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  #51  
Old 07-10-2009, 01:22 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Originally Posted by bibliophage View Post
The Portsmouth Naval Prison closed in 1974. [/Nitpick]
Was this after all the prisoners escaped into the Los Angeles underground?
  #52  
Old 07-11-2009, 10:51 PM
Aussie30001 Aussie30001 is offline
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Just new to this discussion, but here are my two cents worth:

I served two tours with the Australian SAS performing deep reconnaissance and infiltration.

On more than one occasion, we lay in the bush watching as a patrol of Americans wandered past, totally oblivious of our presence.

It would have been trivial for me to pick off one or more of their officers, and they would have had no clue as to where the hit came from. Since we would have been using allied issue weapons and armaments, any such hit could have been interpreted as a "friendly fire incident", or even "fragging".

If the dead guy was an a******, the rumour of a "fragging" would quickly develop, and in no time at all it would have been a "fact".

If a concealed VC had done the hit, this also could have been interpreted as a "fragging".

The main reason that captured weapons were not to be used in the field, is that each weapon has a distinctive sound.

In combat in Vietnam, usually you couldn't see your opponent (except when in a set ambush). However, you could hear his weapon, so you would fire toward the sound of the weapon. If anyone on your side was foolish enough to be firing an opposition weapon, he would quickly end up dead.

If later on the corpse were examined, it would be found to be riddled with "friendly fire" wounds, and this could also give rise to a "fragging" incident. (Under "ideal" conditions, an M16 entry wound was smaller than an AK47 wound). But who would bother to check?

Bottom line: many "friendly fire" incidents could be interpreted as "fragging" simply because of the circumstances under which they occurred, and because the victim was unpopular with his own men.

Personally, I can say that if I had wanted to "frag" anyone I could have done it very easily, and nobody would have known about it but me. That's the difference between an amateur and a professional.
  #53  
Old 07-12-2009, 12:08 AM
MOIDALIZE MOIDALIZE is offline
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Okay, "Aussie30001"
  #54  
Old 07-14-2009, 03:24 AM
Martin Hyde Martin Hyde is offline
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I was never in Vietnam but I will definitely say that what petesally says is what makes sense to me as someone that was in the U.S. Army for over two decades.

As someone who is interested in military history I'll also add that most famous mutiny incidents (on sea or land) didn't happen in the heat of battle. I think it has always been the case that when a grunt has a problem with an officer in most armies in the history of the world, if they were going to try and "settle up" they didn't do it in the middle of battle where everyone's life was on the line.

I also imagine that interpersonal issues get magnified when people are bored. If you're engaged in fighting, heavy marching or et cetera you simply aren't going to have time to get pissy over the fact that your officers get better beverages at base camp than you do. A few weeks in camp and that kind of thing starts to get under your skin.
  #55  
Old 07-15-2009, 12:11 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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OTOH, I would imagine that with the less respectful attitude to authority the last few decades, any Lieutenant that tried the traditional WWI type maneuver would soon earn himself a bullet. The serious death toll from WWI was from the mistaken belief athat a full-frontal assault on a protected enemy with automatic weapons would succeed. The officers responsible for these commands usually sat well back from the front lines and did not stick their head over the trenches.

The reputation of Vietnam (not that I went, being Canadian and a little young then) was that the lieutenants were book-learned idiots. The same sort who are lower to mid level managers in large corporations today, making the typical cubicle workers' lives hell. Apparently they were rotated in and out too fast so every aspiring career officer could ahve a turn earning "combat experience"; developed no cameraderie and were gone by the time they were experienced enough to have learned from any mistakes. Think Dilbert with live ammo...
  #56  
Old 11-25-2017, 05:54 PM
Hercules Engineer Hercules Engineer is offline
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Reasons for fragging in Vietnam

