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Interesting Observations about the Vietnam War.

#41 User is offline   LP121 

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 02:36 PM

View Postmilod, on 27 November 2013 - 02:17 PM, said:

Redstick...

I think the "in the south" greater respect for the military is perhaps more an urban-rural cultural artifact. In short, it appears that in "the south," regardless of other cultural variations, more are within two generations of rural - agricultural. Ditto on the Northern Plains of the U.S.

m


I'd agree with that. In my area (rural Pennsylvania) it was much the same way. Returning vets were greeted much more warmly here than in the urban areas. I always figured it was because rural ares sent a higher percentage of their young men off than the urban areas. Around here, everyone knows somebody who went to Vietnam.
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#42 User is offline   redstick 

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:37 PM

I agree milod. As much as I disagreed with the so call reason for the war and I voiced my views in my history classes in HS to the point the history teacher assigned me a debate assignment that was totally against my stand. I had to defend Lt Calley and the actions of the troops. Of course I took the view that war is hell and not civilized and that the objective is to win so do not expect civilized actions in an uncivilized event such as war.

#43 User is offline   Digger 

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:20 PM

Yeah it would be awfully hard to put up a reasonable argument for lining civilians (if there were such thing there) up and gunning them down.

I can't imagine any scenario that would justify that!

Regarding earlier comments about fighting in the jungle: Fortunately the Australian army had extensive experience in Counter-Insurgency warfare immediately prior to Vietnam with the Malaysian Emergency, and we all benefited from that in our training. We approached things differently there to most other forces at the time and had less trouble adapting to the tactics the enemy used. Our jungle training was bloody hard, hardest thing I have ever done! Dangerous too!

A lot didn't get through, some even died during the training.

#44 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:35 PM

Digger mentioned a point seldom considered, too...

Even training for warfare tends to be a dangerous proposition. That's a point many people tend to ignore, yet it's often a major difference in bringing people home.

Not this, but the following weekend I'll be a guest for dinner of a local National Guard unit that are only a year home from service in Afghanistan. I consider it a miracle they returned home without significant casualty caused even by their job of heavy roadbuilding-type work and splitting up into small groups to drive all over the very dangerous trails of that region of the world.

That's the result of solid training. OTOH, it was obvious that they were pretty well worn down after a year of proving their equipment could function far beyond design requirements. For what it's worth, one may note that even while in camp prepping to go overseas, they also were called for an emergency flood control project that helped save large areas of one of our state's small cities. Just part of the job.

As for difficulties coping with insurgencies, one might note a degree of "atrocity" in the 1770s conflict in North America deciding whether 13 colonies would be independent or remain colonies.

Dig... RE the Koreans. I can't forget either that during the Vietnam conflict the ROKs in ways perceived it as a live fire training exercise given their closeness to their own nasty war with communist forces and another "little secret' that their own "war" still was ongoing, albeit at relatively low levels with virtually no publicity. Keeping casualties to a minimum was a priority, not "rules of war" they'd personally seen broken by others just a few years before.

m

#45 User is offline   Lord Summerisle 

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 06:12 PM

View Postmilod, on 27 November 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:


As for difficulties coping with insurgencies, one might note a degree of "atrocity" in the 1770s conflict in North America deciding whether 13 colonies would be independent or remain colonies.



Meaning the Boston Massacre, I presume?

Just because I'm British doesn't mean that I am naive as to British culpability in some of history's bloodier moments. After all, what happened in Boston in 1770 also happened in Amritsar in 1919, the best part of 150 years later.

#46 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:34 PM

Summerisle...

Nope, the so-called Boston Massacre - after which future President John Adams served as lawyer for the defense of the soldiers - was noisy and highly politicized, but a very, very minor sort of thing in the whole scheme of things.

Treatment of various prisoners of war, especially by the Brits who refused to recognize the revolutionary side as "soldiers," but rather as brigands of one sort or another, was horrific. Some folks figure some 50-70 or perhaps as much as 80 percent of those colonial "Americans" died. I think it was '83 before Parliament recognized those as prisoners of war as opposed to traitors for whom the right of habeas corpus had been suspended by "the crown." The Brit side had its serious own concerns but for a number of reasons, mostly the decentralized governance of the revolutionary era colonies, it appears there's less documentation of their POW casualties.

That's not even getting into some of the horrid local-level non-military treatment of one side by the other, in or out of uniform. Hanging might appear to be almost merciful compared to literal tar and feathering, for example.

Then again, civil wars whether that of the English civil war of the 1600s, the two American civil wars of 1770s and 1860s, carry too many examples of both incredible fratricide as well as human generosity.

m

#47 User is offline   Dennis G 

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 06:37 PM

View PostDigger, on 25 November 2013 - 04:03 PM, said:

Sadly My Lai was but one of many incidents.

I will confess to reading not more than a few of the posts in this thread, mainly for the statement above. I spent my tour of duty in the Pentagon in the Chief of Staff Communications center from Spring '67 to Dec, '69. It was a 24/7 operation and every bit of correspondence coming in to the US Government from anywhere in the world came through us. I had as many levels of TS security clearance as you could have at the time, so there was virtually nothing that I could not be exposed to or access. As Digger has pointed out, My Lai was but the tip of the iceberg. And it wasn't just Vietnam. I read about things that you wouldn't believe from all over the world. My debrief on discharge was basically, "STFU for 6 months".
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