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 (1946-1999) Other 20th Century Battles    
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Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 854

Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/1/2016 6:53:07 AM
I was interested to learn that Korea sent an entire Corps of 2 Army Divisions and a Marine Brigade which operated alongside and in cooperation with but was not commanded by the US I Field Force. What was more interesting was that as far as I can tell the Korean Air Force only had a unit of C46s and the Navy a couple of LSM and LCMs. Perhaps the most interesting was the contribution of the US taxpayer to this commitment, the US paid something like a billion bucks including modernising the Korean military equipment and giving Korean soldiers a hefty pay rise and the Koreans committing as much as the US would pay for. Not that this is a particularly bad deal for the US, they probably would have had to pay a similar amount anyway and this way didn't have to risk American lives.

Its these 'back end' contributions that make our Brigade group and cats and dogs not look so bad in comparison, for starters our taxpayers paid for everything and the RAN, RAAF and Army Small Ships got it to Vietnam. We deployed a sqn of Canberra bombers, Caribou transports and a destroyer for general use and provided 1 ATF with a RAAF helicopter sqn. I know that this doesn't add up to a Corps, but it adds up to something considerably more than a Brigade Group.
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Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2524

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/1/2016 6:56:10 AM
 Economically a bit like the UK using the Indian troops in the 2WW. I'm not sure how that was funded, but I doubt the "Indian taxpayer" funded the bulk of it. I'll bet the Canadians and Aussies were expected to mostly pay their own way, though.

Cheers

BW
---------------
Mammalian orders ARE orders, and they ARE meant to be nursed.

George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/1/2016 7:26:10 AM
Canada would probably have paid its own way but we weren't in Vietnam directly. We were a non-belligerent.

In fact, we were involved in the UN efforts to stop the escalation. We had a small contingent present in the '70's to encourage belligerents to adhere to the peace accord.

We had been involved at the beginning as the UN attempted to blunt the conflict. Canada was on the International Control Commission.


Behind the scene, we were assisting the Americans by selling ammunition and weapons under contract. So we made some money, somewhat hypocritically I suggest.

The Canadian government was supposed to be an honest broker but evidence has been presented to show that it was pro-American.


There are estimates that as many as 50,000 Canadians served in the US armed forces during the conflict. The number is probably closer to 30 K. We just don't know.

There is a small memorial to those who died in Windsor.





But officially, we were out of it.


Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 854

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/1/2016 8:02:14 AM
I found this, which sums things up nicely.

"The type and degree of support provided the additional Australian forces was in accordance with a new military working arrangement signed on 30 November 1967. Under its terms the Australian government was to reimburse the US government at a capitation rate for the support provided. US support included base camp construction and cost of transportation within Vietnam for supplies of Australian Force, Vietnam, arriving by commercial means; billeting and messing facilities, but not family quarters for dependents (payment of meals and billeting service charges were paid for by the individual in the Saigon area); some medical and dental care in Vietnam but not evacuation outside Vietnam except for emergency medical evacuation, which was provided on the same basis as that for US troops; mortuary service, including preparation of the bodies for shipment, but not transportation outside Vietnam; transportation, including use of existing bus, sedan, taxi, and air service operated by the United States in Vietnam; delivery of official messages transmitted by radio or other electrical means through established channels; use of US military postal facilities, including a closed pouch system for all personal and official mail (1st through 4th class); exchange and commissary service in Vietnam; special services, including established rest and recreation tours; necessary office space, equipment, and supplies; and spare parts, petroleum products, and maintenance facilities for vehicles and aircraft within the capabilities of US facilities and units in Vietnam."

The agreement with the Kiwis was virtually identical.
[Read More]

Reading this site, and knowing a bit of background as well, I must admit a tinge of jealousy concerning Koreas operational freedom compared to ours. It appears that requests were put to Westy and denied whereas the Koreans just did as they liked. It would have been nice of COMAFV had operational command of Australian Forces like the Koreans did.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2524

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/1/2016 9:02:41 AM
George,

 By way of clarification. I was referring to the Canadian operations in the 2WW, not Vietnam.

Cheers

BW
---------------
Mammalian orders ARE orders, and they ARE meant to be nursed.

George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/1/2016 10:15:17 AM

Quote:
George,

 By way of clarification. I was referring to the Canadian operations in the 2WW, not Vietnam.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Sorry Bill. I misunderstood.

