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The Vietnam War
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Post: #51
RE: The Vietnam War
(08-31-2018 02:10 AM)Pride male Wrote:  If it wasnt for the Lend Lease Act and American support the Soviets would have fallen to the Nazis. So why all of a sudden did the Soviets become the enemy when they were allies before?

It was a marriage of convenience, so to speak.

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09-03-2018 10:06 AM
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Parras Offline
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Post: #52
RE: The Vietnam War
This war showed that having the largest, most advanced, military in the world known to man (U.S) doesn't mean shit when you're fighting guerrilla warfare tactics in a country where you're the invader.


On paper you would think:

USA or North Vietnam (Its a no-brainer USA).

But the U.S. was fighting an enemy in the north vietnamese who knew the terrain, defended it at every cost, and were very skilled in guerrilla warfare tactics.


Another thing, this is the first war that has been broadcast live to the American public and showed on TV. Never before have Americans seen people get shot, die, children getting killed, villages burned, and dead soldiers coming home in caskets, during a war. Which helped change public opinion and made it hugely unpopular with Americans.


The broadcasting of the Vietnam War on television had a profound impact on how Americans viewed war. So much so that in 2003 during the Iraq War, the Bush administration asked the media not to show caskets of American soldiers coming home from Iraq. Obviously the corporate media happily obliged. Once Americans start seeing the amounts of bodies coming back in caskets, support for the war in America dwindles.

[Image: coffins_04.jpg]

[Image: 2f45a1d4d452dda7ec9608e7eb75766b.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 09-03-2018 01:33 PM by Parras.)
09-03-2018 01:20 PM
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Richard Turpin Offline
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Post: #53
RE: The Vietnam War
(09-03-2018 09:51 AM)BaatumMania Wrote:  Well take the profitability claims with a grain of salt. I'm almost certain both the British Empire and French Empire were net losses.

Why? They both had to build huge battleship fleets (and later carriers) and never mind station garrisons throughout their Empires. These were things that often took 5% - 40% of their GDP.

How many wheel barrows of bananas and coconuts do you need to just pay for 1 battleship artillery shell. 100?

Not sure about France but the lifestyle in Britain for a long time was really garbage. It's why so many British people emigrated to USA, Australia and Canada. Lifestyle in Britain greatly improved after the 1950s when decolonization meant Britain could now afford a welfare state.

Yeah, I remember reading this in Niall Ferguson's book 'Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World'. He regularly emphasised how costly having such a huge unwieldy empire was for Britain, how in the end it was costing more to run than it was giving back. He asserts that one of the main reasons for the incredibly quick and unexpectedly peaceful transition from 'colony to independence' for many countries was simply because Britain couldn't wait to wash its hands of them and cut loose.

I must say, that as a Brit, I've often said to friends how I find it hard to credit how little in the way of tangible benefits we have considering we had the biggest empire in history right up until the 1920's. By 'we' I mean working class people in the north of the country. Maybe London and the south benefited but I've traced my family history and we and everyone else were poor as fuck throughout the time of the Empire. I'm guessing that as usual all the immense profits were skimmed off the top by the elite. But it's a different perspective from the 'Brits ruled the world' idea; the normal everyday folk ruled fuck-all and had fuck-all.

EDIT: Perhaps you could argue that we got the NHS (National Health Service) and Welfare State out of it? Maybe. But even if true, neither the NHS nor the Welfare State are going to prove to be long-lasting legacies in my view, it's all about to collapse already after just a few decades.

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(This post was last modified: 09-04-2018 03:34 AM by Richard Turpin.)
09-04-2018 03:31 AM
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Pride male Offline
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Post: #54
RE: The Vietnam War
Was Vietnam really about heroine and the Golden triangle?

Don't debate me.
09-04-2018 04:00 AM
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Richard Turpin Offline
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Post: #55
RE: The Vietnam War
(09-01-2018 06:42 AM)Parzival Wrote:  I'm not American nor did I spent a great amount of time there, but I work for an American company. What I notice, you guys can correct me, for me it seems that Americans lack the way of long term thinking.
Great hands on mentality, also smart and improve a lot of things. But with Vietnam, Afghanistan the Gulf War, then Iraq and Afghanistan again, there is a lack of long term strategy as it seems.

