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Early opposition to U. John F. Kennedy, while senator, opposed involvement in Vietnam. Many young people protested because they were the ones being drafted , while others were against the war because the anti-war movement grew increasingly popular among the counterculture. Some advocates within the peace movement advocated a unilateral withdrawal of U.

Opposition to the Vietnam War tended to unite groups opposed to U. Others, such as Stephen Spiro , opposed the war based on the theory of Just War. High-profile opposition to the Vietnam War increasingly turned to mass protests in an effort to shift U. Riots broke out at the Democratic National Convention during protests against the war. On 15 October , the Vietnam Moratorium attracted millions of Americans.

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In , China extended diplomatic recognition to the Viet Minh 's Democratic Republic of Vietnam and sent heavy weapons, as well as military advisers led by Luo Guibo to assist the Viet Minh in its war with the French — China's support for North Vietnam when the U. In the summer of , Mao Zedong agreed to supply Hanoi with 90, rifles and guns free of charge. Starting in , China sent anti-aircraft units and engineering battalions to North Vietnam to repair the damage caused by American bombing, man anti-aircraft batteries, rebuild roads and railroads, transport supplies, and perform other engineering works.

This freed North Vietnamese army units for combat in the South. Sino-Soviet relations soured after the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia in August In , the Chinese government launched a secret military program named "Project ". As the result, Chinese scientist Youyou Tu and her collaborators discovered artemisinin. Tu was awarded Nobel Prize in for her contribution on the anti-malaria treatment.

The Chinese also began financing the Khmer Rouge as a counterweight to the Vietnamese communists at this time. China "armed and trained" the Khmer Rouge during the civil war and continued to aid them for years afterward. When Vietnam responded with an invasion that toppled the Khmer Rouge, China launched a brief, punitive invasion of Vietnam in Using airspeed and direction, COSVN analysts would calculate the bombing target and tell any assets to move "perpendicularly to the attack trajectory.

The Soviet Union supplied North Vietnam with medical supplies, arms, tanks, planes, helicopters, artillery, anti-aircraft missiles and other military equipment. Soviet crews fired Soviet-made surface-to-air missiles at U. Over a dozen Soviet citizens lost their lives in this conflict. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in , Russian officials acknowledged that the Soviet Union had stationed up to 3, troops in Vietnam during the war. Some Russian sources give more specific numbers: Between and , the hardware donated by the Soviet Union included 2, tanks, 1, APCs , 7, artillery guns, over 5, anti-aircraft guns, surface-to-air missile launchers, helicopters.

In addition, Soviet military schools and academies began training Vietnamese soldiers—in all more than 10, military personnel. These programs were pivotal in detecting and defeating CIA and South Vietnamese commando teams sent into North Vietnam, as they were detected and captured. Cooperation with Czechoslovakia on the development of North Vietnamese air capabilities began as early as As a result of a decision of the Korean Workers' Party in October , in early , North Korea sent a fighter squadron to North Vietnam to back up the North Vietnamese st and rd fighter squadrons defending Hanoi.

The North Koreans stayed through , and pilots were reported to have served. The contributions to North Vietnam by the Republic of Cuba under Fidel Castro have been recognized several times by representatives of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

China vs. Vietnam

There are numerous allegations by former U. East German authorities had also begun providing material and technical aid to help develop and modernise the North Vietnamese economy and military. The Polish People's Republic had played a substantive role in brokering and serving as an intermediary for peace-talks between Hanoi and Saigon, as part of a delegation under the International Control Commission alongside Western European nations. Romania was also among primary supporters of North Vietnam during the war in political, economic, and military terms.

Contemporarily, the Eastern Bloc country was also known for its role in the mediation activities in the mids, resulting in what known as the "Trinh Signal" in January , in which Hanoi accepted the possibility of negotiation with Washington. Bulgaria committed their charge-free military and economic supplies to North Vietnam in a bilateral agreement signed in Bulgarian military aid had already been provided to the latter since Similar conducts was undertaken by Hungary, which was reaffirmed in mutual visits of Hungary and North Vietnam in and Hungary also expressed their support through their representatives at the International Commission of Control and Supervision , a body established to supervise the implementation of the Paris Peace Accords.

On the anti-communist side, South Korea a. Official records are vindictive of the role of ROK Forces in the war, as State Department reports publicly questioned their usefulness in the conflict, as they have "appeared to have been reluctant to undertake offensive operations, and are only useful in guarding a small sector of the populated area".

Approximately , South Korean soldiers were sent to Vietnam, [] each serving a one-year tour of duty. Maximum troop levels peaked at 50, in , however all were withdrawn by South Korea claimed to have killed 41, Viet Cong. Thai forces saw much more action in the covert war in Laos between and , though Thai regular formations there were heavily outnumbered by the irregular "volunteers" of the CIA-sponsored Police Aerial Reconnaissance Units or PARU, who carried out reconnaissance activities on the western side of the Ho Chi Minh trail.

