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SS in Vietnam

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  Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: SS in Vietnam
    Posted: 13-May-2007 at 17:57
Originally posted by aghart

I once read a book written my a member of that force.  They were all French Foreign Legion and worked with the French Para's. 
 
I recall clearly one episode in the book where they had identified the location of a Viet minh regiment in the jungle and then positioned  a heavy machine gun at each of 3 positons around them.  They then called in a French air strike at night, at the correct time each MG opened fire with 100% tracer ammunition in the direction of one their own guns!!
 
The result was a "triangle" of tracer fire easily visable to the approaching French aircraft who simply had to drop their bombs and rockets within the marked target area!!


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  Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2007 at 17:58
Originally posted by DukeC

Originally posted by Temujin

well this was a win-win situation, after ww2 the german army had to be dissolved while the french army had to be rebuild.
 
Win-win for the French and Germans but not the Viet Minh. The battalion killed 7,466 guerrillas, destroyed 211 bases and liberated 311 political prisoners.


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  Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2007 at 18:01
Originally posted by U100

Hello Temujin
You are right, many SS soldiers of the Waffen SS went to Vietnam. Also keep in mind that many Waffen SS prisoners were given a choice, (1) die in the Eisenhowere death camps or (2) go to French Indo China and take a chance fighting in the Foreign Legion and living.
A good book to read about these Death Camps that the Americans ran is called "Other Losses" by James Bach



Eisenhower death camps? For German POWs? Are you confusing them with the treatment of the German POW's in Russia? Please forward more information as I find this hard to fathom.
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  Quote TheRedBaron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2007 at 08:43
Sadly the idea of Waffen-SS soldier in Indo-China in the 50's is false.
 
While many joined in the last few months of 1945 and early 1946 they had all finished their service by the time of Dien Bien Phu for example.
 
By that time the majority of troops were French or african with increasing numbers of Viet conscripts.
 
The myth that large numbers of ex-SS served against the Viet-Minh is just that - A myth. While their was individuals still serving in the FFL against the Viet Minh they were not in any way the 'norm'. By the time of Dien Bien Phu there were very few. Of those that did remain they were exclusively ex-Wehrmacht with most coming from the Grossdeutchland Division. The French preferred to recruit from Wehrmacht personnel rather than Waffen-SS for obvious reasons.
 
I would recommend the book 'The Last Valley' for those wishing to explore the truth behind German troops serving in Indo-China.
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  Quote britopinion Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2007 at 17:05
 
I've got a copy of "Devil's Guard" by George Robert Elford, i got hold of it years ago, and i'd have to agree that the book is a little exaggerated at least. It's an interesting and pretty enjoyable read but definately not 100% factual, at least in my opinion.
 
Some very good books on the French in Indo-China 1945-1954 include 'Street Without Joy' (about the war overall) and 'Hell in a very Small Place' (specifically about the battle at Dien Bien Phu) both by Bernard B. Fall. Really excellent, both of them.
 
Osprey also publish a good book on the French war in Indo-China as part of the Men at Arms series of books.
 
 
 
 


Edited by britopinion - 06-Jun-2007 at 16:24
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  Quote ChickenShoes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2007 at 13:10
Originally posted by DukeC

 
Do you remember the name of the book?
 
the name of the book is, "The Devil's Guard" like britopinion says, but the idea of a solely German unit is false. They were usually mixed in with French units, they were not segregated. Also, SS units were practically everywhere after the war. Operation Paperclip saved thousands of them...it's more than probable that many of them left Germany to escape persecution and became mercenaries for other government's objectives; who wouldn't want a German soldier?  Their skill is legendary.


Edited by ChickenShoes - 08-Jun-2007 at 13:13
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  Quote TranHungDao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2007 at 16:55
Originally posted by Spartakus

Well,they were for sure experienced.

Yes, the word "experienced" is the key here.  The Waffen SS's performance in trying to stop the American and Russian marches to Berlin was quite impressive.  They were able to organized remants of scattered or decimated units and effectively counter attack, while undermanned and underarmed.  Their resistance was fierce.
 
However, the Waffen SS were also elite soldiers, which means they were very well trained to begin with.   Thirdly, they also had better weaponry for sure, when they fought for the French in Vietnam.

Fourth, the Viet Minh in the 1940's and 1950's were not anywhere near as well trained as they, or rather the NVA and VC/NLF, were in the 1960's, particularly after 1965.  The US military creamed the NVA and VC/NLF units pretty much everytime they met.  Now this was due primarily to the overwhelming air power that made their WWII capability look like child's play.  If the US didn't have air power, many of the battles, at least half, would have gone to the Vietnamese.  Khe Sanh would have been another Dien Bien Phu.

