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The Vietnam War - 2017

One interesting side point about Calley. IIRC Calley's formation (the Americal Division I believe) had been getting a lot of hits from booby traps at the time. Apparently his guys were angry...not to justify Calley at all (because it was still his fault) but recently I visited Oradour Sur Glane in France. There's a lot of parallels with the way My Lai panned out...

Oradour-sur-Glane massacre - Wikipedia
Podcast link below covers the My Lai and the events and context leading up to the massacre.

Apparently they had been taking heavy casualties for some time from booby traps without ever seeing the enemy. Immensely demoralising and frustrating it must have been.

Still strong leadership was required to prevent them going off the rails

http://media.blubrry.com/martyrmade_podcast/martyrmade.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/mylai.mp3
 
A common misconception: Plumley was Glider Artillery (320th Glider Field Artillery) and his two operational landings were D-Day and Market Garden-he did not take part in the Sicily or Salerno actions. Also, he did not serve in Korea during the war.
There was a bit of controversy over Plumley's awards. To be fair, it could well have stemmed from clerical errors that took a life of their own, but for a summary: He did not serve in the Korean War, but was posted there in the early 1970s. He served as a gliderborne artilleryman in WW2, and so as Viet Nam was his only conflict where he served in the Infantry, he should have only have worn the CIB 1st award. There was also a discrepancy over a second Silver Star Medal:

Military Times article on Basil Plumley
Confusion not helped by the bling worn by plumley, as shown on his main wiki picture. Parachute wings with combat jump stars being a case in point

Basil L. Plumley - Wikipedia
 
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You bunch of knobjockeys, of course it's fiction it's so easy to get a bite these days, I thought you all would of just read the post and chuckled not believe it....I have my doubts about this fine work as well....... View attachment 346767
Ah the classic "I got it wrong, I kinow, I will say I did it on purpose and people are biting" Klassic. You are the best and I wish you were mine
 
Ah the classic "I got it wrong, I kinow, I will say I did it on purpose and people are biting" Klassic. You are the best and I wish you were mine
My a dhispres agas fowt sotelneth hag agas heb yeth treylyes, ty vab hernenn dhivamm !
Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 19.06.06.png
 
My a dhispres agas fowt sotelneth hag agas heb yeth treylyes, ty vab hernenn dhivamm !
Congratulations on your ability to use google. It is worth remembering that no one speaks fluent Kernewek any more really. Certainly not to say things like that. But really.Well done cupcake

Now please, take it somewhere else
 
We will respectfully disagree as to the most striking revelation of the period--for me, the cabal of lies, such as the fabricated Gulf of Tonkin incident, getting us into the war and as to any parallels to current events.
Good to see you back, Colonel.
 
You Vietnam War buffs may enjoy analyzing this snap from MACV-SOG, especially the fellows on the right of center.
FB_IMG_1534793603145.jpg
 
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Just to touch on the draft & recruitment sub-thread... I've often wondered how the US manned its NATO commitments during the Vietnam era.

According to Google there were c. 325,000 US troops in Europe during the late 1960s. Were these exclusively regular soldiers who'd been to Vietnam as their initial posting? How did the US Army in Germany maintain its armoured divisions given so many potential career soldiers might do their initial 2 year draft, or 3 yr initial regular contract, go to Vietnam and then sign off?

If you were faced with the draft, would it be a smart move to sign up as a regular, say "I f.cking love tanks, me" and press for an armoured or other role where your chances of going to South East Asia were low and your chances of enjoying foreign allowances, Bratwurst and cheap lager were high?
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
Just to touch on the draft & recruitment sub-thread... I've often wondered how the US manned its NATO commitments during the Vietnam era.

According to Google there were c. 325,000 US troops in Europe during the late 1960s. Were these exclusively regular soldiers who'd been to Vietnam as their initial posting? How did the US Army in Germany maintain its armoured divisions given so many potential career soldiers might do their initial 2 year draft, or 3 yr initial regular contract, go to Vietnam and then sign off?

If you were faced with the draft, would it be a smart move to sign up as a regular, say "I f.cking love tanks, me" and press for an armoured or other role where your chances of going to South East Asia were low and your chances of enjoying foreign allowances, Bratwurst and cheap lager were high?
C_C,

I can’t reply in too much detail as I’m currently stuck in a Premier Inn and won’t get back to my notes at home for another couple of days, but ...