Both nations had gained experience in counterinsurgency and jungle warfare during the Malayan Emergency and World War II, and their governments subscribed to the Domino theory. New Zealand was, however, a reluctant participant. Officials expected a foreign intervention to fail, were concerned that they would be supporting a corrupt regime, and didn't want to further stretch their country's small military which was already deployed to Malaysia. Australia began by sending advisors to Vietnam in , and combat troops were committed in Around 50, Australian personnel were involved during the course of the war, of which were killed and more than 3, wounded.

Australia, with decades of experience from both the Malayan Emergency and its AATTV role in , recognised the necessity of a true counter-insurgency , which relied on providing village-level security, establishing civilian trust and economic incentives and improving ARVN capabilities. Some 10, Filipino troops were dispatched to South Vietnam and were primarily engaged in medical and other civilian pacification projects.

Vietnam War Unknown Soldier

The naval base at Subic Bay was used for the U. Seventh Fleet from until the end of the war in Beginning in November , Taiwan secretly operated a cargo transport detachment to assist the United States and South Vietnam. Brazil , under a U. Canada, India and Poland constituted the International Control Commission , which was supposed to monitor the ceasefire agreement.


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There was an active strategy of recruitment and favorable treatment of Montagnard tribes for the Viet Cong , as they were pivotal for control of infiltration routes. This provoked a backlash from the Montagnards, some joining the NLF as a result. Following Vietnamization many Montagnard groups and fighters were incorporated into the Vietnamese Rangers as border sentries.

A large number of war crimes took place during the Vietnam War. War crimes were committed by both sides during the conflict and included rape, massacres of civilians, bombings of civilian targets, terrorism , the widespread use of torture, and the murder of prisoners of war. Additional common crimes included theft, arson, and the destruction of property not warranted by military necessity. A probable war crime that was neither investigated nor brought to charge was the Thuy Bo massacre , while the Son Thang massacre warranted investigation, and its perpetrators faced court martial and served less than a year in prison.

Of the war crimes that were reported to military authorities, sworn statements by witnesses and status reports indicated that incidents had a factual basis. Simons as "a severe violation of the laws of war". Rummel estimated that 39, were killed by South Vietnam during the Diem-era in democide from a range of between 16, and , South Vietnamese civilians; for to , Rummel estimated a total of 50, killed in democide, from a range of between 42, and , Thus, the total for to is 81,, from a range of between 57, and , deaths caused by South Vietnam. Torture and ill-treatment were frequently applied by the South Vietnamese to POWs as well as civilian prisoners.

Hawkins and William R. Anderson witnessed detainees either confined in minute "tiger cages" or chained to their cells, and provided with poor-quality food. A group of American doctors inspecting the prison in the same year found many inmates suffering symptoms resulting from forced immobility and torture. South Korean forces were accused of war crimes as well. Ami Pedahzur has written that "the overall volume and lethality of Viet Cong terrorism rivals or exceeds all but a handful of terrorist campaigns waged over the last third of the twentieth century", based on the definition of terrorists as a non-state actor, and examining targeted killings and civilian deaths which are estimated at over 18, from to Some mines were set only to go off after heavy vehicle passage, causing extensive slaughter aboard packed civilian buses.

During the Vietnam War, American women served on active duty performing a variety of jobs. Although a small number of women were assigned to combat zones, they were never allowed directly in the field of battle. The women who served in the military were solely volunteers. They faced a plethora of challenges, one of which was the relatively small number of female soldiers. Living in a male-dominated environment created tensions between the sexes.

By , approximately 7, women had served in Vietnam in the Southeast Asian theater. To address this problem, the ANC released advertisements portraying women in the ANC as "proper, professional and well protected. Although female military nurses lived in a heavily male environment, very few cases of sexual harassment were ever reported. Unlike the American women who went to Vietnam, both South and North Vietnamese women were enlisted and served in combat zones. Women were enlisted in both the North Vietnamese Army NVA and the Viet Cong guerrilla insurgent force in South Vietnam, many joining due to the promises of female equality and a greater social role within society.

All-female units were present throughout the entirety of the war, ranging from front-line combat troops to anti-aircraft, scout, and reconnaissance units. Some, like in the WAFC, served in combat with other soldiers. Others served as nurses and doctors in the battlefield and in military hospitals, or served in South Vietnam or America's intelligence agencies.

During the war more than one million rural people migrated or fled the fighting in the South Vietnamese countryside to the cities, especially Saigon. Among the internal refugees were many young women who became the ubiquitous "bargirls" of wartime South Vietnam, "hawking her wares—be that cigarettes, liquor, or herself" to American and allied soldiers. Women also played a prominent role as front-line reporters in the conflict, directly reporting on the conflict as it occurred.

The French-speaking Australian journalist Kate Webb was captured along with a photographer and others by the Viet Cong in Cambodia and travelled into Laos with them; they were released back into Cambodia after 23 days of captivity. The experience of American military personnel of African origin during the Vietnam War had received significant attention. For example, the website "African-American Involvement in the Vietnam War" compiles examples of such coverage, [] as does the print and broadcast work of journalist Wallace Terry.

