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Soviet Dead in Vietnam

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  • Soviet Dead in Vietnam

    I have heard from two different Vietnam veterans that after ambushes they found dead white guys (some with blue eyes) with Cyrillic writing on uniforms alongside NVA or Viet Cong casualties.

    They thought these were Soviet advisors. Can anyone confirm this? Or maybe someone can refute it?

    Sorry if this subject has already been covered elsewhere...
    "Dan Carlin's Hardcore History" -The Podcast
    www.dancarlin.com
    http://www.dancarlin.com/dchh.xml

  • #2
    The legend of the "blond NVA"? It's one of the tenacious myth of the Vietnam War. Many vets claimed to have seen white guys fighting with the enemy, but I couldn't say for certain. Chinese advisors are also rumored to have fought with the NVA, so it's a possibility I guess.

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    • #3
      Didn't Bo Gritz and his team wipe out a group of PRC or DPRK advisors at Son Tay? I seem to recall reading that a large group of tall Asian soldiers in Chinese-style uniforms were neutralized in the raid.
      Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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      • #4
        Made a quick search on Google and found this interesting bit:

        Soviet advisors in Vietnam

        During the Vietnam War, the Soviet Union provided technical and material assistance to its North Vietnamese ally. The Soviets sent air defense equipment and personnel to equip and train the North Vietnamese. Experienced Soviet Air Force pilots and maintenance personnel were sent to train and repair MiG aircraft flown by the North Vietnamese and to provide advice and assistance to North Vietnamese anti-air defense forces that were shooting down American combat aircraft with Soviet missile equipment.

        About four years ago, the U.S. side began to gather evidence that Soviet officials directly interrogated American POWs in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. This project examined information from three primary sources: the testimony of former American POWs; the testimony of Soviet veterans of the Vietnam War who had knowledge of direct Soviet participation in POW interrogation; and U.S. Intelligence Community reports that suggest the Soviets sought or obtained direct access to American POWs for interrogation. The research conducted in support of this project shows that Soviet officials participated in interrogation of American POWs and received interrogation reports from the North Vietnamese. It is reasonable to assume that Soviet military officials generated these reports in North Vietnam and forwarded them to Moscow for processing. These interrogation reports should be available today in Russian archives [probably those of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) and the Committee for State Security (KGB)] and might contribute to clarifying the fates of unaccounted-for Americans. For this reason, the U.S. side seeks access to these materials.

        Early in the Vietnam War, a Soviet special group, or "spetsgruppa," composed of GRU officers and employees from various Soviet military industrial organizations, was deployed to North Vietnam to acquire captured American combat equipment and to arrange for shipment of this equipment to the Soviet Union for technical exploitation. Although the U.S. has no interest in the classified aspects of this program, Soviet spetsgruppa members and technicians may be able to provide new details about shoot-down incidents in North Vietnam. For instance, in 1992, representatives of Task Force Russia (the predecessor of JCSD) discovered an F-111 crew capsule at the Moscow Aviation Institute. With assistance from FBI experts, Task Force Russia analysts correlated the capsule to a specific shoot-down incident. While the crew that was flying this particular F-111 is accounted for, discovery of the capsule in a Russian facility demonstrates the potential that American combat equipment now held by the Russians might provide clues to the fates of crew members who did not return. Archival records documenting the spetsgruppa’s work might also provide valuable information about American loss incidents during the war. The U.S. side has pressed the Russian side repeatedly for access to these archival materials and for interviews with spetsgruppa members and continues to press for more information. The Russian side has expressed a willingness to assist the U.S. side in locating spetsgruppa members but has yet to fulfill this promise.
        LINK - DEFENCE PRISONER OF WAR/MISSING PERSONNEL OFFICE

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dan Carlin View Post
          I have heard from two different Vietnam veterans that after ambushes they found dead white guys (some with blue eyes) with Cyrillic writing on uniforms alongside NVA or Viet Cong casualties.

          They thought these were Soviet advisors. Can anyone confirm this? Or maybe someone can refute it?

          Sorry if this subject has already been covered elsewhere...
          There were a number of US types that jump sides, Garwood being perhaps the best known.

          HP
          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
            There were a number of US types that jump sides, Garwood being perhaps the best known.

            HP
            There are rumors of americans fighting alongside the VC/NVA but not sure if it's a grunts legend or a reality, who was that Garwood you're talking about HP?

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            • #7
              Well, why limit to the Soviets? I think the possibility of East German, Czech, Cuban, etc. are also on the table as it were. They all sent advisers to revolutionary movements in Africa and Asia throughout the Cold War...

              And I also believe that it was said that as pointed out above, US spec. ops. may have killed Europeans at Son Tay. And of course there's the air war, which includes the distinct possibility of Soviet casualties on AAA and SAM batteries that were hit by "Wild Weasel" suppression...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Boonierat View Post
                There are rumors of americans fighting alongside the VC/NVA but not sure if it's a grunts legend or a reality, who was that Garwood you're talking about HP?
                I apologize for butting in HP, but Garwood is one of my 'hobbies'.

                The FACTS are:
                Robert Russell Garwood
                Rank/Branch: E2/US Marine Corps
                Date of Birth: 01 April 1946
                Home City of Record: Greenville IN
                Date of Loss: 28 September 1965 in South Vietnam
                In 1998 the DoD PMSEA listed a change in status from RETURNEE to
                AWOL/Deserter/Collaborator. On February 5, 1981, Garwood was found guilty of collaborating with the enemy.

