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of the Viet Cong Communist party, commonly called the People's Revolutionary Party, in South Vietnam, in Military Region 3. We learned who they are, where they are, how they followed their instructions and where their instructions came from and aah we became experts. Our expertise, a 100 personal friends of ex Viet Cong and I would judge most of them to be morally and ethically superior to the average citizen I met in the South Vietnam, who were involved in corruption, in some manner in bars, in mili—in civilian police were establishing checkpoints, . ...in terms of corruption and that impede the people and came in their lives. Wait for me to give you the little hand... When one thinks of of corruption in in South Vietnam, it's difficult to to visualize what happens to the average
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Military Intelligence Officer, Orrin DeForest was stationed in Vietnam from 1968 until 1975. During this time he processed and interrogated approximately 4,000 personnel in Bien Hoa, becoming an expert on the communist Party in South Vietnam. DeForest recalls that the Viet Cong were fighting for land reform rather than finding support for communist ideologies. In this interview, DeForest explains the Viet Cong, their history, as well as the corruption he witnessed in Saigon.
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in the South China Sea. That was probably my first experience to meet with a group of men uh in a totally candid kind of uh exchange of information discussion. There were five of us, we were in a fourteen foot boat and we were five kilometers out at sea. Uh, there was, I knew very well, ... Start again. The village of Ky Phu was unique in some ways, but perhaps not different from many other villages in South Vietnam. It changed hands four times in the lifetime of the men of that village, in the lifetime of the men that I was fishing with. It had been uh with the Viet Minh struggling against the French until the end of the uh French-Viet Minh War in 1954. And then from 1954 until 1963 it had been under the Saigon government of Ngo Dinh Diem. After Diem was assassinated, the National Liberation Front
Summary
Douglass Hostetter taught literacy in a South Vietnamese village. He describes villagers’ attitudes towards the various occupations by the French, the Viet Cong, Diem’s government and the Americans. He recalls a visit to the Ky Truong after it was defoliated with Agent Orange, and his efforts to gain compensation for lost livestock and crops for the residents. Finally, he shares an anecdote about the language barrier between American troops and Vietnamese civilians.
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it as an advisor to the Vietnamese. Ah. I saw how they did it. At the time the Vietnamese generally South Vietnamese who were communists that were receiving a certain amount of support from the outside. About the time that the 1st Calvary went back and while we were there, the the enemy changed from the guerrilla, in 1965 there was a tremendous degree of of ah popular support for the soldiers in unit going to Vietnam. I remember that our division was adopted by cities in the United States. As a matter of fact, one of the greatest ah gifts that that I have seen is the city in South Carolina sent a cement mixer, ... We're out of film. End of Tape 1. Side B. Interview with Danielson. VIETNAM LT. COL. TED DANIELSEN continued TVP 007 SIDE A JH
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Lt. Col. Ted Danielsen began his Vietnam career in the 11th Air Assault Division and voluntarily returned to Vietnam as the company commander of A Company, 1st of the 8th Calvary. Danielsen discusses his feelings about the war and his several tours of duty. He illustrates the fighting strategies of both the North and South Vietnamese and how they engaged in guerrilla warfare... more
Date Created
04/02/1981
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Vietnam: A Television History / America Takes Charge (1965-1967)
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... Start again. Okay. So referring to President Diem remarks we could see with the landing of ah mass American troops on our soil the image of the Vietnamese leadership begun altering in the mind of the average Vietnamese. To begin, , beep. Okay. Much more important was the impact as a result of the American mass landing in Vietnam was on the responsible people like the generals, the colonels, the city servants and even the politicians and the religious leaders in the country because... Sorry again. Camera Roll 759. Beep. With the American mass landing in Vietnam the most damage damaging impact
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Director of Pacification and provincial governor of Dinh Wahn, Tran Ngoc Chau recounts that Dinh Wahn was where the communists originated the war and that the Americans assigned to the province were good soldiers who were trying to help. However, as Tran Ngoc Chau explains, the American soldiers did not fully understand the situation and it made things difficult. Tran Ngoc Chau explains that because of the Americans, the Vietnamese began to view their leadership differently, and many Vietnamese began to look to the Americans as saviors.
