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Roger Vandenberghe VS Rambo

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  • Roger Vandenberghe VS Rambo

    You all probably know about Rambo the famous Green Beret from movies staring Slyvester Stallone.

    Roger Vandenberghe, a GCMA commando in the Indochina War and commonly know as the French "Rambo". The GCMA was the French equivalent of the Green Berets in Vietnam.

    A French "Rambo"

    Roger Vandenberghe

    Killed in 1952 in Namh Dinh , chief of a french commando in North Vietnam - commando nord vietnam "give me 100 vandenberghe and vietnam will be free !" General de Lattre

    Vandenberghe bio

    Born Roger Adler on 26 Oct 27 in Paris, the youngest of two children of a Jewish mother and a tubercular World War One gas victim veteran. Due to the family’s extreme poverty, the boys were placed in foster care with farm families in the Pyrenees. After the death of their father, and the deportation of their mother to a death camp in World War Two, the boys were declared orphans, but left with families already caring for them. Their mother’s fate pushed both boys into the Resistance, with Roger joining at age 16. As FFI members of the Corps Franc Pommiès (CFP), a unit commanded by a regular army officer, they were “activated” on 6 June 1944. After three months of irregular warfare in the Pyrenees, the CFP was incorporated into De Lattre de Tassigny’s First French Army as one of its various “commandos de choc”. In February 1945, Roger Vandenberghe received his first Croix de Guerre. By War’s end, he was among the youngest combatants in the French Army. As the CFP was reflagged the 49th Infantry Regiment, and tapped for occupation duty at Berncastel, Germany, both brothers opted for military careers. The pleasures of garrison life in Occupied Germany were not to last.

    In the wake of Ho Chi Minh’s first “Tet” offensive of 19 December 1946, the 49th Infantry was tasked to provide reinforcements for Indochina. The brothers entered Indochina as part of its 1st Battalion, going ashore at Danang on 3 February 1947. Twelve days later, Roger earned his first combat citation for valour in Indochina. Within months, their unit was amalgamated into the 3rd Battalion, 6th Colonial Infantry Regiment, which was sent north to reoccupy the Red River Delta in Tonkin. French manpower shortages were being met by forming up Partisan units of locally recruited Vietnamese, and both Albert as a Sergeant, and Roger as Chief Corporal, led such platoons. Like a few self chosen other junior NCOs and officers, they were not content with manning checkpoints and roadblocks, or conducting pre-dawn movement to cordon and search villages in broad daylight. Rather, they aggressively sought out the enemy using commando tactics of ruse, night infiltration, surprise, and ambush. As their tactics and techniques matured, they produced solid results, but the efforts to obtain such did not endear them to all their men. At that stage of the war, the indigenous recruiting process was carried out without any input from junior leaders. Partisan companies and platoons thus received the good, the bad, the indifferent, and a requisite number of suspected Viet Minh. In late 1947, the brothers uncovered an assassination plot in their own unit, which they defused by overpowering and disarming the leaders. Shortly thereafter, Roger was promoted Sergeant and Albert was transferred to the sector reserve company, where he was killed in action in June 1948. With the death of his brother, and no real family back in France, Roger Vandenberghe committed himself to Indochina for the duration, and to revenge. His partisan section (platoon) became the battalion’s reconnaissance and strike force, infiltrating into and behind the objective in advance of the main force to strike when and where the Viet Minh least expected. His hard driving leadership style, and grim determination to destroy as many of the enemy as he could, earned him both fame and enemies. It was also extremely hard on his men. No matter how well they did, he drove them harder. Trustworthy men whose contracts ran out, moved elsewhere. Many with some time still left, deserted. At the age of twenty, he added the Military Medal to his numerous Croix de Guerres, and more stars to his wound medal. Indochina, he repeated on more than one occasion, would be his grave. His brother Albert would be avenged. Yet, in action after action, his “baraka” held. Then, in February 1949, it temporarily failed near Dai Dinh. As his commandos were infiltrating into their objective, they were pinned down by a heavy fire. Leading an assault to break contact, Vandenberghe was hit from behind by a .45 calibre round, likely fired from a Thompson (thus “friendly”) submachinegun. It pierced his chest where his heart should have been. He was not expected to survive. In anticipation of his death, he was awarded the Legion of Honour. After weeks in intensive care, he was evacuated to France where he was hailed as Indochina’s most decorated soldier. He was expected to accept some easy posting in France or Germany where he could enjoy garrison life, parade occasionally in his medals, and perhaps add some interesting tidbit or two to the training or instruction. Instead, he shamelessly exploited his reputation to demand return to his unit in Indochina. And by November 1949, he was back in southern Tonkin Delta with the 6th Infantry. Over the next year, his dream of recruiting and training commandos for independent operations became a reality. First, with the redesignation of the Partisans as independent “military suppletif” companies in early 1950. Second, with enlightened leadership on the part of some unit commanders which allowed junior leaders such as Vandenberghe, Rusconi, Romary, and Delayen free rein. And finally, with the arrival of Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, who quickly reorganized the French Army in Indochina to include independently recruited, trained, and led indigenous commandos operating directly under sector and mobile group commanders. This higher profile earned the commando leaders no small number of petty professional enemies, and it was about to climb higher.