Well, this reminds me of a quote in the last episode which I'll proceed to butcher and paraphrase;

'China and Russia were better allies to the North than America was to South Vietnam'

The inference being that China and Russia remained allies of the North all the way to the end, but the US basically cut ties and left the South (and it's civilian population) to its fate (even though Nixon had promised to still assist if the North attacks). The US left them fighter planes (with no ground staff) and jeeps (with no spare parts). All useless, whereas the North continued to be well supplied all the way to the bitter end.

This short-term thinking is something all empires are guilty of at some point; they profess to 'look to the future' rather than realise that there is no 'one' future but a number of different possible futures. Or as historian Niall Ferguson says 'the law of unintended consequences is the only law of history'.

‘After you’ve got two eye-witness accounts, following an automobile accident, you begin
To worry about history’ – Tim Allen
09-04-2018 04:39 AM
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Batka Offline
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Post: #56
RE: The Vietnam War
(09-03-2018 03:59 AM)Tresor Wrote:  
(09-01-2018 09:23 AM)ed pluribus unum Wrote:  
(09-01-2018 03:05 AM)Pride male Wrote:  How bad was it for the Vietnamese during French occupation? Did the French abuse and exploit the locals?

If I had to make an educated guess, I would draw a parallel with French West African colonies (shitholes) to British African Colonies (relative stability).

Wrong.


Indochina was the second largest exporter of coal in Asia and had a lively mining industry.

It was a major exporter of a variety of high-value agricultural crops such as rubber (think Michelin), coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco…



Dozens of thousands of acres of land were claimed from the swamps and put in cultivation. In a matter of decades, Indochina became the second largest rice exporter… in the world!



It also boasted a burgeoning industrial sector.



Vietnam was the single most profitable territory in the French empire. It was a major contributor to the economy of France!

It was the same in the British Empire with two of its colonies, Ireland and India being net exporters. India exported raw materials like cotton, jute and tea which the machines of Industrial Revolution Britain made into finished products and exported to the world. Ireland on the other hand was a net exporter of food which fed the industrial cities of Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Glasgow etc. and also a source of cheap, unskilled manual labor. Despite being resource rich, both of these colonies were dirt poor with millions of Irish and Indians starving to death in the 19th and 20th centuries in man made famines as both of these colonies were exploited for resources to the max, often with little to zero benefit for the locals.

Colonialism was good if you were the metropolitan power. However if you were on the receiving end, life was pretty shit. History is littered with these sad stories. Same with Indochina and France.
(This post was last modified: 09-04-2018 02:06 PM by Batka.)
09-04-2018 02:01 PM
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Batka Offline
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Post: #57
RE: The Vietnam War
Do any of you guys remember a TV series from the late 80s/early 90s called Tour of Duty?

It is simply the best TV series made about Vietnam. The character depictions and battle scenes are gritty and raw and it beat the pants off of the meandering mess that was China Beach. Thankfully it still gets a well deserved and occasional rerun on the odd cable channel late on a Friday night.



(This post was last modified: 09-04-2018 02:19 PM by Batka.)
09-04-2018 02:17 PM
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Rocha Offline
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Post: #58
RE: The Vietnam War
Not to spoil the party in here regarding Vietnam, but since we are speaking about Colonialism, also relevant is a forgotten piece of the 20th century that is the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1976), a massive war effort by a small nation like Portugal, fighting in 3 different theaters of operations (Angola, Mozambique and Guinea). A lost cause, since the liberation movements where supported by both the communists (mainly USSR and Cuba) and the Americans.





A thread on this I believe would not get much traction, but nonetheless is a conflict worth of research and discussion.

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(This post was last modified: 09-04-2018 03:40 PM by Rocha.)
09-04-2018 03:36 PM
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Post: #59
RE: The Vietnam War
Why are south east asians darker than north east asians? Is it climate or miscegenation? And are they less intelligent than the northerners?