Canada paid and manufactured a lot of the material and weapons needed to outfit its army but we were in a financial arrangement with Britain for initiatives like the BCATP (though Canada wound up paying the lion's share of that one)

As well we relied quite a bit on British services at times to ensure that we could participate.

Actually, Canada profited from the war. Industry boomed and the war industry grew from nothing to a major contributor.

So yes, we paid our way but it is complicated. Our financial arrangement with the US ensured that the US would buy as much from us as Canada would buy from it. Thank FDR for that. Without that agreement, the Brits would have cancelled nearly all the orders placed in Canadian war industry plants.

Cheers,


George

sargentodiaz
Las Vegas, NV, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class


Posts: 25
http://lvcabbie.blogspot.com
Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/1/2016 10:51:43 AM
Okay, here's a personal recollection of the ROK troops in 'Nam.

I was stationed at Qui Nhon and our billeting area was on the outskirts just south of an ROK camp. They had Hueys, along with gunships.

They had an interesting - and effective - way of interrogating Charley. I personally saw this happen.

A chopper took off from the compound, gained altitude, then hovered over a rice paddy about half a click from us. We watched it hover for about five minutes when one person came out of the open door - clearly kicked out. He screamed all the way day - silenced when he hit the water with a huge splash.

Another prisoner in the black pajamas of the VC was hung out the door - and then pulled back in. It was clear to all of us watching that he'd decided spilling his guts was better than joining his comrade.

The VC hated the ROK more than anyone else.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/2/2016 11:06:11 AM
Riain,

Technically there is no "Korea." Its North Korea and South Korea and technically both have been at war with each other since 1950 with South Korea basically under daily threat of invasion from the North. Didn't and doesn't North Korea have one of the largest standing armies in the world?

Plus with respect there were other forms of "back end" or "channel" contributions or reimbursements such as sweet trade deals and "favored nations status." Also please understand that I am in no way putting down the service or contribution of Australia in South Vietnam.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/2/2016 11:13:38 AM
Riain,

The South Koreans were given a sector and the mission of pacification of that sector. It worked because it was a Corps sized force. They had the reserves and internal support and very seldom had to call for help. I believe they had a US HDQ attached and at least some level of US Advisors imbedded.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 4850
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/2/2016 11:24:03 AM
The US threatened to pull its troops out of Korea and send them to Vietnam if Korea didn't send its troops. The US did pay the full cost of ROK deployment(The US was desperate for manpower to fight the war, not supplies.), nowadays, Korea is dragged into Iraq/Afghanistan and pays its own bills so that's a bad change.

In exchange for the deployment, the US supplied 80 or so F-4s to Korea, before it did to Japan. So the joke in Korea is that if Korea sent 30K troops to Afghanistan, the US might sell F-22 to Korea in return. And this actually almost happened during the Missionary Kidnapping Crisis during which 30 Korean missionaries were kidnapped, during which the Marine Corps begged the MoD to let them go and wipe Taliban out of the said provinces the ROKMC style

[Read More]

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/2/2016 11:45:04 AM
Jim,

With respect that sight is FUBAR.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 854

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/2/2016 2:20:21 PM
Just like Australia, NZ, Thailand and the Philippines, Sth Korea had its own strong motivations for sending troops to Vietnam tied up with their relationship with the US, the Nth Korean threat and a new-ish desire to play a part in international affairs. As I understand it the Capital and 9th Divisions were Reserve divisions and were fleshed out with regulars for their deployments, this meant that not only id the US not pull out troops no Regular Sth Korean divisions were pulled out of the line initially. Its probably a good way for a cash poor but populous (29 million 1966) country with pressing security needs to have those needs met given the security assistance programmes the US had available at the time. What I want to know is did Sth Korean have its own helicopters, tanks or heavy artillery in Vietnam?

In contrast Australia at the time only had 11-13 million people, but was comparatively wealthy but also had significant security threats coming from Indonesia with the takeover of West Papua and the Confrontation with Malaysia. During the height of Vietnam we maintained a battalion group, 3 combat squadrons and a pair of warships in Malaysia/Singapore and a squadron of fighters in Thailand from '62-68. Given the situation its not surprising that we contributed in a more balanced way, trading off troop numbers for aircraft squadrons, warship deployments, robust logistic support and cash transfers for services. All that saved us from having to call out the reserves and have only limited conscription.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/3/2016 11:41:14 AM
Riain,

Quick check of my sources shows aviation and armored units attached to both the Capital and 9th Infantry Divisions but not the Marine Brigade. All three have arty attached but I don't have a breakdown of types yet. I have approx. 50,000 deployed at one time, approx. 300,000 serving overall with approx. 5,000KIA and 11,000WIA. Also have that all who served in Vietnam were volunteers.

