Long Tan crossCommemorative service held on the site of the battle of Long Tan, 1969,
photographed by Christopher John Bellis

For the first time the original Long Tan cross will be on display in Australia.

The battle of Long Tan was Australia's most costly single engagement of the Vietnam War. During the nation's ten-year-long involvement in Vietnam, there were bigger and more sustained battles, involving larger formations. But few were so intense and dramatic.

On 18 August 1966, 108 soldiers of D Company, 6RAR, fought a fierce battle in the Long Tan rubber plantation against a large Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army force. Outnumbered by at least ten to one, but with artillery support from the Australian base five kilometres away, they fought off determined attacks.

Three years later soldiers of the 6th Battalion, 6RAR/NZ (ANZAC), returned to the site of the battle to erect and dedicate a commemorative cross. Soldiers who fought at Long Tan were present at the ceremony.

The Long Tan cross has been generously loaned to the Australian War Memorial by the Dong Nai Museum in Bien Hoa, with the support and approval of the Ministry of Culture, Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The Long Tan cross will be on display from 17 August 2012 until 11 June 2013.

Supporting the loan of the Long Tan cross

Supporting the Long Tan cross