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Viewing Topic "Vo nguyen Giap A living legend"
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Posted by: xeneize 102 years old!!!, Giap defeated the french and the americans, until now is winning to the time, perhaps soon will lost this unwinnable battle, but if exist a heaven, or a hell for the greatest generals, Giap will be there!!!. A history teacher than in December of 1944, was in front of 34 soldiers, less of ten years, was at the de Castries CP in Dien Bien Phu, in 1975 was at command of a millón of soldiers and in Saigón!!!
Posted on: 27/08/2013 01:31:00

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Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
A book about him required in the Brazilian SOF course, "Victory at Any Cost". I have one of his books, a Portuguese book, named "Manual da Estratégia Subversiva".
Posted on: 27/08/2013 02:15:00
Posted by: xeneize
Total Posts: 75
Joined Date: Friday, 18 January 2013
Amaral. i have "Giap, the victor in Vietnam" and i am waiting for "Giap" in Amazon in September.
Posted on: 27/08/2013 02:29:00
Posted by: scratchbuilder
Total Posts: 51
Joined Date: Saturday, 6 July 2013
For anyone who has not already read it, I would suggest the Chinese classic, Sun Tsu: The Art Of War. Not only is it a great work of military philosophy in its own right, but anyone who wishes to understand the great oriental commanders such as Giap needs to read it. Giap did! It has been widely translated and should be available in most modern languages.
Posted on: 27/08/2013 10:31:00
Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
@xeneise&scratchbuilder: I believe the biggest difference is that the oriental way was more concerned with the amount of space they controlled, while the Westerners only tried to focus on the individuals like cats chasing mice. I have a version of Sun Tzu
Posted on: 27/08/2013 16:32:00
Posted by: formwiz
Total Posts: 4
Joined Date: Sunday, 11 November 2012
Giap won as much as anything because of the Communist sympathizers in America. 10 years earlier, with the Commies blacklisted, it may well have been a different story.
Posted on: 27/08/2013 22:15:00
Posted by: xeneize
Total Posts: 75
Joined Date: Friday, 18 January 2013
Formwiz. for the USA, Vietnam is a great "IF", for the last 30 years i am tired of listen "one more offensive, one more B-52 strike, one more year of combat, more money to SV". In Afghanistan, after twelve years, against a enemy than can't even be compared to the NVA, are in the same situation as Vietnam.
Posted on: 28/08/2013 00:02:00
Posted by: formwiz
Total Posts: 4
Joined Date: Sunday, 11 November 2012
I love how people project. First, the US only fought the NVA and VC for 8 years and destroyed the VC in the Tet Offensive. From '69 on, it was an NVA war. Second, what I thought should have been done I never mentioned. We should have gone to Hanoi - yeah, boots on the ground - and cleared the Ho Chi Minh Trail which means going into Laos and Cambodia - and not for 6 weeks. No B-52s, no clear it out and leave - finish it. Giap counted on us doing what LBJ did because that's what Harry Truman did in Korea. If we'd go along by those rules, he'd win. If we did it the way George Marshall did against Germany and Japan, he'd lose. He was counting on LBJ being afraid of the Russians. No great strategem, no brilliance, just a little political science.
Posted on: 28/08/2013 21:24:00
Posted by: formwiz
Total Posts: 4
Joined Date: Sunday, 11 November 2012
PS I never mentioned A-stan. You want to talk A-stan and how Little Zero screwed it up, that's another thread.
