Talk:Vietnam War

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Former good article nominee Vietnam War was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
April 6, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
On this day... Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on March 8, 2004, April 30, 2004, April 30, 2005, and April 30, 2006.
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Vietnam War:
  • Edit down individual sections into separate articles to reduce the size of this article.
  • Add section on Kissinger's secret negotiations.
  • Add a timeline on the start of American involvement, including troop levels, especially during major increases in troops. It is not clear how involvement started or escalated.
  • Add totally absent section on the actual warfare and walktrough of major battles and also details of the war such as the Viet Cong's vast tunnel systems.
This article has been mentioned by a media organization:

122mm rockets are not "gunfire"[edit]

In the "Women in Vietnam War" section it states that Sharon Ann Lane was killed by enemy "gunfire". She was not. She was killed by a barrage of 122mm rockets launched by the Viet Cong. Rockets are not guns. Also, she did not work 12 hour shifts because they were "short staffed". In Vietnam EVERYBODY worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. Also, Sharon was the ONLY American military woman killed in combat in Vietnam, and I think this should be mentioned. Also, the article states that at the beginning of the Vietnam War it was thought that women had no place in the military. This is outrageous! Women served in WWII and Korea and were an integral part of the military. (talk) 04:47, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Do you have sources for this?Slatersteven (talk) 11:09, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

American women who died in combat.


Georgette "Dickey" Chappelle

Killed by a mine on patrol with Marines outside Chu Lai, November 4, 1965.

Phillipa Schuyler

Killed in a firefight, Da Nang, May 9, 1966.

    That's some good research.  You should also mention the many women who were killed when the C5A cargo plane they were on evacuating a whole lot of war orphans crashed (Operation Babylift).  But Sharon Ann Lane remains the only female member of the American MILITARY who died in combat.  As such she received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star with Combat "V" and the highest award of the South Vietnamese, the Military Medal, equivalent to our Medal of Honor.


Carolyn Griswald

Killed in a raid on the leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot during Tet 1968.

Janie A. Makil

Shot in an ambush, Dalat, March 4, 1963. Janie was five months old.

Ruth Thompson

Killed in a raid on the leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot, February 1, 1968.

Ruth Wilting

Killed in a raid on the leprosarium in Ban Me Thuot, February 1, 1968.

    ***See above paragraph. (talk) 00:02, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
   --Here's the particular public law that lifted the 2% maximum enlistment for women and allowed them also to become admirals and generals:  Public Law 90-l30, passed in 1967 during the Vietnam War, so the first female generals were during the Vietnam War in 1970.  So I hardly think women were "oppressed" during the Vietnam War, as the article states. The article needs to be re-written. (talk) 00:41, 22 March 2017 (UTC)````
OK name one female general who had a command position during in the Vietnam WAR?Slatersteven (talk) 14:34, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
 --On June 11, 1970 President Nixon promoted Anna Mae Hays to Brigadier General, she was Chief  of the Army Nurse Corps; on the same day Nixon Promoted Elizabeth Paschel Hoisington to Brigadier General, she was Director of the Women's Army Corps.  These were the first two women to become generals. (talk) 16:08, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
So they did not have combat commands, in t e war zone and commanded female units. Sorry not sure this disproves the idea that women did not enjoy equal rights in the US army during Vietnam.Slatersteven (talk) 16:14, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
        • All military commands can serve in combat. For instance General Elizabeth Hoisington served in France after D-Day and received the Bronze Star and French Croix de Guerre, and these are war medals. (talk) 16:57, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Which is irrelevant, did they command troops in combat? If not then they had "administrative" command only. In essence this was the start of a long road to equality, to paraphrase Churchill, this was not then end of the beginning, but the beginning of the start. Even today women do not enjoy full equality in the military.Slatersteven (talk) 17:03, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

However what we think is unimportant, do you have any RS saying that women were not oppressed during the war.?Slatersteven (talk) 17:04, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