Edit Your also selling Australia's effort in Vietnam a little short by only mentioning the combat units sent and not the advisors who served from 62 to 72 training the ARVN in the field and sharing all the hazards.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 854

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/3/2016 3:32:23 PM
I'm not selling our effort short, it was pretty big for us and took a pretty heavy toll on the Army and country, I'm just trying to put it into perspective against a developing country sending an entire Corps.

The timelines are interesting. For example the issue of deploying the Centurions was first bought up in June 1967, it was put as a higher priority than a 3rd battalion by the General staff in July, endorsed by the government in August and announced along with the 3rd battalion in October. The battalion got to Phuoc Tuy in December 1967, but the tanks had to have crews gathered from around the RAAC, be modified for Vietnam service and then shipped over and unloaded by a floating crane bought from Saigon, with half the squadron arriving in February 1968. The other half of the squadron was held back in Australia until the first half had shown it was useful, after the battles of Coral and Balmoral in May 68 the other half was shipped to Can Ranh Bay, transferred to our Army LSMs and landed over the beach at Vung Tau in August 1968, a full year after the deployment was approved by the Government.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/3/2016 10:28:26 PM
Riain,

Do you think that maybe the developing country had a unique perspective to the plight of South Vietnam and sought to help another in a similar situation as they had been in the way other countries had helped them? I mean of course other than the self serving benefits that came their way.

To both you and Jim check out the link below. Riain it might answer a few of your questions. Jim it might give you a different, less propagandized IMO, perspective than that site you put up earlier.

http://www.history.army.mil/books/Vietnam/allied/ch06.htm
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 854

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/4/2016 3:39:43 PM
John, that site is where I ended up after digging around, it is a good history.

I think that countries can act with genuine altruism toward other countries but that list is pretty small. For us it would be New Zealand, for the US it would be probably Canada or Britain and for Sth Korea it would probably be Nth Korea. beyond the close links of neighbours with kinship ties I think assistance is given for what can be gained in return, Sth Korea went to Vietnam for similar reasons as we did, security and the engagement of the US.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/4/2016 4:22:07 PM
Riain,

Agree on the site.

But with or without S Korean or Australian boots on the ground you had both. Canada and Britain didn't really lose by not putting boots on the ground. We couldn't go isolationists and let the rest of the world prey to the Soviets. That would amount to shooting off our foot to spite our nose.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/4/2016 7:54:15 PM

Quote:
Riain,

Agree on the site.

But with or without S Korean or Australian boots on the ground you had both. Canada and Britain didn't really lose by not putting boots on the ground. We couldn't go isolationists and let the rest of the world prey to the Soviets. That would amount to shooting off our foot to spite our nose.
--John R. Price


I don't follow your logic John. What were Canada and the UK supposed to lose by not sending troops to Vietnam?

Is the reference to further trade and support of the USA? Just curious.

For the record, Canada was pursuing an independent foreign policy in those days, unlike today where we seem to be in lock step with the US.

Again for the record, Canada was a member of the International Commission for Control and Supervision just as the war heated up.

Canada was involved in the commission as early as 1954 when the demarcation line was set up.

It would have been impossible to send troops to Vietnam while the country was supposed to be brokering a peace treaty.

Canada was part of the international commission that brokered the cease fire of 1973 although we withdrew that year.


However, morally Canada can be criticized. The US expected Canada to put forth the pro-western view in any discussions.

Canada also became America's pipeline to the North Vietnamese.

As well, Canada was producing and selling over 2.5 billion dollars worth of war materiel to the US and allowing US troops to train in Canada.


So some hypocrisy there I think.

Would the US have preferred a token group of troops on the ground or to have Canada in the role of peace-keeper?


George



Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 854

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/5/2016 2:47:46 AM
S. Korea went in order to deal with security issues at home, to get the US to pay for modernising their forces and not pull units out of S. Korea to fight in Vietnam. Added to the desire to play a role internationally that's enough of a reason.

Australia went because of the Malayan Emergency, Communists in Thailand, Indonesia in West Papua as well as the Confrontation, with all that the Domino Theory doesn't look quite so stupid. We took the opportunity to strengthen the US policy of containment in South East Asia, Sth Vietnam being a SEATO protocol state, to strengthen our own security.

