My Lai

An American Atrocity in the Vietnam War

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Author: William Thomas Allison

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421406446

Category: History

Page: 170

View: 6682

On March 16, 1968, American soldiers killed as many as five hundred Vietnamese men, women, and children in a village near the South China Sea. In My Lai William Thomas Allison explores and evaluates the significance of this horrific event. How could such a thing have happened? Who (or what) should be held accountable? How do we remember this atrocity and try to apply its lessons, if any? My Lai has fixed the attention of Americans of various political stripes for more than forty years. The breadth of writing on the massacre, from news reports to scholarly accounts, highlights the difficulty of establishing fact and motive in an incident during which confusion, prejudice, and self-preservation overwhelmed the troops. Son of a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War—and aware that the generation who lived through the incident is aging—Allison seeks to ensure that our collective memory of this shameful episode does not fade. Well written and accessible, Allison’s book provides a clear narrative of this historic moment and offers suggestions for how to come to terms with its aftermath.

My Lai

A Brief History with Documents

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Author: NA NA

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137086254

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 222

View: 1739

This volume introduces students to the most controversial incident of the Vietnam War - the My Lai massacre when almost 400 Vietnamese civilians were killed in four hours. The authors discuss the ramifications of the cover-up and the ensuing investigations for the American public, policymakers, the anti-War movement and the soldiers involved. They examine the causes of the massacre and the issues of culpability and human rights. The narrative is built around 70 primary documents drawn mainly from testimony and reports from the government enquiry into the outrage.

The My Lai Massacre in American History and Memory

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Author: Kendrick Oliver

Publisher: Manchester University Press

ISBN: 9780719068911

Category: History

Page: 300

View: 9450

On 16 March 1968, two US infantry companies entered a Vietnamese village and in the course of a single morning killed over 400 of its unarmed, unresisting inhabitants . . . This is the first book to examine the response of American society to the My Lai massacre and its ambiguous place in American national memory. Kendrick Oliver argues that the massacre revelations left many Americans untroubled. It was only when the soldiers most immediately responsible came to be tried that opposition to the conflict grew, for these prosecutions were regarded by supporters of the war as evidence that the national leaders no longer had the will to do what was necessary to win. Oliver goes on to show that, contrary to interpretations of the Vietnam conflict as an unhealed national trauma or wound, many Americans have assimilated the war and its violence rather too well, and they were able to do so even when that violence was most conspicuous and current. US soldiers have been presented as the conflict's principal victims, and this was true even in the case of My Lai. It was the American perpetrators of the massacre and not the Vietnamese they brutalized who became the central object of popular concern. Both the massacre and its reception reveal the problem of human empathy in conditions of a counter-revolutionary war - a war, moreover, that had always been fought for geopolitical credibility, not for the sake of the Vietnamese. This incisive enquiry into the moral history of the Vietnam war should be essential reading for all students of the conflict, as well as others interested in the war and its cultural legacies.

The My Lai Massacre

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Author: Michael Burgan

Publisher: Capstone

ISBN: 0756538491

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 48

View: 5162

Examines key events that took place in the South Vietnamese village of My Lai, during the Vietnam War.