   I think you're the victim of the "Feminist False Narrative".  Remember, feminism is communism, it's Cultural Marxism using Critical Theory.  And communists lie.  So feminists lie.  I was in the Vietnam War and women were treated very well, we were governed by the UCMJ.  The military was only 2% women, so they were rare and well treated and protected.  Nowadays, with, I think, 14% of the Army being female, there's all kinds of problems.  Women getting pregnant on aircraft carriers and having to leave ship, drill instructors raping women, etc.  But I don't recall anything like that happening in the 1960's. RS on this I'd have to look around a bit, since it was never a matter for concern in those days. (talk) 02:53, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Well when you have the sources we can discus how to include them.Slatersteven (talk) 09:59, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
    • Here's something: General Dwight Eisenhower never served in combat, he has no combat medals. So I guess he falls into the same "administrative" group as female Generals Hoisington and Hays. ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:22, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
    • And here's something: I was in the states at a hospital because of a war injury and the head nurse on the ward was a snotty, pushy obnoxious 2nd Lt. that everybody hated. Rather than laud women in the military as perfect angels I think we should look at it realistically, they are just humans and some of them were really ill mannered. (talk) 11:39, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
You have a source for it include it, as to IKe, he commanded combat troops.Slatersteven (talk) 11:50, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
      • I just ran across this interesting tidbit that you've been looking for: Capt. Linda Bray, US Army, was the first woman to lead American troops in combat. It was Panama, Operation Just Cause, in 1989. She captured a dog kennel. True fact! (talk) 11:58, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Total Army involved from Vietnam War are wrong[edit]

