Vietnam

#2
Quite a few similar questions have been brought up in this section, but I haven't seen a solid answer. It would be interesting.
 
#3
Never say never. However, there's no evidence and MoD does not have any record of it happening. There is one exception, circa 1963 I believe there was a very small BA trg team in SVN for about a year. My understanding is that about 6 1962 GSMs with clasp 'Vietnam' were issued to them. The same medal and clasp was issued to the first members of the AATTV and I do actually know one man (Aust) who has it (it's probably one of the rarest medals around). If you wanted a formal statement you could do an FOI asking how many 1962 GSM clasp Vietnam were issued to UK servicemen.

My reason for saying that MoD has no record is that a few decades ago I was sitting at my desk in a large HQ in Germany when the secure phone rang, my personnel branch asked if I ever came across any Brits in SVN (they knew I'd been there in the Aust Army), MoD was asking all branches for information, it was a parliamentrary question and the eventual answer was 'no'. The fact that they had to ask me suggests that MoD had no record of anyone being there but were being thorough. My answer was that the only people in Brit uniforms I'd seen were the Gurkhas guarding the Brit Embassy in Saigon (diagonally across from the US Embassy) and a couple of 3/4 star official visitors.

That said, an Aust author, Alex Macaulay IIRC, suggested in one of his books that SIS were active among the Montangards, because they were ethnically similar to some of the tribes in Borneo with who SIS/SF had operated. A possible deduction from this is that SIS were there and it's not totally beyond the realms of possibility that one or two soldiers on some form of attachment to SIS were also there unknown to MoD. However, any suggestion that there was official SF involvemt at Tp/Sqn level (with cas being called 'traffic accidents' in Singapore) appears to be fiction .
 
#5
From the other thread:
GunnersQuadrant said:
Firstly he bulk of our forces were comitted to Malaya at the time, secondly the Viet Cong were doing all right by themselves.... :twisted:
Quality!

Youngest boy watched "We Were Soldiers" and was asking about how it all started and whether we got involved - he was a tad confused due to seeing the French there. Seems to be Vitenam movie season this week as he's seen Full Metal Jacket and a few others too.

I seem to remember seeing a film about Dutch troops in Vietnam - starts off with a Dutch soldier 'entertaining' a local slapper. He was naked except for his lid, his gat and a red ribbon tied in a bow around his plonker. 8O

Anyone ever seen this film?
 
#6
Apparently 49 Para jumped in to Khe Sanh, after they'd cleared up that little skirmish in Hue...
 
#8
Harold Wilson, the then PM, refused to commit British troops to Vietnam. That caused a lot of fallout politically but there still remains a question about whether UK forces were deployed clandestinely.

Tinfoil hat territory I believe. On balance I think not.
 
#10
Pteranadon said:
The British Army was deployed in Vietnam in 1945 - 20th Indian Division from Sep 1945. The Brits were keen to helkp the French restore colonial rule and rearmed Japanese troops to keep order until the French returned. The Americans didn;t want the French to return and wouldnt allow US transport to be used.

Not quite correct. The Brits were filling a vaccume the same as in the Dutch East Indies (later Indonesia) until forces could be deployed. They re-armed Japanese troops to act as Police as the Vietnamese started killing French civvies - same as the Indonesians massacreing Dutch civvies in Jakarta.

The Brits actually recommended to the French to try and come to some accord with Uncle Ho but they refused and we handed over to them. De Gaulle took a hard line and said Indo-China would remain part of France - end of.

Regarding Brit commitment post 54, I have heard anecdotal evidence that a jungle training school was set up from Malaya and US Spec Forces trained there. Do not know of any military involvement in terms of Brits patrolling in the same form as US/AUS/NZ advisors prior to 65 though. :roll:
 
#11
It is true that Ho Chi Minh had OSS sympathy. It was going reasonably well until the french (oh, right the french said the Vietminh did it) murdered OSS Lt Dewey

It really is strange. Uncle Ho was actually willing to disband the communist party to apease the west in return for independence. But as was mentioned, the french refused, and it would have been political suicide for the Yanks or Brits to side with a communist guerilla over traditional french allies. Ho was an interesting bloke who'll always be an enigma in history.
 
#12
There was also an organization called the International Commission for Supervision and Control that was to oversee the ceasefires in 1954 and later in the early 70`s after the Paris peace agreements,after the pullout of US combat troops. The North Viet and their South Viet opponents were essentially supposed to be frozen in place at the time of the agreement`s signing in Paris and undertake no offensives or territorial enlargements. The ICSC was composed of Canadian, Polish and Indian military personnel and was to investigate any complaints of infractions.A moot point in 1975 when the Paris peace agreements were nullified by an armoured assault over the DMZ and the quick collapse of the South Viet army.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#13
Hairy_Hacker said:
Quality!