Terry's book Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans , includes observations about the impact of the war on the black community in general and on black servicemen specifically. Points he makes on the latter topic include: the higher proportion of combat casualties in Vietnam among African American servicemen than among American soldiers of other races, the shift toward and different attitudes of black military careerists versus black draftees, the discrimination encountered by black servicemen "on the battlefield in decorations, promotion and duty assignments" as well as their having to endure "the racial insults, cross-burnings and Confederate flags of their white comrades"—and the experiences faced by black soldiers stateside, during the war and after America's withdrawal.

As a result, by the war's completion in , black casualties had declined to During the early stages of the war, the Viet Cong mainly sustained itself with captured arms; these were often of American manufacture [] or were crude, self-made weapons [] used alongside shotguns made of galvanized pipes. They relied on ambushes, superior stealth, planning, marksmanship, and small-unit tactics to face the disproportionate US technological advantage.

By , they had fully transformed from the strategy of mobile light-infantry and using the people's war concept used against the United States. The US service rifle was initially the M14 until it was replaced by the M16 rifle. For a period, the gun suffered from a jamming flaw. The MAC machine pistol was supplied to many special forces troops in the midpoint of the war. The AC was a heavily armed ground-attack aircraft variant of the C Hercules transport plane, while the Huey is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine; approximately 7, UH-1 aircraft saw service in Vietnam.

Ground forces also had access to B and F-4 Phantom II and other aircraft to launch napalm , white phosphorus , tear gas , chemical weapons , precision-guided munition and cluster bombs. The Vietnam War was the first conflict where U. The National Security Agency ran a crash program to provide U. However, limitations of the units, including poor voice quality, reduced range, annoying time delays and logistical support issues, led to only one unit in ten being used. On a per capita basis, the 2 million tons dropped on Laos make it the most heavily bombed country in history; The New York Times noted this was "nearly a ton for every person in Laos.

Former U. Air Force official Earl Tilford has recounted "repeated bombing runs of a lake in central Cambodia. The Bs literally dropped their payloads in the lake. Ten percent of the population of Ho Chi Minh City was suffering from serious venereal diseases when the war ended, and there were 4 million illiterates throughout the South.

By , the Viet Minh had lost influence over the Cambodian communists. Under the leadership of Pol Pot , the Khmer Rouge would eventually kill 1—3 million Cambodians out of a population of around 8 million, in one of the bloodiest genocides in history. The relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia, then ruled by the Khmer Rouge communist party, escalated right after the end of the war. In response to the Khmer Rouge taking over Phu Quoc on 17 April and Tho Chu on 4 May , and the belief that they were responsible for the disappearance of Vietnamese natives on Tho Chu, Vietnam launched a counterattack to take back these islands.

In response, China invaded Vietnam in The two countries fought a brief border war, known as the Sino-Vietnamese War. From to , some , ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat as refugees or were expelled. The Pathet Lao overthrew the monarchy of Laos in December , establishing the Lao People's Democratic Republic under the leadership of a member of the royal family, Souphanouvong. The change in regime was "quite peaceful, a sort of Asiatic ' velvet revolution '"—although 30, former officials were sent to reeducation camps, often enduring harsh conditions for several years.

The conflict between Hmong rebels and the Pathet Lao continued in isolated pockets. The millions of cluster bombs the US dropped on Southeast Asia rendered the landscape hazardous. In Laos alone, some 80 million bombs failed to explode and remain scattered throughout the country, rendering vast swathes of land impossible to cultivate and killing or maiming 50 Laotians every year. Most Asian countries were unwilling to accept these refugees, many of whom fled by boat and were known as boat people. China accepted , people.

Included among their ranks were "about 90 percent" of Laos's "intellectuals, technicians, and officials. Agent Orange and similar chemical substances used by the U. Scientific reports have concluded that refugees exposed to chemical sprays while in South Vietnam continued to experience pain in the eyes and skin as well as gastrointestinal upsets. In one study, ninety-two percent of participants suffered incessant fatigue; others reported monstrous births.

There is substantial evidence that the birth defects carry on for three generations or more. In the post-war era, Americans struggled to absorb the lessons of the military intervention. We thought that we were going into another Korean War , but this was a different country. Who was Ho Chi Minh? Nobody really knew. So, until we know the enemy and know our allies and know ourselves, we'd better keep out of this kind of dirty business.

It's very dangerous. According to a Gallup poll, 62 percent of Americans believed it was an unjust war. Failure of the war is often placed at different institutions and levels. Some have suggested that the failure of the war was due to political failures of U. Yet in Vietnam the Army experienced tactical success and strategic failure A new humility and a new sophistication may form the best parts of a complex heritage left to the Army by the long, bitter war in Vietnam. Others point to a failure of U. As he remarked, "I still doubt that the North Vietnamese would have relented.

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote in a secret memo to President Gerald Ford that "in terms of military tactics, we cannot help draw the conclusion that our armed forces are not suited to this kind of war. Even the Special Forces who had been designed for it could not prevail. Hanoi had persistently sought unification of the country since the Geneva Accords, and the effects of U. The costs of the war loom large in American popular consciousness; a poll showed that the public incorrectly believed that more Americans lost their lives in Vietnam than in World War II.

