Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Vietnam by Ken Burns

  1. #1

    Vietnam by Ken Burns

    Just finished watching Ken Burns' documentary series Vietnam on Netflix.

    Absolutely brilliant. Many times I got a little weepy watching it.

    If you haven't seen it, you need to make a point of watching it. I didn't think he could top, "the Civil War" , but I think he at least ties it.

    Incredible how complex that war was and how its repercussions are still echoing through the USA today (in the great political divide).

  2. #2
    The Original Elf
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Keebler Factory
    Posts
    14,198
    Great series
    "A voice of reason in a sea of madness"

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Back in the 6ix
    Posts
    4,992
    https://terb.cc/vbulletin/showthread...hlight=Vietnam

    Watched it when it was originally aired, link above was a discussion.

    VBB
    Some people are like slinkies ... they are not really good for anything ... but, they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

  4. #4
    The reason why there are/were so many Vietnam vets that came back psychologically damaged or suffered delayed effects from the war was that the average US soldier in Vietnam saw about 20 days fighting per month as compared to 20-40 days fighting per year for the US soldier in WWII


    Ceiling Cat
    A.K.A Van Helsing - Cackler Killer

  5. #5
    Official Cyclops Wrangler
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Hanging out with the One-Eyed Monster.
    Posts
    21,552
    Quote Originally Posted by Ceiling Cat View Post
    The reason why there are/were so many Vietnam vets that came back psychologically damaged or suffered delayed effects from the war was that the average US soldier in Vietnam saw about 20 days fighting per month as compared to 20-40 days fighting per year for the US soldier in WWII

    CC, that's an average. WW2 saw many soldiers simply garrisoning posts in the Pacific or Mediterranean and never fighting. And the US committed about half its combat divisions in NW Europe after the Battle of the Bulge was already won. Guys in Normandy or the Bulge fought for weeks non stop - until they were wounded, killed or simply collapsed mentally.
    After 30 years hobbying and 15 years on TERB, maybe I should write my memoirs. I'd call them..... "If these Balls could talk".

  6. #6
    His documentary on baseball was well done. I just did a search on it and did not know he had added a tenth inning to the series - I will have to find a link.

    I remember years ago as a kid watching the Vietnam series that was narrated by Harvey Kirck.
    Yes, that is me with my new whistle


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ref View Post
    His documentary on baseball was well done. I just did a search on it and did not know he had added a tenth inning to the series - I will have to find a link.

    I remember years ago as a kid watching the Vietnam series that was narrated by Harvey Kirck.
    The tenth inning is definitely worth watching as it picks up from 1994 and covers the steroid era very well.

  8. #8
    I watched the Vietnam Series a couple of weeks ago. Very well done....I recommend it too.

  9. #9
    It was on PBS about 1 year ago. Was good.

  10. #10
    Currently on episode 7.

    I'm vietnamese. Very good series and it's great to learn more in depth about both sides.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaolinx View Post
    I'm vietnamese.
    Resource rich Vietnam with 96 million people could be the next "Asian Tiger", if it isn't one already.

  12. #12
    The Original Elf
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Keebler Factory
    Posts
    14,198
    Quote Originally Posted by Ceiling Cat View Post
    The reason why there are/were so many Vietnam vets that came back psychologically damaged or suffered delayed effects from the war was that the average US soldier in Vietnam saw about 20 days fighting per month as compared to 20-40 days fighting per year for the US soldier in WWII
    That's part of it. But the real problem was the lack of post-tour treatment and "decompression" prior to re-entry into society. The book On Killing does a great job of describing how soldiers in Vietnam could be in a firefight in the morning and be stepping off a transport plane back in the US that night and then straight home to their family (assuming they had someone to come home to).

    In WWII it usually took months to get back home and during that time soldiers would have time to decompress, sometimes just by talking about their experiences with fellow soldiers. Then when they got home they were treated like heroes and granted numerous societal perks, unlike Vietnam vets who were often spit on at airports and virtually ignored by their communities (i.e., no "welcome home" parades, few memorials or monuments, etc.).

