Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Friday, January 19, 2007


This is coolbert:

With regard to that StrategyPage article concerning the Medal of Honor:

"Since Korea and Vietnam were unpopular wars, more MoHs were awarded, basically as a morale building measure . . . The army, in particular, was not proud of this. So after Vietnam, there was much agitation within the Department of Defense to make the standards matter."

In the case of Vietnam, this may not be entirely so! Excessive awarding of the MoH when not warranted!

Vietnam WAS an unpopular war, but that does not mean the heroics of the troops were any less than in any other war.

Most firefights between infantry in Vietnam was at a range of twenty [20] meters or less!!

Ambushes were generally the rule. Troops had to instantly respond in a fashion that would preclude their annihilation. Created a lot of circumstances were heroics became common.

Rushing right into the "teeth" of the enemy's position, heedless of death, jumping on a hand grenade thrown at close quarters, rescuing a wounded and down comrade, etc. This occurred in Vietnam all the time.

U.S. troops quite often also found themselves in "last stand" type circumstances such as at Special Forces [SF] camps or firebases.

"Last stand" circumstances where U.S. troops faced annihilation at the hands of overwhelming numbers of charging enemy soldiers. Stand and fight to the death without any other option being available.

When such a situation occurs, heroics become standard in many cases. With troops of elan', such as the SF, you find that heroics even become more pronounced.

It may very well be that in Vietnam an inordinate number of MoH's were NOT awarded. The medal was deserved!



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