Posted on: 28/08/2013 21:26:00
Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
formwiz If the Americans had invaded Hanoi they would be forced out in the same way they were in Korea; US bibliography likes to forget that. The American strategy was bad and that's why it failed. Blame the internal subversion is an excuse the US military used to be self-indulgent. While I tend to disagree with xeneise (I am Brazilian, he is Argentinean; I focus on the security forces, he focus on the irregulars) but the American defeat was in great part to be blamed on the Americans themselves. "Our problem was not so much political interference as it was the lack of a coherent military strategy - a lack for which our military leaders share a large burden of responsability." (Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., "American Strategy in Vietnam - A Critical Analysis", pp. 88) As for the geniality of Giap, the knowledge of political science only confirms it. War is politics, so political science is part of what is called "strategy". Aside from his knowledge of the Amerians, his logistical efforts in the Dien Bien Phu campaign are a matter of geniality in itself. And just to remember, the American defeat in Korea in 1950 was much more costly than the French defeat in Dien Bien Phu. People like to forget that... Another US scapegoat was the ARVN: http://www.ospreypublishing.com/forum/thread.aspx?SectionID=38&ThreadID=2999
Posted on: 28/08/2013 23:56:00
Posted by: xeneize
Total Posts: 75
Joined Date: Friday, 18 January 2013
Formwiz. GO TO HANOI???, the french army was in Hanói, so? in less than ten years was defeated,. The US Army is in Kabul, and is not even near, after twelve years, of defeat the Taliban. the great lesson of Vietnam is forgoten in USA: high tech weapons are NOT a sustitute of strategy!!!!!!
Posted on: 29/08/2013 00:54:00
Posted by: xeneize
Total Posts: 75
Joined Date: Friday, 18 January 2013
Amaral. You are rigth, the worst defeat in USA history don't was Vietnam, was North Korea in 1950!!! . Giap speak french, of course, you love it!!!
Posted on: 29/08/2013 01:00:00
Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
He was a history teacher in France. Ho Chi Minh said that he didn't learn about revolution in the rice fields of South East Asia, but at the streets of Paris. One must admire their military competence despite the cause behind them.
Posted on: 29/08/2013 03:08:00
Posted by: formwiz
Total Posts: 4
Joined Date: Sunday, 11 November 2012
I seem to remember in Korea, the US Army fought their way back from the Red Chinese offensive and won the war. Even the Red Chinese eventually realized there was an end to the bodies. As for 'Nam, the reason the NVA could stay in the field was supply from the Russians and the rest of the Commie world. Cut off the supply routes and destroy them in detail. After Tet, it was clear the people wanted nothing to do with the Commies (hate to pop your Maoist bubble) and it was pretty much a conventional war from then, but, fighting the war solely in the South would have been like fighting WWII in Europe by never leaving France and crossing the Rhine, so invading the North, both from the sea and across the DMZ, and occupying the Ho Chi Minh Trail was the only way to go. And, if we're going to talk about the French holding Hanoi, let's remember these are the people who lined their roads with trees because the Germans liked to march in the shade. The last good fight France put up was on the Marne.
Posted on: 29/08/2013 22:48:00
Posted by: scratchbuilder
Total Posts: 51
Joined Date: Saturday, 6 July 2013
The Ho Chih Min Trail wasn't a nice wide hiking trail through the woods, it was a complex of back roads, village cart tracks and peasant footpaths, thirty or forty kilometres wide. Bombing it was a complete waste of time and resources. Viet Nam was a very poor country and the people, particularly the peasants, never threw anything away if it could still be used. In the country areas they were still using 19th century French "boneshaker" bicycles with solid cast iron frames. When the factory made wire spoked wheels finally fell apart, they went to the village craftsmen and had a pair of miniature, wooden spoked, iron tired cartwheels made to fit. It was cheaper than buying new modern ones. They found that with the stronger wheels the frame could carry a much greater weight than a human body. The old bicycles were used to free wheel heavy objects from one village to another. The communists noted this and commandeered all the old bikes in the areas they controlled. Seats, pedals and chains were discarded. The village craftsmen were ordered to fit the bikes with a wooden shelf, which ran from just behind the handlebars to the pillion, secured to the solid iron crossbar. Four or five ammunition boxes would be lashed to the shelf. A couple of sacks of rice, or preserved vegetables, or dried fish, would be offered up under the crossbar and lashed into place. A peasant woman could move 150 to 200 kilo's fifteen to twenty kilometres per day. There was a village relay system, under which a woman would be ordered to move a bike to the next village, where she would turn it over to the headman and take an empty home if one was available. Crude and low volume, but it worked!