There was no reason for Canada to go to Vietnam, none at all, it might have been different if Canada had joined SEATO but that didn't eventuate.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/5/2016 3:29:08 AM
George,

I knew I should have used Mexico as soon as I finished typing. Canada didn't lose security or engagement with the US which Riain listed as the reasons why Australia and South Korea did send troops. That if a country said no there really couldn't be a penalty.

I'm well aware of Canada's involvement with the UN in relation to the end of the French War in Indochina and what the US expected as well as what the Soviets demanded of Poland and got without question. I will give Canada credit for pushing a reluctant India to include in the reports of the late 50's the inability of the commission to have total access in North Vietnam.

I think you better double check about end of the International Control Commission. India officially recognized the government of North Vietnam but not South Vietnam and South Vietnam kicked them out of the country and yours and Poland's representatives left with them as a protest. The ICC continued for I believe 6-8 month operating a office in Hanoi only and was dissolved and replaced by another UN Commission in early 73.(want to say March or April)

What cease fire in 73? The Parris Accords?



---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/5/2016 7:20:21 AM
Yes the Paris Accords. Canada pulled out of the control commission in 1973. I forget why.

EDIT: By 1973 the new commission was called the International Commission of Control and Security. Two communist countries and two non-communist. When Canada left, the Iranians took the spot. How ironic is that given later developments.

So far as I know, the mandate of the ICCS had expired on July 31, 1973 and that is when Canada withdrew.

Did any other commission replace the ICCS or was their work considered to be completed? There must have been a new mission for the Iranians to stay involved.

Perhaps I have my timelines screwed up.



The Accords were a bust anyway. The north was guilty of violations and never did recognize the government of the south. The US pulled back. I think that that was it for the Accords.

Peace keeping had become our thing and we had a belief that the UN could resolve issues and stop parties from warring on one another. Our PM, Lester Pearson had received the Nobel Peace Prize for brokering the peace deal during the Suez Crisis in 1957. (??)

So he and the Canadian government felt that perhaps it could assume the role of honest broker in Indo-China.

Canada was part of the commission to oversee the Geneva Agreement of 1954 that eventually got the French out and created the two Vietnams.

My point is that it would be difficult to send ground troops in when the country is supposed to be trying to deescalate conflict.

It is also true that our government disagreed with the US that it was necessary to contain the Soviet expansion goals by fighting in Indo-China. Like I said, a different foreign policy.

I just wanted to point out that I feel that Canada was quite heavily involved in this war despite officially having a role as a peace keeper.

We had no qualms about filling US orders for munitions. Our unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% during the heaviest fighting because of our munitions industry and US orders.

Some of what Canada did was inconsistent with peacekeeping and was hypocritical, I feel.

Despite comments made to the press and some that were critical of the US, Canada's approach was very much pro-western and pro-US.

I am not a conspiracy theorist normally but I do wonder whether we were the eyes and ears of America during the negotiations. Were our diplomats sometimes acting on behalf of the Americans?

One of the reasons that Canada was accepted by the North Vietnamese on the control commission was because it had made some negative comments about US involvement in Korea. And we had troops there.



RE: Your comment on "losing security or engagement". Quite true but in the case of Canada, to an extent the security of the US is tied to the security of Canada. The US was promoting greater co-operation to secure its own borders and by 1957 the NORAD agreement was in development.

So it wouldn't do for Canada and the US to pursue isolationist policies, at least in North America. Canada could ill afford to lose the military protection guarantees of the US and the US could not afford to lose the good will of the country upon which its missile and bomber tracking system would be installed.

I think that that is different than the Australian and New Zealand relationship with the US. Or is it the same thing???


Economically, Canada was moving away from Great Britain as its number one trade partner and toward the US. Eventually, we would become each other's largest trading partner.


John, I object to the notion that that there would be a "penalty" or a price to pay if a country did not comply with US requests for support. To small or middle sized countries, that sounds like the words of a nation that likes to be in control and has the means to create conditions that would cause difficulties for a country that is not in compliance.

I am not naive. Powerful nations have ways to ensure co-operation from other nations. Hell, we have done a few things in the last two decades to make us compliant with US initiatives.

But no country wants to be viewed as a vassal state.


