"Giai Phong! The Fall and Liberation of Saigon ."
Thirty-two years ago today...
This book was published in 1976 by Der Spiegel's Asian correspondent, Tiziano Terzani.
Vietnam War :
Were any Red Chinese south of the Seventeenth Parallel ??
Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway's We Were Soldiers Once .. and Young seems to hint that maybe so !
Adapted from pages 63-64.
They had made an intercept of a coded message in [Chinese] Mandarin dialect, like a situation report, from a position somewhere on a line from Plei Me camp directly through a clearing at the base of Chu Pong mountain.
The intelligence lieutenant had a map with a line drawn on it.
He said that the radio transmitter was somewhere on this line.
I don't remember how long that message was -- that didn't really bother me.
It was the direction it came thorugh.
The lieutenant said he thought that possibly there was a North Vietnamese regiment somewhere out there near Chu Pong mountain."
Adapted from page 363:
"During Captain Matt Dillon's portion of the briefing he mentioned a report by our men that had seen the body of an enemy soldier they suspected was Chinese -- he was large, and was dressed in a uniform different from that of the NVA -- which disappeared from the battlefield before we could retrieve it.
"Westmoreland reacted angrily and forcefully, telling us all:
You will never mention anything about Chinese soldiers in South Vietnam! Never!"
The authors trace what they call "Westmoreland's sensitivity to the issue of Chinese advsiers traveling with the North Vietnamese on the battlefield," to the New York Times.
They say one Charles Mohr wrote it "in the November 17, 1965, issue."
"Filed from Saigon, the article reported that prisoners captured in late October around Plei Me Special Forces Camp had appeared at a news conference in Saigon, telling reporters that they had entered South Vietnam through Cambodia and had received assistance from Cambodian militiamen.
"Mohr's article added that the prisoners told the reporters that each of the North Vietnamese People's Army regiments had one Chinese Communist adviser.
Apparently citing Mohr's original article the authors add:
"An official American spokeman commented, we don't have positive knowledge of Chinese advisers but it is a distinct possibility."
Oh, my goodness! All this upset the White House no end! Heh, heh!
"There would be no more discussion of Chinese involvement in the fighting in South Vietnam.
"President Johnson remembred Korea, and his fear of Chinese intervention in Vietnam led him to exercise unprecendented personal control over the selection of targets in North Vietnam.
"The question of Chinese advisers was no less sensitive to the North Vietnamese.
"Asked about U.S. Army Signal Intelligence intercepts of radio transmissions in the Mandarin Chinese dialect in the vicinity of his headquarers on the Chu Pong massif on November 14, 1965, [the then- NVA/PAVN battlefield commander in the Ia Drang, Lieutenenat Colonel Nguyen] An said:
We had that language capability and sometimes used it to confuse whoever might be listening."