The number of army from total China, North Vietnam and Vietcong are only 500,000 but total loss 1,100,000. It must be something wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:42, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Source please?Slatersteven (talk) 10:00, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
It's not a mistake, but it can be confusing. The estimates of soldiers fighting in South Vietnam is calculated at a point in time, e.g. 1968. The casualty estimates cover combat losses over 20 years. Example: 2.5 million US soldiers served in Vietnam; but the maximum number of US soldiers in Vietnam at one time was 500,000 plus. Of those 2.5 million, 58,000 were killed. The table lists maximum number of US soldiers in country; but US casualties for the whole 20 years we were engaged in Vietnam.Smallchief (talk 10:31, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
    • Thanks for jumping in. I should point out that with TDY's the total amount of troops in Vietnam at its highest point was around 750,000. Also, if you include offshore Navy and troops in Thailand the number of Vietnam vets jumps to 3.5 million. Then there's a certain amount of guys who went to Vietnam on special missions where no orders were cut, so they're not annotated as Vietnam vets on the record. I went to Vietnam on SECRET orders and the military still won't acknowledge that I was there, even though they issued me the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and Vietnam Service Medal. So I'm probably not listed, and there's no way to find out. Also, of the 58,000 Americans who were killed, 10,000 were accidents and 25,000 were the result of mines and booby traps. So the North only killed 25,000 Americans in actual combat. (talk) 02:25, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure where you get your figure of 750,000 from. Peak US strength on the ground in Vietnam was 543,000 in April 1969. Obviously if you count other forces in theatre who were also engaged in the war, Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, Subic, Guam etc. that takes the figure much higher.Mztourist (talk) 06:18, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
    • The figures you quoted are PCS (Permanent Change of Station) personnel--that's your 543,000 men. But we sent tons of guys to Vietnam on TDY (Temporary Duty) and this causes the numbers to jump up considerably. In a war you move men in a hurry to wherever they're needed. (talk) 09:59, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
That's not supported by any WP:RS I know of. Mztourist (talk) 03:15, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
    • Westmoreland didn't want the public to know the actual number of troops in Vietnam was 750,000 which was well beyond the limit. It was not highly published as I recall. A TDY tour was a "half tour" so the military could add another "half tour" into your overseas duty. If we stayed longer than 60 days TDY they'd take those days off your overseas duty so we had to boogie out of Vietnam after 54 days, so as not to exceed the 60. Then they'd send us to another base in SEA. We went TDY ALL OVER SEA. I'm sure Westmoreland historians have probably read how Westmoreland bolstered troop strength by TDY's in his biographies, so jump in guys. I know that in June 1965, 59% of the Air Force in Thailand were TDY and 30% in South Vietnam were TDY. The USA didn't send its first PCS squadrons to Vietnam until 1965. One of my squadrons, early on in the war in 1965, flew 1500 missions TDY for five months out of Takhli and picked up two Combat "V's" and lost 10 of its 18 aircraft as I recall but wasn't awarded the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry because it was there on secret orders so as not to upset the political regime. So it was never there even though it became the most experienced squadron in the USAF. (talk) 07:05, 10 May 2017 (UTC) (talk) 06:32, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
    • Actually, the more I look into this TDY business the more I think the article needs a section on TDY's in Vietnam, since they constituted an additional 250,000 military. (talk) 07:14, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
You haven't offered a single WP:RS to support any of this, so unless you do any section you propose will be quickly deleted. Which "One of my squadrons, early on in the war in 1965, flew 1500 missions TDY for five months out of Takhli"? Mztourist (talk) 08:20, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
    • Here's something: "Almost 750,000 U.S. troops were present in the East Asia and Pacific Theater at the height of the Vietnam War". --That's @ (talk) 08:29, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Here's some more: read pages 146 & 147 of Jacob Staaveren's "Gradual Failure: the Air War Over North Vietnam 1965-1966", in which he describes in detail the TDY situation and recounts that the first PCS squadron wasn't until 1965. (talk) 08:49, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