More than 3 million Americans served in the Vietnam War, some 1. Westheider wrote that "At the height of American involvement in , for example, there were , American military personnel in Vietnam, but only 80, were considered combat troops. As of , the U. By war's end, 58, American soldiers had been killed, [A 3] more than , had been wounded, and at least 21, had been permanently disabled. As the Vietnam War continued inconclusively and became more unpopular with the American public, morale declined and disciplinary problems grew among American enlisted men and junior, non-career officers.

Drug use, racial tensions, and the growing incidence of fragging —attempting to kill unpopular officers and non-commissioned officers with grenades or other weapons—created severe problems for the U. By , a U. Army colonel writing in the Armed Forces Journal declared: "By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains in Vietnam is in a state approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers and non commissioned officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited where not near mutinous The morale, discipline, and battle-worthiness of the U.

Armed Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at any time in this century and possibly in the history of the United States. Army recorded more than attacks by troops on their own officers. Eighty-three officers were killed and almost were injured. The Vietnam War called into question the U. Army doctrine. Marine Corps general Victor H. Krulak heavily criticised Westmoreland's attrition strategy, calling it "wasteful of American lives… with small likelihood of a successful outcome.

Furthermore, throughout the war there was found to be considerable flaws and dishonesty by officers and commanders due to promotions being tied to the body count system touted by Westmoreland and McNamara. Ron Milam has questioned the severity of the "breakdown" of the U. Investigating one combat refusal incident, a journalist declared, "A certain sense of independence, a reluctance to behave according to the military's insistence on obedience, like pawns or puppets The grunts [infantrymen] were determined to survive The last conscript was inducted into the army in One of the most controversial aspects of the U.

They were used to defoliate large parts of the countryside to prevent the Viet Cong from being able to hide their weapons and encampments under the foliage. These chemicals continue to change the landscape, cause diseases and birth defects, and poison the food chain. Early in the American military effort, it was decided that since the enemy were hiding their activities under triple-canopy jungle, a useful first step might be to defoliate certain areas.

This was especially true of growth surrounding bases both large and small in what became known as Operation Ranch Hand. Corporations like Dow Chemical Company and Monsanto were given the task of developing herbicides for this purpose. American officials also pointed out that the British had previously used 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D virtually identical to America's use in Vietnam on a large scale throughout the Malayan Emergency in the s in order to destroy bushes, crops, and trees in effort to deny communist insurgents the concealment they needed to ambush passing convoys.

Kennedy on 24 November , that "[t]he use of defoliant does not violate any rule of international law concerning the conduct of chemical warfare and is an accepted tactic of war. Precedent has been established by the British during the emergency in Malaya in their use of aircraft for destroying crops by chemical spraying. The defoliants, which were distributed in drums marked with color-coded bands, included the " Rainbow Herbicides "— Agent Pink , Agent Green , Agent Purple , Agent Blue , Agent White , and most famously, Agent Orange , which included dioxin as a byproduct of its manufacture.

About 11—12 million gallons Navy patrol boats were vulnerable to attack from the undergrowth at the water's edge. In and , the Kennedy administration authorized the use of chemicals to destroy rice crops. Air Force sprayed 20 million U. Another purpose of herbicide use was to drive civilian populations into RVN-controlled areas.

Vietnamese victims affected by Agent Orange attempted a class action lawsuit against Dow Chemical and other U. Weinstein dismissed their case. In some areas of southern Vietnam, dioxin levels remain at over times the accepted international standard. In , Anh Duc Ngo and colleagues of the University of Texas Health Science Center published a meta-analysis that exposed a large amount of heterogeneity different findings between studies, a finding consistent with a lack of consensus on the issue on the effect of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

There is data near the threshold of statistical significance suggesting Agent Orange contributes to still-births, cleft palate, and neural tube defects , with spina bifida being the most statistically significant defect. Veterans Administration has listed prostate cancer , respiratory cancers , multiple myeloma , Diabetes mellitus type 2 , B-cell lymphomas , soft-tissue sarcoma , chloracne , porphyria cutanea tarda , peripheral neuropathy , and spina bifida in children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange. Estimates of the number of casualties vary, with one source suggesting up to 3.

The military forces of South Vietnam suffered an estimated , killed between and and additional deaths from to and in Defense Department officials believed that these body count figures need to be deflated by 30 percent. Between , [60] and , [61] Cambodians were estimated to have died during the war including between 40, and , combatants and civilians from US bombings.

Unexploded ordnance , mostly from U. According to the Vietnamese government, ordnance has killed some 42, people since the war officially ended. The Vietnam War has been featured extensively in television, film, video games, music and literature in the participant countries. In Vietnam the diary has often been compared to The Diary of Anne Frank and both are used in literary education. In American popular culture, the "Crazy Vietnam Veteran", who was suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder , became a common stock character after the war.

