Vietnam War, lost or not. - Page 3




View Poll Results :Please pick one of the two options.
The US militarily lost the Vietnam War. 46 47.92%
The US withdrew only due to the homefront protests, but they it never lost on the military level 50 52.08%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

 
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October 10th, 2005  
Fox
 
 
We feeled that we lost the Vietnam war because our goal was to stop communists to invaded to south vietnam. But we failed the goal.
October 10th, 2005  
bulldogg
 
 
Nice quote Redcoat, that's from Von Clausewitz's seminal work on war.

This thread really seems to be splitting hairs and is a matter of honour for those who fought in Vietnam and others who also lost friends and family. Opinions and differing points of view regardless of validity are not going to sway anyone's opinion, they will most definitely cause ill will and some level of pain and anguish to be sure.

Everyone who did not serve in Vietnam I would humbly ask to put yourself in the shoes of the men who did fight and lost brothers to that conflict. Now re-read this thread and see if you can see how you might be asking some on this forum to disgrace the memory of their fallen comrades in arms by agreeing to your points. This is a fight that can't be won and out of deference and respect to those who were there I have digressed until now.

Italian Guy, I am not flaming you but the wording of the original post's poll set it up to be a very black and white issue when it really is, as all things political tend to be, a very complex issue and hyperchagred with emotion for many here.
October 17th, 2005  
Bory
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox
We feeled that we lost the Vietnam war because our goal was to stop communists to invaded to south vietnam. But we failed the goal.
No, the Allies achived their Goal in 73. 1975, North Vietnam declared war on South vietnam and conqured it. The war the US was invovled in, they "won". The US had fully withdrawn from vietnam by the time the North Vietnam had conqured the south. Different Conflict.
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October 17th, 2005  
Italian Guy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogg
Italian Guy, I am not flaming you but the wording of the original post's poll set it up to be a very black and white issue when it really is, as all things political tend to be, a very complex issue and hyperchagred with emotion for many here.
The poll is always a simplifier, here. I was aware the thread would ne a source of discussions, but it's the mods job to take care of how far or how bitter it is allowed to go. For my part, I don't see rude or unrespectful comments here, nor do I see personal attacks being delivered. If you guys think I should get this locked just tell me and I'll take care of it. Thank you Bulldog.
October 18th, 2005  
bulldogg
 
 
Not my intent IG, just thought perhaps a few more options on the poll, not so polarizing. Not in any way trying to be a mod just my thoughts on the thread.

There is quite noticeably an absence of comment from those who were there considering they are about on the forum.
October 18th, 2005  
Italian Guy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogg
Not my intent IG, just thought perhaps a few more options on the poll, not so polarizing. Not in any way trying to be a mod just my thoughts on the thread.

There is quite noticeably an absence of comment from those who were there considering they are about on the forum.
Yes I got you on the poll thing, that was true, I shouldn't have probably made it in the first place. I know what you mean about those members, some of them told me they wouldn't comment because it was much too sensitive topic for them to just discuss it in here, which I totally respect.
October 23rd, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
Lets face it the American Troops never took one pace back wards the whole time they were in Vietnam. There was never a mass surrender like the French, the war was lost by the press and the politicians. The press lost it as they always like sensational stories and if they can't find one then they will work on rumours that are in circulation. The Politicians lost it as they did not want to upset the people that vote for them so when the war became unpopular it was better to rubbish the Army than to stand by it. All I can say to the American soldiers of that time is that you did a great job under rotten conditions
November 14th, 2005  
tomtom22
 
 
As others have stated, this is a very touchy subject to us VietNam vets, and I of course do not believe the U. S. military nor the military forces of Austrailia, New Zealand, Korea, Thailand and other nations who participated in the war were in any sense "defeated". I have refrained from participating in this poll until now because I wanted to put the whole thing behind me in a "locked drawer". But I now know that is not a healthy thing to do so here is my opinion. I have posted in another thread the following to support my position:

Quote:
LIBERTY wrote:
The Vietnam conflict hands down.......the only war we ever lost.