      • And I was referring to the 563rd TFS flying F-105's. They were disbanded in 1972 and I was transferred to the 561st TFS, a Wild Weasel Squadron: we sent over 12 planes and 4 of them got shot down, one of them was the last F-105 shot down in the Vietnam War. (talk) 08:53, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
In which theater was Hawaii? How about Japan or South Korea?Slatersteven (talk) 14:01, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
      • Here's something: in "Trade and Security: the United States and East Asia, 1961-1969" by Charles M. Dobbs, on page 53 it states " a peak of 750,000 Americans on the ground in South Vietnam, on air bases in surroundimg countries or at sea in the region..." (talk) 21:13, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
   I should point out that 80% of US Air Force strikes in North Vietnam came from Thailand, according to the Wiki article "US Air Force in Thailand". (talk) 21:20, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
    • I was reading some C-130 sites and apparently ALL C-130's in Vietnam were TDY except for the rescue C-130's. President Johnson was getting flak from Congress about the high number of troops in Vietnam so he used TDY troops. A lot of guys who pulled missions in Vietnam TDY had no record of it so they had to use their travel vouchers to prove they were in Vietnam. So TDY troops were used on purpose to cover up the real number of troops in Vietnam. (talk) 23:16, 10 May 2017 (UTC) You said above "total amount of troops in Vietnam at its highest point was around 750,000", however the sources you are quoting state "Almost 750,000 U.S. troops were present in the East Asia and Pacific Theater at the height of the Vietnam War" and " a peak of 750,000 Americans on the ground in South Vietnam, on air bases in surroundimg countries or at sea in the region..." both sources are referring to US forces in the Southeast Asia theatre, not on the ground in Vietnam - big difference. Mztourist (talk) 03:28, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
    • I see what you're saying, but these troops pulled TDY's into Vietnam, so that would make them part of the 750,000 "boots on the ground". For example, guys would go from my Wing on Okinawa to Vietnam, come back for two days, then go back to Vietnam at another base. So they were never counted as PCS even though they were in Vietnam the majority of the time. Their PCS base was listed as their home base on Okinawa, not Vietnam. TDY's had to come from another place, obviously, and the TDY's were drawn from bases CLOSE to Vietnam. (talk) 09:23, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
And you need an RS that says this, not your OR anecdotes.Slatersteven (talk) 11:56, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
The trouble with your reasoning is that you're proposing to initiate a never ending chain. If you count the AF personnel in Thailand and Okinawa and Hawaii as being included among the "total amount of troops in Vietnam" (your words), then why shouldn't we also count the people who worked in the Pentagon in Washington and any other military people in the US, Germany, or elsewhere who had anything to do with the war?
And if we're going to count everybody on the US side who was involved in on way or another in the Vietnam War, then we would also have to count everybody in North Vietnam who was involved to the war effort -- and that was virtually everybody in North Vietnam.
The simple, straight-forward and comprehensible way to count US military in Vietnam is to count the number of soldiers on the ground in the country. I'm pretty sure that any TDY's who weren't counted in the 543,000 max troop level of the US were few in number. Statistics were kept ad nauseum in Vietnam by the U.S. military, and I seem to recall (from my vantage point) that military personnel were actually moved out of Vietnam early to ensure that the ceiling on personnel was not exceeded by new arrivals. Smallchief (talk 14:01, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
 * I'm looking at my Secret TDY orders to  Vietnam with the 834th Air Division.  The Air Force refuses to acknowledge that I served with the 834th, even though I worked on their planes 12 hours a day, six days a week.  Everybody from the 374 TAW went TDY to Vietnam, we even had a CIA squadron, the 21st TAS, that would pull Top Secret missions in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia.  These orders were all classified.  But the 374th TAW rotated planes and men continuously in and out of Vietnam.  And that's an entire Wing whose individual members under classified orders  cannot be acknowledged to have been in Vietnam.. (talk) 20:45, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Please provide a concrete RS to support a specific change, anything else is pointless. (Hohum @) 00:35, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

