By Bruce Davies
A background of the Australian military education staff in Vietnam, as instructed in the course of the own memories of the boys who served within the crew from 1962-1972.
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Extra info for The Men Who Persevered: The AATTV - the most highly decorated Australian unit of the Viet Name war
I was informed that we had come across the track of some 400 Viet Cong. The senior and middle level officers and NCOs of the ARVN had initially been trained in the ways the French conducted their military operations. They had been at war since the 1930s, first against the Japanese then in opposition to the French. QX5 30 19/7/05 2:04 PM Page 30 Bookhouse THE MEN WHO PERSEVERED generally resented having to accept the advice of the transient American advisers, most of whom had no operational experience, and the newly arrived Australians who were in such small numbers that we would not have any real effect on the outcome of the war and, in any case, we did not control the air, combat and logistic support they relied on which was under American control.
4 The Hamlet program expansion had also previously attracted caution from BRIAM and some senior Americans. This led to a detailed explanation by Diem on every province in the country and ‘was in minute detail’. Serong objected to President Diem’s manpower solution on the grounds that Viet Nam was near the bottom of the barrel. 5 President Diem expressed his disappointment at not having the Australian effort centred on Quang Ngai. Diem had a personal interest in this province; not only did he see it as an area of strategic importance it was also where his older brother, Khoi, had been governor prior to his assassination by the Viet Minh.
14 The messages on the Diem–Nhu families, transmitted through the Australian External Affairs network from mid-1963, were uncertain regarding the families’ usefulness, and reflected the pro and anti biases displayed by America. 15 The general disquiet in the Vietnamese community continued into September and Sir Robert Thompson, BRIAM, told Serong ‘we are forcing them to fight’ and there would be trouble surviving the next few months with the present political power grouping. The diplomatic cables were rife with suggestions that feelers had been put out for some form of rapprochement between the North and the South.