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View Full Version : Saigon 35 years ago



Bigfella
01 May 10,, 11:44
Today marks the fall of Saigon to forces of the People's Army of Vietnam. It is the 35th anniversary of the end of one of the longest & most divisive conflicts of the C20th. We are as far from the end of that war as we were in 1980 from the end of WW2, yet it continues to be a subject of bitterness & contention in a way that WW2 & Korea (which was as unpopular as Vietnam) have never been.

I am from the school of thought that believes the war was not won & lost in Washington, but in Hanoi & especially Saigon. I believe that the RVN was an unlikely proposition from the start that was most likely doomed before the first American combat unit set foot in Vietnam. The extremely slim chance that American intervention might change the outcome was doomed by an ill concieved strategy, inappropriate tactics & a poor understanding of friend & foe alike.

None of this makes the final outcome any the less tragic, especially for those Vietnamese who didn't want to live under communism. They deserved better than the nation created in their name. Their pain continues & is encapsulated in the words of a local pathologist I sometimes visit who simply told me 'I have no country to go home to'.

*Trivia: Admiral George 'Steve' Morrison, father of the Doors lead singer, organised the relief effort for the Vietnamese evacuees on Guam.

Some famous images:

An Air America chopper evacuates people from atop the Pittman Apartments.

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A PAVN Tank enters the grounds of the Presidential Palace.

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A mural in the Saigon Museum giving a somewhat prosaic rendition of the taking of the Presidential palace.

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phoggy
01 May 10,, 15:17
On this saddest day in my life I was a very young lieutenant, commanding a platoon paratrooper of the ARVN´s 8th Airborne Battallion. After our last heavy fights with units of 4th Corps of the communist army from North Vietnam in and around Xuan Loc we were forced to retreat to build up a new defence line northern of Saigon, the then capital of South Vietnam.

Two days later (30.April 1975) we had to lay down weapons after the speech calling down arms by the last president of South Vietnam, Duong Van Minh, in order to prepare the so called « transfer of power to the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam, the puppet government of the North Vietnamese Communists in Hanoi ».
I gave the last order to my platoon, that they had been no more tied to the oath at their entlistment and could go home to their families. I had cried as I talked that to them. And my soldiers cried with me. We had lost the war.

I heard the common engine of the militaty helicopters in the blue sky over Saigon. The Hueys, Chinooks and CH-53 of the US-Army had transported people in the last hours to the US-Navy warships of the 7th Fleet waiting in the Pacific Ocean, out of the coast of Vietnam.

I had never felt so despair and resentful at that moment.
My thoughts went back to the famous letter of the Cambodian Prince Sirik Matak to US ambassador John Gunther Dean, which were printed in all Saigon´s newspapers on 13th April 1975 :

« Phnom Penh 12 April 1975

Dear Excellency and Friend,

I thank you very sincerely for your letter and for your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion. As for you, and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection, and we can do nothing about it.

You leave, and my wish is that you and your country will find happiness under this sky. But, mark it well, that if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is too bad, because we all are born and must die (one day).
I have only committed this mistake of believing in you, the Americans.

Please accept, Excellency and dear friend, my faithful and friendly sentiments. »

Everyone could take a lesion from this for themselves.
For us, paratroopers of 8th Airborne bataillion, we had no time to recognize it and had finally to pay for it with our own blood.

Game was really over.

troung
01 May 10,, 17:07
I thank you very sincerely for your letter and for your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion. As for you, and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection, and we can do nothing about it.

The Cambodian elite behaved like headless chickens for 5 years, it is they who were to blame for the fall of Cambodia. Knowing full well what type of people the KR were they decided to enrich themselves and hope that someone else would win their war for them.

Giving some stupid speech after America dumped billions of dollars to fund an army with no fight in it is a bit much.

Bigfella
01 May 10,, 23:51
The Cambodian elite behaved like headless chickens for 5 years, it is they who were to blame for the fall of Cambodia. Knowing full well what type of people the KR were they decided to enrich themselves and hope that someone else would win their war for them.

Giving some stupid speech after America dumped billions of dollars to fund an army with no fight in it is a bit much.

As one of the key figures in the 1970 coup Sirik Matak bears a particularly heavy burden for the disaater that followed. Staying in Cambodia to meet his fate was probably the most honourable thing he did in his political career (assuming he wasn't just trying to cut a deal with the new government). Lon Nol & quite a few others skiped town with pockets laden.

