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Why BLACK Pajamas

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  • Why BLACK Pajamas

    This one baffles me! Why did the peasants wear black clothes in such a hot country? Black absorbs heat and just makes it hotter. Must be some cultural thing.

  • #2
    Why do many Arab tribes wear black head gear and others live in black tents?

    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.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Redeye View Post
      This one baffles me! Why did the peasants wear black clothes in such a hot country? Black absorbs heat and just makes it hotter. .
      Not necessarily in the way you are thinking. Ever wonder why many people in the desert wear black? Black clothing absorbs sunlight and the heat radiating from your body, but if it is loose-fitting, and there is wind, the wind convects the heat away faster than it is absorbed. White clothing reflects sunlight, but also reflects internal heat back toward your body, so the net effect under identical conditions is less cooling than if you wore black. (National Geographic did a story about black clothing in the desert and evaporative cooling)

      Cultural differences:

      The Black PJ's were adopted as the uniform of the VC for a vairety of reasons. The Black PJ's were the dress of peasants in the South. In the North Peasants wore Brown PJ's. Another cultural difference between North and South, among many. The Communists wanted to present the "revolution" as a Southern movement even though it was mostly driven by the North, so the Black PJ's were an element in this propaganda. They wanted to look Southern, even though we all know those Northerners talk funny.

      Also the communists project a unisex image as part of their equality propaganda. The PJ's were worn by both men and women. Remember, following the war the Communists outlawed the traditional women's costume, the ao dai. Until recently the communists have been hostile to anything traditional, sentimental, and overtly feminine. This was also true of communism in China, Khmer, and the Soviet union. Thus there were all those jokes about women wearing potato sacks in communist countries during the cold war and driving trractors. This was not far from the truth, even though we see now that women in these countries are quite beautiful. .

      Finally, as an added bonus the PJ's were black and harder for GI Joe to see at night. They also had the unfortunate impact of making many GI's believe that anyone wearing Black PJ's was the enemy. This played right into the hands of the Communists
      Last edited by Miss Saigon; 09 Sep 07, 20:28.

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      • #4
        According to Wiki, commoners in Imperial Vietnam were limited in the clothing colors they were allowed to use to basic ones. Besides, try wearing a white PJ while working in your paddy

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        • #5
          Black PJs, everyone knew that VC wore black PJs. So, one time I was out helping the Army Security Agency set up some temporary radio intercept towers out in the middle of nowhere. We had an entire armored battalion to guard us.

          The first night we received some mortar fire at about 2 in the morning so of course everyone rolled out of their tents and went to the holes dug earlier in the perimeter with their M-16s. Sure enough after about 5 minutes the mortars stopped and a bunch of guys in WHITE pajamas started running in attacking us. Now there were all kinds of tanks and APCs around us and they just opened up and made mince meat of this attack real quick. None of us got hurt.

          The next morning we went out and a couple of the white clad PJ VC were still alive so we took them prisoner and interogated them. We asked why they charged all these tanks with only rifles. They said they were told that the tanks and APCs were only cardboard cutouts and were not real. We asked why they wore white PJs. They said it was a full moon and there were no clouds (Which I thought was even a better reason not to wear white at night). We agreed and said, "Yeah, so?" They said their batallion commander and political officer had told them that they would look like moonbeams and we would not be able to see them.

          Anytime someone brings up how great the NVA were as strategists I just recall this type of orders and laugh my rear off. The communists were just as willing to throw their own people away as they were willing to kill the civilians in the South. "The end justifies the means", at least according to the communist doctrine.
          "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.

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          • #6
            trailboss, that is mind boggling! Hard to tell who was more confused-the chiefs or the indians.

            Boonie, I think you have it. I am having a real hard time believing black clothing is cooler than white. I wouldn't be afraid to wear white in my rice paddy. Tomorrow it would be brown is all. Still wouldn't be black. Black shows dirt real well too. Ever tried to keep a black car clean?

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            • #7
              Redeye; The commie politoboro was savvy enough to know better than what they told their troops. It was not unusual for the NVA to feed their troops drugs prior to battle too.

              Most of the VC activity was nocturnal. It was virtually impossible to see someone wearing black at night unless they were right underneath a parachute flare. Don't forget, this was before infrared night sights were available and Starlight scopes were literally classified as secret and pity the poor soul who didn't bring the one back in that he checked out.
              "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.

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              • #8
                The civilian folks in my area wore predominantly black PJs
                The women's were lighter and silkier than the men's.
                A lot of the robes you see on the old desert nomads are black as well.
                Vietnam was and remains a very poor country and most folks have fairly scanty wardrobes.
                We killed some VC polwar guys once who were wearing powder blue uniforms.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Miss.Saigon View Post



                  Also the communists project a unisex image as part of their equality propaganda. The communists have been hostile to anything traditional, sentimental, and overtly feminine. This was also true of communism in China, Khmer, and the Soviet union. Thus there were all those jokes about women wearing potato sacks in communist countries during the cold war and driving trractors.

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