Cheers,


George

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 854

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/6/2016 1:49:39 AM
I would say 'penalise' is the wrong word, a penalty would be something like an arms embargo or cessation of some agreement. While active participants in US wars get priority on the gear the US sells/provides I doubt the US would refuse to sell gear to an ally who didn't participate in a war. I'd imagine the same would be true with troop deployments, while the odd unit might be moved I doubt the US would pull all the troops out of Sth Korea or Philippines if they didn't participate in Vietnam.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/6/2016 7:18:53 AM
Riain, I am not convinced that the intervention if other countries has anything to do with the welfare of the people of that country.

That includes Vietnam. It happened to be one of the places in which the containment policy could be effected so yeah, it is doubtful that he US would have curtailed relations with Australia had the Australians opted not to go.


George

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/6/2016 2:40:48 PM
George why was there a Cold War? Which form of government even cared one iota about the welfare of the people it governed or the people in other countries? What about the fact that in the 10 years after the fall of Saigon more people were killed in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos than in the 30 years of war? What about the 2mil plus sent to gulag style reeducation camps in South Vietnam?

I'm sorry you may question many of the decisions made but not the basic premise that Communism as we knew it had to be contained and destroyed for the welfare of the people of the world.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 854

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/6/2016 4:53:54 PM

Quote:
George why was there a Cold War? Which form of government even cared one iota about the welfare of the people it governed or the people in other countries? What about the fact that in the 10 years after the fall of Saigon more people were killed in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos than in the 30 years of war? What about the 2mil plus sent to gulag style reeducation camps in South Vietnam?

I'm sorry you may question many of the decisions made but not the basic premise that Communism as we knew it had to be contained and destroyed for the welfare of the people of the world.

--John R. Price


I disagree that Communism had destroyed for the welfare of the people of the world, in a self-help system they should be looking out for their own welfare. Communist parties had plenty of willing and active members back in the 60s, prior to the Coup attempt in September 1965 the Indonesian Communist Party was the 3rd largest in the world and had positions in the Government, meanwhile there were insurgencies in Thailand and Sth Vietnam. So I have no problem with the idea that Communism had to be contained for the security of Australia, even if the execution wasn't done as well as it could be, because an alliance of Communist counties starting with Indonesia and stretching back though Vietnam would be bad news.

---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/6/2016 5:10:53 PM

Quote:
I'm sorry you may question many of the decisions made but not the basic premise that Communism as we knew it had to be contained and destroyed for the welfare of the people of the world.


John, I wonder whether this is a distinctly American point of view.


An awful lot of brave men lost their lives in Vietnam from your country and others, and we can say that communism wasn't destroyed there.

In fact, in whatever form it was, it thrived in a unified country. I wouldn't want to live there now, nor would I want to live in a place that was under the control of a colonial master like France, or foreigners who wanted to save me.

The demise of Stalinist style communism did not result from any of the efforts of people who fought in Korea or in Vietnam.

Communism in the Soviet Union rotted from the inside. The economy imploded.

I would grant that the Cold War compelled the Soviets to spend a fortune on the military and that proved to be unsustainable.

But destroyed? I don't know what it is that the Russians have right now but it resembles a true democracy only superficially and the leader, Putin, is flexing again.


As well, the policy of containment led to the support by the US of some pretty sketchy dictators in other countries whose people were suffering as well.

Pinochet, Noriega, Marcos, Batista. It's a pretty long list of bad guys and oppressive regimes.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/6/2016 8:59:45 PM
Riain,

In a lot of ways I agree that Communism didn't have to be destroyed but the reality is that the Communist leadership made it a all or nothing proposition. It wasn't the "free world" South Korea and South Vietnam starting the wars in Vietnam and Korea. It wasn't the "free world" part of Germany building a wall in Berlin and DMZ like boarders to keep its citizens in. They really didn't negotiate in good faith and had a hard time accepting compromise.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/6/2016 9:19:57 PM
George,

Do you understand how many times the Soviets had to basically completely re-equip and resupply the NVA? Do you understand that the arty used at Dien Bein Phu was a gift from China in exchange for the Soviets supplying the Chinese with a complete arty upgrade for their entire army. That by 1968 the Soviets were supplying 90% of the food and clothing for the entire population of North Vietnam and 100% of the fuel. What the Soviets spent in North Vietnam on military and civilian aid from 1945 to 1975 gave their economy a hefty push towards implosion.

