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#1 Jun 28, 2021 2:18 pm

New Historian

Vietnam: Background to adolescence

I grew up with Vietnam, the first war to be brought into our living rooms through the relatively new medium of television. During our American year of 1966/67, we learned first-hand from returning GIs of the ingenuity of the Viet Cong in setting booby traps to kill American soldiers. Tom and Gerry’s high school friends were rightly afraid of getting the dreaded low draft number, some of whom were subsequently sent to fight. By the time we returned to England the war was in full swing, every evening we watched graphic television footage of aerial bombings and deadly street-to-street fighting, in place names that would resonate through history: Khe Sahn, Da Nang and the Ho Chi Minh Trail – by age eighteen I was a certified war junkie!

Just when you thought it was settling into a slow and deadly stalemate, the Viet Cong pulled off their masterstroke: the Tet Offensive. Launched over the Vietnamese New Year in January 1968, North Vietnamese regular troops and guerillas swarmed across the South, catching the Americans completely unawares and capturing several key cities. Although the American forces regrouped and eventually beat back the invading forces, the Tet Offensive played a major role in shaping public opinion against the war.

Best part of the entire war was the end: America’s ignominious defeat at the hands of ‘a bunch of rice-eating Gooks’; when the mighty Americans learned that revenge, like rice, is a dish best eaten cold. After such a long, deadly and senseless war, there was something satisfying about the sight of American soldiers desperately burning documents and clinging onto the last choppers lifting off the US Embassy in Saigon, as the victorious North Vietnam troops closed in. Third world solidarity at its finest hour.


#2 Jun 29, 2021 10:10 am


Re: Vietnam: Background to adolescence 18 I was a certified war junkie....

' clarity please liked  war or  just  reading about war.    .... just asking. Lo." sad

Vietnam war !!   What was it all about   -  - again ?


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