Don't debate me.
09-04-2018 06:14 PM
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Bienvenuto Offline
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Post: #60
RE: The Vietnam War
(09-04-2018 03:36 PM)Rocha Wrote:  Not to spoil the party in here regarding Vietnam, but since we are speaking about Colonialism, also relevant is a forgotten piece of the 20th century that is the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1976), a massive war effort by a small nation like Portugal, fighting in 3 different theaters of operations (Angola, Mozambique and Guinea). A lost cause, since the liberation movements where supported by both the communists (mainly USSR and Cuba) and the Americans.





A thread on this I believe would not get much traction, but nonetheless is a conflict worth of research and discussion.

I'll give you a starter..

White Rhodesian soldiers who visited their Portuguese neighbours in Mozambique found that they were using shell petrol station tourist posters as their local maps, no contours, no detail, no proper scale.

It seems that there were good units but in general there was a real problem between unhappy conscript regulars and an out of touch govt. / officer class.
The disillusion with the amount of atrocities that they saw also supposedly led to the domestic revolution back home.
09-04-2018 06:32 PM
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Bienvenuto Offline
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Post: #61
RE: The Vietnam War
(09-04-2018 04:39 AM)Richard Turpin Wrote:  
(09-01-2018 06:42 AM)Parzival Wrote:  I'm not American nor did I spent a great amount of time there, but I work for an American company. What I notice, you guys can correct me, for me it seems that Americans lack the way of long term thinking.
Great hands on mentality, also smart and improve a lot of things. But with Vietnam, Afghanistan the Gulf War, then Iraq and Afghanistan again, there is a lack of long term strategy as it seems.

Well, this reminds me of a quote in the last episode which I'll proceed to butcher and paraphrase;

'China and Russia were better allies to the North than America was to South Vietnam'

The inference being that China and Russia remained allies of the North all the way to the end, but the US basically cut ties and left the South (and it's civilian population) to its fate (even though Nixon had promised to still assist if the North attacks). The US left them fighter planes (with no ground staff) and jeeps (with no spare parts). All useless, whereas the North continued to be well supplied all the way to the bitter end.

This short-term thinking is something all empires are guilty of at some point; they profess to 'look to the future' rather than realise that there is no 'one' future but a number of different possible futures. Or as historian Niall Ferguson says 'the law of unintended consequences is the only law of history'.

I think what people are missing here is the difference between tactics and strategy.

China went in for wave tactics in the Korean War partly because they struggled with the terrain.

The Soviets had a much better history of movement and dealing with terrain and -more importantly- focusing on the wider strategy of a war as opposed to battlefield tactics.

The Chinese and the Soviets hated each other after their split in the 50's.
The Viets hated the Chinese during the 70s and their Chinese proxies the Khmer Rouge.
When the Viets handed back the Khmer child refugees that had been stuck their side and cared for by the Viets during the indo-china war the KR..

..walked them round the corner and chopped them into pieces while they were still alive and cried out on tannoys for all to hear how they were Viet traitors during that massacre (over the children's screams of course)..

The Vietnamese had to stay their side of the border and just listen.

People on here talking about a tough resourceful set of guerrillas defeating a bigger more cumbersome force and at the same time talking about the domestic news in America and the public's response have yet to put 2 and 2 together.

The Soviets deserve credit.
The Vietnamese had all manner of offers of tanks and apcs and field guns and they turned them down.
The Viets and the Soviets saw the real battleground in terms of their strategy as
.....==the US nightly news==
....................-that was where they would win-.

I can't think of one large scale conventional battle that the VC or NV won. Not a one.

The Tet offensive was a tactical defeat for the VC/NV.
All of their attacks were eventually repulsed and all their gains were reversed.

And yet it was strategically their biggest win. They Blew Up the US nightly news.

They won the war right there.


The idea that these rice farmers and jungle guerrillas beat the US in a conventional war is mistaken.

Their generals won by bleeding the US public support for the war back home.

That shows strategic genius.

