Sino-Vietnamese War]], between the Chinese [[People's Liberation Army]] and Vietnamese [[People's Army of Vietnam|VPA]] forces in the mining town of Cam Duong. From 22–25 February, Chinese forces clashed with the Vietnamese for control over the town, and captured it after the three days of heavy fighting.<ref>O'Dowd, p. 62.</ref>

== Battle ==

On the same day the city of [[Lao Cai]] fell, Hanoi ordered Vietnamese troops garrisoned at Cam Duong to make a last-ditch defense of the mining town, 12 kilometers south of Lao Cai. The Vietnamese 345th Division hastily sent one battalion to reinforce the 121th Regiment's defensive positions. The 316th Division moved eastward to reinforce the defenders at Cam Duong.<ref>Zhang, p.101</ref> 

To prevent the 345th Division from receiving reinforcements, four companies of the PLA's 13th Army set up blockades at a pass in Thay Nai. Meanwhile, 149th Division, as well as one regiment from the 11th Army, were moved to reinforce the 13th's assault on Cam Duong.<ref>Zhang, p.101</ref>

From 22 to 25 February, the 148th Regiment of the 316th Division attempted to break through the Chinese blockade at Thay Nai to reach Cam Duong. Hundreds of Vietnamese soldiers were sent forward in twenty human wave attacks, all of which failed.<ref>Zhang, p.102</ref> Two PLA companies received commendations in repelling the repeated Vietnamese charges.

Two divisions of the 13th Army with artillery support attacked the 345th Division north of Cam Duong. On 23 February, the Chinese intercepted a radio call from Col Ma Vinh Lan, the 345th's commander, appealing for military assistance because "his troops' positions are badly beaten; it is difficult to reconfigure [defense]; and the situation is further deteriorating."<ref>Zhang, p.102</ref> As reinforcements did not arrive, he deserted his post alongside some of his staff before dawn on 24 February. Cam Duong fell the next day.

== Aftermath ==

Following the capture of the town, the Chinese triumphantly declared that they crushed Hanoi's desperate attempt to defend the mining town.<ref>Zhang, p. 103</ref> The victory brought the Chinese closer to achieving their objectives in the Lao Cai campaign, which emphasized inflicting significant casualties on Vietnamese forces. According to Chinese records, one-third of the 345th Division was rendered combat-ineffective. The Chinese claimed to have decimated several battalions of the 345th.<ref>Zhang, p. 102–p. 103</ref>

The PLA continued its campaign in Lao Cai, facing fierce Vietnamese resistance along the way, especially at the town of Sa Pa, which was captured on 1 March. The campaign ended on 5 March, when the 316th Division ceased to fight.

== Notes ==


== References ==

  • {{cite book

  | first =

  | last =Edward C. O'Dowd

  | authorlink =

  | coauthors =

  | title =Chinese Military Strategy in the Third Indochina War: The Last Maoist War

  | publisher =Routledge

  | date =2007

  | location =New York

  | pages =

  | url =

  | doi =

  | isbn =0203088964  }}

  • {{cite book

  | first =

  | last =Xiaoming Zhang

  | authorlink =

  | coauthors =

  | title =Deng Xiaoping's Long War: The Military Conflict between China and Vietnam, 1979-1991

  | publisher =University of North Carolina Press

  | date =2015

  | location =

  | pages =

  | url =

  | doi =

  | isbn =9781469621258  }}

[[Category:Sino-Vietnamese War]]

[[Category:Battles involving China]]

[[Category:Battles involving Vietnam]]

[[Category:Lao Cai Province]]

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