Two years after the last US troops left Vietnam, People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) General Van Tien Dung launched Operation 275, a "limited" offensive designed to set up an attack on the provincial capital of Pleiko. Rapid collapse of South Vietnamese (ARVN) forces caused a change in plan, with PAVN forces quickly taking one city after another, pausing only before an attack on Saigon itself. Based on previous performance, when three full PAVN divisions, supported by tanks and ample artillery, attacked one depleted ARVN division at Xuan Loc, Dung expected a cake walk. What he got was a Meatgrinder instead.
For two bloody weeks, a division regarded as "unreliable" held back everything the PAVN could throw against them, inflicting heavy losses. No one, on either side, expected such heavy fighting. And hardly anyone thought that this would actually be "the last battle" of a 30 year conflict. It was.