How do I know this?  Look at what 250,000 Chinese soldiers were able to do in the Korean War:  They forced the US to undertake the longest retreat ever in American military history.  And even then, the US was saved by its air power.

Now fast forward to 1979, when China sent about sent 200,000-250,000 of its best to invade Vietnam.  This time, the Chinese got nowhere fast, even though they faced only 80,000 to 100,000 local militia troops and border guards.  Vietnam's best were in Cambodia at the time.  Needless to say, the Chinese did not have any air power advantage.  In fact, they didn't use any aircraft at all, because the N. Vietnamese air force was without question much better than theirs at the time.

The US claims it shot down 2 North Vietnamese fighters for every one they lost in a dogfight.  The Russians agree with this estimate, but say the North Vietnamese pilots who flew the Mig-21 shot down 2 American fighters for every one they lost.  No matter what, this is far better than what the Russians, Chinese and N. Koreans accomplished in the Korean War:  10:1 in favor of US pilots.

----------------------
Actually, most of the above was meant to address this:

Originally posted by konstantinius

Originally posted by DukeC

Originally posted by Temujin

well this was a win-win situation, after ww2 the german army had to be dissolved while the french army had to be rebuild.
 
Win-win for the French and Germans but not the Viet Minh. The battalion killed 7,466 guerrillas, destroyed 211 bases and liberated 311 political prisoners.


Don't mess with the SSDead


I don't think the Waffen SS, which got is butt kicked by the US (and USSR), could have withstood the 250,000 Chinese onslaught pitted against the US forces in the Korean War.  The Americans and their allies surely couldn't, and were only saved by their air power.  The Vietnamese, oddly enough, easily withstood about that many Chinese in 1979--and with no air power!  None of their best and far better equipped troops were even recalled from Cambodia!  Shocked

But I'd definitely agree that they were far superior to the Vietnamese during the French-Indo China War from 1945 to 1954.  Bravo meine freunde!  Clap


Edited by TranHungDao - 09-Jun-2007 at 17:06
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  Quote TheDiplomat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jun-2007 at 05:50
What is written on this thread fuRther weakens the moral authority of the Western European countries and the US.
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  Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2007 at 12:56
[QUOTE=DukeC]I remember reading that the French hired a battalion of former German SS soldiers to fight in Vietnam in the early 1950s. They operated for for about 3 years and virtually shut down travel on what would become the Ho Chi Minh trail. They were know as the Battalion of the Damned.
 
Does anyone have any more information on this unit?
 
/QUOTE]
 
The French would always hire someone else to spill their blood, rather than the French spill their own - hence Le Legion Etrangere, of course !
What beats me is that they can ever get anybody who think them worthwhile enough to fight for ; still, throw enough money at any problem and the problem tends to get sorted, and who better to do it than a bunch of Germans of a dubious nature !
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  Quote nuvolari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2007 at 12:58
Originally posted by TheDiplomat

What is written on this thread fuRther weakens the moral authority of the Western European countries and the US.
 
Oh, yeah ! and what part of Turkey are you from, the East or the West ?
It is highly convenient, is it not, to have a foot in both camps !
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  Quote ChrisBoonzaier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jan-2008 at 23:59
Devils guard is BS,

Many Germans joined the legion right after the war and still many joined in the early 50s.

A portion of the immediate post WW2 ones were happy to get out of POW camps, but after that it was mainly for financial reasons, Germans moving over from Eastern Germany, folks who had lost their homes in WW2 and were at a loose end.

In the mid 50s there were still lots, and lots of Germans in the legion.... but under French command, not autonomous German units of SS buddies.

I spent 5 years in the legion and have met many German Indochina vets (Long retired before I joined) and as a young legionnaire I quizzed them on "Devils Guard" like stories.... forget about that book.
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  Quote Sikander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2008 at 22:49
A nice book about the Indochina (an Algerian) experience by the French forces would be Erwan Bergot's "Le Battaillon Bigard".
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2008 at 02:51

You dumb little puppy you. I am an older person and do not see well anymore, effects of agent orange. Before you make smart remarks about HUGE script think.