Youngest boy watched "We Were Soldiers" and was asking about how it all started and whether we got involved - he was a tad confused due to seeing the French there. Seems to be Vitenam movie season this week as he's seen Full Metal Jacket and a few others too.
erm....one of the platoon leaders from the unit depicted in Mel ' I hate the Brits' Gibson's epic about the Battle for Ia Drang was a Cornishman called Rick Rescorla

Try Googling on his name.

So, yes Brits fought in Vietnam - under other flags.

Lee Shaver
 
#14
Goatman said:
erm....one of the platoon leaders from the unit depicted in Mel ' I hate the Brits' Gibson's epic about the Battle for Ia Drang was a Cornishman called Rick Rescorla
Who was killed when the World Trade Centre collapsed on 9/11.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#15
brewmeister said:
Goatman said:
erm....one of the platoon leaders from the unit depicted in Mel ' I hate the Brits' Gibson's epic about the Battle for Ia Drang was a Cornishman called Rick Rescorla
Who was killed when the World Trade Centre collapsed on 9/11.
and is in line for a (postumous) US Medal of Honor in recognition of his utter fearlessness in leading 200 colleagues to safety before returning to the building to help others....
see thread in Multinational.

detail......OFF.....HATS....(stand still)

Le Chevre.
 
#16
Goatman said:
brewmeister said:
Goatman said:
erm....one of the platoon leaders from the unit depicted in Mel ' I hate the Brits' Gibson's epic about the Battle for Ia Drang was a Cornishman called Rick Rescorla
Who was killed when the World Trade Centre collapsed on 9/11.
and is in line for a (postumous) US Medal of Honor in recognition of his utter fearlessness in leading 200 colleagues to safety before returning to the building to help others....
see thread in Multinational.

detail......OFF.....HATS....(stand still)

Le Chevre.
. . . and about whom one of the UK terrestrial channels, in the last few months, aired a memorial documentary. I am afraid to say I cannot remember what it was called. His posthumous medal is at least in part a recognition that he - as security bloke for the WTC - recognised the possibility of an attack as serious as 9/11, and devoted much time and effort to ensuring that precautions and drills were scrupulously maintained that would mitigate it as much as was humanly possible.

Top bloke.
 
#17
Petardier said:
Never say never. However, there's no evidence and MoD does not have any record of it happening. There is one exception, circa 1963 I believe there was a very small BA trg team in SVN for about a year. My understanding is that about 6 1962 GSMs with clasp 'Vietnam' were issued to them. The same medal and clasp was issued to the first members of the AATTV and I do actually know one man (Aust) who has it (it's probably one of the rarest medals around). If you wanted a formal statement you could do an FOI asking how many 1962 GSM clasp Vietnam were issued to UK servicemen.

My reason for saying that MoD has no record is that a few decades ago I was sitting at my desk in a large HQ in Germany when the secure phone rang, my personnel branch asked if I ever came across any Brits in SVN (they knew I'd been there in the Aust Army), MoD was asking all branches for information, it was a parliamentrary question and the eventual answer was 'no'. The fact that they had to ask me suggests that MoD had no record of anyone being there but were being thorough. My answer was that the only people in Brit uniforms I'd seen were the Gurkhas guarding the Brit Embassy in Saigon (diagonally across from the US Embassy) and a couple of 3/4 star official visitors.

That said, an Aust author, Alex Macaulay IIRC, suggested in one of his books that SIS were active among the Montangards, because they were ethnically similar to some of the tribes in Borneo with who SIS/SF had operated. A possible deduction from this is that SIS were there and it's not totally beyond the realms of possibility that one or two soldiers on some form of attachment to SIS were also there unknown to MoD. However, any suggestion that there was official SF involvemt at Tp/Sqn level (with cas being called 'traffic accidents' in Singapore) appears to be fiction .
All of the 1962 Vietnam GSMs were awarded to members of the AATTV See http://www.aattv.iinet.net.au/

There is a very good book that describes in detail MI6's work among the tribes in Vietnam called "Death Awaits in the Dark" by R.D.L. Jumper.

If you go to the UK National Archives and search for "Vietnam personnel" between 1955 and 1975 you will find guidelines for UK service personnel about visiting Vietnam.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#20
Bizarre campaign. He presumably wants a medal for building an airstrip in Thailand whilst the Vietnam War was going on. Does that mean I can have one for drinking Beliken beer in Belize? There were some pretty nasty insurgencies going on elsewhere in Central America at the time.
 

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