The modern classical composer George Crumb composed a string quartet, a threnody , regarding the war in titled Black Angels. Myths play a central role in the historiography of the Vietnam War, and have become a part of the culture of the United States. Much like the general historiography of the war, discussion of myth has focused on US experiences, but changing myths of war have also played a role in Vietnamese and Australian historiography.

Recent scholarship has focused on "myth-busting", [] attacking the previous orthodox and revisionist schools of American historiography of the Vietnam War. This scholarship challenges myths about American society and soldiery in the Vietnam War. Kuzmarov in The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs challenges the popular and Hollywood narrative that US soldiers were heavy drug users, [] in particular the notion that the My Lai massacre was caused by drug use.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For a full history of wars in Vietnam, see List of wars involving Vietnam. For other uses of "Nam", see Nam disambiguation. This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. The readable prose size is kilobytes. Please consider splitting content into sub-articles, condensing it, or adding subheadings. January Supported by:. Kennedy Lyndon B.

Weyand Paul D. Momyer John S. McCain Jr. Vietnamese civilian dead : ,—2,, [30] [56] [57] Vietnamese total dead : , [29] —3,, [58] Cambodian Civil War dead : ,—, [59] [60] [61] Laotian Civil War dead : 20,—62, [58] Non-Indochinese military dead : 65, Total dead : 1,,—4,, For more information see Vietnam War casualties and Aircraft losses of the Vietnam War.

Indochina Wars. Military engagements during the Vietnam War. Massacres of the Vietnam War. Further information: Terminology of the Vietnam War. Main articles: Viet Cong and War in Vietnam — Main article: Joint warfare in South Vietnam, — Main article: Gulf of Tonkin incident. Further information: Credibility gap.

Play media. Main article: Laotian Civil War. Main article: Fall of Saigon. Further information: Operation Frequent Wind. See also: Russell Tribunal and Fulbright Hearings. See also: China in the Vietnam War. See also: Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. Main article: South Korea in the Vietnam War. Main article: Thailand in the Vietnam War.

Main article: Republic of China in the Vietnam War. Main article: Canada and the Vietnam War. See also: List of massacres in Vietnam. Main article: Weapons of the Vietnam War. Further information: Mayaguez incident and Indochina refugee crisis. Main article: Vietnam War casualties. See also: Vietnam War body count controversy. Vietnam portal United States portal War portal s portal s portal s portal.

Fitzgibbon's family the start date of the Vietnam War according to the US government was officially changed to 1 November Retrieved 20 July Similar Swedish aid was to go to Cambodian and Laotian civilians affected by the Indochinese fighting. This support was primarily humanitarian in nature and included no military aid.

Area Handbook for Brazil , p. University of Malaya Student Repository. Retrieved 17 October Archived PDF from the original on 16 October The Tunku had been personally responsible for Malaya's partisan support of the South Vietnamese regime in its fight against the Vietcong and, in reply to a Parliamentary question on 6 February , he had listed all the used weapons and equipment of the Royal Malaya Police given to Saigon.

These included a total of 45, single-barrel shotguns, armoured cars and smaller numbers of carbines and pistols. Writing in , he revealed that "we had clandestinely been giving 'aid' to Vietnam since early Published American archival sources now reveal that the actual Malaysian contributions to the war effort in Vietnam included the following: "over 5, Vietnamese officers trained in Malaysia; training of U. It is undeniable that the Government's policy of supporting the South Vietnamese regime with arms, equipment and training was regarded by some quarters, especially the Opposition parties, as a form of interfering in the internal affairs of that country and the Tunku's valiant efforts to defend it were not convincing enough, from a purely foreign policy standpoint.

Reproduced on mtholyoke. Accessed 5 September The Scarecrow Press. Toledo Blade. Retrieved 24 December China's Foreign Relations. China and Vietnam. Tucker Tracks of the bear: Soviet imprints in the seventies. NK News. Retrieved 3 October Archived from the original on 2 December Retrieved 26 April Archived from the original on 17 November Retrieved 31 May Archived from the original on 2 August Retrieved 2 August Ministry of Defence , Government of Vietnam. Retrieved 11 June America in Vietnam. Oxford University Press. A History of the World , Routledge, Dunnigan; Albert A.

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Subsequent reevaluations of the demographic data situated the death toll for the [civil war] in the order of , or less. Paige Yale University Southeast Asia Studies. An estimated , excess deaths. We have modeled the highest mortality we can justify for the early s. Paris: L'Harmattan. Retrieved 5 March Retrieved 17 January BBC News. Retrieved 1 June Brookings Institution. Retrieved 12 June Kissinger's Year: Phoenix Press. G and Joseph L. F 4 November Retrieved 18 August Talks at google. The History Place. Retrieved 13 May Involvement in the Franco-Viet Minh War', p.

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First, this decree was issued in for the rent and interest reduction campaign that preceded the far more radical land redistribution and party rectification campaigns or waves that followed during — Second, the decree was meant to apply to free areas under the control of the Viet Minh government , not to the areas under French control that would be liberated in — and that would experience a far more violent struggle.

