Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vietnam..the War Museum, a close look.

Of all the countries in our region of South East Asia, one country captures my imagination more than the rest. That country is Vietnam. Not long after the end of WW 2 in 1945, Vietnam was at war again - the Vietmin and other Nationalists against the French who had hoped to re-exert themselves and regain their control over "French Indo-chine".
When the French were finally defeated, the war between the Northerners led by Ho Chih Min and the Southerners broke out. It was a war of political systems, the Northern communists versus the Southern democrats.

America, afraid that once Vietnam falls to the communists the rest of S E Asia nations would follow suit in what was then known as "the domino theory"...soon got itself involved by sending military assistance to the South Vietnamese Government in the early 60's.
When that did not stop the northern advance, America got fully involved by sending thousands of troops and huge amount of war armaments, supplies, planes, tanks, battleships etc. Soon other
nations were roped in on the side of America...similarly sending troops and equipment.
North Vietnam had critical support from the 2 giants...Russia and China.

The fearsome and terrible battles that took place claimed untold number of deaths from the 60's till the Fall of Saigon in 1975.

This War Museum is a "must visit" place if you are visiting Saigon.
Here are some pages from the brochure given to me at the ticket office.
Entry fee is about $ 1.50 ( Sg dollar ).

See what I captured inside this war museum..lots of pics, coming posts!


PChew said...

Communist North versus Southern Democrat? No, in the early 60s it was ruled by a dictator President Ngo Dinh Diem with US support. A few years later he was assassinated and his body was dragged on the street of Saigon. I was there in April 1962. After the war I went there again a few times. Entrance to the War Museum was free then.

unk Dicko said...

You are certainly right that Ngo D D was a dictator. He and his cronies were corrupt as well. But the people in the south were seen as capitalists opposed to communism as practised by the North.
The Ngo D Diem regime was dictatorial and propped up by the USA only because the Americans feared the spread of communism more.
The ordinary Vietnamese in the south, not those holding power with Ngo DD, were not dictatorial. Perhaps, a better term to describe them would be
"non-communist" rather than "democrats" as I had used rather loosely.
Incidentally, LKY and the PAP in their fight for independence for S'pore ( and later merger) throughout the 50's and early 60's..were always careful to label themselves as...Non-communist and not "Anti-communist". There's a world of difference between "non" and "anti".
Very smart indeed!