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War in Vietnam vs. WW2

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Che_Guevara, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Che_Guevara

    Che_Guevara New Member

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    Hey folks,

    one question comes to my mind if you compare the treatment of US-Vets of 1945 and 1973. Why was it so hard for many Vets of the Nam to find a way back into the normal civilian life, why did so many suffer under PTSD* in and why did the US-society (or at least some large scaled parts of em treat them so bad) in comparsion with the heroric soldiers/vets of the second world war.
    US-Soldiers in Vietnam and in the WW2 fought for the same thing (Save a nation from a terrible regime, the containment of a silly ideology, fight for the freedom of others). I know that soldiers might don´t give a shit about this, if you´re fighting for survival and for your bros in the trenches, but at least they fought for a good reason. So how can things changed so dramatically.

    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttrauma ... s_disorder
     
  2. Revere

    Revere New Member

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    more open news, the people in ww2 were very limited on what they got while as the public of vietnam (near the end) saw every single bad thing that the US soldiers did to the locals.
     
  3. Gunter_Viezenz

    Gunter_Viezenz New Member

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    Also that America was attacked and declared war upon during WWII, hence therefore the nation rallied for war. As for Vietnam there was no such thing, not to mention America even supported the Vietnamese people's goal of freedom from the French until, some of those people began calling themselves communist. Than it all changed and the people they helped free were now their enemy, yet they held no direct threat that I could ever possibly see to America.

    And like you said yourself fight for a good reason... what was the "good" reason for armed American intervention into Vietnam?
     
  4. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    I think it's much more simple, in WW2 the enemy of the US forces largely engaged them in uniform and in battle, in Vietnam the enemy largely attacked in disguise and from ambush. Ask any soldier what they fear the most and they will say mines and artillery (And now IEDs), (i.e. weapons they can't defend themselves against), against the German army in 1944 the US soldiers were facing soldiers in uniform who would defend their position in a soldierly manner, in Vietnam they were facing guerillas who would plant a booby trap and not even care that it might not be triggered for years or even ever.

    Compare living in an environment when the enemy are clearly marked and identified (even if their uniform is camouflaged) to an environment where you never know when a random, sudden, unseen and unnoticed bullet, booby trap (Such as a punji-pit) or explosion is going to kill or maim you.., Now I want you to think along these lines, everyone, every shadow and every unexplained noise at any time of the day or night might be someone trying to kill you. Now imagine that's the case until January 17th 2009. Try living like that for one week, then try imagining what it might have been living like that in unfamiliar surroundings for a whole year.

    That's why.
     
  5. JCalhoun

    JCalhoun New Member

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    American society of the 1940's was quite a bit diferent than in the later 1960's. Americans in the 40's didn't talk about personal matters with anyone outside of the family. Men were expected to act strong and be strong and don't complain. This was also a time when divorce was wasn't socially acceptable and an unmarried woman being pregnant was absolutely shameful.

    Emotional problems after combat have always been around, the Vietnam War didn't create them. The social revolution of the 60's/70's eventually changed a lot of things in America.
     
  6. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    A lot of ww2 soliders had mental problems, its just that it didnt get a lot of attention. A sub reason is also what Calhoun said, that men were supposed to be tough. I bet there were a rather large number of PTSD cases, but it just didnt hit the public light. A notable case is of a former tanker who went on a rampgae and killed 11-12 people I believe.

    The culture, as said before was different. The television media wasnt there, attrocities werent reported, america was attacked, and people viewed the enemy quite badly, there was a propaganda machine, and alltogether an established determined homefront, and there was no counter culture hippy losers who loved everyone and everything but "evil" authority and the soliders they thought were the "bulldogs" of this authority.
     
  7. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    ww2 was what studs terckel called "the good war " america was attacked by a conventional military power , japan ..little yellow monkey men with buck teeth and thick glasses ( yes , very much a non pc and plainly raciest attitude ) this attack galvanized america like nothing else in history . in ww2 it was easy to see who was the bad guys and who was the good guys .nanking ,pearl harbour , bataan ..japs are clearly the bad guys ,nazis too , though this was before america got to see the death camps .

    in the 40s young men were proud to be americans , whatever their origins , even if their parents spoke italian ,yiddish ,japanese or polish . the boys were all about babe ruth ,apple pie and carburators , they were americans first and anything else second .

    korea and viet nam were about containing the percieved growth of communism in far off places no body ever heard of .americans were not on a war footing and were often ambivalent about the whole issue . ww2 vets were away for the duration together and when the good war was over and clearly won by the good guys ,soldiers came home together on troopships all at once to a superbowl victrory party .

    viet nam vets came home one at a time on 707s early morning their still in danang , by that same evening their back in the usa , alone ,bewildered and out of place . to a country that didnt really care much about the war or in later cases was very much against it and took out their anger on poor hapless returning servicemen .

    when i was 12 my dad was gone away to a strange and dangerous place for a whole year , i wasnt sure about why he was there but i was sure glad when he came home , he too was ambivelant about the whole thing ... he once told me that " all of korea and viet nam put together wasnt worth the life of one american kid " .

    looking back , i feel that communism was a bad thing and it was in our best interests to fight it over there , rather than over here , but then it wasnt me that had to go ...america , and the whole west became something different in the late sixties .the counterculture , love , freedom ,peace ,drugs , music , sexual freedom ,womans rights ,the pill ..tune in turn on ,drop out ,groovy man ...the worm turned and the world changed .in some ways for the better , in other ways ,not so much ....
     

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