Thus the number of 13, executed people seems to be a low-end estimate of the real number. In this paper Moise 7—9 modified his earlier estimate in his book which was 5, and accepted an estimate close to 15, executions. Moise made the case based on Hungarian reports provided by Balazs, but the document I cited above offers more direct evidence for his revised estimate.

This document also suggests that the total number should be adjusted up some more, taking into consideration the later radical phase of the campaign, the unauthorized killings at the local level, and the suicides following arrest and torture the central government bore less direct responsibility for these cases, however. Szalontai, Balazs November Cold War History.

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Black Army Hat

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Best Vietnam war images in | Vietnam history, Vietnam veterans, American History

Arends IL. Arends and Ford were leaders of the Republican minority and the other three were Democrats on either the Armed Services or Appropriations committees. See also Part 1 Part 2 Part 3. Cook, ed. Available online at: www. Nguyen Co Thach recalls: "Nuon Chea has asked for help and we have liberated five provinces of Cambodia in ten days.

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Archived from the original on 30 September Review by The Manitoba Historical Society. Solis Bud Day's memoir is riveting. But it is also a raw manuscript in need of an editor. His tirades against the likes of Lyndon Johnson and the "ding-bat traitor" Jane Fonda get tiresome. To be sure, Day's address to the Navy flyers the morning I met him was laced with colorful profanities. But it was his very rage and aggression against communism, against the Democratic Party of the era, against those whom he considered weak soldiers in America's own ranks, against many things, that allowed him to survive more than half a decade of sustained torture.

Among the persons he dedicates his book to is "President Richard M. Because the prisoners had been moved from Son Tay nearly four months earlier, the raid was harshly criticized by major newspapers and some Democratic senators, notably William Fulbright, who questioned the "real purpose" of the mission, beyond freeing the prisoners.


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A New York Times editorial said the raid was "likely to widen the home-front credibility gap. Today among Green Berets, the Son Tay Raiders are looked upon as though mythical heroes from a bygone age. Johnson's bombing halt in was seen as a betrayal by POWs, and caused disappointment and anger even throughout the U. Remember that these POWs were often combat pilots—professional warriors and volunteers that is, not citizen soldiers who were drafted. Professional warriors are not fatalists.

In their minds, there is no such thing as defeat so long as they are still fighting, even from prison. That belief is why true soldiers have an affinity for seemingly lost causes. In December , a prisoner was dumped in Day's cell on the outskirts of Hanoi, known as the Plantation.

This prisoner's legs were atrophied and he weighed under pounds. Day helped scrub his face and nurse him back from the brink of death. As his health improved, McCain's rants against his captors were sometimes as ferocious as Day's. The North Vietnamese tried and failed, through torture, to get McCain to accept a release for their own propaganda purposes: The lieutenant commander was the son of Admiral John McCain Jr. Kissinger refused, aware that there were prisoners held longer than McCain, ahead of him in the line for release.

McCain suffered awhile longer in confinement, then, once freed, thanked Kissinger for "preserving my honor. McCain blurbs with gusto Bud Day's memoir. The senator writes: "I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the dimensions of human greatness. One "mid" told me that the moral lessons Stockdale provides helped inspire him to go to the academy. Stockdale himself is a symbol of a civilian-military divide. The very way you recall him upon hearing his name shows on what side of the divide you fall.

Most civilians remember Stockdale as H. Why am I here? In fact, Stockdale, a life-long student of philosophy, had meant his questions to be rhetorical, a restatement of the most ancient and essential of questions. Because of television's ability to ruin people's lives by catching them in an embarrassing moment in time, too few are aware that Stockdale's vice presidential bid was insignificant compared with almost everything else he did. Those on the other side of the divide remember him as among the most selfless and self-reflecting heroes the armed services have ever produced.

He spent the next seven years in prison, undergoing the usual barbaric treatment that the North Vietnamese communists meted out to Americans who did not provide information. Told that he was going to be shown to foreign journalists, Stockdale, a Medal of Honor winner, slashed his scalp with a razor and beat himself in the face with a wooden stool, to prevent being used for propaganda purposes.

Most of us would be there now rather than knuckle under," he writes in For POWs, not allowing themselves to be used as such meant being able to withstand years of torture. Rather than victims, men like Day, McCain, and Stockdale, once incarcerated, continued to see themselves as warriors, fighting on the most difficult of fronts. Moral philosophy, in particular the Stoics, helped Stockdale survive. As he puts it, after he ejected from his plane, "I left my world of technology and entered the world of Epictetus.

Stockdale explains, "Stoics belittle physical harm, but this is not braggadocio. They are speaking of it in comparison to the devastating agony of shame they fancied good men generating when they knew in their hearts that they had failed to do their duty Stockdale reminds us about something that much scholarship, with its obsession for textual subtleties, obscures: The real purpose of reading the classics is to develop courage and leadership. Stockdale explains—drawing on Napoleon, Clausewitz, and other military strategists—that "the word moral " bears an "unmistakably manly, heroic connotation.

