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History In Pictures

History In Pictures
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During Fighting In The Pacific During WW2 Who Was Tougher?
 
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"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana

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Vietnam War: The Viet Cong

America was on a ego-trip when it sent its soldiers into Vietnam. "Our democracy is best for everybody in the world. These poor Vietnamese have to be saved from these commies" was the thinking. The Vietcong have come to have a negative image of sly little Vietnamese fighters who attacked and disappeared and killed good American soldiers. 

Viewed in another sense....

The Vietcong were freedom-fighters who believed in a better Vietnam. May be yes. Who knows what is best for humankind? American style capitalist democracy? Or Chinese capitalist communism? Who were the bad guys in Vietnam? The Americans? Or the Vietcong and the NVA?

Tough to say...

A Vietcong lays a mine

WHO WERE THE VIETCONG?

The Viet Cong, or National Liberation Front (NLF), was a leftist, political and military insurgent movement which was created in 1960 in South Vietnam and Cambodia to fight against South Vietnamese and American forces during the Vietnam War (1959-1975). The Viet Cong had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized and armed peasants in the territory it controlled. Many soldiers were recruited in South Vietnam, but others were attached to the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), which was the regular North Vietnamese army. The Viet Cong was a tool used by the communist government of North Vietnam to overthrow the South Vietman government and unite the country as one communist nation. Many of the Vietcong’s core members were "regroupees," southern Viet Minh guerrillas who had resettled in the North after the Geneva Accord (1954). Hanoi gave the regroupees military training and sent them back to the South along the Ho Chi Minh trail in the early 1960s. Northerners and southerners communist guerrillas were always under the same command structure.

The name "Viet Cong" derives from "Viet gian cong san", which means "Communist Traitor to Vietnam." It was a derogatory term that Ngo Dinh Diem gave to his communist opponents. The word appeared in Saigon newspapers for the first time in 1956. However, the earliest citation for "Vietcong" in English is from 1957. American soldiers referred to the Vietcong as Victor Charlie or VC. "Victor" and "Charlie" are both letters in the NATO phonetic alphabet. "Charlie" referred to communist forces in general, both Vietcong and North Vietnamese.

VIDEO


Viet Cong dead after an attack on the perimeter of Tan Son Nhut Air Base 

VIDEO: VIETCONG: PART 1



Vietnam, May 1968. With fear and apprehension showing on their faces, and at the urging of South Vietnamese troops, women and children scurry past the bodies of three Viet Cong killed in the fighting. (The stall in the backgound is an ice cream stand.)

VIETCONG: PART 2



VIDEO



This picture showing Viet Cong prisoners being loaded into a South Vietnamese Jeep was taken in 1962



It was perhaps the most controversial cover for LIFE magazine, which usually steered clear of controversy. Paul Schutzers captured this image of a VietCong prisoner gagged and bound, being taken prisoner by American forces during the Vietnam War. Photography and news coverage like this helped to turn the American public against the Vietnam war.

Schutzer, one of LIFE’s best photographers, worked frequently in the Middle East during his short career and there he would perish too: he was killed on assignment on June 5, 1967, the first day of the Six-Day War between Israel and its neighbouring states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.










It is almost dehumanizing to personally witness the execution, no matter what the victim had done. It mattered a little that the person about to be executed was a Viet Cong Guerrilla named Bay Hop responsible for killing twelve only that fateful morning. It matter a little that his group of guerillas had slaughtered the family of his executioner’s best friend in a house just up the road. America–a nation that still supports death penalty by overwhelming numbers (for various reasons)–was shocked to its core. In the picture, its framing, its lighting and its depth mattered little. For instance, picture was cropped again and again just to display the general and his victim. However, the act, ‘the thing itself’ spoke directly–the general is the personification of America’s hidden hand and her dirty involvement in the Vietnam Quagmire. The fact that the executioner was American-educated and trained Brig. General Nguyen Ngoc Loan (then South Vietnam’s National Chief of Police) did not help either.

In Adams’s photograph, we see Loan firing a bullet point blank into Hop’s head; Hop, wincing, appears to be receiving the bullet. Ironically enough, it has been argued that Ngoc Loan was only interested in publicly assassinating the Viet Cong prisoner because there were AP press corps there to capture the image. For him, the photographic evidence of the execution was meant to teach the Vietcong what would happen to their forces if caught.

The photograph was published on the front page of the New York Times and, along with the NBC film of the same event, is credited with having provoked the civilian outrage that lead to massive demonstrations against the war. Although the above photo was not as graphically violent an ending as shown by the television footage of the same incident, for many viewers, the picture was a climactic moment, proclaiming the horror and immorality of the war, signifying its barbarity and its incoherence. Within two months, President Johnson would be announcing his desire not to pursue a second term.
Source: iconicphotos

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WW2 SPECIALS

Von Stauffenberg: The Man Who Almost Killed HITLER
After several unsuccessful tries by Stauffenberg to meet Hitler, G├Âring and Himmler when they were together, he went ahead with the attempt at Wolfsschanze on 20 July, 1944. Stauffenberg entered the briefing room carrying a briefcase containing two small bombs. The location had unexpectedly been changed from the subterranean F├╝hrerbunker to Speer's wooden barrack/hut. He left the room to arm the first bomb with specially-adapted pliers, a task made difficult because he had lost his right hand and had only three fingers on his left. A guard knocked and opened the door, urging him to hurry as the meeting was about to begin. As a result, Stauffenberg was able to arm only one of the bombs. He left the second bomb with his aide-de-camp, Werner von Haeften, and returned to the briefing room, where he placed the briefcase under the conference table, as close as he could to Hitler. Some minutes later, he excused himself and left the room.

Please note...

In articles related to the Eastern Front of WW2, the Soviet Union has been commonly referred to as Russia. This is because the Soviet Union was mainly Russia. Other states like Ukraine, Georgia, Byelorussia were in comparision very small.
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Quotes about War...

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
--George McGovern

Quotes about War....

'Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
--Mao Tse-Tung (1893 - 1976)

Quotes about War....

"We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide."
--Havelock Ellis

Quotes about war....

"War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man."
--Napoleon Hill