Whenever the topic comes up about the Vietnam War Americans site the same mantra. It goes that they won all the battles but lost the war so in reality they were the military victors. A close reading of the memoirs of Vietnam vets reveals a different reality. The authors do not recognize or admit defeat, but they admit all the facts that make up the defeat.
A reading of memoirs of US vets reveals the same scenario repeating itself over and over again in the 1970's before the US left. American forces were virtually pinned in their bases and in a few urban centres. 85% of all contacts were initiated by NVA forces ambushing US Forces - in other words NVA forces had the initiative. A firefight would ensue in which the result was initially even or in favour of NVA forces until US supporting arms were brought it. Once supporting arms were called in, NVA forces would retire and US supporting arms would paste empty turf for anything from four hours to two days. US and NVA grunts would all watch from a distance. When supporting arms finished a few yanks would go forward, take pictures, declare victory and leave. The next day the turf would once again be firmly in the hands of the NVA. Yanks came. Yanks saw. NVA initiated combat. Yanks left. NVA remained in control. That means NVA won. And they're still there. Sounds like a win to me.
This should not come as a surprise. It is revealed in the Pentagon Papers that as early as 1967 the American military concluded it could not win the Vietnam War by conventional means. All the millions of wasted resources and most of the eventual 50,000 American dead occurred after that. In Operation Duck Hook Henry Kissinger proposed nuclear attacks. President Nixon eventually backed down in 1969. See
Duck Hook - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Duck Hook (code-named "Pruning Knife" by the military) was the White House code-name of an operation President Richard Nixon had threatened to unleash against North Vietnam during the Vietnam War, if North Vietnam did not yield to Washington's terms at the Paris peace negotiations. Duck Hook called for the possible-nuclear bombing of military and economic targets in and around Hanoi….Why do Americans repeatedly make this claim? The most common element is that liberal America, and especially the media, stabbed US forces in the back. It is a weak argument but there is world military precedent for it. The term used in Germany after WW1 was Dolchstosslegende, the “stab in the back”.
From Killing Hitler, Roger Moorhouse, Bantam Bell, New York, 2006, at pages 79-80:
In October 1919, less than a year after the end of the First World War, a Committee of Enquiry was established in Berlin to investigate the circumstances surrounding the German military collapse of the previous summer. One of its star witnesses was Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg, former commander in chief and the new darling of the nationalist right. His appearance before the committee was remarkable. Outside, the crowds cheered his every move, while the newly republican army fell over itself to pander to its erstwhile commander. Inside, Hindenburg contemptuously ignored the questions put to him and embarked instead on a tirade against the new rulers of Germany. His statement ended with the words that would threaten the very basis of the new German Republic: “No blame” [sic] for the defeat, he said, “was to be attached to the sound core of the army.” Rather, he claimed that “civilian demoralization and disunion” had so permeated the military cadres that “our will to victory was undermined. I looked for energy and cooperation and found weakness.” In his memoirs, he gave his spurious analysis a more lyrical, heroic bent: “Like Siegrfied [sic],” he wrote, “stricken down by the treacherous spear of savage Hagen, our weary front collapsed.” Behind the rhetoric, the message was the same – the German army had been betrayed.The US right wing, in attempting to re-write history, has not come up with anything new. The semi-official “We were stabbed in the back,” excuse repeated so often by Americans is nothing but a re-statement of the excuse used by the pre-Nazi German military and political leadership.
The myth of the Dolchstosslegende, the “stab in the back,” was born. It held the German military had not been defeated in the field and that the ambitious and unscrupulous politicians of the left and centre had shamelessly asked for an armistice without the army’s knowledge. The politicians, it claimed, had seized defeat from the jaws of victory solely to be able to usher in their own revolution.