For a professional warrior, "doing your duty" is not to be confused with "following orders. They write that in November , in order to rescue Captain Lance Sijan of Milwaukee, a smoke screen of cluster bombs was dropped near North Vietnamese anti-aircraft guns, so that the guns could be taken out by low-flying F-4 Phantoms, throwing enemy air defenses into enough chaos to allow a helicopter to pick up the downed pilot.

The operation failed. Captain Sijan, injured worse than Bud Day during ejection, evaded the North Vietnamese for six weeks. After he was captured, he escaped again, then was recaptured, and died of torture and pneumonia. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. This occurred while the pilots were operating under extremely restrictive ROEs rules of engagement.

Stockdale describes bombing runs over Hanoi in which each plane had to follow the other in exactly the same path, with almost no unscheduled maneuvering permitted—significantly increasing the chance of a plane being shot down, in order to reduce the chances of errant bombs hitting civilians. He and other pilots rage over how restrictive rather than wanton were the so-called Christmas bombings which, incidentally, were called off on Christmas Day. Few other air campaigns in history were fought under such limited ROEs, and yet achieved such an immediate and desired political impact: the return of the North Vietnamese to the negotiating table, the release of the POWs, and the end of America's military involvement in the war.

The equivalent would have been if the pinprick bombings ordered by President Bill Clinton on Iraq in had led to a regime change in Baghdad; or a change of heart by Saddam Hussein that opened the country unambiguously to United Nations weapons inspections. Yet my favorite story in Bury Us Upside Down is about a different sort of serviceman: Air Force flight surgeon Dean Echenberg of San Francisco—a former hippy who helped start a free clinic in Haight-Ashbury, did drugs, went to the great rock concerts, and then volunteered for service in Vietnam, more-or-less out of sheer adventure.

He ended up with the Mistys, billeted among men whom Bud Day had trained. If anyone lived the American Experience of the s in its totality, it was Echenberg. One day in , his medical unit was near Phu Cat, just as it was attacked by Viet Cong. Near dawn, emotionally overwrought, the two laid down to rest near the end of the runway on the American base, and "made love in the grass while artillery boomed in the distance. It was another young A pilot, Air Force Captain Brandon Kelly of Cairo, Georgia, a forward air controller on the ground in Iraq, one of the most dangerous jobs there, who told me about Bury Us Upside Down, which was not reviewed prominently.

Kelly told me that to fully understand what motivated people like him, I had to read this book. The result was a shunning of this excellent book. Fashionable journals declined to review it," writes former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger in the preface to a reissue of Bing West's The Village Half of them died, seven out of All of them had volunteered to go to "the village," a job they knew would likely get them killed.

Their reason? As the commanding sergeant tells the author: "you have a sense of independence down here. There's no You're always in contact with the Viet Cong. You know you have a job to do. You go out at night and you do it. In West's story there is no sense of defeat and doom and perversion like in classic Hollywood movies about Vietnam; no beautiful, ingeniously constructed, and introspective narration about soldiers and their vulnerabilities, beset with moral complexities, as in a work like Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried , a favorite of high school and college literature courses.

West has not written a better book than O'Brien, himself a twice-wounded veteran of the war. But he has written a very different, equally worthy kind that, outside of the members of the military who have regularly recommended it to me over the years, is still relatively little known. The Village is a story of interminable, deadly, monotonous life-and-death nighttime patrols, dryly and technically narrated, as though extracted from the pages of a hundred, strung-together after-action briefs.

To wit: "He had fired twenty bullets in one excited burst, yet missed because he had used a magazine which contained no tracers. Unable to see his fire, he had failed to lead properly when the scout ducked around the corner of the house. Like any good field manual, it has no time for that. As I said, warriors are not fatalists. The Village deals with what works in a counterinsurgency struggle and what doesn't.

It is a story meant for war colleges that the public, too, desperately needs to know. For the redeeming side of the Vietnam War it reflects was not an aberration. The Marines of Bing West's story constituted a CAP Combined Action Platoon , which moved into Binh Nghia in early , a village terrorized by the Viet Cong, and over 18 bloody months pacified it, taking unabashed pride in their work. The radius of their world was two miles. West, a former marine in Vietnam who made periodic visits to the platoon, ends his story thus: "In July of , Binh Nghia was no longer the scene of nightly battles The marines had done too many nighttime stake-outs, lying immovable for too many hours in filthy puddles, with rain pouring down as though out of a shower faucet, to simply retreat.

The Village demonstrates that the military has memories that the public doesn't. To many who grew up in the s, Vietnam was a cause. But to those who fought it Vietnam was foremost a war, in all its gray shades: with its tactical successes and tactical failures, with its Marine CAPS and Green Beret infiltrations that worked, and its Big Army ones that didn't; with its Army generals who succeeded like Creighton Abrams, and its Army generals who failed like William Westmoreland; with its moments of glory like Hue, and its moments of disgrace like My Lai; and, above all, with its heroes, like the Son Tay Raiders and the Misty forward air controllers.

