Vietnam in HD

  
By:  Vic Eldred  •  one month ago  •  19 comments


Vietnam in HD
“It is not our power, but our will and character that is being tested tonight. “Does the richest and strongest nation in the history of the world have the character to meet a direct challenge by a group which rejects every effort to win a Just peace”.

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MOVIES & TV - CLASSIC to CURRENT


Yesterday I happened to catch a portion of this History Channel documentary on Vietnam. I have seen Ken Burns "Vietnam" and I thought this one was even better. This one like Burns version told the story through the recollections of those who had some personal involvement with that war. I thought this one gave more perspectives than Burn's version and some extremely rare film as well.

Here is how the History Channel promoted it:

"It’s not the war you know. It’s the war they fought.

Two years after the release of its landmark Emmy-winning series WWII in HD, HISTORY shifts its focus to a new generation and one of the most controversial chapters in American history, the Vietnam War. Vietnam in HD will immerse viewers in the sights, the sounds and the stories of the Vietnam War as it has never before been seen. Thousands of hours of uncensored footage–much of it shot by soldiers in action–will detail every critical chapter of the conflict. The war will unfold onscreen through the gripping firsthand accounts of 13 brave men and women who were forever changed by their experience in Vietnam.

Viewers will meet Karl Marlantes, a Marine whose unit saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war, and whose 2010 novel Matterhorn is considered one of the finest books written about the Vietnam War; Arthur Wiknik, a draftee who led his squad to safety during the 10-day assault on “Hamburger Hill”; Bob Clewell, a pilot in the Comancheros assault helicopter battalion who barely survived an ill-fated mission into Laos; Charles Brown, an African-American Army sergeant who led missions through the deadly jungles of Pleiku and Dak To; Elizabeth Allen, an Army nurse who insisted on frontline duty and valiantly saved lives during the Tet Offensive; Joe Galloway, a United Press International reporter who was awarded a Bronze Star with V for Valor for rescuing wounded soldiers under fire at Ia Drang; Anne Purcell, wife of the highest-ranking Army officer to be held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam; and Barry Romo, an Army infantryman who was transformed from a gung-ho patriot and war hero to staunch anti-war activist."

https://www.history.com/shows/vietnam-in-hd


The brief part I caught was the testimony of an officer given command of a battalion, right at the time that then president Nixon was about to allow the US military go into Cambodia and shut down the secret trails, installations and command center the North Vietnamese been utilizing in Cambodia throughout the war. This officer was selected because he was one of those officers who thought the war should be fought to win. The members of his battalion were happy that they would finally be able to actually deliver a significant defeat to the North Vietnamese.

Nixon announced that the incursion would not widen the war (which for some reason the policy makers always feared) and that it would be a brief incursion. As soon as this particular battalion entered Cambodia, within a few miles of the South Vietnamese border, they found an enormous supply depot. It was as big as a city, complete with a Hospital, barracks and bunkers. Twenty thousand weapons & ammunition were stored there along with tons of Rice. The commander wanted to find the NV Command center so he left two rifle companies there to destroy everything. He took the other three companies to where he believed the Command Center was, which was his main objective. The following day, the Kent State incident happened and of course, the national outrage ensued. In response (political pressure one may call it) president Nixon told the nation that the incursion into Cambodia would be limited to 19 miles and be terminated soon. The very next day, within a few miles of the NV Command Center, the American battalion was ordered to halt. The commanding officer questioned the orders. He was told to return immediately to a base in South Vietnam.

I thought that was the essence of the Vietnam War.




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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  author  Vic Eldred    one month ago

It's the best documentary on Vietnam that I've seen.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     one month ago

I guess that Vietnam will continue to intrigue people and it will try to be explained for generations. I don't believe that it will ever be explained, it was a totally unique experience and one that we, the United States should have never been involved in. 

The best book ever written about Vietnam was ''A Bright and Shining Lie'' John Paul Vann, An American in Vietnam.

It's too bad that Catherine Leroy wasn't alive to be interviewed for the documentary. This is a photo of her when she did a combat jump with 173rd Airborne Brigade named ''Junction City'' in 1967.

220px-Catherine_Leroy.jpg

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  Kavika @2    one month ago

Many things came out of it. Most notable was the ending of the draft.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1    one month ago
Many things came out of it. Most notable was the ending of the draft.