Reading the theatre of operations as widely as possible.

By contrast the US was too narrow in its appreciation of where the war was being fought.

In another age they could have gone full media blackout Totalitarian mode and just rode through the country smashing the NVA from the air in the North (those little concrete pipe fox holes wouldn't have withstood the bombing the US could have delivered even back then) and wiping out any questionable Vietnamese populations down South.

Not saying it would be morally right in any way - nor that - the US DIDN"T already act in a brutal heavy handed way (on the ground/ from the air) in many ways against a lightly armed enemy.

The point being that the VC commanders kept the US 'swatting flies with sledgehammers' BECAUSE strategically they knew they had an audience in America to play to.

Without the Soviets lingering in the background and the media recording all this footage those sledgehammers would have been redoubled and could have just annihilated (if necessary) most of Vietnam and eventually (in darkness) those sledgehammers would have worked.

No one knows about the massacres the British recorded against the Mau Mau, the concentration camps.

No one knows of guerrillas of Casamance === precisely because there was no significant Senegalese nightly news.
09-04-2018 07:53 PM
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Rocha Offline
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Post: #62
RE: The Vietnam War
(09-04-2018 06:32 PM)Bienvenuto Wrote:  
(09-04-2018 03:36 PM)Rocha Wrote:  Not to spoil the party in here regarding Vietnam, but since we are speaking about Colonialism, also relevant is a forgotten piece of the 20th century that is the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1976), a massive war effort by a small nation like Portugal, fighting in 3 different theaters of operations (Angola, Mozambique and Guinea). A lost cause, since the liberation movements where supported by both the communists (mainly USSR and Cuba) and the Americans.





A thread on this I believe would not get much traction, but nonetheless is a conflict worth of research and discussion.

I'll give you a starter..

White Rhodesian soldiers who visited their Portuguese neighbours in Mozambique found that they were using shell petrol station tourist posters as their local maps, no contours, no detail, no proper scale.

It seems that there were good units but in general there was a real problem between unhappy conscript regulars and an out of touch govt. / officer class.
The disillusion with the amount of atrocities that they saw also supposedly led to the domestic revolution back home.

To be fair, Angola and Mozambique where controlled when the revolution happened, mostly in Angola the war was pratically already won. Guinea was a different story, by 1974 the Portuguese where circumscripted only to the capital, Bissau, even though the command there was in the hands of the brilliant General Antonio de Spinola (see operation Green Sea below).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Green_Sea

I would say the comraderie and motivation among the conscripts was not bad, considering that many back home had to share one sardine by 3 people at dinner...

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(This post was last modified: 09-04-2018 10:05 PM by Rocha.)
09-04-2018 10:02 PM
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Dalaran1991 Offline
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Post: #63
RE: The Vietnam War
Bienvenuto: I can't think of anyone who would beat the US in conventional warfare at the time (unless nuke are involved which changes everything), just like nobody would beat the Mongol horde in a conventional warfare at the time.

As ever, just as it was said for Hannibal "he knew how to win a victory, but not a war", it has always been a matter of strategic objectives, propaganda and the will to execute a war.

Reminds me of this little fable:

Two men saw a wolf chasing a rabbit.
One man asks: which one is faster?
The rabbit.
Why?
The rabbit is running for his life, the wolf is running for his meal.

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09-05-2018 10:10 AM
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Post: #64
RE: The Vietnam War
(09-05-2018 10:10 AM)Dalaran1991 Wrote:  Bienvenuto: I can't think of anyone who would beat the US in conventional warfare at the time (unless nuke are involved which changes everything), just like nobody would beat the Mongol horde in a conventional warfare at the time.

As ever, just as it was said for Hannibal "he knew how to win a victory, but not a war", it has always been a matter of strategic objectives, propaganda and the will to execute a war.

Reminds me of this little fable:

Two men saw a wolf chasing a rabbit.
One man asks: which one is faster?
The rabbit.
Why?
The rabbit is running for his life, the wolf is running for his meal.

