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The Vietnam War

Old 16th Oct 2017, 14:00
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PN,

Memory serves me the French were on both sides during that war.
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 16:19
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The Battle of Dakar is an example for free French fighting Vichy French.
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 17:16
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An interesting but not well known fact is that British troops were sent to Saigon in 1945 to take the surrender of the Japanese troops.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_...1945–46)

They fought a six-month war against the Viet Minh before handing over to the French, who had finally got themselves organized.

British troops were also employed in a similar way in Indonesia. Dirk Bogarde wrote a very good novel called “A Gentle Occupation” based on his Army experience there.
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 10:51
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My old man finished up in Djakarta/Batavia in charge of a jeep load of Japanese NCO's armed to the teeth shooting up the Indonesian Nationalists in September 1945....

Needless to say it raised questions in his mind as to exactly why we'd gone to war and politics in general............
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 13:59
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The Battle of Dakar is an example for free French fighting Vichy French.
Did both sides surrender?
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 14:18
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Did both sides surrender?
Naughty but rather funny
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 18:00
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SASLess, the author of the Dirty Dozen wrote a further novel about Indo-China. Novel maybe but instructive none the less. The French gendarmerie continued to act as colonial power with the Japanese exercising the real power. So yes, they were on both sides albeit not in the Far East. And it was the US supplying weapons to Ho Chi Min that he subsequently used against the French.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 00:18
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I made a joke in that post....but when I look back on the Indo-China War the French fought....I stand upright in respect of the gallantry shown by the Troops at Dien Bien Phu. There were people parachuting in right up the very last day or so....some of whom had never jumped in their lives.

Walking the ground and reading the history of the place is quite sobering.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 01:34
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PN,

Thanks for your post. I assume you are referring to "A Dirty Distant War", which I hadn't heard of. I'll have to add it to my Vietnam library

Another novel that's well worth reading is "Saigon" by Anthony Grey. It covers the period from the 1920s to 1970s. The American protagonist is (somewhat improbably) present at many of the key events in Vietnam during that period. It makes for compelling reading with a lot of history thrown in.

Walking the ground and reading the history of the place is quite sobering.
SASless,

I agree. Looking down from the tops of the French defensive outposts and visiting the French command bunker was, as you say, very sobering. A completely stupid decision by the French commanders to try and defend a location that could only be supplied by air.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 07:46
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based of course on the sucessful (just) British battle at Imphal /Khohima...

but the VM had read the book as well...................
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 12:00
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I42,

Being a pilot....I found reading about the Air Support of DBP and the valor of the aircrews (including some American Civilians) to worthy of note as well.

Walking among the fortifications on the hill with the Crater....thinking of the Men who were surrounded there with no real chance of escape....as Laos was a long way away through Viet Minh Lines...and no resupply of anything coming....that must have been a very lonely feeling.

About Forty China Air Transport (CAT) Pilots flew nearly Seven Hundred Missions in support of the French Forces during the Seige with several being killed.

Among them was a fellow nicknamed "Earthquake McGoon"....who must have been quite a character from the accounts of some folks I know who had flown with him at CAT.

CAT later became part of the CIA owned/operated Air America which became well known during the Vietnam War.


https://www.cia.gov/news-information...al-flight.html
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 15:34
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SASless,

I agree about the air support efforts - very brave pilots. I had read about Earthquake McGoon before and I remembered an oil painting and other photos, which I re-discovered here:

Shootdown of McGoon
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 16:28
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India Four Two
Chris Robbins Book Air America is quite a good read on the subject of AA. Have to say I am also finding the series intresting, as Vietnam was the sound track to my own childhood so to speak. Amazing to see how politicians do not know how to get themselves out of certain situations necver mind backing the wrong horse so to speak !


SASless
I have also lived and worked in the "new" Vietnam, and have to say it is one of my favourite places I have had the good fortune to work. It is funny how North and South are still to this day different in outlook. As an outsider it appears that the South is steaming ahead while the north is still some way behind. It as thoe, yes the north won the war but is being beaten in the peace, and they can not quite understand how it happened !


Regards
Mr Mac


Regards
Mr Mac

Last edited by Mr Mac; 19th Oct 2017 at 07:27. Reason: Spelling !!!
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Old 19th Oct 2017, 01:30
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My dad went to Nam a couple of years ago with some other combat pilots to meet the enemy pilots.

They quickly pushed aside any hard feelings and got to talking aviation.

Dad met one guy who made 12 gunnery passes on him in a Mig17 but he couldn't get the skyraiders that later got his wingman.

This year, the north and south viet pilots came to the midway museum to meet their former adversaries.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 10:43
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Point of information- for some unfathomable reason, the BBC episodes are only 60mins long- so 10hrs in total. The original PBS version- which will air in the UK on PBS America in the Spring- is 18hrs.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 11:12
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Local hero here is Marechal Jean Joseph Marie Gabriel de Lattre de Tassigny, GCB, MC was a notable French military commander during World War I and even more so in World War II and the First Indochina War. His son died in the Indo China war. He was born and later lived a few miles from here, in the same small village where Clemenceau also was born
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 11:33
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Point of information- for some unfathomable reason, the BBC episodes are only 60mins long- so 10hrs in total. The original PBS version- which will air in the UK on PBS America in the Spring- is 18hrs.

Lack of ad breaks? Having watched US TV, it seems to break into advertisements every few minutes, and sometimes the ads seem to last as long as the programme.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 11:36
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
Lack of ad breaks? Having watched US TV, it seems to break into advertisements every few minutes, and sometimes the ads seem to last as long as the programme.


Nope. The full series is 18hrs long and is already available on DVD. PBS doesn't run ads in the US, as such, just promos for their other shows.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 22:54
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So are saying the bbc has cut the episodes to fit the time slots ? Very sad if true.
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 02:01
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
PN,

Memory serves me the French were on both sides during that war.
Possibly true as the french have always been all over the place.

Going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordion.
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