For all its many failings, at least the RVN & its leadership fought for their new nation. Cambodia's elites were gifted a nation & wrecked it. Then the Khmer Rouge took over. The Americans certainly behaved poorly in regard to Cambodia, but blaming them for its fate is simply proof that people like Sirik Matak never take respnsibility for their own failures.

phoggy
02 May 10,, 10:48
@Troung:
You have not understood my point as I gave the speech of Sirik Matak in my contribution in this topic.
The point is that I want to compare the behaviour of 2 leading politicians of South Vietnam (Nguyen Van Thieu) and Cambodia (Sirik Matak) at the most dramatical moment of their countries.
Thieu climbed on a US-airplane to flee out of country and let his people back with their fate.
Sirik Matak was courageous enough to refuse the offer of US-ambassador and stayed behind with a sure death for himself.
Troung, you are asian as me. I hope you can understand now what I really mean.
That is my point.

Naturally we were mainly responsible for the lost of war, not american.
Particularly when you think about over 55000 names of US-soldiers on the Black Wall in Washington, who lost their lifes for the freedom of South Vietnam. For us, we have to live with this huge spiritual debt to (and ONLY) to them and their families and never get a chance to pay back.

One small question to you, Troung :
I suppose you shouldn´t have experiences in military. So:
what would you think, when you have not enough ammo for your weapons to fighting and the OPFORCE has ten times more ? Thinking back before writing down your opinions .
For wannabe intellectuel as you it maybe just some thinking on papers.
For others, who was involved in such dramatical event, it means real blood - their own blood !

bigross86
02 May 10,, 11:12
what would you think, when you have not enough ammo for your weapons to fighting and the OPFORCE has ten times more

Look at the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. The newly found State of Israel and the IDF were attacked by 5 nation-states with many others sending troops and reinforcements. The IDF was severely outnumbered and outgunned, but still managed not only to hold on and push back their attackers, but also conquer land from them. The main failure in 1948 was the inability to hold on to the Old City of Jerusalem, but that was mainly because a large percentage of the inhabitants were Ultra-Orthodox Jews who refused to raise a hand or lift a weapon and aid in the defense of the Old City.

In 1943 the Warsaw Ghetto staged an uprising against the Nazis that lasted from mid-January through mid-May, and from mid-April until the end went head to head against increasingly larger Nazi forces and kept pushing them out of the Ghetto. I think we can both agree that the 1975 South Vietnamese were slightly better equipped than the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Jews.

Phoggy, I'm not saying that you're wrong, but it all breaks down to how much do you believe in your cause? The Israeli's and the Warsaw Jews believed enough to fight even under so called "unwinnable" conditions. In some cases surrender is the best option.

I'm not bloodthirsty, and don't revel in the loss of human life. In the end, it's motivation and belief. If you have enough of both, even the most impossible feats become possible.

troung
02 May 10,, 17:27
The point is that I want to compare the behaviour of 2 leading politicians of South Vietnam (Nguyen Van Thieu) and Cambodia (Sirik Matak) at the most dramatical moment of their countries.

For five years the Cambodian elite sat on their asses, their soldiers fired at the moon to prevent it eating the sun while the whole time hoping someone else was going to win their wars for them. Bitching about it in a whining letter doesn't change the fact that for five years Cambodia competed with Zaire for the coveted title of worst army of the post WW-2 world; all while leaders like Sirik Matak ripped the copper wires out of the walls to sell.

The Cambodian elites basically believed America was paying them for the privilege to win their civil war for them.


Sirik Matak was courageous enough to refuse the offer of US-ambassador and stayed behind with a sure death for himself.

You get no prize for running a country into the ground. Plus, he hid in the French embassy afterwards until thrown out, hardly a man ready to face death and more of someone trying to make a deal.


what would you think, when you have not enough ammo for your weapons to fighting and the OPFORCE has ten times more ? Thinking back before writing down your opinions .

If we are talking about the FANK; they at one point outnumbered and outgunned the KR. The Cambodian Air Force in 1975 is stronger then the Cambodian Air Force today.