58,220 KIA  tens of thousands WIA, millions both north and south Vietnamese killed and wounded and the casualties of our allies.  We dropped more bombs on North Vietnam then we did in WWII. Then of course there was Agent Orange, napalm, willie peter, and a host of other notable items.

Finally, a country left in ruins and all could have been avoided. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.1.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Kavika @2.1.1    one month ago
Finally, a country left in ruins and all could have been avoided. 

And then we did it again in Iraq and to a degree in Afghanistan.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.3  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  Kavika @2.1.1    4 weeks ago

When a country goes to war it must go to war to win!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.1.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.3    4 weeks ago
When a country goes to war it must go to war to win!

But we didn't win.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.5  Kavika   replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.3    4 weeks ago

We should have never been in Vietnam, period.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.1.6  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Kavika @2.1.5    4 weeks ago

Ignorance and hubris got in our way.

 
 
 
GregTx
Junior Participates
2.1.7  GregTx  replied to  Kavika @2.1.5    4 weeks ago

Exactly, proxy wars never seem to accomplish anything of substance.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.1.8  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  GregTx @2.1.7    4 weeks ago

I’m Ok with Ukrainians killing Russians for us.

 
 
 
GregTx
Junior Participates
2.1.9  GregTx  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.1.8    4 weeks ago

Are they killing them for us?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.1.10  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  GregTx @2.1.9    4 weeks ago

I'm good either way.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.11  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.1.4    4 weeks ago

How could we?

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Guide
2.1.12  1stwarrior  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.1.6    4 weeks ago

And pride - Johnson wouldn't let go and neither would Westmoreland.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.1.13  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.12    4 weeks ago
Johnson wouldn't let go and neither would Westmoreland

And McNamara, so many died for so little.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.14  Kavika   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.1.6    4 weeks ago
Ignorance and hubris got in our way.

a huge understatement, the US involvement with Ho Chi Minh and Giap dates back to 1943 when the Viet Mihn was fighting a guerrilla war against the Japanese and the US gave them limited support. Later we parachuted some intelligence operatives into Vietnam to meet with Ho and Giap. The Viet Minh rescued an American pilot and took him safely back into a US garrison in China, Ho's only request was to meet Claire Channault which was done. Over the next years, Ho wrote letters to Truman and none were answered. His request was for the US not to install the French as colonizers again, which history shows we did and from that time on the dye was cast, the US would end up in a war fighting someone/country that wanted to be our friend. 

Did Truman ever see the letters? my guess is no he didn't but the letters were found a few years ago in a CIA file. Has everything been disclosed about this time period and any communications between them? I doubt it.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.1.15  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Kavika @2.1.14    4 weeks ago
a huge understatement

No doubt. 

His request was for the US not to install the French as colonizers again, which history shows we did and from that time on the dye was cast, the US would end up in a war fighting someone/country that wanted to be our friend. 

We were wrong in a monolithic view of communisms, the domino theory and the need for containment.  That said, doesn't make Ho a hero.  Many good Vietnamese nether wanted the ongoing corruption in the South, nor the communism in the North.  The Vietnam War was a civil war, a Vietnamese war that we entered, not a US war.

The US Chiefs of Staff, are also to blame.  They knowingly acquiesced in the administration’s decisions even when they believed them to be mistaken. They failed to provide the president with the best military advice available. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.16  Kavika   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.1.15    4 weeks ago
That said, doesn't make Ho a hero.  Many good Vietnamese nether wanted the ongoing corruption in the South, nor the communism in the North.  The Vietnam War was a civil war, a Vietnamese war that we entered, not a US war.

We supported a very corrupt regime in the south, Diem and his cohorts were not worth supporting and his death didn't really change much, it was still corrupt and the leaders of the army were the most corrupt. There were some darn good units in Vietnam but unfortunately, the Afghan army was a mirror image of the South Vietnamese army, IMO. 

Whether Ho was a hero or not is debatable, he united the country, and defeated the French and the Americans today they are a fairly successful country and although they are a communist country they are no friends of the Chinese. 

The US Chiefs of Staff, are also to blame.  They knowingly acquiesced in the administration’s decisions even when they believed them to be mistaken. They failed to provide the president with the best military advice available. 

True statement, we could discuss the leadership (officer corps) in Vietnam for days. 

 
 

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