Canadians in Vietnam

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Canadians in Vietnam

Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

August 13th, 2008, 12:40 pm #1

The other day on history channel I noted a documentary on Canadians in Vietnam. I did not get the title.

Anyway, what surprised me was the fact that this documentary comes across as being very bias towards these vets. It paints the war in Vietnam as a shameful venture and also condemns the Canadian Govt. for making money off the war.

The vets in the documentary seem as though they too were ashamed of their service.

This comes after I had an argument with CFRA's Michael Harris about US involvement in Vietnam.

I personnally don't think any veteran of the Vietnam war should feel ashamed or made to feel ashamed of their service.

In truth, the military forces in Vietnam did a good job and were victorious in most of the battles that took place. SF groups performed well against the enemy. It seems to me the biggest push by the communists was the Tet Offensive and although a surprise, a dismal failure by the Communists.

It is my opinion that the left wing media in the US and Canada has painted a poor picture of the history of the fighting in Vietnam. In my opinion it was purely a political failure and not necessarily a military failure. After all, how could the US fight a war when they were pulling out?

Anyway thought I would get some educated opinions on this. I personally think Canadian veterans of the Vietnam war should be proud of their service. I think some have been brainwashed to think that the Vietnamese did not want them there and did not appreciate their efforts. Despite a corrupt Govt. in the South (who doesnt have a corrupt Govt?), It is obivous that there were many in Vietnam that wanted nothing to do with the North. Hence the failure of Tet. A part of the success of Tet, was the fact that many ordinary Vietnamese fought back against the communist offensive. As far as I know, the western media painted Tet as a communist victory. And it was this bias coverage that sparked the begining of the pull out of the US.

Anyway, I realise that victory in Vietnam could only have been achieved via a complicated military and political process, however my point is that the effort of Cdn's in Vietnam as part of US Forces should be respected and that these veterans should be proud of their attempt to quell communist aggression and expansion in SE Asia.







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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 13th, 2008, 1:24 pm #2

There is a chapter of the Vietnam Veterans association in Calgary; their vets routinely set up displays - I've seen them at the local Walmart, for example, wearing their blazers. They are anything but ashamed of their service, so the TV program you mention obviously only presented but one side of the story. I've seen these fellows on more than one occasion. They are also prominent on Remembrance Day, IIRC, and lay wreaths at the local cenotaphs, for example, as part of the official services.
Michael Dorosh
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Clive M. Law - Service Publications
Clive M. Law - Service Publications

August 13th, 2008, 2:15 pm #3

The other day on history channel I noted a documentary on Canadians in Vietnam. I did not get the title.

Anyway, what surprised me was the fact that this documentary comes across as being very bias towards these vets. It paints the war in Vietnam as a shameful venture and also condemns the Canadian Govt. for making money off the war.

The vets in the documentary seem as though they too were ashamed of their service.

This comes after I had an argument with CFRA's Michael Harris about US involvement in Vietnam.

I personnally don't think any veteran of the Vietnam war should feel ashamed or made to feel ashamed of their service.

In truth, the military forces in Vietnam did a good job and were victorious in most of the battles that took place. SF groups performed well against the enemy. It seems to me the biggest push by the communists was the Tet Offensive and although a surprise, a dismal failure by the Communists.

It is my opinion that the left wing media in the US and Canada has painted a poor picture of the history of the fighting in Vietnam. In my opinion it was purely a political failure and not necessarily a military failure. After all, how could the US fight a war when they were pulling out?

Anyway thought I would get some educated opinions on this. I personally think Canadian veterans of the Vietnam war should be proud of their service. I think some have been brainwashed to think that the Vietnamese did not want them there and did not appreciate their efforts. Despite a corrupt Govt. in the South (who doesnt have a corrupt Govt?), It is obivous that there were many in Vietnam that wanted nothing to do with the North. Hence the failure of Tet. A part of the success of Tet, was the fact that many ordinary Vietnamese fought back against the communist offensive. As far as I know, the western media painted Tet as a communist victory. And it was this bias coverage that sparked the begining of the pull out of the US.

Anyway, I realise that victory in Vietnam could only have been achieved via a complicated military and political process, however my point is that the effort of Cdn's in Vietnam as part of US Forces should be respected and that these veterans should be proud of their attempt to quell communist aggression and expansion in SE Asia.






Fred Gaffen, formerly the historian at the Cdn War Museum, wrote a book on Canadians in Vietnam. I have a signed copy somewhere here that you can borrow, if you wish.
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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

August 13th, 2008, 2:41 pm #4

There is a chapter of the Vietnam Veterans association in Calgary; their vets routinely set up displays - I've seen them at the local Walmart, for example, wearing their blazers. They are anything but ashamed of their service, so the TV program you mention obviously only presented but one side of the story. I've seen these fellows on more than one occasion. They are also prominent on Remembrance Day, IIRC, and lay wreaths at the local cenotaphs, for example, as part of the official services.
That is right Michael. I just wish more people in this Country would realise how bias our documentary makers can be. I dont mind hearing both opinions, however this documentary largely touted one side of the story. Sometimes I wonder if the vets really understand at times what they are being interviewed for? I mean, are they told one thing yet the finished product portrays something completely different? I wonder about that?
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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

August 13th, 2008, 2:44 pm #5

Fred Gaffen, formerly the historian at the Cdn War Museum, wrote a book on Canadians in Vietnam. I have a signed copy somewhere here that you can borrow, if you wish.
Hi Clive

I would like to see that. Maybe when we meet ie: FSSF

Thanks!
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Michael Dorosh
Michael Dorosh

August 13th, 2008, 3:13 pm #6

That is right Michael. I just wish more people in this Country would realise how bias our documentary makers can be. I dont mind hearing both opinions, however this documentary largely touted one side of the story. Sometimes I wonder if the vets really understand at times what they are being interviewed for? I mean, are they told one thing yet the finished product portrays something completely different? I wonder about that?
Some of the veterans interviewed for The Valour and the Horror later felt betrayed in exactly the way you describe; i.e. they thought they were going to discuss their experiences in Normandy in a frank manner, and then had their words put into a very non-neutral presentation in which the Canadian experience in Normandy was presented from a 1960s perspective in which Canadian generals were unprofessional headline grabbers and the Second World War achievements of the Canadian Army was largely, in their eyes, a costly mistake in which a power hungry few gained promotion by the frequent massacres of their own men. The reality was far different if one reads C.P. Stacey, Terry Copp, Brian Reid or Jack Granatstein, of course, but the thousands that saw TV&TH would for the most part never have cracked any of those other, better volumes.
Last edited by dorosh on August 14th, 2008, 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dale
dale

August 13th, 2008, 10:07 pm #7

Hi Clive

I would like to see that. Maybe when we meet ie: FSSF

Thanks!
windsor i think has a chapter. we had a nco (e&k scots)who was a vietnam vet.
there is a document or a thesis by a canadian general from back in the 60's i belive. he said and out lined how and why the canadian goverment was going to get rid of the canadian armed services. i realy wished i down loaded it. if not all most came true. things that i can remember were things like media misrepincintation, making canadians think the cf is a peace keeping organiztion ect. i spent 7 yrs. in the cnd army as a cbt arms soldier. i never once was given peace keeping training. if there is such a thing. if we were to go on u.n. opertation we boned up on all of are soldier skills. but you no the media alawys portray u.n. missions as fun in the sun and not combat. most is just gaurd and patrol, intrupted with a quick moments of combat. in my opion getting shot at is getting shot at. be it oka, yugo, somalia, cyprus or ww2 anzio.
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