Look at the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. The newly found State of Israel and the IDF were attacked by 5 nation-states with many others sending troops and reinforcements. The IDF was severely outnumbered and outgunned, but still managed not only to hold on and push back their attackers, but also conquer land from them. The main failure in 1948 was the inability to hold on to the Old City of Jerusalem, but that was mainly because a large percentage of the inhabitants were Ultra-Orthodox Jews who refused to raise a hand or lift a weapon and aid in the defense of the Old City.

The IDF in 1948 received relatively modern tanks, small arms, and planes all while facing the Arabs; sort of gets swept under the rug in the self congratulatory hand job. Not really the topic for it though.

bigross86
02 May 10,, 18:16
The IDF in 1948 got received relatively modern tanks, small arms, and planes during the 1948 war; sort of gets swept under the rug in the self congratulatory hand job.

The Yishuv's total strength was around 35,000 with 15,000 to 18,000 fighters and a garrison force of roughly 20,000. Initially, the Haganah (precursor to the IDF) had no heavy machine guns, artillery, armored vehicles, anti-tank or anti-aircraft weapons, nor military aircraft or tanks. According to different sources there was somewhere between one rifle for every three fighters to two rifles for every three active members.

In comparison, the Jordanian Arab Legion had 12,000 fighters including nearly 50 British officers, with 40 artillery pieces and 75 armored cars. Iraq numbered between 15,000-18,000 men and 100 airplanes. The Egyptians fielded 40,000 soldiers including one armored battalion, 2 artillery battalions and 35 fighter airplanes and 20 cargo planes converted into bombers. By the time of the second truce, the Egyptians had 20,000 men in the field in thirteen battalions equipped with 135 tanks and 90 artillery pieces. The Syrians had 12,000 soldiers and 50 planes. Lebanon sent 3,5000, Saudi Arabia sent between 800-1,200. Yemen sent a small expeditionary force.

The main influx of weaponry and manpower on the Israeli side happened after the first truce on June 11, a month after Israel was founded. For the first month, Israel held on with next to nothing. The main notable shipment of arms was 25 Avia S-199s from Czechoslovakia on May 20. Two days later these planes shot down 5 Spitfires flown by British pilots in combat over Israel. Israel only gained air superiority in the fall of 1948, months after the declaration of Independence in May. The first tanks were used on July 18 in the failed attempt to capture Latrun from the Arab Legion

The Avia S-199 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avia_S-199) is one of the pieces of so called "modern planes" the IDF used:


It was decided that as a replacement for the original engine, the aircraft would use the same engine (Junkers Jumo 211) and propeller as the Heinkel He 111 bomber. The resulting combination of parts was an aircraft with extremely poor handling qualities. The substitute engine was heavier than, and lacked the responsiveness of, the Daimler-Benz unit, and the torque created by the massive paddle-bladed propeller made control very difficult. This, in combination with the 109's narrow-track undercarriage, made landings and take-offs extremely hazardous. The Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine allowed for a central cannon mount that fired through the propellor spinner. This was not possible with the Junkers Jumo 211, and so the S-199 used a version of the Luftwaffe's Rüstsatz VI modification kit, which consisted of a pair of MG 151 cannon mounted beneath the wings. This further impinged on the aircraft's performance. A final hidden danger lay in the synchronization gear for the cowl-mounted MG 131 machine guns, which did not work as it was meant to, leading a few Israeli aircraft to shoot off their own propellers

To give you an example of the disparity of weapons and firepower, on 21 May, the Syrian army was blocked at kibbutz Degania Alef in the north, where local militia reinforced by elements of the Carmeli brigade halted Syrian armored forces with Molotov cocktails and a single PIAT. The remaining Syrian forces were driven off the next day with four "Napoleonchik" mountain guns—Israel's first use of artillery during the war, one week after the country was founded.

Troung, you seem to have a hard on against Israel, and that's fine, you're entitled to your opinion, but give credit where credit is due. To hold out against an army with tanks for over a month when you have none takes skill, and balls. For a brand new air force in crap Czech planes to shoot down British pilots is an amazing feat. To hold off the entire invading Syrian army with Molotov Cocktails one one AT gun is incredible. To later drive off said army with 4 40 year old 65mm artillery pieces is beyond incredible.