Plus I'm sorry but my phrase was "Communism as we knew it." I also said you could question the "decisions made" and supporting those you mention would fall under that but add up all their crimes and you aren't even close to those of Stalin or maybe even Ho alone.

P. S. Canada was supposed to champion the "Western" stance on the ICC, it was set up for that dynamic with one aligned country for each side and one non aligned. Canada was the West, Poland the Soviet Bloc and India neutral.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/7/2016 4:34:19 PM

Quote:
P. S. Canada was supposed to champion the "Western" stance on the ICC, it was set up for that dynamic with one aligned country for each side and one non aligned. Canada was the West, Poland the Soviet Bloc and India neutral.


The Geneva Accords were toothless as designed by the powers at the conference including the US, France, the UK, the USSR, Cambodia and North and South Vietnam.

About all it accomplished was getting the French out of Indo-China.


I understand how the ICSC was constructed but I can tell you that Canada initially wanted no part of it.

The US actually wanted Belgium to be the western nation involved but they didn't want it and Canada, despite supporting, yes I said supporting containment, actually thought that its presence as an honest broker could bring about a peaceful settlement. It seems that the Indians recommended that Canada be placed on the Commission.

Canada was pursuing an independent foreign policy somewhat based upon influence as a middle power.


The ICSC had no power. The Geneva Accords weren't even signed by the US or South Vietnam, I don't believe.

The countries of the ICSC could not intervene militarily. It had no effective military. All it could do was observe and while observing, it found over 7,000 violations of the Accord.


John, you say that Canada was supposed to represent the west. That doesn't mean, on a commission designed to ensure a peaceful transfer of power through democratic elections and to monitor the safe movement of refugees is supposed to take sides. There is supposed to be an element of impartiality.

But that's not the way it worked out. The Indians dithered while the Poles became more and more obdurate in their support of North Vietnam.

The whole effort was a sham.


And eventually Canada tossed this veneer of impartiality and became a supporter of the US. External affairs felt that it had little choice.

Canadian people on the ground in Vietnam thought that we should have left long before we did.

The Canadian government felt that if we did leave, that any possibility of a peace accord would disappear and when Nixon was pursuing "Peace with Honour", the US government asked the Canadians to stay on in the new and improved ICCS.

By 1973, the Trudeau Liberal government was concerned with other aspects of Canada/US relations, and he agreed to join the new ICCS but he put a 2 month limit on participation and that's what happened.

It was time for us to get out of the embarrassing diplomatic mission.



As well, some Canadian diplomats with the knowledge of our government, were actually reporting back to the CIA on troop movements by the north.

And as Canada had access to representatives in Hanoi, the US used the Canadians as message takers. That meant peace offers from the US and also direct threats that they were going to be bombed by the US if the north continued to behave in the manner that it was.

When the Pentagon Papers came out in 1972, it became apparent that Canada was much more heavily involved in this mess in Vietnam than the people thought.

Canadian military officers in Vietnam were accused of being lackeys of the US military. There was some truth to it.

Our diplomats were accused of being spies for the CIA. Again, there is some truth to it.


George


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/8/2016 6:04:09 PM
George,

With respect all the Geneva Accords were supposed to accomplish was to get France out of Vietnam. Everything else was a pipe dream because Ho and his leadership wasn't going to accept anything less than the entire country under his communist control.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/8/2016 7:41:21 PM
John the countries that pieced together those Geneva Accords , made the wording so ambiguous that it was difficult to know what the goal was.

Those countries were the US, USSR, China, UK and France with representatives of the north and south of Vietnam.

The AGREEMENT ON THE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES IN VIET-NAM, JULY 20, 1954 was supposed to do more than just get the French out of Indo-China.

Certainly when they allowed the ICC to observe to see whether the accord was followed, they granted no power to that commission. They were watchers.


The real power was with the military commissions of each of the belligerents and I think that that is the way that they all wanted it.


But the Agreement itself had a number of objectives:

1. set up a military demarcation line and a DMZ

2. Enforce a ban on the introduction of fresh troops, military personel, arms and munitions, military bases

3. Liberation of POW and Civilian Internees

This is the document:

[Read More]

The US never signed it but did say that it would not interfere with the implementation.

South Vietnam under Diem would not sign it and because of that the free elections called for in the Accords could not happen. Diem said that he was not bound by a document that he had not signed.

Diem feared the considerable support for Ho in the south.

Why didn't the US support free elections if they were properly monitored? Did the US know that the Vietnamese people may have elected Ho Chi Minh?