Posted on: 30/08/2013 00:54:00
Posted by: scratchbuilder
Total Posts: 51
Joined Date: Saturday, 6 July 2013
As an Englishman I thoroughly enjoy a bit of frog-baiting! However, calling the French nation cowards is false and uncalled for.
Posted on: 30/08/2013 01:00:00
Posted by: .George Washington
Total Posts: 164
Joined Date: Friday, 21 June 2013
It is a great shame Command was cancelled so we have no hope of seeing a book on Giap.
Posted on: 30/08/2013 03:06:00
Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
When the UN forces regrouped in South Korea they never again invaded the North, nor did they inflict any crippling defeat on the Chinese; so it is very "optimistic" to believe they won. After the war, MacArthur made wild claims of boldness and how the Americans might have won the and easily defeat the Chinese if not for those annoying civvies back home. As Stanley Sadler remembers its readers in his book ["The Korean War: No Victors, No Vanquished"], the general selectively forgot how the Chinese inflicted a crushing defeat in his proud army and sent it healing all the way back to the south of the peninsula. I think I see a pattern here... For the NVA, the Soviet and Chinese supply is just an exercise on the obvious. Of course they were funding Hanoi's war effort, that's just obvious. That's what the Cold War was all about, indirect use of pieces in a worldwide chessboard. Cutting the supplies routes was the obvious thing to do, and the ARVN suggested that - but the Americans knew better... After Tet-68 Hanoi reverted again to guerrilla warfare. They only resumed mobile warfare (conventional division level operations) in 1972. It's not because the guerrillas were manned by regular personnel that the operations were "conventional". They didn't fight to take and hold fixed positions in a clear frontline. Instead, they use hit and run tactics, ambushes and roadblocking. They only stand and fight to blood the nose of the Free World forces, after that they brake contact and scatter like in Hamburguer Hill. In the next month they were operating there like nothing had happened. The American "body count" strategy was nonsense and bound to fail, even as early as 1963 it was labeled as absurd. The guerrilla lives by controling populations, that's how it gets its supplies and recruiting pool. A dead guerrilla is replaced by the environment, therefore the continual control of space is the gravitacional point in guerrilla warfare. By the Maoist doctrine, this will eventually lead to the mobile phase. Concerning this phase we have two conclusions: - The VC was depleted in Tet-68, but because they were expendable and an obstacle to Hanoi's plans to rule over Sout Vietnam. - Although the South Vietnamese didn't want Communism (and fought side-by-side with the French and the Americans) and supported the ARVN and the other Free World Forces, the North could bring in reinforcements down the Ho Chi Minh trail to beef up the battered guerrilla units the environment was no longer replacing - the Communist ideology failed to conquer the "hearts&minds" of the South Vietnamese population. Only if the Free World Forces isoleted the enemy from infiltration, would the COIN strategy work. They never tried that, and the Americans (especially Westmoreland) are to blame. The ARVN always advocated that. But again, the Americans knew better... As for the French, I hate to bust you "American superhero" bubble: "In mid-1965, the North Vietnamese Military Training Department began producing documents showing America's strenghts and weakness. Their strong points were listed as technology, firepower and mechanization. Their weak points were weather, terrain and people - the three basic unities in Sun Tzu's military manual. For the United States, the geography and tropical weather of Vietnam, along with US public disapproval of the conflict, were all unfamiliar and unfavorable. The documents also compared American troops unfavorably to the French Army, and stated that French troops (Legionnaires, Euro-Africans) were bold and daring, more understanding of the local society and terrain, and more experienced and specialized. Other American weakness perceived by Hanoi's Joint General Staff included the fact that their fighting objective was not clear. They often met with dissension, including protests from the anti-war activists back home in America. Their rotation cycle was too brief, so they felt unsure of themselves at the start of their deployment and then, after acquiring experience, they started to think about how to play it safe, so they could return home to their families unharmed. Another important weakness was the fact that the number of combat soldiers was actually only one-fifth or one-sixth the total number of US soldiers deployed in Vietnam. Accustomed to rely on air and artillery firepower, Hanoi believed that even these combat soldiers were afraid to fight at close range; they lost their spirit fast without air or artillery support." - Bui Tin, "Fight for the Long Haul - The War as seen by a Soldier in the People's Army of Vietnam". Part of: Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land, Chapter 3, pp. 65. Bui Tin served the VN People's Army from 1945 to 1982, fighting against the French, South Vietnamese, Americans and Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. Was present in 1975 in Saigon to accept the surrender of the South Vietnamese government.