Your "self congratulatory hand job" comment reeks of your intense dislike towards Israel, up to and including disregarding the facts of the conflict and history. Well done

EDIT: I agree with you, not the right topic

troung
02 May 10,, 18:28
Your "self congratulatory hand job" comment reeks of your intense dislike towards Israel, up to and including disregarding the facts of the conflict and history. Well done

When leave out Shermans, F-51s, B-17s, FT-17s (Lebanon's mailed fist), Jordan's backroom dealings, and an overall low death total on both sides sort of change the story somewhat doesn't it? More soldiers died in the 2nd Indochina War then have died in every single Arab-Israeli conflict combined, just in the ARVN. Every single Arab-Israeli war combined.

So the whole "we fought with tenacity in a you people didn't" is a seriously misplaced when the ARVN took greater losses then all of the sides combined in the Arab-Israeli conflicts which themselves amounted to frontier skirmishes.

bigross86
02 May 10,, 19:12
When leave out Shermans, F-51s, B-17s, FT-17s (Lebanon's mailed fist), Jordan's backroom dealings, and an overall low death total on both sides sort of change the story somewhat doesn't it?

The Shermans showed up after the first Cromwells were used on July 18 therefore were not relevant or germane to the point I'm making. AFAIK, the F-51s arrived after the first truce.


More soldiers died in the 2nd Indochina War then have died in every single Arab-Israeli conflict combined, just in the ARVN. Every single Arab-Israeli war combined.

What's your point? How long were the wars the ARVN were involved in and how long were the Israeli wars? A matter of years vs weeks. The ARVN had to have had more casualties than Israel, it fielded a larger army against a larger foe for a much longer time. That's not at all the point I'm trying to convey here. What I'm saying is that until the first Truce in June 1948, the Israeli were outnumbered and outgunned and still gave much better than they got.


So the whole "we fought with tenacity in a you people didn't" is a seriously misplaced when the ARVN took greater losses then all of the sides combined in the Arab-Israeli conflicts which themselves amounted to frontier skirmishes.

How big is Vietnam, and how big is Israel? A border skirmish to Vietnam is a very large battle to Israel. If you would get past your extremely low opinion of Israel for a second, you'll also notice what I said in my first post on the topic: "Phoggy, I'm not saying that you're wrong...In some cases surrender is the best option.

I'm not bloodthirsty, and don't revel in the loss of human life. In the end, it's motivation and belief. If you have enough of both, even the most impossible feats become possible."

You seem to be the one reveling in the loss of Vietnamese life. Since the Vietnamese lost more than the Israelis, by definition the Israelis couldn't have done anything remotely resembling outfighting a far superior enemy in numbers and weaponry. I never said the Vietnamese didn't fight with tenacity, I was just commenting that what Phoggy said about "what would you think, when you have not enough ammo for your weapons to fighting and the OPFORCE has ten times more" didn't hold true 100% of the time.

Dude, you've got to stop looking for a personal attack in everything

troung
02 May 10,, 19:32
How big is Vietnam, and how big is Israel? A border skirmish to Vietnam is a very large battle to Israel. If you would get past your extremely low opinion of Israel for a second, you'll also notice what I said in my first post on the topic: "Phoggy, I'm not saying that you're wrong...In some cases surrender is the best option.

The 2nd Indochina War was for the control of SVN, Arabs and Israelis have fought short clashes for frontier territory. Self praise over the years has turned small cabinet wars into Waterloos.


What's your point? How long were the wars the ARVN were involved in and how long were the Israeli wars? A matter of years vs weeks. The ARVN had to have had more casualties than Israel, it fielded a larger army against a larger foe for a much longer time. That's not at all the point I'm trying to convey here. What I'm saying is that until the first Truce in June 1948, the Israeli were outnumbered and outgunned and still gave much better than they got.

Second Battle of Quang Tri saw more losses on both sides then in 1948. So picking some example little company sized frontier clash with a few dated tanks and using that to impinge on the ARVN which fought not only numerous defensive actions against NVA tanks but lost more men then in every single Arab-Israeli War combined is silly. At best an irrelevant waste of space. I'm sure you know little on this subject.


by definition the Israelis couldn't have done anything remotely resembling outfighting a far superior enemy in numbers and weaponry.

They split parts of Palestine with Jordan, only clashing over a few places, and out gunned the other states in carving up Palestine. Furthermore phoggy is talking about the end of the ARVN, years of dead, withdraw of the US, and shortages of supplies while the USSR/PRC stepped up support for the NVA, not some company sized clash with some Renault tanks. Sorry Israel never faced that particular situation in any of its cabinet wars.

