Insight into the Sad Background of the US Entry into the Vietnam War.

I'm just astounded that there are some on this thread who hadn't heard of the 'Domino Theory' - do they teach history in schools these days?

My Bn sailed from Hong Kong to Singapore in '65 to attend JWS in Malaya prior to operations in Borneo, en-route we were discussing the increasing US involvement in Vietnam when it was announced we were heading there! Imagine our surprise? Fortunately it was only to medevac a Chinese sailor!

This is extremely important, I was born in singapore in 1968.... had LBJ not swore at those chief of staffs in the oval office in 1965 , then my dad would maybe have never met my mum and I would not be here to pontificate over the issue ! hence, whatever the argument ,Im with the big mouth Texan all the way ... yeeha !
 
Sunno seems to be one of what Lenin called the 'useful idiots' - blind to how Communism is essentially evil and gullible enough to swallow its deliberate disinformation. Unless of course he is actually a Commie propagandist himself.



Wow! I must be a commie lover because like hundreds of millions of people the world over, including most of America, I think the Vietnam War was a bloody travesty?

Congratulations! You win the Jorge Bush little book of political insight.
 
I'm just astounded that there are some on this thread who hadn't heard of the 'Domino Theory' - do they teach history in schools these days?

My Bn sailed from Hong Kong to Singapore in '65 to attend JWS in Malaya prior to operations in Borneo, en-route we were discussing the increasing US involvement in Vietnam when it was announced we were heading there! Imagine our surprise? Fortunately it was only to medevac a Chinese sailor!


Completely off topic, but out of curiosity Buster, where was your Chinese man injured/wounded/got crook?

There were a number of British flagged ships that were brassed up in Haiphong Harbour, in North Vietnam (Shell tankers for the most part) during air attacks by the USN and USAF.

The casualties were all Chinese and as far as I have been able to determine and were incurred by wild AA fire coming from East bloc ships parked nearby.

It made Hansard, but if it had of involved a white man it would have made the papers I'm sure.

Or would it?
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
I've always been intrigued as to what would have happened if US Marine General Victor Krulak's strategy had been followed.

Who's Who in Marine Corps History-LtGen Victor H. Krulak

I first saw this in Neil Sheehen's book 'a Bright Shining Lie'. Krulak wanted to start in the most stable, pacified area of Vietnam and put in good facilities/services as an example of what could be done. With that example in place he then wanted to slowly work outwards, so that the Vietnamese population could see there was a definite benefit to the American presence - and hence a reason to resist the Viet Cong.

According to Sheehen, Westmorland (then C in C in Vietnam) wanted to fight a conventional war and pulled rank on Krulak. Neither was the then US president (Lyndon B. Johnson) any more supportive. Info on Krulak's plan is not prominent on the internet, but this is as good as any:

A Noble Soldier, Not a Great Soldier by Mackubin T. Owens

Krulak pointed out that the Marines employed an approach in Vietnam — the Combined Action Program — that they had first used in Haiti (1915-34), Nicaragua (1926-33), and Santo Domingo (1916-22). "Marine Corps experience in stabilizing governments and combating guerrilla forces was distilled in lecture form at the Marine Corps Schools… beginning in 1920," Krulak wrote. The lectures appeared in Small Wars Manual in 1940, which was later adopted as an official publication.

According to Krulak, the Marine Corps approach in Vietnam had three elements: emphasis on pacification of the coastal areas in which 80 percent of the people lived; degradation of the ability of the North Vietnamese to fight by cutting off supplies before they left Northern ports of entry; and engagement of PAVN and V.C. main force units on terms favorable to American forces. Westmoreland, according to Krulak, made the "third point the primary undertaking, even while deemphasizing the need for clearly favorable conditions before engaging the enemy."

War is often a question of who makes the fewest mistakes - would Krulak's strategy have made a difference?

Wordsmith
 
I don't know. I just keep thinking of SE Asia looking like North Korea, Europe looking like the former East Germany and most of Central America emulating Cuba.
So much anti-US vitriol, it's like the '60s all over again. LBJ a peacenik? Please!

Detmold, a touch melodramatic young man. The vast majority of the Jocks on that LSL were disappointed they weren't going ashore in Vietnam.
 
Chippy, nothing so dramatic the Chinese sailor had a burst appendix or something like that. I believe we were outside the 12 mile limit off Cam Ranh Bay, hard to believe it was almost 50 years ago!
 
Dear Me! So, the plan was to bomb a capital city - Hanoi - and then mine and blockade the ports.

No wonder LBJ had a fit! Just take the blockade, what a bloody stupid idea. What was going to happen when the first Russian or Chinese ship was sent along, at a moment of their choosing, to break the blockade - were you going to sink it, seize it or wave it through?

And what do you think would have happened next?

Do you think that bombing Hanoi and promising to continue causing mass civilian casualties until they bent to your will was an acceptable way of carrying out international policy?

How would you have felt if the Russians and Chinese used the same tactic in all the other proxy wars that were going on during that era?

I think LBJ should have sacked the lot of them - or had them shot for conspiring to cause WW3.


Mate that was what ultimately happened.

In 1945 the whole of Indochina only had two deep water coastal ports. One of them was Haiphong.

Apart from the piss poor rail link that the communist Chinese hastily ran into Vietnam in 1950, in an effort that mirrored the Burma Railroad in 1943, there was only one way of getting gear into the place.

When Nixon finally mined the harbour in 1972 there was not a single reaction from the Chinese or the USSR.

Given the Sino-Soviet split, this could have been done in 1962, with no reaction and choked the thing before it got a chance to kick off.

Everyone would have been better off.

The thing that fuelled the American War was the low tech SKS's coming from Chinese factories via ship through Haiphong Harbour, and the high tech SA6's, for example, that had to be transported via the half pie rail link (which the Chinese didn't want to approve, but finally did)

The Christmas bombing and the mining of Haiphong in 1972 worked an absolute treat. With the benefit of hindsight, the mining of Haiphong alone in 1962 would have caused the collapse of the Northern Communists and resulted in no retaliation from either the USSR or PRC.(A first class Paddy/Pommy, P J Honey was alert to this fact, and wrote about it in 1962. Sadly he was ignored by just about everyone.)

Millions would have benefited. Not least of all the people of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It would have put a handbrake on the communist movement throughout South East Asia. It would have probably neutered the Indonesian Communists, who instead, unfortunately, were massacred to the tune of about half a million.

The mining of Haiphong Harbour unfortunately occurred ten years too late to make a real difference.

Mining the single port of your enemies is for winners.

There should be more of it.

It saves lives in the long run and actually makes people better off.
 

Tool

LE
I finished reading it a month or so back.

I found it to be OK facts-wise unless there was an opportunity to place a left of centre political slant on matters.
It was a LOT nicer to LBJ than he deserved & paid scant respect to Nixon's pursuit of a political settlement.
Needless to say; the control commission received little in the way of criticism.

Thanks, 'Bod. I wasn't aware of the "lot nicer to LBJ" and the Control Commission critique - guess it's time to re-read.
 
Does that justify the North killing upwards of 1 million Southerners, or the Kmer Rouge killing 2 million Cambode's?

Your claim of the US killing 2-4 million civilians is a complete & utter fabrication.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
Fabricatrion is the bedrock of Socialism.
 
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