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  1. #1
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    Vietnam 1965-75 - The winning side - Pictorial story

    For much of the world, the visual history of the Vietnam War has been defined by a handful of iconic photographs: Eddie Adams’ image of a Viet Cong fighter being executed, Nick Ut’s picture of nine-year-old Kim Phúc fleeing a napalm strike, Malcolm Browne’s photo of Thích Quang Duc self-immolating in a Saigon intersection.
    Many famous images of the war were taken by Western photographers and news agencies, working alongside American or South Vietnamese troops.
    But the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had hundreds of photographers of their own, who documented every facet of the war under the most dangerous conditions.
    Almost all were self-taught, and worked for the Vietnam News Agency, the National Liberation Front, the North Vietnamese Army or various newspapers. Many sent in their film anonymously or under a nom de guerre, viewing themselves as a humble part of a larger struggle.


    Activists meet in the Nam Can forest, wearing masks to hide their identities from one another in case of capture and interrogation. From here in the mangrove swamps of the Mekong Delta, forwarding images to the North was difficult. "Sometimes the photos were lost or confiscated on the way," said the photographer.

    "We had to be extremely careful because we had limited amounts of film that had been distributed to us by our paper. For us, one photo was like a bullet." -NGUYEN DINH UU


    New recruits undergo physical examinations in Haiphong. The North's volunteer system was transformed into a mandatory system in 1973, when all able-bodied males were drafted. From a corps of around 35,000 men in 1950, the NVA grew to over half a million men by the mid-'70s, a force the U.S. military conceded was one of the finest in the world.

    Equipment and supplies were precious. Processing chemicals were mixed in tea saucers with stream water, and exposed film was developed under the stars. One photographer, Tram Am, only had a single roll of film, 70 frames, for the duration of the war.
    Faced with the constant threat of death by bombing, gunfire or the environment, these photographers documented combat, civilian life, troops on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, resistance movements in the Mekong Delta, and the bloody impact of the war on the innocent.
    Some were photographing to document history, while others strove to use their cameras as weapons in the propaganda war. Shooting clandestinely in the South, Vo Anh Khanh could never get his photos to Hanoi, but exhibited them in the mangrove swamps of the Mekong Delta to inspire resistance.
    Many of these photographs have rarely been seen in Vietnam, let alone in the rest of the world. In the early 1990s, photojournalist Doug Niven started tracking down surviving photographers. One had a dusty bag of never-printed negatives, and another had his stashed under the bathroom sink. Vo Anh Khanh still kept his pristine negatives in a U.S. ammunition case, with a bed of rice as a desiccant.
    One hundred eighty of these unseen photos and the stories of the courageous men who made them are collected in the book Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War from the Other Side.


    A Viet Cong guerrilla stands guard in the Mekong Delta. "You could find women like her almost everywhere during the war," said the photographer. "She was only 24 years old but had been widowed twice. Both her husbands were soldiers. I saw her as the embodiment of the ideal guerrilla woman, who'd made great sacrifices for her country."


    A guerrilla in the Mekong Delta paddles through a mangrove forest defoliated by Agent Orange. The Americans denuded the landscape with chemicals to deny cover to the Viet Cong. The photographer was sickened by what he saw, since the Vietnamese regard mangrove forests as bountiful areas for agriculture and fishing.


    Women haul in heavy fishing nets on the upper branch of the Mekong River, taking over a job usually done exclusively by men.


    Militia members sort through the debris of an American plane downed by small-arms fire in the Hanoi suburbs. The pilot had been flying at treetop level to avoid radar detection, but such low-flying planes were more vulnerable to small arms. U.S. planes targeted Hanoi industrial sites, but most industries were relocated to the countryside.

    "During the American bombing, I took my most memorable photos. I actually shot a photo of Senator John McCain’s plane falling out of the sky over Hanoi. I was proud of that photo and wanted it to convey a message of patriotism in the face of foreign invasion." - VU BA


    Guerillas guard an outpost on the Vietnam-Cambodia border protected by poisoned bamboo punji stakes. Sharpened then hardened with fire, punji stakes were often hidden where enemy soldiers would step on them. Such booby traps were meant to wound, not kill, because wounded soldiers slowed down their unit, and medevacs gave away its position.