The United States did not lose the VietNam War. The Vietnamese lost the war. The last U.S. combat troops left Viet Nam in March of 1973 after the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973. The South Vietnamese lost the war in April of 1975.

I have to say though that some of the most horrible moments or days of infamy come out of this war: Hamburger Hill, MyLai, the siege of Khe Sanh, Tet 68. Mainly for the waste of them, the lives lost taking real estate then defending only to later abandon it. I was there in 68 and 69 and I am proud of my service there but I still feel an enormous sense of sadness for those who were lost there.

UPDATE - 28 JUL 05

One reason America's agonizing perception of “Vietnam” will not go away, is because that perception is wrong. It's out of place in the American psyche, and it continues to fester in much the same way battle wounds fester when shrapnel or other foreign matter is left in the body. It is not normal behavior for Americans to idolize mass murdering despots, to champion the cause of slavery, to abandon friends and allies, or to cut and run in the face of adversity. Why then did so many Americans engage in these types of activities during its “Vietnam” experience? That the American experience in Vietnam was painful and ended in long lasting (albeit self-inflicted) grief and misery cannot be disputed. However, either the American people or their government does not even remotely understand the reasons behind that grief and misery -. Contradictory to popular belief, and a whole lot of wishful thinking by a solid corps of some 16,000,000+ American draft dodgers and their families / supporters, it was not a military defeat that brought misfortune to the American effort in Vietnam.
The United Sates military in Vietnam was the best-educated, best-trained, best disciplined and most successful force ever fielded in the history of American arms.
Why then, did it get such bad press, and, why is the public's opinion of them so twisted? The answer is simple. But first, a few relevant comparisons. During the Civil War, at the Battle of Bull Run, the entire Union Army panicked and fled the battlefield. Nothing even remotely resembling that debacle ever occurred in Vietnam. In WWII at the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, the Germans overran elements of the US Army. In the course of that battle, Hitler's General Rommel (The Desert Fox) inflicted 3,100 US casualties, took 3,700 US prisoners and captured or destroyed 198 American tanks. In Vietnam no US Military units were overrun and no US Military infantry units or tank outfits were captured. WW II again. In the Philippines, Army Generals Jonathan Wainwright and Edward King surrendered themselves and their troops to the Japanese. In Vietnam no US generals, or US military units ever surrendered. Before the Normandy invasion (“D” Day, 1944) the US Army (In WW II the US Army included the Army Air Corps which today has become the US Airforce) in England filled its own jails with American soldiers who refused to fight and then had to rent jail space from the British to handle the overflow. The US Army in Vietnam never had to rent jail space from the Vietnamese to incarcerate American soldiers who refused to fight.