Posted on: 30/08/2013 05:11:00
Posted by: scratchbuilder
Total Posts: 51
Joined Date: Saturday, 6 July 2013
In military terms the Korean War was a draw. Everybody ended up more or less back at the 38th parallel. The peninsula was dust and ashes, almost from the banks of the Yalu River in the extreme North, almost to the port city of Pusan in the extreme South. Six decades later South Korea is a fully functioning democracy, with a high standard of living and one of the most successful industrial manufacturing economies in the world. North Korea is a bankrupt, starving, one party police state, where the ordinary people don't even have access to electric light. The suffering of the North Korean people will continue for some time, but their masters are doomed. This is the true victory!
Posted on: 30/08/2013 09:35:00
Posted by: formwiz
Total Posts: 4
Joined Date: Sunday, 11 November 2012
I hadn't foreseen a discussion of Korea, but, since we're here, Harry Truman, after sacking MacArthur, wasn't going to allow another invasion of the North, if only for political reasons. As for a draw, the purpose of the war was to pull South Korea into the Communist sphere. It failed. Disastrously. We won. As for 'Nam, I can only go by what I've seen, not the least of which is Giap's own admission, "If I kill 100,000 Americans, I win". He knew the KGB was using the college campuses and media in the US to turn public opinion, all he had to do was wait it out. No great genius, except in some heads that like the idea of the Americans laid low. Johnson never wanted to fight the war to win it, so we were stuck with Robert Strange McNamara's ideas of warfighting as cost accounting. It took the NVA 3 years to recover from the Cambodian Incursion and they were badly hurt after Tet. Like it or not,, ambushes were the best they could do. Had we followed the British model in Malays, things might have been different, but the idea Giap was some military genius is the figment of a lot of Che wannabes. The war was lost in the US, not 'Nam. As for the French, their record, from Fort Necessity to the Persian Gulf, speaks for itself.
Posted on: 31/08/2013 00:16:00
Posted by: scratchbuilder
Total Posts: 51
Joined Date: Saturday, 6 July 2013
formwitz: The whole objective of the NVA campaign was to cause casualties. They couldn't take and hold ground against a first world mechanised army and they knew it. Giap's strategy was to impose a steady trickle of casualties, in the knowledge that American public opinion would eventually force an evacuation. The Taliban are following exactly the same strategy in Afghanistan, with exactly the same result. "The Commies" are a wonderful excuse for conditions within the US, but there is more substance than that. Viet Nam conscription was selective rather than universal. Total mobilisation was not required, so the names of all eligable eighteen year olds were pooled and drawn at random until a quota had been reached. So far so good! There were deferments and immunities. University students were deferred until they had finished their education. Young deferred men from well to do (predominantly white) backgrounds would be kept at university by their families, on postgraduate courses, until they had passed their 26th birthday and were immune. Immunities were granted to apprentices and skilled workers because they were essential to the economy. Also the first born sons of farmers and sons who could claim to be essential labour in a family business, or sole support to a widowed mother. As a result the draft fell largely upon low wage unskilled working class youths and poor communities with naturally high unemployment rates. While many of these youths were white, a disproportionate number were black or hispanic. This dovetailed neatly into the already established politics of grievance, of that period. It should also be noted that this system produced a high proportion of maladjusted, uneducated recruits, with low motivation and bad achievement rates. This helps to explain the malaise which gripped the US forces, particularly the infantry, in the latter stages of the war.
Posted on: 31/08/2013 01:09:00

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