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, in 1954, did you think that war had really come to an end? We had always thought of our struggle for national independence and unification as a revolutionary struggle, difficult and long lasting. And of Geneva and the American intervention, it became quite clear that war had not ended. We set ourselves to work hard to build socialism in the liberated North, to reinforce our military potential at the same time, to modernize as much as possible our army. A number of units were transferred to the task of economic construction, . General, what made you decide to intervene in the South from 1964 on? Were you afraid that the revolutionary forces in the South would not be able to deal with the situation all by themselves? Well, Vietnam is one. The Vietnamese nation
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Vo Nguyen Giap is a former general in the Vietnamese People’s Army. He recalls why he became a nationalist and a revolutionary. He talks about following Ho Chi Minh and the love and patriotism he holds for his country. Vo Nguyen Giap recalls why he joined the military at fifteen, and that early on, before he joined the military, he was involved in illegal political activities... more
Date Created
1982
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had gone in and tried, tried to retain the security that we had established by- we thought we had established- by sweeping. In fact, the mini Cav operations, the cordons, were probably the only time we ever did see the South Vietnamese go to work. And the national police field force was, as I understand, separate from the South Vietnamese Army. It was not part of that at all. Oh, I think the way we were looking at things, perhaps rather naively, uh, because the national police wore camouflaged uniforms and all that, we considered them some sort of elite group. Oh, but the army of South Vietnam, . And if the enemy were still there, fight them for a while- long enough to at least delineate their exact position, and then pull back and go to blowing it up again. That's generally how those battles ended up. Not pitched infantry battles, although for the infantrymen involved, it was pitched enough. But, really
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A veteran with the first cavalry division, Mark Smith discusses his time in Vietnam and the search operations in the villages in Binh Dinh Province. Smith recounts the goals of the operations, to surprise the Viet Cong, the idea was if you moved quickly enough, soldiers would be able to catch the Viet Cong unprepared. He also talks about why he joined the military and the sanitization of war by the movie industry. Smith discusses growing up with the belief that communists are bad and that he did not doubt the US reasons for entering Vietnam.
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be changed. I think there, I came to realize as the war went on that ah the American policy was not to allow under any circumstances a communist victory in South Vietnam whatever the people of Vietnam might want at any point in terms of wanting the war to end, image with an invading army infiltrating and coming across aggressively. Across a boundary ah into the south and we were aiding the south, an independent country that wanted to remain independent. Ah. This didn't correspond to anything in the minds of any Vietnamese. North or south. On our side or not. Ah. Or, nor did it correspond to any historical reality. The Vietnamese saw themselves as members of one country, Vietnam. In fact, both ah administrative sections, north and south, had it written into their constitutions, there is one Vietnam, ah corrupt as our leaders were
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Daniel Ellsberg was a US military analyst best known for leaking the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971. He describes helping plan for the escalation of the Vietnam War in 1964 and 1965 when those around him had already concluded the war could not be won. He vividly illustrates his time living in Saigon. Ellsberg says US military descriptions of the War’s causes had no corollary in the minds of the Vietnamese... more
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Vietnam: A Television History / Legacies
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for a long time I said ah this was to my mother, I said, mom, is this the way you raised me to let other mothers’ sons fight America’s wars. And, ah, that was pretty much the end of the discussion because they, they believed in their country. They believed ah ah you know they they were young people during World War II and that was it. They hadn’t raised me that way. Ah. So, I ended up...graduated from high school in June and going in the Marine Corps immediately. Now, I specifically wanted to go to Vietnam. When I joined the marines I knew that I would be going to Vietnam, of the tail end of the Korean War and, of course, my parents’ generation had just come out of ah that colossal experience of World War II. I have vivid memories of watching Way...Walter Cronkite doing what was called ah the Twentieth Century, I believe, and it was footage, combat footage from World War II. Ah
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William Daniel Ehrhart is an American poet, writer, scholar and Vietnam veteran. He discusses his decision to join the Marines at age seventeen, that it was considered a duty. But in Vietnam he saw what he considers atrocities—not stereotypically brutal acts but smaller ones, like destroying village food supplies, that were almost forms of entertainment for bored troops. He questions the “hearts and minds” efforts that ignored basic Vietnamese customs and talks of his struggles with his return to civilian life.
Date Created
1982
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Nationalists aah they couldn't support the Saigon government because they saw it responsible for the the whole breakdown in social order aah in in South Vietnam. And then to they couldn't support this third force the the peace movement for very long without ending up in prison, to go underground and and not join either side. Eventually what he ended up doing was being drafted into the Saigon Army, was made an intelligence agent for the Saigon government within their intelligence core, and spent much of his time trying to get information about what was happening in the war, that having a moderate movement aah there would make negotiations much easier aah they could talk perhaps to to both sides and I think they felt that would be important in ending the war. More than anything else they wanted immediate ending of of the bombing, aah of napalm, of political assassinations, all
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Don Luce worked in Vietnam with the International Voluntary Services and the World Council of Churches from 1958 until 1971. Don Luce was, at the time, teaching at the College of Agriculture and his students were having to choose whether or not to join the Saigon army. Many of his students were very angry seeing foreigners invade their country and Vietnamese women being forced into prostitution. Students were being imprisoned and beaten for not joining the Saigon army... more
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advisor in the Mekong Delta for two years, from 1959 to 1961. I was there at the time that America felt that its greatest success had been achieved in establishing the Ngo Dinh Diem government as the legitimate government throughout South Vietnam. But that legitimacy was based upon, . END OF SIDE B OF THIS TAPE. VIETNAM JOHN McALLISTER (cont.) TAPE 4, SIDE A ch Testing on the...Interview with John McAllister continued. Camera Roll 744, and positions. End of McAllister interview on Tape 4, Side A
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John T. McAllister was a Navy advisor in the Mekong Delta from 1959-1961. In this interview, McAllister recalls that a major problem with the Vietnam War was the failure of the United States to recognize that prior to US arrival, Vietnam had been engaged in a revolution. McAllister argues that the United States was unprepared for what was occurring. He believes that the Saigon government neither understood how to share power nor realized that they were not supporting the villagers in their struggle.
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