It was recommended to me by a Green Beret sergeant major from rural Pennsylvania, Jack Hagen, whose friend had fought in the unit Meyer writes about. The book constitutes an intimate memory in its own right, another example of stories that warriors tell themselves. The cheap and slightly out-of-focus jacket design suggests a term-paper quality manuscript that will be a chore to read. Yet as combat writing goes, Across the Fence is pure grain alcohol. It is not replete with rich, unforgettable descriptions, but rather a work of dry realism that makes no attempt at profundity, and is thus unburdened by doubt—the warrior's great strength.

There is bitching about physical discomfort, but no complaints about the purpose of the war. So little emotion is there that the author allows himself only a brief and passing broadside against Johnson's ceasefire and what he considers the antagonism of the media. John Stryker Meyer and the men in his unit, as he writes, "were triple volunteers. This was a joint unit engaged in classified, unconventional warfare in Laos and Cambodia: places known respectively as the "Prairie Fire" and "Daniel Boone" AOs areas of operations , or just plain "Indian Country" in Meyer's own words.

The book's title is military lingo for across the border from Vietnam, where "the North Vietnamese Army," as the author writes, "had moved soldiers, supplies, rockets, guns, and propagandists south into the eastern provinces" of these so-called "neutral" countries, whose territories were an integral part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail Complex. Across the Fence was published only in Meyer had "signed a government document in pledging never to write or talk publicly about SOG for 20 years. Arriving at a SOG base in Vietnam, the author was shown into a barracks, where on "one double bunk, sweaty and naked, was a couple heavily involved in the rapture of the moment.

These were men away from home for many months: A significant percentage of them were soon to die. Meyer himself was momentarily to enter an existence where life was "a matter of inches":. Enemy troops quickly reinforced the ambush site. It was always thus. As Meyer documents—through his own experiences, as well as through interviews he conducted for years afterwards to recreate the combat sequences—whenever SOG units crossed the border into Cambodia and Laos, they uncovered a beehive of North Vietnamese Army concentrations.

The border truly meant nothing. The battlefield overlapped it. Meyer spends 18 pages describing a savage, day-long firefight in Laos that ends with many dead, as well as beer in the canteen for the survivors near midnight, before another insertion that meets another enemy troop concentration the next morning. From beginning to end, Across the Fence is a record of extreme heroism and technical competence that few who fought World War II surpassed. Every time Meyer crossed the border it was with South Vietnamese "indigs" indigenous troops integrated into his unit. He writes about their exploits and personalities in as much detail as he does about the Americans.

He identifies with them, and with the enemy whose skill he admires, more than he does with elements of the home front. Thanksgiving is just another day "across the fence," this time in Cambodia, once again surrounded by North Vietnamese troops, once again saved by the Air Force and the five-second fuses on the claymore mines. There is little sense here that the war was lost. While historians cite as a turning point because of the home front's reaction to the Tet offensive, the My Lai massacre, and the protests at the Democratic party convention in Chicago, on the ground in Vietnam, marked a different trend: William Westmoreland was replaced by Creighton Abrams, population security rather than enemy body counts became the measure of merit, "clear and hold" territory replaced the dictum of "search and destroy," and building up the South Vietnamese Army became the top priority.

By the end of , Sorley goes on, one could travel almost anywhere in South Vietnam in relative security, even as American ground forces were almost gone. Retirees I know in the armed forces affirm how much more benign an environment South Vietnam was during this period than the Iraq of today. Still, as one veteran told me: Everyone has different memories of Vietnam, depending upon where they served, and what time they were there. Sorley's book was reviewed prominently by the major liberal newspapers and foreign policy journals. They gave it generally respectful write-ups, a sign of a reassessment of Vietnam based less on ideology than on paying more attention to the second half of a war: a period to which, as Sorley notes, Stanley Karnow's Vietnam: A History devotes only out of pages, and Neil Sheehan's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Bright Shining Lie devotes 65 out of pages.

Sorley told me he isn't sure what would have happened had Congress not cut off aid to South Vietnam at about the time the ground situation was at its most hopeful. He felt that a respectable case might be made that it would have survived. His book has seen a rise in sales among military officers eager to know how the ground situation in Iraq might be improved to the level it had been in Vietnam, thanks to Gen. Abrams's change of strategy. James H. Willbanks, who describes a day siege in mid, in which heavily outnumbered South Vietnamese troops and their American advisors including himself rebuffed several North Vietnamese divisions.

This gave Nixon the fig leaf he needed for a final withdrawal. Optimism then might not have been warranted, but it wasn't altogether blind. Willbanks said he wrote his book, published by Indiana University Press, for the same reason Sorley did: to give more attention to the second half of the war. This is the story of a young Army civil affairs officer in a remote part of South Vietnam near Cambodia, which, as he too documents, was used as major staging post for the North Vietnamese Army. Herein is a series of feverish accounts of horrific firefights that alternate with the struggle to establish schools, maternity clinics, and agricultural projects.

It is as though the author were writing about today's Iraq: a corruption- and faction-plagued central government that exists officially, but has little reality outside of the capital; a regular U. Army that he despises, confined too often to big bases and which the locals hate; and small units like his with life-and-death control over civilians.

He ends his Vietnam saga thus: "I do not believe it was an immoral war at all, rather a decent cause gone terribly wrong.