Did any British Forces Serve In Vietnam?

And why you ask was Laos being Bombed?


because the North Vietnamese were violating the neutrality treaties to move supplies south using Laos as a staging and transit area like Cambodia

Of course the genocide of the Hmong continued

But those evil yanks eh?
First point, I don't subscribe to the 'evil yanks' philosophy.

Second, I fully understand that the Ho Chi Min trail went through Laos and Cambodia and was therefore a valid target, militarily. But the bombing was poorly targeted and not as effective as it could have been.

The Hmong were used, misused and abused, ultimately being well and truly sold down the river. No different to Laos as a whole (and Cambodia). Those countries went down 'click, click, click', just like the dominoes they weren't supposed to be.

All viewed, of course, through the prism of 2019 and a host of eBooks so readily sourced.
 

bedended

War Hero
Morning All,
I haven't read the whole thread so don't know if this has been posted. Too much of a dinosaur to know how to link things, hence screenshot.
edit to add. From 35 seconds but all is interesting.
 

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old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
I remember reading a book where the US SF bloke said he had been trained at the Royal Jungle Warfare School in Singapore. I don’t think it had the “Royal” prefix and he probably meant Malaya but that’s just detail.

Some background here: Jungle Warfare School
This was the one at Johore Bahru I think. And during our time there trained alongside USMC and Army. Fairly switched on, except for wearing aftershave and smoking/gum chewing, which, as we know, is a real no-no.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
There's been a bit posted about the JWS and Col JP Cross' time there as Chief Instructor.

I am currently re-reading Andrew Wiest's excellent, Vietnam's Forgotten Army: Heroism And Betrayal In The ARVN. There is an interesting footnote about British archive sources:

The British remained interested observers throughout the Vietnam War, and papers in the British National Archive in Kew represent an under utilised source for understanding Vietnam. Though the collections are scattered from the Foreign Office to the files of the War Office, papers exist on myriad topics ranging from ambassadorial critiques of American tactics, to the workings of the British Jungle Warfare school in Malaya (which trained scores of South Vietnamese officers), to the comings and goings of Sir Robert Thompson, lauded for his actions in Malaya and constant advisor to the americans in Vietnam. The papers concerning Jungle Warfare school are located in DO 169/109.
 
This was the one at Johore Bahru I think. And during our time there trained alongside USMC and Army. Fairly switched on, except for wearing aftershave and smoking/gum chewing, which, as we know, is a real no-no.
I never used after shave, chewed gum or smoked. Sweated a lot though. ;-)
 
I've always noted the many images of American (and Aussie) troops in VN wearing extensive face cam. Didn't it just drip off after half-hour in trudging through the scrub?
Not really. The cammy sticks (not soft cream in a jar) were pretty good against sweat and rain as long as you didn't rub too hard.
proxy.duckduckgo.com-237x242.jpg
 
I chewed gum as a child.
I do smoke occasionally as I enjoy it but realise it would be stupid to make a habit of it. Perhaps 100 -150 cigs a year.
I have never worn perfume.
Regular user of manfume
Used gum to stop smoking.......it worked
Stopped the gum when it dislodged the false teef
Increased the manfume after reaching 65........18 year old birds still didn't notice me
Now in my seventies, couldn't give one anyway (neither philosophically nor physically)
 
Weren't they made by revlon or max factor or somebody similar?
Max Factor did (and, as far as I know, still do) supply HMF with cam creams.

. . . and I recall, when doing junglies in Belize, being instructed to streak the face as opposed to full-blown NWE style: the tip being that, after half a day the cam cream plus the dirt would have run down your face leaving you looking like unfired clay.
 
Morning All,
I haven't read the whole thread so don't know if this has been posted. Too much of a dinosaur to know how to link things, hence screenshot.
edit to add. From 35 seconds but all is interesting.

This @bedended ?
 

exspy

LE
He mentions a bootie on a 2 year attatchment with him in Vietnam
As I type, I have beside me my copy of Rogue Warrior (1992) by Richard Marcinko. It's a combination autobiography and history of the SEAL teams. He writes extensively about his multiple tours in Vietnam and never once, not ever, mentions working with a Royal Marine. In fact, there are no references to the RM anywhere in the book.

I'm not saying he's a liar exaggerator or anything....
 

bedended

War Hero
As I type, I have beside me my copy of Rogue Warrior (1992) by Richard Marcinko. It's a combination autobiography and history of the SEAL teams. He writes extensively about his multiple tours in Vietnam and never once, not ever, mentions working with a Royal Marine. In fact, there are no references to the RM anywhere in the book.

I'm not saying he's a liar exaggerator or anything....
Morning @exspy,
I read the book when it came out and don't remember much(if any of it) but remember being told years later it was a mix of fiction and reality. That and what jumpinjarhead basically said in post 1356...and your last line. Not to detract from any of his genuine service/achievements though.
 
It occurs to me that if we expand the terms of reference a little then lots of British and Indian troops served in Vietnam. All of the 20th Indian Division for a start, from Wikiwallies:-

In August 1945, the Japanese surrendered after two atomic weapons were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Allied South East Asia Command (SEAC) area of responsibility, was expanded to embrace several countries including French Indochina.

While Chinese troops occupied the northern part of the country, Gracey's division occupied the southern part in Operation Masterdom [4]. The division was to release former Allied prisoners of war and disarm and repatriate Japanese units. Later, the division was instructed to hand over to the returning French regime, before returning to India. There were several battles with Viet Minh, who were intent on achieving independence. Major Richard Holbrook McGregor, on Gracey's Intelligence Section Staff, learned of an impending Viet Minh terrorist invasion of Saigon. The warnings issued of the impending invasion, undoubtedly prevented the slaughter of French civilians. Gracey, never one to mince his words, criticised the French for their dismissive attitude towards his Indian and Gurkha units.

There is a chapter 'The 20th Indian Division in French Indo-China, 1945-46: Combined/joint Operations and the‘fog of war’ by Daniel Marston available [5] More details can be found in Marston's book 'The Indian Army and the End of the Raj' [6]

There are two books on the intervention: 'The First Vietnam War' by Peter Dunn (published 1985) and reviewed in part [7] The second book is The British In Vietnam – How the twenty-five year war began, by George Rosie, (published by Panther Books 1970) and reviewed [8]

The division was disbanded in India in 1946.
 

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