    Today the US military has learned from their mistakes and does a much better job (though not perfect) of "decompressing" their soldiers before re-entry back into society. That doesn't mean soldiers won't get PTSD, but it often lessens the likelihood and severity.
    "A voice of reason in a sea of madness"

  13. #13
    Excellent series. As for the reasons Vietnam Vets came back psychologically damaged - were they? I mean anymore than any modern war? I think a lot of the damage went unrecognised for too long because it was an unpopular war so the damage was amplified by a feeling of being abandoned and unappreciated upon return. Eg: One negative for the Vietnam Vet was how they were perceived. Not as “heroes”, “thank you for your service” - but as suckers (if they volunteered) and derided by much of the public. Draftees felt used. That’s why the Vietnam Memorial was such an important monument and almost an emotional healing experience for so many Americans.

  14. #14
    Official Cyclops Wrangler
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Hanging out with the One-Eyed Monster.
    Posts
    21,552
    Some other things to think about. PTSD was not known before the 60's, I believe. One of the scandals of the First World War is that PTSD sufferers were often shot as cowards when they had breakdowns. In fact the typical "boys magazine" portrayal of a coward at the time would closely resemble a PTSD sufferer.

    Society before the 60's was so conformist, macho and violent that a PTSD sufferer acting out would simply be "one of the guys" fighting in the back alley behind the bar / pub after drinking.

    Consciousness of trauma related post combat stress was / is a sign of the times.
    After 30 years hobbying and 15 years on TERB, maybe I should write my memoirs. I'd call them..... "If these Balls could talk".

  15. #15
    The Original Elf
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Keebler Factory
    Posts
    14,198
    Quote Originally Posted by essguy_ View Post
    Excellent series. As for the reasons Vietnam Vets came back psychologically damaged - were they?
    Yes. Vietnam was a different type of war. One where the soldiers (ultimately) didn't believe in the cause. One where you couldn't tell civilian from soldier, and all the atrocities that come with that. One where you came home to have all your experiences invalidated and decried as war crimes.

    It's one thing to be fighting a "just" war that you and your society believe in. It's quite another to be fighting for a cause that most other people do not support.

    In terms of the violence, it likely wasn't particularly worse. But it's how your mind copes with that and the help (or lack thereof) that your society provides that will determine how good/bad your experience was.

    It was also the first war the US truly lost, with all the psychological repercussions that come with that.
    "A voice of reason in a sea of madness"

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Keebler Elf View Post
    Yes. Vietnam was a different type of war. One where the soldiers (ultimately) didn't believe in the cause. One where you couldn't tell civilian from soldier, and all the atrocities that come with that. One where you came home to have all your experiences invalidated and decried as war crimes.

    It's one thing to be fighting a "just" war that you and your society believe in. It's quite another to be fighting for a cause that most other people do not support.

    In terms of the violence, it likely wasn't particularly worse. But it's how your mind copes with that and the help (or lack thereof) that your society provides that will determine how good/bad your experience was.

    It was also the first war the US truly lost, with all the psychological repercussions that come with that.
    You took my quote out of context. What I meant is that were more soldiers (percentage) damaged in Vietnam vs any other Modern War or is it that now we recognize and treat returning vets as well as honour them, even when the cause is just as questionable as Vietnam. I believe that if returning Vietnam Vets were treated like returning Iraq or Afghanistan War vets then the perception of the number damaged would be different. The biggest change between Vietnam and wars since is how they have been marketed to the public. This is bad in the sense that unjust wars are still fought but to patriotic cheers (Eg: Iraq) but is good in the sense that the public recognizes that returning soldiers deserve thanks for their service vs being branded as “baby killers”.

    Of course the other downside is that attrocities can get brushed over too. So you could wonder whether a “My Lai” type incident would generate the same horror and outrage, or whether the civilian population would dismiss it as collateral damage from fighting an enemy without uniforms.

  17. #17
    Good points above....And just to add a lot of the WWII vets were pretty psychologically damaged too, but they were from a generation where admitting it was seen as weakness - thus many suffered in silence. Guys who couldn't work. Guys showing up at bars at 8am. Guys committing suicide 15 years later. Guys who couldn't leave their homes. Guys screaming in the night for 20 years after the war. Much of this was hidden. Only in maybe the last 10-15 years have those surviving vets opened up about their experiences. I'd occasionally pop into an RSL 20 yrs ago w an uncle who was an old digger and would hear some truly horrifying things.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •