Russian Involvement in the Vietnam War

#1
Having contributed to and read with interest the long running thread on British involvement (or not!) in the Vietnam war, and having read fictionalised accounts of Russian snipers & spetznaz etc., just to what extent did the Russians involve themselves militarily in the Vietnam War?
 
#2
It was rumoured at the time, the Russians profited from an exchange of captured American aircrew for weaponry and other logistic support. The Russians were rumoured to be keen in debriefing such POW's on their technical expertise.
 
#3
Not sure about during the war but I read that a few Russian sailors got knifed by locals during runs ashore, apparently they were viewed in much the same light as the Americans were, interlopers in the country.
 
#4
Some of the US made 'Military History' programs on the TV suggest that Rooshins provided serious Technical help on AA matters especialy where Radar and use of Misseles was conncerned.

john
 
B

Boozy

Guest
#5
The Soviet Union were the main suppliers of medical supplies, anti-aircraft missiles, arms, planes, tanks, artillery, helicopters and other military equipments for North Vietnam. In 1991, Russian officials admitted that the Soviet Union had sent up to 3,000 troops to Vietnam during the war - these were what you would call 'military advisors'.

The americans were involved as 'advisors' too so its perfectly plausible that americans fought russians in the vietnam war (i don't know if it happened or not its been years since i studied this area), but as they were each just there helping south or north vietnam it wasn't considered an official engagement between the usa and the ussr - if it had the cold war would have turned hot and we'd all be pretty f*cked right now. The USA and USSR dueled many times during the cold war but it was always indirectly using other countries eg korea, cuba, afghan even -using the term 'advisors' meant they could get involved without being seen to directly provoke the other superpower - all part of one very big f*ck off global chess game.
 
#6
Like in Korea, Americans sometimes heard Russian voices on the radio during dogfights even though the pilots were most certainly not supposed to be Russian.
 
#7
In the book Snake Pilot the author describes how one of the KIA from his attack has caucasian features. The author then suggests that he must have been a Russian advisor, this was in the early seventies.

DC
 
#8
Let us remember also that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was so large and diverse, that it included asiatic tribal regions who also served in the Soviet Army, Navy and Air Force. Not all Soviet citizens, therefore were Caucasian, just as in China today, there are citizens with Eurasian features. It would be perfectly feasable to integrate some of these Asians with the Advisers and in particular they would be more acceptable in appearance to the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and National Liberation Front for South Vietnam (NLF)(Viet Cong)
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Our friend chippymick posted this on another forum last year which might shed some light on things. It's a Pentagon statement concerning the claims made by CNN and Time about USSF killing American defectors in North Viet Nam and Laos (my bold).

BACKGROUND NOTE RE FOREIGN ADVISORS TO PAVN

One of the questions the CNN/TIME story about Operation Tailwind suggests is the question of whether Russian or other Soviet bloc advisors might have been working with People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) forces in the Operation Tailwind area of operations, and whether members of the MACVSOG force might have mistook those advisors for American defectors.

We have seen no evidence that could support a belief that Russians or other Soviet bloc advisors (e.g., Cubans) served with PAVN forces in the Operation Tailwind area of operations. In fact, available information about the PAVN's operations suggests strongly that Russian and other Soviet bloc advisors did not operate in the Operation Tailwind area of operations.

Several sources of knowledge give us insight into PAVN's wartime operations.
First, in the course of their in-country investigations and oral history interviews to search for information about the fate of American servicemen who remain unaccounted for from the war, the PACOM's Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA) and its predecessor, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center, have interviewed hundreds of PAVN veterans.

Second, in recent years the Defense Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Affairs Office's (DPMO) Joint Commission Support Directorate has interviewed several Soviet veterans who served as military advisors in Vietnam.
Third, specialists in the JTF-FA and DPMO have reviewed hundreds of official histories that PAVN published about the war.

Fourth, wartime intelligence American and allied forces gathered from prisoners, ralliers, captured documents, signal intercepts, etc.

The preponderance of information gathered from these four sources reveals that Soviet military advisors seldom ventured south of the coastal town of Vinh, located in Nghe An Province in northern Vietnam, about midway between Hanoi and the old demilitarized zone. To the best of our knowledge, the few Soviet bloc military advisors that ventured south of Vinh were advisors to PAVN air defense units. With two possible exceptions, to the best of our knowledge, Soviet bloc military advisors did not venture outside of northern Vietnam.
The first possible exception would have occurred during the early 1 960s when the PAVN used fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft to move personnel and supplies into a few sites in northeastern and central Laos. Soviet bloc pilots and aircrews might have participated in some of those flights.