Stop always looking and diverting situations on the Nazis all the time. There were death camps and men died after the war. The infamous general eisenwhoever made sure that they die, he was scared of them. the sad part is that these were all young men that went to the military at the end of the war to protect the homeland, much as the u.s. is doing now.
Stop always blaming nazis, the americans commited horrible crimes against the true american the Indian. They killed millions of the, broke every treaty signed with them and no one is upset, no crimes trial.  Same in Iraq today  americans commiting rape murder of civilians and no war crimes trial.  Please think before you speak little dummy
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  Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2009 at 14:51
The SS is a mythos inside the Foreign legion. A lot of them joined the FL after the war but the FL tried not to recruit them too much, because it was not very loved in public. It is as well the fact, that not all SS-men were German. Those men had no future in their countries anymore, so they joined the FL. a lot of the soldier cames from the Wehrmacht. It started in 1944 and later there was great recruitation in the POW camps. It is said that up to 80% of the FL was German, but reliable data gives about 60% in Maximum. All in all served about 35000 Germans in Indochina. A lot of them were in the SS but more pretended to have been there.
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  Quote TheUltimateArgue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2011 at 04:37
Angrywhat the hell is wrong with you
your trying to justify the murder of 6MILLION INNOCENT PEOPLE
The Rape of woman
The experimentation of young children and woman
The use of twins and children as human guinea pigs
the general hate of people who have slight difference
Pure rasicm
true hate
a love for killing the innocent
a group of men going around acting like they are gods playing with the life of others
AND YOU THINK THATS RIGHT
WELL I SUGGEST YOU GET OF YOUR STUPID RASICST ARSE AND GET A BOOK SHOWING THE REAL TRUE EVENTS OF THE IMMENSE DISPICABLE REIGN OF NAZI TERROR
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Good that means youi stood up for something in your life"
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2011 at 07:15
That post is nearly two years old and he isn't much here anymore. And while he may or may not be a  ''stupid racist arse'' in yours eyes... his facts and opinion... if that what it is you challenge... can be done in a more civil tone.
 
You do not need the colour red to emphasize your comment in its entirety. And the insult you fling when you call him stupid is a violation of the CoC in it's name calling and will not be tolerated...period. I empathize with your outrage of the conduct of the Nazis and the SS in particular.. on this we can agree.
 
How you do it.. will determine how long you stay here.
 
Hence even with an opponent in faith or ideaology or politics or in general conversation...like him or her or not... on this forum....CIVILITY is your watch word.
 
Because if you won't... I will... ensure that it is enforced.
 
Your new here so you get an informal pass on what normally is an official warning.
 
Welcome here and endeavor to objectively understand what I have now told you.
 
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  Quote ds_baker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2012 at 11:35
I am new here, and this is my first reply.-It is pretty much an established fact, that in the last hours of WWII the French recruited men for their colonial conflicts which in large part  due to WWII had taken a backseat in the priority department for all those concerned, ie rebels and colonial governments -(North Africa and the Falangist FNL movement & Indochina with the rise of Vietnamese nationalism.) All of whom were concerned with either ending the war against the Nazis or the Japanese.

Two things occurred at the same time. The French were desperate to acquire combat trained & seasoned veterans to their colonies and the Germans were desperate to get out of firing squads, prisons or any other innumerable consequences.-The Allies at the time were also doing a great deal of prisoner swaps. Mostly looking for persons of interest to their particular country's intelligence needs. Any former German soldier worth their salt would be absolutely terrified to be swapped or traded for a Russian Siberian Work Camp.

It has been noted in personal journals that various soldiers were offered two choices-Enlist-OR-Die. That might have been true... But I doubt it. I think most would have jumped at a chance to get the heck out of Germany.

As a disclaimer-This is mostly from my readings of various books and a few selected conversations I had over the years with WWII Veterans. So you may take this as anecdotal opinion. 
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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jun-2012 at 11:41
 
Originally posted by ds_baker


It has been noted in personal journals that various soldiers were offered two choices-Enlist-OR-Die. That might have been true... But I doubt it. I think most would have jumped at a chance to get the heck out of Germany. 
 
I agree, "Join or Die" pressures are probably fiction.  There was enough pressure already for German POWs to join.  Even German POWS released into Germany faced food shortages and a hopeless situation. German POWs in French labor camps suffered a steady fatality rate (though no where near the rate of those in Soviet captivity).
 
As a side note, this is the official French government site listing known war dead by name.  It can be searched by conflict ( the WWI area is especially poignant).  Anyways, a search for common German names in the Indochine section yields dozens of results.
 
Originally posted by DukeC

The morale being, never insult a Frenchmans taste in clothing.Wink
 
Or the quality of food in the mess. 


Edited by Cryptic - 25-Jun-2012 at 11:59
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