Rome plows were large, armored, specially modified bulldozers used in South Vietnam by the United States military during the Vietnam War. First used in III Corps (Military Region III), major land clearing operations commenced in May 1967 upon the arrival of the 169th Engineer Battalion. Prior to plowing operations, preparatory machinegun, mortar, and 90mm tank guns were fired into the forests and jungles, thus clearing a path for the Rome plows to commence their runs, clearing jungle vegetation and cover that could be used by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces. During the American invasion (incursion) into Cambodia on 1 May 1970, Rome plows cleared over 1,700 acres (6.9 km²
) of jungle near the Fishook region, and destroyed over 1,100 enemy positions.
The plows took their name from the city of Rome, Georgia, where they were made by the Rome Plow Company (now located in Cedartown, Georgia).
The plows were equipped with a very sharp "stinger blade" which weighed more than two tons and was able to cut down trees, which were then burned. When fully equipped, a Rome plow weighed 48,000 pounds without the rome plow kit.
The American rock band Drive Like Jehu's 1994 album Yank Crime contains a song entitled "Here Come the Rome Plows."
- Starry, Donn A. General. Mounted Combat in Vietnam. Vietnam Studies; Department of the Army 1978.
- Histories for Landclearing Engineers - Vietnam 1967-71: Jungle Eaters & Rome Plow Companies
- Jungle Eaters
- 538th Landclearing Company
- 59th Landclearing Company
- Rome Plow Company
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