The other possible exception would have occurred during PAVN's defensive campaign against Operation Lam Son 719 in Laos, in about February-April 1971. This was an American supported offensive by Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces' (RVNAF) along the Highway 9 corridor between the Vietnamese border outpost at Khe Sanh and the Laotian town of Tchepone. One former Soviet advisor to a PAVN air defense regiment told American interviewers that he and other members of his small advisor team believed they might have ventured a short distance into an area of Laos located between the Ban Karai Pass and the town of Tchepone for a brief period in early 1971.
1


Toward the end of the war, Cuba sent a small group of construction engineers to Vietnam to help with road building projects; however, this was long after Operation Tailwind. During the war Cuba also posted a diplomatic representative to the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam, which was located in Cambodia. It is unlikely any Cubans ever ventured into Laos in support of or as advisors to the PAVN.
A couple of Cubans were reported by US POWs as being interrogators and were later identified as Eduardo Morjon Esteves and Luis Perez Jaen who were assigned to the Cuban Embassy in Hanoi as military attaches during 1968-69.There was also the case of western Mercenaries and idealists who fought for the Communists such as the Dutchman, Johannes Duynisveld:
One case involved an amateur journalist turned guerrilla fighter, Johannes Duynisveld, a Dutchmen from Voorschoten, Holland. Duynisveld was an ambitious man with leftist tendencies; he had roamed the world when he ran away from home at the age of 16. After holding various jobs, he eventually wound up in Cambodia, wanting to write about the war. On September 15, 1970 Duynisveld left Phnom Penh on a self-described ‘secret mission’ to find out what had happened to several of the 17 Western journalists missing in Cambodia since the previous April. He was particularly interested in finding Sean Flynn and Dana Stone, two of the more prominent members of the group.
According to a dairy found on Duynisveld body at the time of his death, he bicycled to Svay Rieng and allowed himself to be captured by communist troops on September 19. Dairy notations for the next three weeks contains many brief entries, describing how the VC were constantly on the move, trying to avoid air raid and artillery bombardment and life in general in a communist unit. As time goes by it seems that through a subtle combination of flattery, propaganda and indoctrination, the VC had little trouble in signing Duynisveld up for the communist cause. On November 28 he was officially welcomed into the fold. The following entries go on about life in a VC unit and how he transported weapons and ammunition for the VC and repair capture equipment.
Duynisveld’s activities did not go unnoticed by the South Vietnamese and Americans. More than one field report conduct by recon units told of a caucasian working for the enemy along the Cambodia border.
Fate caught up with Duynisveld on the night of December 18, when the VC unit he was part of stumbled into a night ambush position manned by troops of the ARVN 25th Infantry Division, then operating inside Cambodia. His death received widespread media coverage, where it was billed (some say erroneously) as ‘the first verified instance in the War in Indo-China of a Westerner accompanying communist troops as a soldier’. The U.S. Joint Public Affairs Office in Saigon had no comment.
And as ever YouTube offers up its tuppence. Here's a Russian programme about a former Soviet Advisor which just sounds like armed over Commie apologetica.



[video=youtube;jIo1j2liKj4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIo1j2liKj4[/video]
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
At the time of the Vietnam War most of the time China and the Soviets were hardly talking to one and other, but the Russians most certainly gave the Viets a massive amount of Equipment,both civil and military, one of the best referance books for this is the Pulitzer prize winning "Bright and Shinning Lie" by Neil Sheehan
 
#11
Let us remember also that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was so large and diverse, that it included asiatic tribal regions who also served in the Soviet Army, Navy and Air Force. Not all Soviet citizens, therefore were Caucasian, just as in China today, there are citizens with Eurasian features. It would be perfectly feasable to integrate some of these Asians with the Advisers and in particular they would be more acceptable in appearance to the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and National Liberation Front for South Vietnam (NLF)(Viet Cong)
They needn't have bothered, and they didn't. To the Vietnamese foreigners were foreigners, and they know that the Americans know that they know that they know etc.
 
#12
Let us remember also that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was so large and diverse, that it included asiatic tribal regions who also served in the Soviet Army, Navy and Air Force. Not all Soviet citizens, therefore were Caucasian, just as in China today, there are citizens with Eurasian features. It would be perfectly feasable to integrate some of these Asians with the Advisers and in particular they would be more acceptable in appearance to the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and National Liberation Front for South Vietnam (NLF)(Viet Cong)
Not all Asians look like Vietnamese, though. Russian Asiatics are pretty much exclusively from the Mongolian or north Chinese families of peoples and would stand out as much to a Vietnamese as a Swede would in Sicily. For all that Yanks in general can be pretty obtuse about subtle cultural differences, they've got enough smart cookies in their intelligence community to spot the difference as well.
 
