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The Battle of Long Tan

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Battle of Long Tan (2006)

The Battle of Long Tan is a 2006 ABC documentary made by Red Dune Films. Narrated by Sam Worthington of Avatar fame, and employing a mixture of veteran interviews, archival footage and dramatic reenactments, it tells the story of the events of 18 August 1966, when D Company of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fought a fierce battle with local Vietcong forces at the Long Tan Rubber Plantation in the Phuoc Tuy province of the Republican of Vietnam. Despite being a documentary, it employs actors using uniforms and weapons correct for the period, making it eligible for inclusion.

Not to be confused with the similarly named action film, Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, which dramatises the same historical battle.

The following weapons were used in the documentary The Battle of Long Tan:



The L1A1 is the main weapon of 6RAR in the film, not surprising it was the standard-issue Australian Defence Force rifle during the Vietnam War.

Australian L1A1 with rounded vent hole handguards - 7.62x51mm NATO
An Australian soldier on watch with his L1A1.
A Digger crawls forward under heavy enemy fire with his SLR.
Pte. Jim Richmond fires his L1A1.
A soldier from 10 Platoon advances with his SLR.
Two Australian Diggers fire their L1A1 rifles.
A soldier reloads his L1A1.


The M16 also appears fairly regularly in the documentary, carried mostly by officers and scouts. Sergeant Bob Buick (11 Platoon) recalls using the Armalite AR-15 in both the film and his memoirs; the AR-15 was in fact the basis for the M16 rifle, but it was possibly referred to as the Armalite by Australian and New Zealand troops in-country.

The original M16, the first version, firing in a 20-round magazine, adopted in large numbers by the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam. This has the original 3-prong flash hider. It would later be replaced by the upgraded M16A1 - 5.56x45mm
A scout from B Company with his M16.
The same scout as he finds abandoned Vietcong gear.
2Lt Gordon Sharp with his M16.
An Australian scout opens up with his M16.
Another scout dives for cover.
2Lt Geoff Kendall holds his M16 as he uses the platoon radio.


The M16A1 appears amongst Australians in a couple of scenes. It can be identified by the forward reciever pins and the "birdcage" flash hider. This is anachronistic, since the M16A1 was introduced amongst U.S. troops in 1967, and would have hardly reached Australians by that time.

M16A1 with 20 round magazine - 5.56x45mm. What distinguishes it from the original M16 was the addition of a raised rib around the magazine release button, changing of the forward Receiver pins, and the addition of the forward assist button on the upper receiver.
An Australian soldier fires his M16A1. Note the A1-stype reciever pin and "birdcage" flash hider.
A Digger crawls through the mud with his M16A1.


The AK-47 is carried by Vietcong troops. In one scene, when 11 Platoon first makes contact with the enemy, 2Lt Gordon Sharp can be seen removing/pocketing the sole magazine and clearing the chamber of rounds to prevent immedtiate enemy re-usage.

Final Production version of the III AK-47 - 7.62x39mm
An AK-47 dropped by a dead Vietcong. Notice the blood stains on the forward grip.
2Lt Gordon Sharp removes and inspects the magazine from an abandoned AK-47.
Clearing the chamber.
A Vietcong soldier fires his AK-47.


Vietcong troops in the film also carry SKS rifles with underfolding bayonets.

Russian Simonov Type 45 aka the Russian SKS rifle - 7.62x39mm. The Russian SKS has a milled receiver and a blade bayonet. The rifles were issued with hardwood or laminated stocks. This example has a hardwood stock.
Two Vietcong from D445 Battalion, armed with SKS rifles, move through the jungle. Note the underfold "pigsticker" bayonets.
A VC soldier lies in wait for 11 Platoon with his SKS.
A VC fires his SKS as an artillery shell explodes nearby. Note the forward receiver and "banana" magazine of the AK-47 besides him.
A VC fires his SKS.

Submachine Guns

Owen Submachine Gun

Australian Radio Telephone Operators (RTO's) carry the Owen Submachine Gun, probably due to it's light weight and reliability in jungle combat. Indeed, the Owen was in service in Vietnam until 1966, when it was replaced by the similar F1 Submachine Gun.

Owen Mk I Submachine Gun - 9x19mm
An Australian Radio Telephone Operator moves with his Owen Submachine Gun.
An RTO with an Owen Gun.
An RTO dives for cover.
An Owen-operating RTO being battered by rain.

Machine Guns


The M60 is used by Australian machine gunners in the documentary, both with the deployed bipod and without it.

M60 machine gun with bipod folded - 7.62x51mm NATO
An Australian machine gunner on patrol with his M60.
An Australian fires his M60 as his Assistant Gunner "feeds" him the belt.
An M60 firing.
A soldier chambers a new belt into his gun. Notice the deployed bipod.


The RPD is used by the Vietcong troops who ambush 11 Platoon.

RPD Light Machine Gun - 7.62x39mm
A Vietcong soldier ambushes 11 Platoon with his RPD.
A VC runs with his RPD, idenitifiable by the drum magazine and buttstock.

Browning M2HB

The Browning M2HB is mounted on Australian M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC's) sent to reinforce D Company.

Browning M2HB on vehicle mount - .50 BMG
An M113 APC gunner mans the turret Browning M2HB.
A gunner opens up with his .50. Note the little kangaroo symbol on the APC.

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