Dissertation. Only about 5,000 men assigned to Vietnam deserted and just 249 of those deserted while in Vietnam. During WW II, in the European Theater alone, over 20,000 US Military men were convicted of dissertation and, on a comparable percentage basis, the overall WW II desertion rate was 55 percent higher than in Vietnam. During the WW II Battle of the Bulge in Europe two regiments of the US Army's 106th Division surrendered to the Germans. Again: In Vietnam no US Army unit ever surrendered. As for brutality: During WW II the US Army executed nearly 300 of its own men. In the European Theater alone, the US Army sentenced 443 American soldiers to death. Most of these sentences were for the rape and or murder of civilians.
In the Korean War, Major General F. Dean, commander of the 24th Infantry Division in Korea was taken prisoner of war (POW). In Vietnam no US generals, much less division commanders, were ever taken prisoner. During the Korean War the US Army was forced into the longest retreat in its history. a catastrophic 275 mile withdrawal from the Yalu River all the way to Pyontaek, 45 miles south of Seoul. In the process they lost the capital of Seoul. The US Military in Vietnam was never compelled into a major retreat nor did it ever abandon Saigon to the enemy. The 1st US Marine Division was driven from the Chosin Reservoir and forced into an emergency evacuation from the Korean port of Hungnam. There other US Army joined them and South Korean soldiers and the US Navy eventually evacuated 105,000 Allied troops from that port. In Vietnam there was never any mass evacuation of US Marine, South Vietnamese or Allied troops.
Other items: Only 25 percent of the US Military who served in Vietnam were draftees. During WW II, 66 percent of the troops were draftees. The Vietnam force contained three time as many college graduates as did the WW II force. The average education level of the enlisted man in Vietnam was 13 years, equivalent to one year of college. Of those who enlisted, 79 percent had high school diplomas. This at a time when only 65% of the military age males in the general American population were high school graduates. The average age of the military men who died in Vietnam was 22.8 years old. Of the one hundred and one (101) 18 year old draftees who died in Vietnam; seven of them were black. Blacks accounted for 10.5 percent the combat deaths in Vietnam. At that time black males of military age constituted 13.5 percent of the
American population. The charge that the “poor” died in disproportionate numbers is also a myth. An MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) study of Vietnam death rates, conducted by Professor Arnold Barnett, revealed that servicemen from the richest 10 percent of the nations communities had the same distribution of deaths as the rest of the nation. In fact his study showed that the death rate in the upper income communities of Beverly Hills, Belmont, Chevy Chase, and Great Neck exceeded the national average in three of the four, and, when the four were added together and averaged, that number also exceeded the national average. On the issue of psychological health: Mental problems attributed to service in Vietnam are referred to as PTSD. Civil War veterans suffered “Soldiers heart” in WW I the term was “Shell shock” during WW II and in Korea it was “Battle fatigue.” Military records indicate that Civil War psychological casualties averaged twenty six per thousand men. In WW II some units experienced over 100 psychiatric casualties per 1,000 troops; in Korea nearly one quarter of all battlefield medical evacuations were due to mental stress. That works out to about 50 per 1,000 troops. In Vietnam the comparable average was 5 per 1,000 troops.

To put Vietnam in its proper perspective it is necessary to understand that the US Military was not defeated in Vietnam and that the South Vietnamese government did not collapse due to mismanagement or corruption, nor was it overthrown by revolutionary guerrillas running around in rubber tire sandals, wearing black pajamas and carrying home made weapons. There was no “general uprising” or “revolt” by the southern population. A conventional army made up of seventeen conventional divisions, organized into four army corps, overran Saigon. This totally conventional force (armed, equipped, trained and supplied by the Soviet Union) launched a cross border, frontal attack on South Vietnam and conquered it, in the same manner as Hitler conquered most of Europe in WW II. A quick synopsis of America's “Vietnam experience” will help summarize and clarify the Vietnam scenario:

Prior to 1965; US Advisors and AID only

1965 - 1967; Buildup of US Forces and logistical supply bases, plus heavy fighting to counter Communist North Vietnamese invasion.

1968 - 1970; Communist “insurgency” destroyed to the point where over 90% of the towns and villages in South Vietnam were free from Communist domination. As an example: By 1971 throughout the entire populous Mekong Delta, the monthly rate of Communist insurgency action dropped to an average of 3 incidents per 100,000 population (Many a US city would envy a crime rate that low). In 1969 Nixon started troop withdrawals that were essentially complete by late 1971.

Dec 1972; Paris Peace Agreements negotiated and agreed by North Vietnam, South Vietnam, the Southern Vietnamese Communists (VC, NLF / PRG) and the United States.

Jan 1973; All four parties formally sign Paris Peace Agreements.

Mar 1973; Last US POW released from Hanoi Hilton, and in accordance with Paris Agreements, last American GI leaves Vietnam.

SOURCE: http://www.mrfa.org/vnstats.htm
November 14th, 2005  
Italian Guy
 
 
Thank you Tomtom for your contribution. I think I can partially understand what it means for a VN Veteran to open up his heart and give voice to personal feelings and impressions. I carefully read your comment and I am also familiar with that Viet Nam Stats website.
November 18th, 2005  
tomtom22
 
 
For those of you who are interested in learning more about the true history of the VietNam War here is another website to look into: http://www.vvlf.org/