#13
Not all Asians look like Vietnamese, though. Russian Asiatics are pretty much exclusively from the Mongolian or north Chinese families of peoples and would stand out as much to a Vietnamese as a Swede would in Sicily. For all that Yanks in general can be pretty obtuse about subtle cultural differences, they've got enough smart cookies in their intelligence community to spot the difference as well.
Quite. But for all that it never ceases to amaze me how people can be so obtuse about anthropoligical differences when they can spot different breeds of dogs / cats / pigs cows etc etc. Must be conditioning.
 
#14
Soviet officer who 'shot down McCain over Vietnam' speaks out | World | RIA Novosti

Soviet officer who 'shot down McCain over Vietnam' speaks out

An ex-Soviet officer who claims to have shot down U.S. Senator John McCain's plane over Vietnam in 1967 has said he is happy the ex-navy pilot lost his bid for the White House, a Russian paper said on Monday.
McCain was shot down over Hanoi while on a bombing mission on October 26, 1967, and taken captive by the North Vietnamese. He spent five and a half years in a POW camp, and claims that he was tortured. His time in captivity left him unable to raise his hands above his head.

Although McCain's former Vietnamese prison guards have said that they have forgiven him for his bombing raids, and that they even rooted for him in the U.S. presidential elections, 70-year-old Yury Trushyekin has no such warm feelings.

"It's good that he didn't become president. Even in the camp they said how he really hated Russians, as he knew it was our missile that shot him down," Trushyekin told the MK v Pitere paper. "Russian-American relations would have suffered, that's for sure."
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
Soviet officer who 'shot down McCain over Vietnam' speaks out | World | RIA Novosti

Soviet officer who 'shot down McCain over Vietnam' speaks out

An ex-Soviet officer who claims to have shot down U.S. Senator John McCain's plane over Vietnam in 1967 has said he is happy the ex-navy pilot lost his bid for the White House, a Russian paper said on Monday.
McCain was shot down over Hanoi while on a bombing mission on October 26, 1967, and taken captive by the North Vietnamese. He spent five and a half years in a POW camp, and claims that he was tortured. His time in captivity left him unable to raise his hands above his head.

Although McCain's former Vietnamese prison guards have said that they have forgiven him for his bombing raids, and that they even rooted for him in the U.S. presidential elections, 70-year-old Yury Trushyekin has no such warm feelings.

"It's good that he didn't become president. Even in the camp they said how he really hated Russians, as he knew it was our missile that shot him down," Trushyekin told the MK v Pitere paper. "Russian-American relations would have suffered, that's for sure."
That story has more holes than a sieve. For a start McCain flew the A4 Skyhawk and not the F4.
 
#16
That story has more holes than a sieve. For a start McCain flew the A4 Skyhawk and not the F4.
Maybe Walting isn't confined to decadent imperalists ?

Interesting thread BTW . On the subject of ethnicity of " North Vietnamese pilots " I did read a magazine where the editorial stated that " whilst Soviet pilots possibly flew Mig fighters against Americans over the skies of North Vietnam there was no doubt that North Koreans piloted Migs against US forces " . The editorial also stated that after the Korean war many of the American POWs listed as missing from the Korean War had been captured by the North Koreans who then handed them over to the Soviet Union . Apparently because the USSR wasn't directly involved in the Korean War the Soviets couldn't admit they had captured American POWs so thewy all died in captivity before the collapse of communism

I should point out these claims about North Korean pilots flying in Vietnam ( And the American POWs in the USSR ) came from Soldier Of Fortune magazine . I should defend myself by stating that I bought it thinking it was a genuine military history / current affairs magazine when in fact it's .... well if you've ever had the misfortune of spending money it you'll know what I mean
 
#18
Maybe Walting isn't confined to decadent imperalists ?

Interesting thread BTW . On the subject of ethnicity of " North Vietnamese pilots " I did read a magazine where the editorial stated that " whilst Soviet pilots possibly flew Mig fighters against Americans over the skies of North Vietnam there was no doubt that North Koreans piloted Migs against US forces " . The editorial also stated that after the Korean war many of the American POWs listed as missing from the Korean War had been captured by the North Koreans who then handed them over to the Soviet Union . Apparently because the USSR wasn't directly involved in the Korean War the Soviets couldn't admit they had captured American POWs so thewy all died in captivity before the collapse of communism

I should point out these claims about North Korean pilots flying in Vietnam ( And the American POWs in the USSR ) came from Soldier Of Fortune magazine . I should defend myself by stating that I bought it thinking it was a genuine military history / current affairs magazine when in fact it's .... well if you've ever had the misfortune of spending money it you'll know what I mean
Those "North Korean Pilots" were probably the same ones wot flew from North Korea.
 
#19
slightly off topic but mccain was on the forrestal, so its possible he was fiven an f4 as replacement?
 
#20
That story has more holes than a sieve. For a start McCain flew the A4 Skyhawk and not the F4.
I agree, however it does confirm Soviet Union military personnel in North Vietnam taking an active part in the fighting.
 

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