My Lai

Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness

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Author: Howard Jones

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190228776

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 2562

On the early morning of March 16, 1968, American soldiers from three platoons of Charlie Company (1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division), entered a group of hamlets located in the Son Tinh district of South Vietnam, located near the Demilitarized Zone and known as "Pinkville" because of the high level of Vietcong infiltration. The soldiers, many still teenagers who had been in the country for three months, were on a "search and destroy" mission. The Tet Offensive had occurred only weeks earlier and in the same area and had made them jittery; so had mounting losses from booby traps and a seemingly invisible enemy. Three hours after the GIs entered the hamlets, more than five hundred unarmed villagers lay dead, killed in cold blood. The atrocity took its name from one of the hamlets, known by the Americans as My Lai 4. Military authorities attempted to suppress the news of My Lai, until some who had been there, in particular a helicopter pilot named Hugh Thompson and a door gunner named Lawrence Colburn, spoke up about what they had seen. The official line was that the villagers had been killed by artillery and gunship fire rather than by small arms. That line soon began to fray. Lieutenant William Calley, one of the platoon leaders, admitted to shooting the villagers but insisted that he had acted upon orders. An exposé of the massacre and cover-up by journalist Seymour Hersh, followed by graphic photographs, incited international outrage, and Congressional and U.S. Army inquiries began. Calley and nearly thirty other officers were charged with war crimes, though Calley alone was convicted and would serve three and a half years under house arrest before being paroled in 1974. My Lai polarized American sentiment. Many saw Calley as a scapegoat, the victim of a doomed strategy in an unwinnable war. Others saw a war criminal. President Nixon was poised to offer a presidential pardon. The atrocity intensified opposition to the war, devastating any pretense of American moral superiority. Its effect on military morale and policy was profound and enduring. The Army implemented reforms and began enforcing adherence to the Hague and Geneva conventions. Before launching an offensive during Desert Storm in 1991, one general warned his brigade commanders, "No My Lais in this division--do you hear me?" Compelling, comprehensive, and haunting, based on both exhaustive archival research and extensive interviews, Howard Jones's My Lai will stand as the definitive book on one of the most devastating events in American military history.

After My Lai

My Year Commanding First Platoon, Charlie Company

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Author: Gary W Bray

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 0806183195

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 184

View: 1884

In the fall of 1969, Gary Bray landed in South Vietnam as a recently married, freshly minted second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. His assignment was not enviable: leading the platoon whose former members had committed the My Lai massacre—the murder of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians—eighteen months earlier. In this compelling memoir, he shares his experiences of Vietnam in the direct wake of that terrible event. After My Lai documents the war’s horrific effects on both sides of the struggle. Bray presents the Vietnam conflict as the touchstone of a generation, telling how his feelings about being a soldier—a family tradition—were dramatically altered by the events he participated in and witnessed. He explains how young men, angered by the deaths of comrades and with no release for their frustration, can sometimes cross the line of legal and ethical behavior. Bray’s account differs from many Vietnam memoirs in his vivid descriptions of platoon-level tactical operations. As he builds suspense in moment-by-moment depictions of men plunging into jungle gloom and tragedy, he demonstrates that what led to My Lai is easier to comprehend once you’ve walked the booby-trapped ground yourself. An intensely personal story, gracefully rendered yet brutally honest, After My Lai reveals how warfare changes you forever.

From Melos to My Lai

War and Survival

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Author: Lawrence A. Tritle

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 9780415171601

Category: History

Page: 220

View: 3103

From Melos to My Lai presents an erudite, provocative and moving analysis of the accounts of violence in the literature and history of ancient Greece and in the film literature and veterans' accounts of the Vietnam War. This comparative investigation examines the nature of violence, its impact on society and culture, especially as reflected from the perspective of the survivors. The survivors include not only actual combatants, but those with whom they interact: their comrades, their wives and children, families and society as a whole. From Melos to My Lai provides a unique contribution to the study of the impact of violence on its participants and its audience which combines an examination of the artistic representations of violence and the real-life accounts of those involved in it.

My Lai

A Brief History with Documents

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Author: James S. Olson,Randy Roberts

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780312142278

Category: History

Page: 222

View: 8885

The massacre at My Lai on March 16, 1968 continues to haunt students of the Vietnam War as a moment that challenges notions of American virtue. James Olson and Randy Roberts have combed unpublished testimony and gather a collection of eyewitness accounts from those who were at My Lai and reports from those who investigated the incident and its cover-up.

The Forgotten Hero of My Lai

The Hugh Thompson Story

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Author: Trent Angers

Publisher: Acadian House Publishing

ISBN: 9780925417909

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 271

View: 8265

Traces the life of the U.S. Army helicopter pilot who tried to stop the infamous My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War.

Investigation of the My Lai Incident

Report of the Armed Services Investigating Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, Ninety-first Congress, Second Session, Under Authority of H. Res. 105

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Author: United States. Congress. House. Committee on Armed Services. My Lai Incident Subcommittee

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: My Lai Massacre, Vietnam, 1968

Page: 53

View: 2751