Thats a common story across cultures:

Farmer to rabbit, "Good luck little rabbit, I hope you make it!"
Rabbit to Farmer "I don't hope I make it, I've GOTTA make it!"

I don't want to be rude to you Dalaran.

Plenty of rabbits have been eaten by wolves over the ages. What was the strategy that this rabbit hit on?

From what I can see you are an important part of this forum as a poster and with your data sheets and as a verified member who can vouch for people and that people can vouch for so it is with a degree of humility that I say this to you.

I say this because I am wary of everyone being happy with a group of truisms and platitudes that are so bland as to be meaningless and that certainly don't grasp the subtlety of the Vietnamese/Soviet thinking in this war.

Thinking that can sit there in plain sight and yet is able to hide from our grasp.

I also say this in the knowledge that you probably have way more info and knowledge of the Viet side of the war than I ever will and Im sure that both I and others would gain alot from hearing of it.

The Afghans won the kind of war you describe against the Soviets without waging a campaign >based on the other country's media and that country's media's relationship with its viewing public<.

They didn't have to in order to win.

They had the logic of the guerrilla/freedom fighter irregular warfare strategy.

This war was more about super-logic.

The Vietnamese and the Soviets saw a far off Achilles heel and, a la the Tet offensive, I very much doubt the US realised what was being done to them before it was too late.

The depth and profundity of that thinking I find beyond me.

May have been repeated by others since.. (maybe)... as a strategy, but I cannot think of any belligerents who have ever came up with that before.
09-05-2018 11:55 AM
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Post: #65
RE: The Vietnam War
General Vo Nguyen Giap of North Vietnam devised that entire strategy that Bienvenuto talked about. They knew they must win the hearts and minds of the American public to win the war.

However, had the American publics not been involved then, America's military would've had their hands untied and might've been able to get rid of the Viet Cong in North Vietnam, but eventually the Vietnamese would cause America so much trouble that they'd leave anyway. Vietnam's history is full of brutal invasions from China and from Mongolia, and those guys didn't fuck around nor did they have any issue with public support, yet they still got kicked out after a while. Even if Vietnamese can't fight an open war, they will fight dirty to make life hell for the occupying army. Even the bloody weather can be hell (especially in the North) for people who are not born there. Chinese empires used to call Vietnam "ghastly land, poisoned water" because so many of their troops died there from climate-related illnesses, mosquito borne diseases, food poisoning (might or might not have been caused by the locals) or random sneak attacks.

It is not a country that can be occupied for a long time. It can be threatened and "reasoned" (Godfather's style, at a large scale) into becoming an ally though.

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(This post was last modified: 09-06-2018 12:21 AM by StrikeBack.)
09-06-2018 12:10 AM
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Post: #66
RE: The Vietnam War
Strikeback beat me to it. If Vietnam could be invaded successfully somebody would have done so already. We suffered several invasions from China, which was as big as Rome at the time, and was invaded by the golden horde of Mongols not once but twice. The same Mongols who had no problem wiping out entire people and burning several city to ashes, commanded by Jubilai Khan no less. The second time they even did it out of spite in retaliation to the first defeat.

The Vietnamese were not the rabbits, they were like cockroaches who will always come back and cause you trouble no matter how

I'm cool with American saying yeah if we were allowed to do this and that we would have won. The last scene from Rambo's First Blood: "I did what I had to do to win, but somebody wouldn't let us win". Everybody has their side of the story. Thing is, you were allowed to do A LOT of things. Burning forest with napalm, massacre civilian population (My Lai massacre), bombing Hanoi to ashes etc. What's next on the "had we been allowed this?" list? Nuking the country? Like, the one right next door to China and Mother Russia? That gives the perfect cassus belli for WWIII.

Again, let's not fall into the armchair historian trap of "had people done x, y wouldn't happen". History is basically people did x and y happen until somebody invent time machine. I also really doubt the Vietnamese leaders planned this whole thing out all along like the Jews always seem to do Laugh It was unofficially said that after the disaster of the Tet offensive the Vietnamese war leader was so shocked and devastated that he fell ill and passed away soon after. Not sure if that was "just as planned"?