I was a combat Infantry 1LT. in Vietnam, 1970-71. I knew of friends from previous duty stations who were fragged. It is correct that most fragging were in 'rear areas' by rear-echelon troops.
So the reasons for more fragging in Vietnam than other wars:
1. Most fraggings were from young black soldiers against white officers and NCOs, particularly after M.L. King was killed in January 1968. Racial problems were rampant. Not so much among senior NCOs, more so among the lower ranks and young soldiers.
2. Vietnam had an extremely high 'support - to - in the field' ratio. Some statistics say as high as 14 men in support to one in the field, at the HEIGHT of the war. When I was there, only 2% were in the field (1970-71). Fraggings rarely occurred in the field, where men depended on each other and acted somewhat more as 'brothers', regardless of race.
3. A large percentage of young men in the Army and Marines were there because this country gave them a choice of jail or military. A horrible way to handle the nation's woes. An easy answer for the horrible court system we had (and have), but tough to put the burden of problem youths on the leaders in war. That's the last thing a leader in combat needs. Shame on the U.S. system. Today, it's a much different and better military than in the Vietnam era.
  #57  
Old 11-25-2017, 06:59 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Cites for any of the above?
  #58  
Old 11-25-2017, 07:00 PM
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I had an Army buddy whose Father was in Vietnam and daddy claimed to have attempted to blow up some outhouse with an Officer in it. I believe it likely did happen and it probably was more likely in the rear as people have said. His Dad also supposedly a mechanic and was taking some kind of amphetamine type of substance to keep up with the workload. I've heard of the soldiers in Vietnam taking heroin and stuff like that, would uppers also have been available in Vietnam?
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  #59  
Old 11-26-2017, 09:48 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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Originally Posted by pool View Post
I've heard of the soldiers in Vietnam taking heroin and stuff like that, would uppers also have been available in Vietnam?
I can't answer directly but the US military supplied amphetamines in WWII, Gulf War 1 and Afghanistan*. LSLGuy talked about being given amphetamine in the 80s. So it's likely that it was available in Vietnam. From coffee to khat to meth to amphetamine to modafinil, stimulants are a mainstay of (at least modern) war.

Stimulants can also increase aggression, decrease self-control and cause psychosis. A young man who started out with poor impulse control, is forced into a situation like Vietnam and takes a lot of speed could become unwise.


*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...s#Military_use
  #60  
Old 11-26-2017, 10:13 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hercules Engineer View Post
I was a combat Infantry 1LT. in Vietnam, 1970-71. I knew of friends from previous duty stations who were fragged. It is correct that most fragging were in 'rear areas' by rear-echelon troops.
So the reasons for more fragging in Vietnam than other wars:
1. Most fraggings were from young black soldiers against white officers and NCOs, particularly after M.L. King was killed in January 1968. Racial problems were rampant. Not so much among senior NCOs, more so among the lower ranks and young soldiers.
2. Vietnam had an extremely high 'support - to - in the field' ratio. Some statistics say as high as 14 men in support to one in the field, at the HEIGHT of the war. When I was there, only 2% were in the field (1970-71). Fraggings rarely occurred in the field, where men depended on each other and acted somewhat more as 'brothers', regardless of race.
3. A large percentage of young men in the Army and Marines were there because this country gave them a choice of jail or military. A horrible way to handle the nation's woes. An easy answer for the horrible court system we had (and have), but tough to put the burden of problem youths on the leaders in war. That's the last thing a leader in combat needs. Shame on the U.S. system. Today, it's a much different and better military than in the Vietnam era.
Welcome to the dope and thanks for sharing your experience and opinion. You don’t necessarily need a cite for this. It’s based on your personal experiences. I joined after Vietnam, in 1980. I was too young to serve during ‘Nam. I count myself fortunate to have served mostly during peace time and not in harm’s way during Desert Shield/Storm.
  #61  
Old 11-26-2017, 11:00 AM
silenus silenus is online now
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Yes, yes he does need a cite for the above. Especially Item #3. I want hard data, not anecdotes, or I call BS.
  #62  
Old 11-26-2017, 11:09 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Greeting a new poster with this is at best impolite:
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Cites for any of the above?
You don’t have to believe an individual’s sole experience as being the general rule for all, it’s a data point coming from an individual. But if they do provide a cite then that adds another possible data point.

When I served (1980-1993) I met several people whose choices given by a judge were to either go to jail or join the Marines. So Hercules Engineer can cite me, because it does happen. And I can cite them.

If you want to look up the data, to see how large is a “large percentage”, you are welcome to do your own research. And if you find data counter to what was claimed, then you can post that as a counter example. It is not BS until you have proved the counter example.

Which you haven’t.

Last edited by Bullitt; 11-26-2017 at 11:12 AM.
  #63  
Old 11-26-2017, 11:11 AM
hajario hajario is online now
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Yes, yes he does need a cite for the above. Especially Item #3. I want hard data, not anecdotes, or I call BS.
So then you’re calling him a liar? My friend’s father went to Korea and saw a lot of
action when given that offer by a judge. It happened.

