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Why doesn't Australia get much recognition....


Mesh
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I was surfing the internet for some history on the Vietnam war and not one single site had anything to say about Australia being involved, the only countries they mentioned were America, France and Vietnam even though Australia sent 50,000 soldiers.

whats up with that?

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Consider it the same reason ANZAC Day is almost unheard of outside Australia and New Zealand.

Consider that the War of 1812 is called the War of Independence.

Semantics, mostly. :(

Edited: My mistake.

Edited by Dannik
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Not to pick nits, but the War of 1812 is called the War of 1812.

That does vary, state to state, locale to locale, from what I understand.

EDIT: War of Independence. My bad.

Edited by Dannik
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Not to pick nits, but the War of 1812 is called the War of 1812.

That does vary, state to state, locale to locale, from what I understand.

EDIT: War of Independence. My bad.

Cant say i've ever heard of the war of 1812 being called anything other than the war of 1812. What states use a name associated with the American Revolution, 1775 - 83 (aka War of Independence) as a label for the war of 1812?

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I was surfing the internet for some history on the Vietnam war and not one single site had anything to say about Australia being involved, the only countries they mentioned were America, France and Vietnam even though Australia sent 50,000 soldiers.

whats up with that?

Just to try to get back on track, you probably dont hear much about other forces in the Vietnam war because its usually considered an American war. The war itself was a classic example of the larger Cold War, one political system against another with the U.S championing democracy. Also, 50,000 soldiers kind of pales in comparison that at some points during the war the U.S had close to 500,000 over there. In the end, 60,00+ americans died and over 300,000 were wounded.

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I saw a show in the History channel the other day about the CuChi Tunnels in Vietnam. The Australians were the ones who discovered many of the first tunnels in Vietnam and went about locating them and flushing out the VC. Although there were tunnel rats prior to Vietnam, the Australians were the first to do the same dirty work there. I had never really heard much either about Australians in Vietnam until now concerning the tunnels. The tunnels were of such a tremendous importance during the war, this is where they stockpiled weapons and supplies and had command centers(not to mention being able to pop up out of holes and then disappear without a trace). Without the tunnels systems they had they would not have had all of the advantages that they did because of them. The war wouldnt have lasted as long without the tunnels and without the Australians finding them, the war may have strethced on for much longer in my opinion. Seems to me that the Australians did a bunch of the dirty work but then were fazed out in a sense by the US. Im no expert on Vietnam mind you, Ive been doing some research lately myself though.

I think Kewl had it right though that Vietnam was considered an "American War". The war was part of the cold war and the notion of the so called domino effect, that if Communism took Vietnam it would continue to take the rest of the smaller Asian countries and then continue rolling with increasing strength. The idea that it had to be stopped before it got rolling was the motivation behind the US involvement.

Again, Im no expert, just my opinion from what little I have read or heard.

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The Aussie diggers and SAS were plenty active in Vietnam and I'm sure plenty of military history texts will have oodles of info on what they did, tactics used and developed, contribution on the battlefield etc.

Politically, there is also plenty of literature in Aus or NZ about the reasons for Asutralia's involvement and the efect it has had on the country.

But as an overall contribution, the Aussies had very little effect on the whole war. After all it still ended the same, didn't it? Like the Koreans and Taiwanese, they were following American policy and ended up pulling out just as the Americans did.

In the wider historical context, it was America's war, and other players get mentioned for having bit-parts.

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The Aussie diggers and SAS were plenty active in Vietnam and I'm sure plenty of military history texts will have oodles of info on what they did, tactics used and developed, contribution on the battlefield etc.

Politically, there is also plenty of literature in Aus or NZ about the reasons for Asutralia's involvement and the efect it has had on the country.

But as an overall contribution, the Aussies had very little effect on the whole war. After all it still ended the same, didn't it?

Welcome Mesh mate,

There's quite a few books on the Aussie's contributon to the Vietnam War. oth the Regular Infantry battalions, the SASR, AATTV. CDT, RAAF and RAN involvement.

Actually the 50,000 Aussie Soldier is over the period of the whole deployment not at any one time.