    Vandenberghe’s once Partisans and former 11th Light Military Suppletif Company (C.S.L.M.) now became Commando 24. Not only did it habitually operate in Viet Minh dress, but up to two thirds of the unit were turned former Viet Minh. Their ability to operate behind the lines as pseudo-Viet Minh proved crucial on several operations, but their most famous operation was an all out assault to relieve a besieged post overlooking the Day river at Ninh Binh on 29 and 30 May 1951. The post, held by a newly created ARVN unit still in training, had been attacked and overrun. Its commander, none other than Lieutenant Bernard de Lattre de Tassigny, the general’s sole son and heir, was reported killed. Commando 24’s mission was to infiltrate through enemy lines, cross the river, link up with the post, recover any survivors and young De Lattre’s body, and hold for linkup with an arriving mobile group. The move into position was made in absolute silence. Fire received from the enemy was not returned, and the commando managed to cross the Day river without becoming engaged. Once on the other side and in sight of their objective, one commando threw a grenade. He was executed on the spot, but the Viet Minh were now alert. Machinegun and mortar fire raked them as they surged up the cliffs. With no line of retreat, they could only go forward. A third of the commandos were killed or seriously wounded, but they retook the post, covered the withdrawal of the remaining ARVN, and recovered the lieutenant’s body. By the time the Algerians from a North African mobile group arrived, the wounded were standing by for evacuation. Among those carried off on the stretchers was Vandenberghe himself. The exploit earned him a place at the head of Hanoi’s Bastille Day parade, authorization to recruit a second commando, and recommendation for a direct commission to Lieutenant. Unfortunately, it also earned him the earnest attention of his enemies. While looking over potential recruits to replace their losses at Ninh Binh, Vandenberghe ran across a young Viet Minh officer who had commanded the lead platoon in the assault that overran two companies of the 3rd REI at Dong Khe in 1950. Captured during the Day river battles after a violent argument with his political commissar, he now claimed to be willing to take up arms against his former comrades in exchange for being reunited with his wife and children. Against the advice of both his French and Vietnamese deputies, Vandenberghe recruited this Viet Minh. It appeared to be a wise decision, as the new recruit proved himself implacable in combat, and saved Vandenberghe’s life on two occasions. He was rewarded by rapid promotion to lieutenant of suppletifs. By early January 1952, however, he had infiltrated enough of his former Viet Minh comrades into the unit to launch an attack from within that killed Vandenberghe, his mistress, and the second senior French Sergeant. Those loyal commandos not killed in the takeover were marched off to captivity. The lone escapee, by virtue of his having been personally ordered out on ambush that night, was Vandenberghe’s Vietnamese deputy, Tran Dinh Vy. With the loss of Commando 24, Vy moved over to Rusconi’s Commando 23, but after receiving a commission in the ARVN, he moved down to Saigon, where he was made Aide-de-Camp to General Nguyen Van Hinh. Vy went on to attend several military schools in France, and rose to command an ARVN regiment in the Vietnam War. By 1975 he was the province chief of Binh Dinh. In the wake of the Communist victory he smuggled his family out of Vietnam, and after settling them in the United States, returned to France where he was commissioned a major in the French Army, and rose to the rank of colonel in the French Foreign Legion. He retired from the French Army in 1988 and was present in 1989 when Roger Vandenberghe’s ashes were returned from Indochina for reinterment under a monument erected in his honour at the National Non-Commissioned Officers Academy at Pau.


    Photo of Rambo




    Photo of Roger Vandenberghe
    If they fought against each other who do you think would win?[/

  • #2
    The zombie wins - hold it, does John Rambo have any brains that aren't fried (btw, he died in the book)

    Comment


    • #3
      Chuck Norris kills them both.

      Comment


      • #4
        They fight for hours, only to be killed by some random Zulu out on his evening hunt.
        Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
          They fight for hours, only to be killed by some random Zulu out on his evening hunt.
          LOL!

          I know this VS match is silly but how do you think a fight between Vandenberghe and Rambo would turn out in real life?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SegaSaturnGamer View Post
            LOL!

            I know this VS match is silly but how do you think a fight between Vandenberghe and Rambo would turn out in real life?
            Both get topped by some random Viet Cong on his daily round. No wait. Vandenberghe would beat Rambo. Vandenberghe was a real soldier, Rambo was a piece of fiction.

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            • #7
              My great uncle was in the commando "Black Tigers". His name is Corporal Martin Ehret. If you want more information or anecdotes on this Commando, I gladly share with you !

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              • #8
                Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                No wait. Vandenberghe would beat Rambo. Vandenberghe was a real soldier, Rambo was a piece of fiction.
                Amazing how few people seem to remember that.
                Guess he made more of an impression on the rest of the world.
                "Why is the Rum gone?"

                -Captain Jack

                Comment


                • #9
                  a true tragedy

                  Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
                  They fight for hours, only to be killed by some random Zulu out on his evening hunt.
                  As Syl Stallione is slated to replace Karen b Stewart as ambassador to Laos...
                  http://laos.usembassy.gov/ambio.html
                  you heard it here first

                  So the post SHOULD read:
                  Can Rambo beat \Karen Stewart??
                  Attached Files
                  The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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