A Look Back at the Vietnam War 35 Years after fall of Saigon

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Mongo, May 15, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Mongo

    Mongo LE Reviewer

  2. Excellent shots which I have forwarded to two Ex US forces men I know.
    One was Engineers and was involved in a siege, was Besieged for several months, when his unit was on Cambodian Border and the other guy an ex WW II Vet, who was busy building Airfields in Nam.

    john
     
  3. There are some very moving shots there. Thanks for the link.

    FM
     
  4. Some brilliant pictures there, thanks for the post. The UK did well to stay clear of that mess but I can’t help but think that perhaps Helmand bears a spooky resemblance to some aspects of that conflict.
     
  5. An incredible series of photos there. Thanks for the opportunity to see them.
     
  6. Thanks.
     
  7. By coincidence, I am currently reading Michael McClears "10,000 day War", and I am at a loss to understand why the US ever got involved in this debacle.

    According to McClear, the Kennedy government had ample opportunity to avoid escalation of the situation, as did Lyndon Johnson after him.... it's just that they appear to have simply chosen not to.

    It all started in 1946 after the Japanese withdrawal at the end of WW2, and was first fought for independence from French colonialism, and a unified nationalistic Vietnam. Why the Americans got involved at all is really tenuous, but once they were in, they just couldn't seem to find the organisation to pull out.......

    What is really really amazing though, is the amount of lying the US government did to the public to avoid the issues the war was raising, and the opposite views held by the CIA, State Department, and Defence Department........ as early as 1962, the CIA were saying the war could never be won.... so why go on for another 13 years ?

    At the moment, my sympathies lay with the Viet Cong..... at least they had a legitimate reason for fighting.

    I'm no expert on this at all, but from what I know of Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan now, I suspect that the US involvement is just as muddled and secretive. I just hope it doesn't take as long for the combatants to bring it to a conclusion, and avoid unnecessary deaths.
     
  8. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Made hugely worse by LBJ's 'bombing pause', ignoring MacArthur's dictum that there is no substitute for victory. And indeed his othe rone, 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'.
     
  9.  
  10. Legs
    "Why the Americans got involved at all is really tenuous"

    I have read so much on Indo China, that our colonial cousins where terrified that Britain was trying to rebuild the Old Empire.
    Brit troops occupied Vietnam prior to handing over to the Frogs, General Gracie's Division ? and I do believe that Truman was determined that UK must not be allowed to kick off a new Empire.
    Did he not want Hong Kong handed over to the Fiendish Chinese General Cash my Cheque.

    john
     
  11. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    An honest perspective.....I'm guessing you aren't old enough to have been watching the TV news bulletins from the time......with a very young Martin Bell reporting from Saigon during the Tet offensive in 1968. It was his third major war.

    As part of the Open University's module D214 ' America in the 20th C ' the course material included an interview with Robert McNamara, the Secretary for Defense under first Kennedy,then Johnson.

    It is well worth hearing what he has to say. LINKY

    According to Bob McNamara anyway , with 20/20 hindsight then yes, the U.S made bad decisions......but that, at the time, they believed ABSOLUTELY in the 'domino theory' ....that losing Vietnam might mean losing a host of other countries to Communism such as Malaysia, Indonesia and possibly even India ( and if you think there is no chance of anything remotely Marxist taking root in India just visit Kerala :) )

    The chilling moment for me comes when he says ( and I suspect he is absolutely right) that we , the West, came 'within a hair's breadth of nuclear conflict with Soviet Union on not one but SEVERAL occasions in the 60's and early 70's .....the Arab-Israeli War of '67 being just one.......


    Since the Vietnam war ended, it is hard to find anyone who WASN'T violently anti-war at the time....well, look at the pictures.......McNamara also makes the unfortunate point that a hell of a lot of Americans were right behind their Government throughout the ten years of the US involvement.....

    The Cold War, as played out anything but cold in non-European theatres, doesn't make any sense seen from 35 years later......
     
  12. "domino theory"

    The left attempted to take where I live twice in the 70's, 73 & 76.
    Two very nasty uprisings put down with Maximum Force by Military Gov of the day.
    The students of that era are now having round 3 over here as we speak.
    And if you think the Lib con is out of this world then here we have out and out commies financed by the former richest man in the country.

    john
     
  13. Oh well, in that case I suppose the Viet Cong drew regular wages from the Bush family. At least that would explain why young George was so eager to spend the war in the States.

    Of course it doesn't offer any motive as to why an ultra capitalist would finance communists but no doubt things will eventually become as clear to us as they obviously are to you.
     
  14. Sarcasm is wasted.
    If you want to or are even vaguely interested try the Asian Press and Websites.
    The BBC is not giving Honest reports, it's all talk about the oppressed farmers by the Ruling Elite.
    I don't doubt that some maybe one BBC reporter can speak some Thai, but if you want to understand what is in local newspapers then you need to speak to folk who have lived here for over 40 years and who daily read the local press and can also understand the patois.

    john
    just a child by local terms, but the info is there and if you'd been polite I would have shown you exactly where.
    Bye
     
  15. If you ignore the Aussie prick, please highlight to all on arrse what ails Thailand. Some of these pictures catch you in the throat.