If I fail to take things as insults then I would no longer fit in.

bigross86
02 May 10,, 19:49
The 2nd Indochina War was for the control of SVN, Arabs and Israelis have fought short clashes for frontier territory. Self praise over the years has turned small cabinet wars into Waterloos.

I was referring solely to the 1948 War of Independence, hardly a border skirmish when the capital and the largest cities are bombed from the air and by artillery. But once again, please look at the scale difference between Israel and Vietnam, not only in population and military size, but land area as well. What to Vietnam is something on the level of a border skirmish is comparatively a major battle for a country the size of Israel. Add to that that the ARVN mainly fought against the NVA while Israel fought 5 different countries plus contingents from many other countries.


Second Battle of Quang Tri saw more losses on both sides then in 1948. So picking some example little company sized frontier clash with a few dated tanks and using that to impinge on the ARVN which fought not only numerous defensive actions against NVA tanks but lost more men then in every single Arab-Israeli War combined is silly. At best an irrelevant waste of space. I'm sure you know little on this subject.

You're comparing a battle that lasted for 81 days with a battle that lasted less than a month, and are drawing support from that that you had more casualties. Of course you would, you fought for longer with a larger army against a larger foe than what you're comparing to, which is the same thing I said before. Once again, I am not impinging on the ARVN. My contention is that Phoggy's claim about being outgunned and outmanned does not always hold 100% true, something I have proven a number of times but you continue to ignore and belittle for some reason.


They split parts of Palestine with Jordan, only clashing over a few places, and out gunned the other states in carving up Palestine. Furthermore phoggy is talking about the end of the ARVN, years of dead, withdraw of the US, and shortages of supplies while the USSR/PRC stepped up support for the NVA, not some company sized clash with some Renault tanks. Sorry Israel never faced that particular situation in any of its cabinet wars.

The main thing about you that irritates me is that I am more than willing to give credit where credit is due, and aside from that don't belittle the ARVN dead. You seem (to me, at least) to gain pleasure from saying that the Israeli dead are worthless, mainly because the ARVN fought larger battles and had more dead. The fact that one thing has absolutely no bearing on the other is irrelevant to you. A dead soldier is a dead soldier. So I give up. If you won't listen to a word I say, how am I supposed to have a debate or discussion with you? When you are willing to listen to what I'm saying instead of just banging your drum and beating your dead horse over and over again, let me know. Well done.


If I fail to take things as insults then I would no longer fit in.

Sounds to me like someone has low self-esteem issues, but I'm not qualified to make that judgment since I have no training or experience in the field and know you solely from you ranting and raving here on the forum

troung
02 May 10,, 19:59
Once again, I am not impinging on the ARVN. My contention is that Phoggy's claim about being outgunned and outmanned does not always hold 100% true, something I have proven a number of times but you continue to ignore and belittle for some reason.

You were.


You're comparing a battle that lasted for 81 days with a battle that lasted less than a month, and are drawing support from that that you had more casualties.

Your "example" was irrelevant and silly, that was my point. An individual clash within border skirmish compared to a conflict which saw over a million people die.


The main thing about you that irritates me is that I am more than willing to give credit where credit is due, and aside from that don't belittle the ARVN dead. You seem (to me, at least) to gain pleasure from saying that the Israeli dead are worthless, mainly because the ARVN fought larger battles and had more dead. The fact that one thing has absolutely no bearing on the other is irrelevant to you. A dead soldier is a dead soldier. So I give up. If you won't listen to a word I say, how am I supposed to have a debate or discussion with you? When you are willing to listen to what I'm saying instead of just banging your drum and beating your dead horse over and over again, let me know. Well done.

Not worthless but irrelevant to the thread, you up showed in your customary plaid pants and a tuba with no idea on the topic and made a snide comment about holding out when clearly phoggy was discussing a situation far different then some town fighting a skirmish and using that town as an example to discuss belief in a cause is down right insulting. Over two hundred thousand members of the ARVN died fighting, numerous ARVN units fought off far larger units of the NVA and to besmirch that with some unrelated crap about some skirmish involving the newly formed Syrian army in the middle of a conflict where both sides lost a fraction of what the ARVN lost over 15 years, is down right silly.

Didn't even come up with a Leningrad, Stalingrad or something big; the ARVN had plenty of fire bases fight off attackers while under coordinated combined arms attacks; so other then mentioning some irrelevant skirmish what did mentioning that town prove? Hey you could have dug up an example of the ARVN holding positions against tanks, but your last minute googling came up short I'm sure.

