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1. firstname.lastname@example.org 2. Charles Krohn <clex@MSN.COM> -----Message from: email@example.com----- I can say very definitely that the native VC or the mixed VC/NVA units that became common after Tet '68 ever left weapons on the field just as a ruse. They were very intent on both recovering weapons and bodies whenever they could. There were actions in which I was involved where after a firefight with a treeline followed by artillery and/or air support, we would finally find the area empty except for fighting holes and cartridge cases, but there would be several blood trails large enough to indicate fatal wounds. On one occasion in I Corps in Sept '68, there was an initial assault, then a fallback until the Phantoms came and worked over the treeline, and the second assault followed the last rocket explosions very quickly. The VC/NVA broke and ran, and after pursuit ended, we found one fresh body in the treeline, already bound up in some kind of fabric to be dragged away. He must have been killed in the first assault, and his comrades were preparing to drag him away when the Phantoms arrived. The immediate secondary assault surprised them and so they were forced to abandon the body on that occasion. But there were no weapons recovered there. Most of the time when weapons were recovered, it was from finding a buried cache under a village garden. I have films of a couple such incidents. R J Del Vecchio firstname.lastname@example.org -----Message from: Charles Krohn <clex@MSN.COM>----- My experience in Vietnam, 1967-68, will validate the importance of body count as a measure of success. Often body counts were estimates, and often inflated to please the higher-ups. I understand later in the war, officials were sent to the field to actually count the bodies. Of course by that time most observers understood that killing more of them than they killed of us was not an accurate measure of how the winds of that war were blowing. Regarding weapons, I don't think your skepticism is warranted. Losing a weapon for whatever reason was frowned on, presumably by both sides. I collected a lot of weapons after major brawls and turned them over to our brigade headquarters for further distribution--to whom, I don't know. We could not use captured weapons because of their distinctive signature would draw friendly fire. Regarding the VC, there were various levels of commitment and expertise. After Tet, the VC generally disappeared as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) took over the heavy load. As a professional force, losing weapons was not a quick channel for promotion. On the other hand, both sides employed deceptive practices, when they could. Charles Krohn (author, The Lost Battalion of Tet, Simon & Schuster, 2009.) Original Message From: H-War Editor David Silbey<mailto:david.silbey@ALVERNIA.EDU> To: H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU<mailto:H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Sent: Friday, February 19, 2010 8:14 AM Subject: QUERY: Semper Fi Vietnam From: Cottontail215@aol.com<mailto:Cottontail215@aol.com> Date: Friday, February 19, 2010 9:03:54 AM Subject: semper fi vietnam I am reading the above book on the marines in Vietnam from Da Nang to the DMZ by Edward Murphy. One of the issues he brought up and i have heard since the war ended was the body and weapons count so important to Westmoreland and the president.In his book which seems interesting. I notice that many combat actions were judge in the book by the amounts of weapons captured. I always wondered if the VC left the stuff there just to give a false idea. It seemed that they never lacked firepower.is Any ideas? Thanks, Les Hulkower <http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/> <http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war> Charles Krohn <clex@MSN.COM> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----