For my part I'm happy with the way things currently is and I'm ok with how Americans viewed the war.

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(This post was last modified: 09-06-2018 10:14 AM by Dalaran1991.)
09-06-2018 09:56 AM
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Post: #67
RE: The Vietnam War
(09-04-2018 10:02 PM)Rocha Wrote:  
(09-04-2018 06:32 PM)Bienvenuto Wrote:  
(09-04-2018 03:36 PM)Rocha Wrote:  Not to spoil the party in here regarding Vietnam, but since we are speaking about Colonialism, also relevant is a forgotten piece of the 20th century that is the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1976), a massive war effort by a small nation like Portugal, fighting in 3 different theaters of operations (Angola, Mozambique and Guinea). A lost cause, since the liberation movements where supported by both the communists (mainly USSR and Cuba) and the Americans.





A thread on this I believe would not get much traction, but nonetheless is a conflict worth of research and discussion.

I'll give you a starter..

White Rhodesian soldiers who visited their Portuguese neighbours in Mozambique found that they were using shell petrol station tourist posters as their local maps, no contours, no detail, no proper scale.

It seems that there were good units but in general there was a real problem between unhappy conscript regulars and an out of touch govt. / officer class.
The disillusion with the amount of atrocities that they saw also supposedly led to the domestic revolution back home.

To be fair, Angola and Mozambique where controlled when the revolution happened, mostly in Angola the war was pratically already won. Guinea was a different story, by 1974 the Portuguese where circumscripted only to the capital, Bissau, even though the command there was in the hands of the brilliant General Antonio de Spinola (see operation Green Sea below).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Green_Sea

I would say the comraderie and motivation among the conscripts was not bad, considering that many back home had to share one sardine by 3 people at dinner...

It was the lack of money and time that undid the Portuguese. As Rocha said, while those in the Metropolitan were eating one tuna per 3 people, the Armed Forces were getting everything they wanted. This hurt the economy. Also, the notion of a colonial empire was well passed the stage of being an anachronism by the mid 70s. All the other European colonial powers had long decided to cut their losses and run while the Portuguese were still hanging on in Africa long after the others had left. Time had caught up with Lisbon just as it did with Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa. To resist the winds of change was utterly futile.

Could the Portuguese Empire have been saved? No for the reasons I have outlined above. However had Salazar quit Guinea much earlier on and hadn't been so inward looking, it could have clung on for another 10-15 years at least. The colonies would have been in a better state come departure. There would have been no civil wars and no mass exodus of the White and Black educated elites. The war may have been won for Lisbon in Angola and Mozambique, but decades of poor policy planning had sealed Portugal's fate.

East Timor is an unusual case. Located north of Australia and surrounded by Muslim majority Indonesia, the colony had never witnessed any liberation war. Its local Timorese population was loyal to Portugal. Indonesia and Australia coveted the island and its rich oil resources. When the Carnation Revolution happened in 1974, both Jakarta and Canberra stepped up a gear in a bid to oust the Portuguese from the island, with the help of the US. They instigated a right wing coup against the Governor and the Marxist FRETLIN which had become the biggest political party on the island. Portuguese troops and the FRETLIN put down the coup in mid 1975. During the decolonisation negotiations in late 1975, FRETLIN pleaded with Lisbon not to abandon the island and even discussed pushing back independence which would have Portugal eventually leaving sometime around 1982-86. FRETLIN knew that as long as the Portuguese remained, Indonesia would not dare invade. However the Portuguese facing a massive headache in both Angola and Mozambique abandoned the Timorese to their fate. What happened next was a tragedy.

Anyway, fast forward 4 decades and the Timorese harbour no ill will towards their former colonial rulers. They even celebrated Portugal's victory in EURO 2016 in towns and villages across the island.