Bigfella
03 May 10,, 09:58
BR,

I don't want to get involved in the argument you are having & I don't really want to drag the thread any further off course. I also don't want to be seen as in any way downplaying the fighting spirit or professionalism of the Israeli forces in 1948 or any subsequent wars. I don't think, however, that the comparison you made are entirely fair.

The PAVN circa early 1975 was an armed force the like of which Israel has never faced. It was not a series of newly created national armies of varying quality under differnt national governments & different commands. It was a single, highly trained, highly drilled & highly experienced force. At its core were a cadre of officers & men who had been in combat against the most powerful nation in the world for a decade & in some cases against the French too. Add to this a 'holy war' mentality - this was the great crusade to unify the nation. Nothing the ARVN could muster (and they fought magnificently on occasion) was going to stop these guys, it was simply a question of when. In this conflict it is easiest to think of the PAVN as the IDF & the ARVN as Syria or Egypt.

Worse, they a strategic position that always gave them an advantage. They could cut up the RVN like a sausage. Remember too that the RVN had been fighting for its life virtually from the start. First it was guerilla war, but by the early 60s it was increasingly in large scale & relentless. There were periods of less combat, but even 'peace' in the RVN looked more like Lebanon 1982-86 than Israel at any given 'peaceful' moment. In a society that was most likely fatally divided from the start this sort of pressure was corrosive. Add a fickle ally, a corrupt & authoritarian government & a military that could most charitably be described as 'uneven' (best comparison is probably some of the armies of your near neghbours in time gone by) and you don't have a recipie for a Stalingrad.

Sometimes will does matter - Singapore, Stalingrad, the Golan, the Marne. But sometimes it doesn't. Berlin was going to fall to the Russians in 1945. Baghdad was going to fall to the Americans in 2003. Saigon was going to fall to the communists. It might not have been in 1975. The PAVN had planned an 18 month campaign ending in 1976. My bet is that even if the Americans had supplied the weapons & ammo promised & every ARVN unit had fought its hardest they would still have lost.

I'm not sure how much you know about the specifics, but here is some info on the Battle of Xuan Loc - where Phoggy commanded troops (if I understood his post correctly). It was as intense a battle as I can readily think of. The closest example that comes to mind in Israel's history is the Golan in 1973, except there were no reinforcements coming for these men & they faced an enemy that could just keep on pushing. Check out the links at the end of the article too. As a combat vet you'll understand better than me just how hard these guys fought.

Battle of Xuân L?c - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Xu%C3%A2n_L%E1%BB%99c)


Look at the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. The newly found State of Israel and the IDF were attacked by 5 nation-states with many others sending troops and reinforcements. The IDF was severely outnumbered and outgunned, but still managed not only to hold on and push back their attackers, but also conquer land from them. The main failure in 1948 was the inability to hold on to the Old City of Jerusalem, but that was mainly because a large percentage of the inhabitants were Ultra-Orthodox Jews who refused to raise a hand or lift a weapon and aid in the defense of the Old City.

In 1943 the Warsaw Ghetto staged an uprising against the Nazis that lasted from mid-January through mid-May, and from mid-April until the end went head to head against increasingly larger Nazi forces and kept pushing them out of the Ghetto. I think we can both agree that the 1975 South Vietnamese were slightly better equipped than the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Jews.

Phoggy, I'm not saying that you're wrong, but it all breaks down to how much do you believe in your cause? The Israeli's and the Warsaw Jews believed enough to fight even under so called "unwinnable" conditions. In some cases surrender is the best option.

I'm not bloodthirsty, and don't revel in the loss of human life. In the end, it's motivation and belief. If you have enough of both, even the most impossible feats become possible.

hanswu25
06 May 10,, 13:45
Estimated casualties of Vietnam war

Estimates from causalities from the Second Indochina War (Vietnam War) (http://www.vietnam-about.com/forums/showthread.php/1595-Estimates-from-causalities-from-the-Second-Indochina-War-%28Vietnam-War%29)

hanswu25
06 May 10,, 14:06
.................................................. ................

drhuy
20 May 10,, 19:24
bigross86, I admire what Israeli have done so far. But to be fair, the US hasnt abandoned you like they abandoned South VN.