Long story short; the draft was actively used as motivator for men to enlist. Draftees served for two years, but took a risk as to their MOS (Military Occupational Speciality). An enlistee served for at least three years, but got to choose his MOS in as much as he qualified and there were slots available. Inevitably some guys got the shaft, enlisting in the hope of a rear echelon post only to be sent to Viet Nam as an 11B (infantryman). I think @Ruckerwocman was a draftee who enlisted after receiving his induction notice. He discussed this in a thread I started some time back on draft boards. Likewise, there were draftees could state a preference of MOS at the reception processing centre and often found themselves in Germany, S.Korea, Germany and elsewhere.

The draft also helped swell the enlisted ranks of the USAF and USN (‘ain’t no VC in submarines!’) by young men eager to stay out of the Army and Marines. The US had been exploring the possibility of letting the draft expire in the early 1960s, but with the escalation in Viet Nam it would have been impossible for the US to meet all of its worldwide defence commitments without it.
 
Going regular sounds as if it was still a relatively sweet deal, though.

If you're Joe Average ( i.e. without connections to get you into the NG or IQ which might find you in a safe MOS irrespective of contract ) and reluctantly get drafted, your chances of going to Vietnam are very high.

If you sign up for 3 years as a regular, if the worst happens you'll go to Vietnam. But, hey, you're probably gonna go anyway. But you'll still only do a single year long tour once courses, leave and other trivia get factored in. So your extra year of commitment entails:

a) Sucking up an extra year of non-operational military life.

b) A higher chance that you'll find yourself crewing an M60 near the Fulda Gap, doing something in Korea or guarding an ammunition dump in mainland USA.

Potentially you end up pissed off but still able to gleefully count four limbs on your discharge date. You go back to normal life aged 21 rather than 20. Big deal.

If I weren't the war-hungry, chisel-jawed hunk of death-dealing patriotism that I am, I think you can see where my inclinations might lie. But no doubt it wasn't that simple....

I recognise that the above completely ignores the options you mentioned of the USN and USAF. That's because even were I the winner of Iowa Cowardy-Cowardy-Custard award 1968 I would still have rather eaten a gunny sack of dog-dicks than become a sailor or airman. Anyone failing to find themselves nodding vigorously at this point should have a serious look at their life.
 
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I recognise that the above completely ignores the options you mentioned of the USN and USAF. That's because even were I the winner of Iowa Cowardy-Cowardy-Custard award 1968 I would still have rather eaten a gunny sack of dog-dicks than become a sailor or airman. Anyone failing to find themselves nodding vigorously at this point should have a serious look at their life.
I worked wth a guy who went USAF so he wouldn't end up in ground combat. Signed for electricians school but washed out (red/green color blind, kept crossing wires). While waiting for the Air Force to decide what to do, a guy came through recruiting for the ParaJumpers, my friend missed the jumper part of the intro but the medical training sounded good to him. Soooooo, 1 1/2 tours in VN, a Silver Star and at least a1 Purple Heart later........
 
Just to touch on the draft & recruitment sub-thread... I've often wondered how the US manned its NATO commitments during the Vietnam era.

According to Google there were c. 325,000 US troops in Europe during the late 1960s. Were these exclusively regular soldiers who'd been to Vietnam as their initial posting? How did the US Army in Germany maintain its armoured divisions given so many potential career soldiers might do their initial 2 year draft, or 3 yr initial regular contract, go to Vietnam and then sign off? .

If you were faced with the draft, would it be a smart move to sign up as a regular, say "I f.cking love tanks, me" and press for an armoured or other role where your chances of going to South East Asia were low and your chances of enjoying foreign allowances, Bratwurst and cheap lager were high?
Well for one thing not a lot of Armored units in RVN maybe 10 battalions? worth USA/USMC (ALL M48/M67 Pattons or M551 Shanks, the M41 Walker Bulldogs was strictly ARVN). So any 11Echos (Vietnam era Tankers, today 19Kilos) would likely not come down for a Vietnam levee. IIRC Germany still had higher priority for troops (just as during the Korean war when the thought was it was a diversion from europe). Any Regs could enlist specifically for Germany as an option and be guaranteed at least 2 years there.
 
Plus it wasn't explicitly about slavery.
Apart from the bit where every Confederating state named the slavery issue as cause in their secession notice.

Lincoln was talking of his desire to avoid war, not the causes of it.
 

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