The Accords were supposed to be a framework leading to peace and unification but they weren't supported by the people who wrote them.

Even the Chinese and Soviets were leery of a Viet Minh in control of all of Vietnam.

So I think that the process was a sham.


John I am not saying that Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem (until the coup and his death) were good people.

But I do think that the people in Asia were tired of interference by outsiders including the French and the US.



Cheers,

George


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/9/2016 12:44:26 AM
George,

You missed a main provision

That civilians be allowed to move freely across the "demarcation line" for 300 days.

Over 890,000 civilians left the North while 52,000 Viet Minh and their families went North. And there were reports from the media that as many as 2mil more would have left the North but the Viet Minh set up road blocks to physically stop them.

The US basically walked out early in the meetings because the US hadn't recognized the communist government of China and Eden and the US Sec of State got into a major disagreement over that. There was a US representative sitting in Beddel Smith I think for at least a while.

Your also not factoring in the change in the French government mid conference and hemce a change in French policy. Or the Fall of Dien Bein Phu after the conference started which effected French policy. Basically they had repeatedly promised Boa Dai no partition then did a complete turn around.

No Diem wouldn't sign it because it partitioned Vietnam. The position of the State of Vietnam with Diem as Prime Miniter and Boa Dai as Emporer was that they were the only legal government of all of Vietnam. France had granted them limited sovernty maybe a year or so earlier in a French Union type deal. I think they granted full sovernty right before the conference started again in a French Union type of deal.

Edit I really think you have to look at the change in the French government and that the US at that point started to believe that it would be better to work directly with the 3 country's independent of connections to the French. You also have the new French leadership promising to resign if they don't have a ceasefire within 30 days. A whole lot going on there plus at the time there was just about as many Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotions fighting with the French as there were in the Viet Minh, Pathet Loa and Kmer Isskak.(sp? on the last)
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/9/2016 6:22:11 AM
John, the US showed very little interest in the Geneva meetings. Why did they attend in the first place?

Were any of the participants truly interested in a cease fire and a temporary division of Vietnam in the Korean style?

The division was supposed to be a precursor to free elections and then unification but so long as the communists were present as a possible freely elected government, the US was not willing to sign the Accords.

No peace could result from a statement of intent in which the main players had no interest.

Diem was not much better than Ho, was he? And the US was implicated in his assassination when a regime change was deemed advisable.

In regard to the French, they could offer all the political relationships that they wanted. They could call Vietnam a French collective or self governing French state but the fact is that the Vietnamese didn't want any more colonial masters deciding their fate.

Ho Chi Minh had been an advocate for Vietnamese independence his whole life. He had lived in France I believe. He turned out to be a vindictive SOB but I cannot fault him for wanting the Europeans and North Americans out of his country.


And for my country that had no economic interests in Indo-China and certainly has never had imperial aspirations, it was foolish to have accepted a spot on that commission. We wound up looking like lackeys for the US government rather than honest peace brokers.

John, I understand and accept your antipathy toward communism or perhaps Stalinism. But I do not agree that incursions into foreign countries are always the right thing to do especially if you are not wanted.



By the late 1960's, it was pretty clear that a lot of Americans felt the same way. Too many of your best had died in Vietnam and too many Vietnamese had died, both civilians and soldiers whether regulars or Cong.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2524

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/9/2016 7:18:26 AM
But I do not agree that incursions into foreign countries are always the right thing to do especially if you are not wanted.

 I suppose one could also argue that Hitler and Germany didn't want the "incursion" of Canada and the U.S. in the European war, either.

Cheers

BW
---------------
Mammalian orders ARE orders, and they ARE meant to be nursed.

George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/9/2016 10:28:17 AM
Bill are you equating the ramifications of defeat in Vietnam with those of a defeat in Europe?

Cheers,

George

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2524

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/9/2016 10:38:26 AM
George,

 I am pointing out your statement regarding 'incursions' is just a bit too blue-skies for how nations interact with each other in the real world. Or was it accidental that on the communist side in the VN War, the Soviets and Chinese were involved up to their necks?

 Your question on ramifications is interesting. You may wish to consider it from the viewpoint of a German who lived in the war era. We all see what we wish through the filter of our national worldview.

