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Red Thunder Notes

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Louisiana State University
HIST 2023

HanoiCapital North Vietnam SaigonCapital South Vietnam1South Vietnamese SaigonGovernment2South Vietnamese ArmyARVNArmy republic of Vietnam3US Opponents The FrontNational Liberation Front Communist Leaders of the FrontThe PartyUnits that they fought underFront CommandMain Force Units4North Vietnamese ArmyNVASoldiers US Nicknames for their opponentsThe VCViet CongCharliePage 10AOArea of OperationsPage 11Immediately exiting the plane hot humid air surrounded is as though we were prisoners A heavy wet air that just stuck to your body after coming out of that airconditioned environment on the plane You were sweating right away Sweet smell of incense was in the air Could smell it around the villages especially at nightJames Cipolla saidThe first thing that hits you is the heatthe incredible oppressive humidity Page 13The smell of VietnamThe heat the rural makeup of the population the burning of wood incensethe poverty of the country combined to give it a distinct odorBob ConnerThe air stunk Like a room thats been closed up for a long time and its been dampwhen you open the door the mildew would hit you in the face Dirty Grayish stuffy smell You really want to turn aroundget a breath of fresh air The country was stinkingpoor it was from another erastThis kind of description of the mens 1 impression of Vietnam was typical Different soldiers described how when they were flying over Vietnam coming to war they had no idea what they were coming into and what to expect They recounted looking down at the landscape and thinking how beautiful it wascolorful Lush greens and blues It looked so calm and peaceful from above They had no idea what they were in for Looking down form above you couldnt see bombs going off or any disturbances to let you know that their was a war going on Page 15Vietnam has 2 very distinct seasonsWinterSpringgenerally bone drySummerFalltime of lifegiving monsoon rainsth Both seasons created uniqueunavoidable challenges for the men of the 25 DivisionPage 18Gene TraskDepending on whether you were on the ground or in the air Vietnam was both the beautythe beastPage 283 Permanent campsCu ChiTay Ninh Dau TiengYou will read the most about Cu Chi since it was a base camp for the DivisionPage 51Points about the M16Shitty weaponUnreliableJammed frequently Made troops question their own weaponstheir safety Side noteThe M16 replaced the M14 that soldiers from previous wars had used When the M16 was tested it was not up to par in the opinion of those who tested it but the Army used it anyhow The first M16s that were used were the unreliable ones They would jam frequently and sometimes cost many soldiers their lives Later the first M16s were replaced with an improved version of the M16 After the replacement solders tended to like the weapon better Page 52They were outgunned by the VC or gooksVC weapon held 30 rounds ours could only hold 18Later they were issued a newer M16 a better weaponfired flawlesslybut still no banana cliphad to tape clips together The enemys main weapon AK47 was often considered a better weapon in comparisonLt Thomas Giltner Platoon leader in 1966 praised the enemys weaponPage 53
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