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Go Back   The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum > Soviet Awards Forums > Soviet Sphere > Democratic/Socialist Republic Of Vietnam > Vietnamese Badges

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Old 03-13-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
Taz
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This Badge comes in two sizes 1,25" and 1" and commemorates the Viet Minh victory over the French Colonial Forces in the decisive Dien Bien Phu Battle in May 1954.
The badges are inscribed at the bottom CHIEN SY DIEN-BIEN-PHU (Soldier of Dien Bien Phu)
The SRV flag has the inscription QUYET CHIEN/QUYET THANG ( Decisive Battle/Resolved to win) XUAN 1954 (Spring 1954) is inscribed on the top of the badge

The third version of the badge conforms more to the usual design of the later campaign badges.
The SRV flag bears the inscription QUYET THANG (Resoved to Win)
5-8 is inscribed on the top of this badge and there are two theories as to what this refers to. On the one hand this was the date of the Geneva Peace Conference a day after the Frence surrender, on the other the shooting down and capture of Ensign Everett Alvarez on 5th August, 1964, who became the first American POW.

Image CO Dave Devine

Operation Pierce Arrow was a U.S. military operation during the Vietnam War.

In response to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident when the USS Maddox of the United States Navy was attacked after having provoked North Vietnamese patrol boats once on August 2, 1964 and allegedly again on August 4 as it gathered electronic intelligence while in the international waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, U.S.President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered Operation "Pierce Arrow" which was conducted on August 5. The operation consisted of 64 strike sorties from the aircraft carriers Ticonderoga and Constellation against the torpedo boat bases of Hon Gai, Loc Chao, Quang Khe, and Ben Thuy, and the oil storage depot at Vinh. The U.S. lost two aircraft to anti-aircraft fire, with one pilot killed and another, Ensign Everett Alvarez Jr., becoming the first U.S. Prisoner of War in Vietnam. Pilots estimated they destroyed 90 percent of the petroleum storage facility at Vinh together with the destruction of or damage to 25 P-4 torpedo boats.

This was the start of U.S. air operations over North Vietnam and Southeast Asia, attempting to destroy the infrastructure, war material, and military units needed by North Vietnam to prosecute the guerrilla war in the South. Pierce Arrow was followed by Operation Flaming Dart on February 7-11, 1965; Operation Rolling Thunder from March 2, 1965 to October 31, 1968; Operation Linebacker, May 9 to October 22, 1972; and Operation Linebacker II, December 18-29, 1972.
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Old 03-19-2008, 05:29 AM   #2
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Taz,

I thought that documents declassified a few years ago proved that the Bay of Tonkin incident never actually happened, and that it was disinformation aimed at getting Johnson to give the green light to military action against North Vietnam.

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Old 03-19-2008, 05:47 AM   #3
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Hi Marc,

Well an incident certainly took place, as to the nature of how and why and what actually happened there is reason to believe that some information was distorted and or misread.

Here is a small article on the topic.


In October, 2005 the New York Times reported that Robert J. Hanyok, a historian for the U.S. National Security Agency, had concluded that the NSA deliberately distorted the intelligence reports that it had passed on to policy-makers regarding the 4th August incident. He concluded that the motive was not political but was probably to cover up honest intelligence errors.

Mr. Hanyok's conclusions were initially published within the NSA in the Winter 2000/Spring 2001 Edition of Cryptologic Quarterly, about five years before they were revealed in the Times article. According to intelligence officials, the view of government historians that the report should become public was rebuffed by policymakers concerned that comparisons might be made to intelligence used to justify the Iraq War that commenced in 2003.

Reviewing the NSA's archives, Mr. Hanyok concluded that the NSA had initially misinterpreted North Vietnamese intercepts, believing there was an attack on 4 August. Midlevel NSA officials almost immediately discovered the error, he concluded, but covered it up by altering documents, so as to make it appear the second attack had happened. Robert McNamara, said in October 2005 that he believed intelligence reports regarding the Gulf of Tonkin incident were decisive to the war's expansion.

On 30 November 2005, the NSA released the first installment of previously classified information regarding the Gulf of Tonkin incident, including Mr. Hanyok's article, "Skunks, Bogies, Silent Hounds, and the Flying Fish: The Gulf of Tonkin Mystery, 2–4 August 1964" Cryptologic Quarterly, Winter 2000/Spring 2001 Edition, Vol. 19, No. 4 / Vol. 20, No. 1.

The Hanyok article stated that intelligence information was presented to the Johnson administration "in such a manner as to preclude responsible decisionmakers in the Johnson administration from having the complete and objective narrative of events." Instead, "only information that supported the claim that the communists had attacked the two destroyers was given to Johnson administration officials."

With regards to why this happened, Hanyok wrote:

As much as anything else, it was an awareness that President Johnson would brook no uncertainty that could undermine his position. Faced with this attitude, Ray Cline was quoted as saying "... we knew it was bum dope that we were getting from Seventh Fleet, but we were told only to give facts with no elaboration on the nature of the evidence. Everyone know how volatile LBJ was. He did not like to deal with uncertainties."

The full NSA report was released in January 2008 by the National Security Agency and published by the Federation of American Scientists, retelling the Vietnam War from the perspective of "signals intelligence".
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