(This post was last modified: 09-07-2018 04:48 AM by Batka.)
09-07-2018 04:42 AM
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Post: #68
RE: The Vietnam War
(09-07-2018 04:42 AM)Batka Wrote:  
(09-04-2018 10:02 PM)Rocha Wrote:  
(09-04-2018 06:32 PM)Bienvenuto Wrote:  
(09-04-2018 03:36 PM)Rocha Wrote:  Not to spoil the party in here regarding Vietnam, but since we are speaking about Colonialism, also relevant is a forgotten piece of the 20th century that is the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-1976), a massive war effort by a small nation like Portugal, fighting in 3 different theaters of operations (Angola, Mozambique and Guinea). A lost cause, since the liberation movements where supported by both the communists (mainly USSR and Cuba) and the Americans.





A thread on this I believe would not get much traction, but nonetheless is a conflict worth of research and discussion.

I'll give you a starter..

White Rhodesian soldiers who visited their Portuguese neighbours in Mozambique found that they were using shell petrol station tourist posters as their local maps, no contours, no detail, no proper scale.

It seems that there were good units but in general there was a real problem between unhappy conscript regulars and an out of touch govt. / officer class.
The disillusion with the amount of atrocities that they saw also supposedly led to the domestic revolution back home.

To be fair, Angola and Mozambique where controlled when the revolution happened, mostly in Angola the war was pratically already won. Guinea was a different story, by 1974 the Portuguese where circumscripted only to the capital, Bissau, even though the command there was in the hands of the brilliant General Antonio de Spinola (see operation Green Sea below).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Green_Sea

I would say the comraderie and motivation among the conscripts was not bad, considering that many back home had to share one sardine by 3 people at dinner...

It was the lack of money and time that undid the Portuguese. As Rocha said, while those in the Metropolitan were eating one tuna per 3 people, the Armed Forces were getting everything they wanted. This hurt the economy. Also, the notion of a colonial empire was well passed the stage of being an anachronism by the mid 70s. All the other European colonial powers had long decided to cut their losses and run while the Portuguese were still hanging on in Africa long after the others had left. Time had caught up with Lisbon just as it did with Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa. To resist the winds of change was utterly futile.

Could the Portuguese Empire have been saved? No for the reasons I have outlined above. However had Salazar quit Guinea much earlier on and hadn't been so inward looking, it could have clung on for another 10-15 years at least. The colonies would have been in a better state come departure. There would have been no civil wars and no mass exodus of the White and Black educated elites. The war may have been won for Lisbon in Angola and Mozambique, but decades of poor policy planning had sealed Portugal's fate.

East Timor is an unusual case. Located north of Australia and surrounded by Muslim majority Indonesia, the colony had never witnessed any liberation war. Its local Timorese population was loyal to Portugal. Indonesia and Australia coveted the island and its rich oil resources. When the Carnation Revolution happened in 1974, both Jakarta and Canberra stepped up a gear in a bid to oust the Portuguese from the island, with the help of the US. They instigated a right wing coup against the Governor and the Marxist FRETLIN which had become the biggest political party on the island. Portuguese troops and the FRETLIN put down the coup in mid 1975. During the decolonisation negotiations in late 1975, FRETLIN pleaded with Lisbon not to abandon the island and even discussed pushing back independence which would have Portugal eventually leaving sometime around 1982-86. FRETLIN knew that as long as the Portuguese remained, Indonesia would not dare invade. However the Portuguese facing a massive headache in both Angola and Mozambique abandoned the Timorese to their fate. What happened next was a tragedy.

Anyway, fast forward 4 decades and the Timorese harbour no ill will towards their former colonial rulers. They even celebrated Portugal's victory in EURO 2016 in towns and villages across the island.




It is very well said. The missing part was that the responsability of a such a disastrous decolonization process, and the abandonment of the Timorese to their fate was mostly from Mr. Mario Soares (a freemason from the socialist party), and other forces alligned even more to the left (including the left wing of the army), who demanded total and immediate whithdrawal from the Colonies, during the political chaos of the revolution period.

Btw...when you said a tuna for 3 you probably meaning a tuna can... one atlantic bluefin tuna can feed a whole army (150 kg +-)

"Поехали!!" (Yuri Gagarin, 1961)

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09-07-2018 08:25 AM
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