Cheers

BW
---------------
Mammalian orders ARE orders, and they ARE meant to be nursed.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/9/2016 11:21:38 AM
George,

I never said incursions in foreign countries are always the right thing to do. The thing is you refuse to acknowledge that there was a significant portion of the population of South Vietnam even up until April of 75 that wanted the US there. You keep on insisting that the North Vietnamese and anti-war perceptions are the only perceptions that matter or have any logic.

Wasn't Canada a member of a type of British Union? Then why so many Vietnamese in the National Army of Vietnam fighting alongside the French against the Viet Minh?

Ho also live in Moscow and Ho was a advocate for Vietnamese independence but only under his communist rule. You refuse to admit that Ho and the immediate leadership that followed were unwilling to accept any compromise but all of Vietnam under communist control no matter what they agreed to in Geneva. In effect they viewed Geneva as Hitler viewed Munich, inconsequential and non binding on them.

Ah but your country did have economic interest in Vietnam. Like it or not your country was invested in the Cold War and the Soviet resources used in Vietnam pushed their economy towards implosion Plus Vietnam had been the "rice bowl" of Asia and access to that undamaged resource would have gone a long way toward strengthening the Soviet economy.

Diem gets a lot of crap for craking down on Ho's left behinds who were under the direct control of North Vietnam and who instigated and lead the majority of the Buddist Revolt which was his downfall. I'm not sure how much is Diem being a son of a bitch and how much is the situation created by Ho. he has to crack down on the stay behinds and then he has to crack down on the Buddists who rise to support them.

Edit To prove my point I want to put on the record that I am 100% against the incursion of the Soviets into Czech. in response to "Prague Spring."
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2524

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/9/2016 11:39:52 AM
John,

 Your mention of the Cold War is a key point. Too many observers examine the VN War as an isolated event. The greater context is very significant as in some ways the war was a proxy conflict between the US and the USSR. Our payback to the Soviets for their support to Ho was the support given the Afghan rebels during the Soviet invasion there that began after a remarkably short period following the fall of Saigon. It was a Cold War way of dulling the edge of the other side's armed forces without open warfare between the superpowers. And it was all about influence and reputation as well. It was no accident that the Oil Crisis, the Mayaguez Incident, and the Tehran hostage crisis all erupted in the wake of U.S. failure in Vietnam. Of course, the Soviet Navy didn't mind gaining use of Cam Rahn Bay, either.

 The view of Diem and the RVN government in general is one we've mentioned before. The ROK government was similar in appearance during its early years, but the Koreans had the benefit of decades of a ceasefire to get their act together.

Cheers

BW
---------------
Mammalian orders ARE orders, and they ARE meant to be nursed.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant
Posts: 184

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/9/2016 12:47:25 PM
BW,

To me the mainstream anti war position falls at least partially apart if you look at Vietnam in the context of a Cold War battle hence the need to isolate and separate.

Did Diem go too far? I'm not sure he went as far as Rhee. But in both cases the tools to peacefully remove them were in place by the form of government once survival was assured and stability and strength attained. The means to peacefully remove the communists in Vietnam governmentally/democratically don't exist today nor did they in 1954. Plus with respect the large majority don't understand or know what Ho did in North Vietnam in 54 and 55 when they bitch about Diem.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


George
Haliburton, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 4115

Re: Koreans in Vietnam
Posted on: 8/9/2016 12:54:08 PM

Quote:
Wasn't Canada a member of a type of British Union? Then why so many Vietnamese in the National Army of Vietnam fighting alongside the French against the Viet Minh?


John, I don't understand this statement.

Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations but the Commonwealth is not and was not a union. It is a collection of nations who supposedly share certain values.

There are countries in the Commonwealth who have a pretty sketchy set of values as far as I am concerned.

But I don't understand how Canada's relationship with the UK has anything to do with Vietnamese who supported the French.


And if I was South Vietnamese and had been a supporter of the USA, I sure as hell wouldn't want to see them leaving either.


Support for France and support for the US was because there were anti-communist factions within Vietnam. That is clear.

But without free elections, we could never know how many actually supported Ho and independence and freedom from all foreign influence.


Canada had no particular dog in the race when it came to anything to do with Vietnam. However, I will grant that indirectly there was a windfall profit made by filling US contracts in our munitions plants for weapons.


I see that Bill has also seen this war as a part of the Cold War, a hot part of the Cold War. Perhaps but most of the Cold War was based upon MAD and deterrence.

We'll never know whether communist expansion was deterred or prevented by this war.

It sure as hell was costly for those American boys and allies who had to go there.


George

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