A TRAGIC WALK BACK THRU TIME
March 25, 2022 11:21 PM
When I see the aimed and unaimed artillery and airstrikes of the Russian Army I go back to two truths of the Vietnam War;
1. UNLIKE WHAT THE PRESS OF THE DAY REPORTED WE, UNLIKE THE RUSSIANS TODAY, DID NOT TARGET THE CITIES, VILLAGES AND HIGHWAYS TO INTIMIDATE THE CIVILIAN POPULATION. AS MUCH AS THE ENEMY TRIED TO DRAW FIRE ONTO CIVILIANS WE AS POLICY AND PRACTICE REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE.
2. ONE THING IS VERY MUCH SIMILAR TO WHAT WE DID TOO MUCH OF AND THAT IS THE OBVIOUS USE OF HARASSING & INTERDICTION (H&I) FIRES.
I HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH THESE ON HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS IN VIETNAM BUT SIMPLY THE MOST TIMES USELESS WASTE OF AMMUNITION BLOWING UP JUNGLE.
THE RUSSIANS ARE USING THESE FIRES OBVIOUSLY AS A TERROR OR INTIMIDATION TACTIC ON THOSE VERY SAME TARGETS WE WERE FORBIDDEN TO ENGAGE; CITIES, VILLAGES AND HIGHWAYS USED BY THE CIVILIAN POPULATION.
The similarities in tactics do indicate the true genesis of them in both militaries; FEAR AND FRUSTRATION.
Too many times staff sitting back at a relatively safe distance feel a need to shoot simply for shootings sake hoping to hit ‘ something’ and not because they know what they are doing.
The marked differences between what we are witnessing today and what was actually witnessed in Vietnam is that today revenge for simple revenge sake is being visited upon old folks, women and children.
The irony in all of this is that the communist inspired lies used by too many to describe America and her allies in Vietnam and all wars since has now boomeranged back onto the nation, Russia, that started the falsehoods.
UNFORTUNATELY THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE ARE NOT PART OF A PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN BUT ARE SUFFERING THE BRUTAL REALITY OF THE TERROR AND INHUMANE CRUELTY BORN FROM ORIGINAL MARXIST\LENINIST THOUGHT.
REALITY, IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT!!!
March 26, 2022, 12:50 PM
From a brother gun bunny 83rd Arty inch.
We shot out at FB Arrow. ” Rear of the piece fall in” was the command. Bubbles checked. Azimuth and Quadrant checked. Gun crew checks out positive on all accounts. BC/ CO calls XO to head out to aiming stake with red flashlight used for laying the battery and each individual gun emplacement. Flashlight is OFF and nearby is a track cargo carrier with one red tail light ON. XO is 2nd LT and sent back to Eagle/Gia Le. Nobody on the business end was hurt. A mamasans clothesline was taken down.
Whoever was at fault would have gone to LBJ. H&I’s were in order if we had an abundance of rounds and powder. If supplies were tight it was not permitted except a few rounds being used. Our FDC has an account of expenditures and knew what each crew had . Our FO KOOP was in comms with FDC often and he knew when the gift of H&I’s was available.
NS/ OTOT. Dan O
March 26, 2022, 1:16 PM
Thanks for sharing.
03/26/2022 5:04 PM
I absolutely called 1/83rd batteries if at all possible for my fire missions whenever they could reach my targets. Steel on target quickly with overwhelming fire was the goal. Never ever did I/we call even H&I fires (any fires) on innocent civilians even when we did see a rare village as far out as we were (my RTO and/or team). I choose H&I’s not from someone else’s lists or decisions but to prevent attacks or disrupting attacks on those I was with. Often I/we got secondaries with excellent accuracy and awesome power of our 8” inches and the distance achievable of our 175’s (mostly via A Battery but B a few times and C Battery respectively) as my walks in the woods were focused on the push to (plus in before and after Hamburger) and the taking of Ashau. My respect for the guns and FDC’s is so great and grateful because they made it possibly to really bring in the pee…steel on the targets I need fire missions for. I and my team and the many soldiers (often ARVN but not always) I was with are literally alive or for another day because of our guns were doing their jobs by and beyond excellences. American tactics is precision firing where needed and Russian’s technic is generalized barrage firing of an area to get their target not precision. Collateral damage is part of the Russian plan and result in much more surrounding damage (often killing the innocent and destroying things not required) thus requires much more wasted shelling. They also count less on the individual cannon cocker doing beyond excellence in their jobs like we do…why we are better with less. Hum…kind of what has influenced Ukrainians now across the combat arms arena. We were cannon fodder doing our jobs not in the rear.
March 26, 2022 11:56 PM
As always, Koop. Written like the warrior poet that you are. Always with truth and meaning, giving praise and respect to the cannon cockers for accuracy second to none. The first five or more rounds trash the correct azimuth and quadrant as the spade keeps settling into the mud or hard clay depending on the weather. After each time the tube climbs back into battery, the 6400 NATO mils and quadrant number and bubbles are constantly being checked and changed back the original numbers given on the 312 field phone on the hot loop. Thanks for you most welcome input on a great topic. A Btry moved to firebase Roy around October 69 with the 327th Inf. already on residence there. The 83rd pulled guard meeting at the 327th Inf CP and being assigned a bunker or NDP for the night. Yankee Jim may well have been in my bunker at Roy.
On 03/28/2022 6:35 PM
My H&I calls were purposed and never random from someone else’s (who knows who) target list plus NEVER innocence civilians but enemy planning to or trying to kill us (especially those I was with). 1/83rd guns provided decisive, accurate, fast response fire I could trust. Because of the action (push to the and in the Ashau), use of C’s 175s (because of range) and A’s precise massive killing power was my main stays because they earned my trust and the cheers of those I was with. I was proud of our guns.
March 28, 2022, 5:56 PM,
That is a great piece of news to hear that damage inflicted saved lives while taking out the bad guys. A few years after 83rd duty I was in Vilseck Germany at 7th Army NCO training center. Our class was on the M-110 and I was with FNG’s from Ft. Sill AIT. The instructors even mentioned the fact that the lands and grooves were mistakes made by the arsenal in manufacturing and after shooting a few practice rounds the tube was perfectly made and we would KEEP IT. I also asked a chinook pilot about flying all over VN and our rounds were also flying all over VN and why didn’t any connect? His answer was BIG SKY , LITTLE BULLETS. I said I’ll take that.
03/28/2022 7:28 PM
Big Sky Little Bullet was not the established tactic in Vietnam…they prevented shoot through zones in the shy “officially” then thinking it was unsafe for aircraft and helicopters to fly if artillery rounds were flying through the sky at the same time. Thank God lots of pilots ignored these supposed safe zones and provided needed support on the ground when actually the guns were prevented. These zones were controlled at Battalion and often were overreaction and much too large even if a valid consideration. The tactic after Vietnam was made Big Sky Little Bullet because there were no incidents though it is possible theoretically an artillery round could hit an aircraft in the way…the risk is so little that it can’t put way the need on the ground for both types of fire support. Like I said, the cobra pilots totally ignored the rule thankfully. But I remember waiting for slicks to take us out of an area till all support was stopped then allowing the enemy to shoot at us as we departed via choppers…twice almost to our/my demise. Big Sky Little Bullet is the correct tactic.