                Now everything else about this convicted deserter is up in the air. There were a pair of American deserters in Vietnam nicknamed "Salt and Pepper" since one was White and one was Black. These actively assisted the VC/NVA in combat operations against USA military forces. It is thought, with good reason, that Garwood was 'Salt'. There is testimony that he did cooperate with the enemy in allowing a female missionary who had been captured to die when assistance could have saved her.

                In my mind he is a traitor and should be hanged by the neck until dead. There are a lot of others who want to pat him on the head and say all he did was due to his environment.
                "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NDF View Post
                  Well, why limit to the Soviets? I think the possibility of East German, Czech, Cuban, etc. are also on the table as it were. They all sent advisers to revolutionary movements in Africa and Asia throughout the Cold War...

                  And I also believe that it was said that as pointed out above, US spec. ops. may have killed Europeans at Son Tay. And of course there's the air war, which includes the distinct possibility of Soviet casualties on AAA and SAM batteries that were hit by "Wild Weasel" suppression...
                  While I was in VIetnam in Military Intelligence we did look into these kind of matters. As far as we could judge there were USSR and other Warsaw Pact military in North Vietnam as advisors but none ever crossed into South Vietnam. They may have been in Laos and Cambodia as well but none were ever captured or bodies found in foreign uniforms.

                  There were definitely ethnic Chinese found as KIA and captured in South Vietnam. The problem you get into there is determining whether they were either North Vietnamese or communist China citizens. There is a large number of ethnic Chinese who lived in and were citizens of both, North and South Vietnam. We believe we did capture a couple of Chicoms and killed several more, but they were very small in number and worked in advisory roles. Certainly there were no active Chicom military units involved in active participation.
                  "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by trailboss49 View Post
                    I apologize for butting in HP, but Garwood is one of my 'hobbies'.

                    The FACTS are:
                    Robert Russell Garwood
                    Rank/Branch: E2/US Marine Corps
                    Date of Birth: 01 April 1946
                    Home City of Record: Greenville IN
                    Date of Loss: 28 September 1965 in South Vietnam
                    In 1998 the DoD PMSEA listed a change in status from RETURNEE to
                    AWOL/Deserter/Collaborator. On February 5, 1981, Garwood was found guilty of collaborating with the enemy.

                    Now everything else about this convicted deserter is up in the air. There were a pair of American deserters in Vietnam nicknamed "Salt and Pepper" since one was White and one was Black. These actively assisted the VC/NVA in combat operations against USA military forces. It is thought, with good reason, that Garwood was 'Salt'. There is testimony that he did cooperate with the enemy in allowing a female missionary who had been captured to die when assistance could have saved her.

                    In my mind he is a traitor and should be hanged by the neck until dead. There are a lot of others who want to pat him on the head and say all he did was due to his environment.
                    Be my guest. You got the dates and all the other facts. Hardly matters who post it.

                    HP
                    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The French killed a Spetsnaz during a hostage relief operation in Djibouti, IIRC.
                      Colonel Summers' widely quoted critique of US strategy in the Vietnam War is having a modest vogue...it is poor history, poor strategy, and poor Clausewitz to boot - Robet Komer, Survival, 27:2, p. 94.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by trailboss49 View Post
                        I apologize for butting in HP, but Garwood is one of my 'hobbies'.

                        The FACTS are:
                        Robert Russell Garwood
                        Rank/Branch: E2/US Marine Corps
                        Date of Birth: 01 April 1946
                        Home City of Record: Greenville IN
                        Date of Loss: 28 September 1965 in South Vietnam
                        In 1998 the DoD PMSEA listed a change in status from RETURNEE to
                        AWOL/Deserter/Collaborator. On February 5, 1981, Garwood was found guilty of collaborating with the enemy.

                        Now everything else about this convicted deserter is up in the air. There were a pair of American deserters in Vietnam nicknamed "Salt and Pepper" since one was White and one was Black. These actively assisted the VC/NVA in combat operations against USA military forces. It is thought, with good reason, that Garwood was 'Salt'. There is testimony that he did cooperate with the enemy in allowing a female missionary who had been captured to die when assistance could have saved her.

                        In my mind he is a traitor and should be hanged by the neck until dead. There are a lot of others who want to pat him on the head and say all he did was due to his environment.
                        This deserves its own thread. Interesting to note. Most of the traitors/collaborators in Korea regretted having gone over...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Very interesting. I didn't realize it was a recurring myth/story.

                          Sounds like it was possible though, given the particular circumstances a few of you mention...

                          Thanks for the info...
                          "Dan Carlin's Hardcore History" -The Podcast
                          www.dancarlin.com
                          http://www.dancarlin.com/dchh.xml

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by thejester View Post
                            The French killed a Spetsnaz during a hostage relief operation in Djibouti, IIRC.
                            Interesting, anymore info you can provide on this.
                            "I think the mistake a lot of us make is thinking the state-appointed shrink is our friend."

                            Jack Handy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Deathrider6 View Post
                              Interesting, anymore info you can provide on this.
                              I don't have the book on me, so very much off memory:

                              A bus of schoolchildren were taken hostage. They were close enough to the border that the Somali soldiers on the other side were able to provide covering fire for the terrorists. The French deployed a counter-terrorist team and elements of (IIRC) 2 REP. 2 REP got into a firefight with the Somalis while CT sniper teams killed the terrorists and stormed the bus. After the firing had died down and the bus was secure, 2 REP moved over the border and checked out the Somali outposts. They found one caucasian male dead inside - can't remember what uniform he was wearing. Anyway, they were almost certain from the look of him that he was a Russian.
                              Colonel Summers' widely quoted critique of US strategy in the Vietnam War is having a modest vogue...it is poor history, poor strategy, and poor Clausewitz to boot - Robet Komer, Survival, 27:2, p. 94.

                              Comment

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