To illustrate why, I am looking at my secret communique I just received form the 834th Air Division. saying that Smallchief never served in the USAF, now I cannot talk about this (and should not even have the document still as it is top secret.
This Smallchief is why we do not allow anything that cannot be independently verified, we can all claim to be Vietnam Veterans or Doctors, or Donald Trumps underpants. But that does not make it true, what makes if verifiable is RS.Slatersteven (talk) 09:27, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Why are you addressing me? I never claimed to serve in the US Air Force - or the 834th. I am merely commenting on an unregistered editor making a claim that the statistics about the number of US troops in Vietnam are understated. I don't think they are -- and I don't know of an RS that says they are. Smallchief (talk 10:45, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Sorry my mistake, the edit by the IP was poorly formatted and I did not pick up it was not you I should have addressed it to (talk) 10:49, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

United Kingdom[edit]

Closing discussion initiated by banned User:HarveyCarter.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The UK should be listed as one of the belligerents as 2,000 British soldiers were allowed to volunteer for service in Vietnam from 1964. (JamesFenner (talk) 17:14, 4 April 2017 (UTC))

The problem is they had to resign as I recall from the British forces, thus they did not serves as member of HM armed forces.Slatersteven (talk) 17:53, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Slatersteven, the UK was not officially a belligerent.Mztourist (talk) 04:31, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Harold Wilson sent soldiers to Vietnam: (FarnuBak (talk) 15:44, 22 May 2017 (UTC))
The blog you refer to states in the first line: "The U.K., in short, did not officially involve in the Vietnam War", so the UK was not a belligerent. Mztourist (talk) 03:10, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
Wilson still sent soldiers. A small party served wearing Australian SAS uniforms. (FarnuBak (talk) 17:40, 23 May 2017 (UTC))
Again the UK was not a belligerent, any more then the USA was during Ww2 in 19840.Slatersteven (talk) 17:48, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
The US sided with the British Empire from the very beginning of World War II, as it had during World War I. Even the Neutrality Patrol was massively biased in favour of the Royal Navy over the Kriegsmarine. (FarnuBak (talk) 17:52, 23 May 2017 (UTC))
Yet is not regarded as a belligerent until December 1941, then we have the Falklands, are the US listed as a belligerent, they aided us.Slatersteven (talk) 17:54, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
The US was officially at war with the Axis Powers when Lend-Lease began in March 1941. In the summer of 1941 the US invaded Iceland. (FarnuBak (talk) 17:55, 23 May 2017 (UTC))
OK, but not in 1940. Same thing here, the UK was not an official combatant.Slatersteven (talk) 17:59, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
The UK was not a belligerent in this war. Can anyone explain why that crappy source is used? Beegill1D (talk) 18:01, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
Harold Wilson sent soldiers to Vietnam in 1964. The UK was undeniably a belligerent. We only opened an embassy in South Vietnam and refused to recognise North Vietnam. Churchill said without support from the United States he would have been forced to accept Hitler's offers to end the war in May 1940. (FarnuBak (talk) 18:04, 23 May 2017 (UTC))
Germany and Italy could have declared war on the United States in 1940 after the Destroyers for Bases Agreement. (2A00:23C4:638A:5000:25EF:A8EB:8963:F2C5 (talk) 10:01, 26 May 2017 (UTC))
LBJ once pleaded with Harold Wilson for the UK to support us in Vietnam -- to send "a bagpipe band" to South Vietnam as a sign of support. The UK declined. Like our other NATO allies, the UK didn't go out of their way to offend us, but they certainly didn't support us in the Vietnam War. Canada and others should also be removed from the list of supporters.Smallchief (talk 12:28, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
2,000 British soldiers still served in Vietnam. (2A00:23C4:638A:5000:8424:11B8:9085:5ECA (talk) 12:31, 30 May 2017 (UTC))
The fact that individual British soldiers fought in Vietnam doesnt mean that the UK was a combatant. I know of soldiers from Mexico, Bolivia, and Yugoslavia who served with the US army in Vietnam. Do you therefore believe that those countries were combatants in the Vietnam War?Smallchief (talk 12:49, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Mexico and Bolivia are US client states. A small unattached party of British Special Forces operators served with the joint Australian-American Mekong Delta river reinforce. SAS personnel were dispatched to serve alongside the 82nd and 101st Airborne and the Australian and New Zealand SASs, and Royal Marine Commandos and SBS boatmen served with the US Navy Marines. (2A00:23C4:638A:5000:8424:11B8:9085:5ECA (talk) 16:08, 30 May 2017 (UTC))
rs FOR THIS PLEASE.Slatersteven (talk) 16:27, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Definition of belligerent[edit]

belligerent bəˈlɪdʒ(ə)r(ə)nt


a nation or person engaged in war or conflict, as recognized by international law.

So do we use this, or another definition?Slatersteven (talk) 12:52, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Britain had entered the earlier Korean War because action there was sanctioned by the United Nations as a result of a UN Resolution. UK involvement in Vietnam OTOH was not authorised by the UN, and any UK involvement would therefore have been illegal under international law.
Britain's 1982 actions during the Falklands War however did not need UN support because as the Falkland Islands were British territory, Britain invoked the 'Self Defence' clause. The same applied to the earlier actions in the Malayan Emergency and what became the Brunei revolt and the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.
British governments post-1945 were aware of how the ignoring of international law by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, as well as less-than-enthusiastic support by others, had nullified the League of Nations and they were of the opinion that one couldn't very well expect the new emerging nations to respect the rule of international law as regulated by the UN if the more developed nations didn't. Thus no UN Resolution, no UK involvement in Vietnam. The other reason was US behaviour against Britain during the Suez Crisis.
UK and other foreign citizens resident in the US were liable for call up to US military forces. Thus some British citizens did fight in Vietnam, albeit as a normal part of the US forces. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

US involvement was illegal[edit]

Closing discussion initiated by banned User:HarveyCarter.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The lede should mention that US involvement in Vietnam was illegal under international law, as it violated Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. ( (talk) 13:38, 7 April 2017 (UTC))

True. The US presence in Vietnam was more accurately described as an invasion. (FarnuBak (talk) 18:26, 23 May 2017 (UTC))

USSR casualities in Vietnam war: 16 dead (Россия и СССР в войнах XX века. — М.: ОЛМА-ПРЕСС, 2001. — С. 526.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Godallah1 (talkcontribs) 07:04, 27 June 2017 (UTC)