Last edited by hajario; 11-26-2017 at 11:13 AM.
  #64  
Old 11-26-2017, 11:18 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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I’ll cite hajario’s father too.

silenius, you can claim BS but until you provide data that’s all it is — a claim. Just like Hercules Engineer’s #3 was a claim. Just like mine is. You don’t have to believe us, but don’t claim BS until you have data to support your claim. If you served and never heard of any such thing, you can share that.

Let’s build a community that fights ignorance together. We’re human and we all make mistakes, and if that happens we should point that out. I’ve learned a lot here and am grateful to those who have helped me.

Last edited by Bullitt; 11-26-2017 at 11:18 AM.
  #65  
Old 11-26-2017, 12:05 PM
hajario hajario is online now
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Just to be clear, it was my friendís father. We know that this doesnít happen anymore and hasnít for some time. It definitely happened in the past when recruiting standards were much lower. I have no idea how common it was.
  #66  
Old 11-26-2017, 01:38 PM
rsat3acr rsat3acr is offline
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Originally Posted by hajario View Post
So then youíre calling him a liar? My friendís father went to Korea and saw a lot of
action when given that offer by a judge. It happened.
I think it is "large percentage" that is in question.
  #67  
Old 11-26-2017, 03:17 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Exactly.
  #68  
Old 11-26-2017, 08:09 PM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post
Iíll cite hajarioís father too.

silenius, you can claim BS but until you provide data thatís all it is ó a claim. Just like Hercules Engineerís #3 was a claim. Just like mine is. You donít have to believe us, but donít claim BS until you have data to support your claim. If you served and never heard of any such thing, you can share that.

Letís build a community that fights ignorance together. Weíre human and we all make mistakes, and if that happens we should point that out. Iíve learned a lot here and am grateful to those who have helped me.
"Large percentage" is subjective. I would think that #3 is probably the least provocative thing Hercules Engineer says above. A lot of men joined the service this way, including a young Jimi Hendrix (who was later drummed out after being, as one superior put it, "the worst soldier I have ever known.")

What I find more troubling is that anyone's first post in a forum is something as incendiary as asserting that most fraggings were done by black soldiers upset with white superiors - in the context of reviving an eight-year-old thread, no less. Forgive me if I am just a bit disingenuous, but this strikes me as race-baiting, especially with no sources to support it.
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  #69  
Old 12-01-2017, 06:34 PM
Hercules Engineer Hercules Engineer is offline
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Give me a name and location of this father. I would like to find this clown, he needs retribution

BTW, I never once saw drugs, not even grass, in my 11 months-1 week tour. Surprising? But I wasn't in a rear area, and have always respected my body and mind too much to screw with drugs. Especially in Vietnam,
where the last thing I would have wanted was to be incapacitated. Druggies were then and are now, losers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pool View Post
I had an Army buddy whose Father was in Vietnam and daddy claimed to have attempted to blow up some outhouse with an Officer in it. I believe it likely did happen and it probably was more likely in the rear as people have said. His Dad also supposedly a mechanic and was taking some kind of amphetamine type of substance to keep up with the workload. I've heard of the soldiers in Vietnam taking heroin and stuff like that, would uppers also have been available in Vietnam?
  #70  
Old 12-07-2017, 04:13 PM
waddlingeagle waddlingeagle is offline
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My belief is that men who actually see combat are less likely to assault their officers. Enlisted men know that their lives depend on good officers in battle. However, only about three in ten men in any squad ever fired their weapons. A huge percentage of men never saw combat at all, even from a distance. I think this took away the sense of imminent peril that makes men loyal to each other and to their officers, while leaving them plenty of nothing to do but abuse drugs and alcohol and otherwise get into trouble.
  #71  
Old 12-07-2017, 08:49 PM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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Just revistiting some stuff about English author Evelyn Waugh (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Waugh), and remembered that the assertions were made that during WWII, (1) a guard was placed on him to protect him from his men, and (2) that he wasn't taken into combat for fear that his men would shoot him.

Actually, it's likely that both assertions were false, and that his bad relationships were with the officers making the assertions, not anybody else. Interesting point though that post WWII, the idea that an unpopular WWII officer would be killed by his men wasn't so outlandish that anybody rejected it as a concept.

Last edited by Melbourne; 12-07-2017 at 08:49 PM.
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