SASR worked within the ADF frame work and also outside it. Operation Phoenix and MACV-SOG had ex-SASR and current SASies invloved in it.

AATTV-Australin Army Training Team Vietnam- basically expereinced Aussie soldiers who wwere attached to Vietnamese units to train them up and these soldiers fought with them- the unt is one of the most highly decorated Aussie units out there.

CDT's- Clearance Diving Teams worked with there US NAvy counterparts and SEAL in the Mekong Delta area clearing the various underwater obstacles the VC and nature placed in the area and the odd raiding and EOD tasks.

RAAF- deployed UH-1D and H Iroquis Slicks and Gunships (Bushrangers) and also RAAF Canberra Jet Bombers. Also deployed where caribou transports for intra Theatre transport.

Basically the Aussies ruled the Phuoc Touy province and had some great successes- during the aftermath of the Tet offensive many NVA and VC units where wiped out as they retreated through the Aussie AO.

As to the reason for the involvement- one high ranking Aussie General gave the reason for the major contribution and the length of the conflict in a book (I'll find the refernce on my days off) - money- it was the height of the cold war and the Russians and Chinsese were supplying the VC and NVA units with vast amount of money. The USSR didn't have huge supplies of cash to support it and so every little bit of logistical effort caused the USSR economy to further slip into bankruptcy i.e Same with Ghan and Stealth technology (spending billions on counters to it) - it was worked out that for every bullet fired by the NVA and VC it cost the Russkies on average 2 US dollars.

Ok some general Interest Links I've found:-

Aussie CDT Article- PDF article.

AATTV Link

The Below Link Details the Majority of the Aussie and Kiwi Units Involved- very good site if you wnat Information on where, When and How Aussies were deployed and combat operations etc

Aussie Vietnam Webpage

Long Tan

More Long Tan

Here's some books if you want further info

Books

Edited by Gordo_Viper
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Vic Grice was in front of me and he got shot, and I said to someone, "What happened to Vic?" and I don't know who it was said, "He's dead." About ten or twenty metres after that I got shot in the leg and went down... It was getting fairly dark, so I kept on crawling. There was enemy movement about and I saw about six or eight VC moving back through the area where we'd come. About this time I looked up and there was a Viet Cong standing over me with a grenade in his hand but no rifle. I didn't know what to do so I just screamed at him to p,iss off. I think he got a bigger fright than I did, because he just ran off to the east. I found a dead Viet Cong and I pulled his gear apart and found a ground sheet, so took this with me, and looked around for some place to settle in for the night.

hahahahaha

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Hey Mesh, welcome!

Yeah, ive got into a few arguments over australian involvements in this and that here, so be careful.

But yeah, the cook at my school was in 'nam, he was a scout, mainly clearing mines and booby traps. He told me story about when he had to stand on a mine for 6 hours, cos his unit got bogged down with a VC patrol as they were coming to deactivate it for him. :wacko:

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Yeah Dugite, Aussies Turn up all over the place. How bout the background and nationality of the the head of a certain Secret Squirrel Unit

*cough* delta *cough*

ahem, nasty cold going round, and i should know, im in delta :P

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I was surfing the internet for some history on the Vietnam war and not one single site had anything to say about Australia being involved, the only countries they mentioned were America, France and Vietnam even though Australia sent 50,000 soldiers.

whats up with that?

Because it was mainly an american show but the aussie should have been in the spotlight just as much and us since they faught just as well as us and in some respects even better

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Yeah but hollywood provides that spotlight and the Australian film industry doesn't have the budget.

There have been a few locally made movies and mini series, but these probably haven't been noticed outside Australia and NZ.

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Not real life, but there is a nice novel about those days called the The Five Fingers, by Gayle Rivers. It's a good read about a 5 man team that walks up to China to kill Giap and others at a meet. The team leader is Aussie SAS. I looked on Amazon and you will have to get a copy through a seller, out of print, but not too expensive.

mig :ph34r:

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Go to www.google.com.au (note the .au) and type in something like "Australians in Vietnam". That should give you some results somewhere on the first 10 pages...

EDIT: Only film I could think of was "The Odd Angry Shot". I wouldn't rely on it for accuracy though...

Edited by Shadowraithe
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