    Viet Cong meet the enemy face-to-face, most likely in the Mekong Delta or Plain of Reeds. This rare image shows both sides in combat, ARVN soldiers at the top and Viet Cong in the foreground. The VC have flanked the enemy at left and right, which likely meant the ARVN unit was wiped out.

  2. #2
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    Using overhead targets, a militia company practices firing ahead of speeding aircraft in Thanh Tri. Even using antiquated WWII rifles such as these, the Vietnamese were able to cripple or down many U.S. aircraft. This militia group, Company #6 of the Yen My Commune, earned the title of "Excellent Militia" three years in a row.

    "We even came up with a new form of flash photography to illuminate our fighters and villagers who were living in bomb shelters and tunnels. We emptied gunpowder from rifle cartridges onto a small handheld device and then lit the gunpowder with a match. The burning powder provided all the light we needed." - MAI NAM


    Construction workers discuss repairs of the bombed out Ham Rong Bridge, in central North Vietnam. The only route across the Ma River for heavy trucks and machinery, the bridge was heavily defended, and several U.S. planes were shot down nearby. An American MIA search team found pilot remains there.


    Troops walk the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the Truong Son Mountains, which form the 750-mile-long spine of Vietnam, stretching along much of the country's western border. To the soldiers of the North, the Ho Chi Minh Trail was known as the Truong Son Road.


    Laotian guerrillas haul supplies by elephant and foot to NVA troops near Route 9 in southern Laos during South Vietnam's attempted interdiction of the trail. The invasion, Operation Lam Son 719, was intended to test ARVN's ability as U.S. support was winding down. It proved disastrous, with Southern troops fleeing in panic.


    A victim of American bombing, ethnic Cambodian guerrilla Danh Son Huol is carried to an improvised operating room in a mangrove swamp on the Ca Mau Peninsula. This scene was an actual medical situation, not a publicity setup. The photographer, however, considered the image unexceptional and never printed it.


    NVA soldiers dash across open ground near strategic Highway 9 in southern Laos during Operation Lam Son 719, the South's failed attempt to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail.


    Combat boots litter the road on the outskirts of Saigon, abandoned by ARVN soldiers who shed their uniforms to hide their status. "I'll never forget the shoes and the loud 'thump, thump, thump' sound as we drove over them," recalled the photographer. "Decades of war were over and we finally had peace."

    "The survivors are called witnesses of history. I don't know if we ourselves are witnesses, but our photographs certainly are. They paid the price with blood." - DOAN CONG TINH


    Elders from North and South embrace, having lived to see Vietnam reunited and unoccupied by foreign powers.


  3. #3
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    Beautiful photos.

  4. #4
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    Excellent, really interesting to see the perspective from the North.

    Anymore?

  5. #5
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    That last picture just sums it all up.

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    Interesting. Will have to look for the book.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Excellent photos. They remind me of the ones displayed in the War Remnants Museum in Saigon.

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    Superb - cheers CCC

  10. #10
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    Don't the Winners get to write history? Excellent stuff. Oh, the US never paid the promised war reparations either.

  11. #11
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    A strong, respectable and dignified culture.

    Over centuries, repelled great invading powers: The Chinese [3 times], The Siamese, The French, and Americans.

  12. #12
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    the images so beautiful, I have never ever seen !

  13. #13
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    Excellent thread, thank you

  14. #14
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    Great stuff.

  15. #15
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    Now if we could just send the Politicians into the war zone to fight their wars all would be good.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57 View Post
    Now if we could just send the Politicians into the war zone to fight their wars all would be good.
    Even more practical for societies.....why require politicians and the perpetuating machines?

  17. #17
    Neo
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    Incredible pictures, thanks for sharing

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57 View Post
    Now if we could just send the Politicians into the war zone to fight their wars all would be good.
    A great idea but one destined to be ignored unfortunately.

  19. #19
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    Communist guerilla soldiers of the South Vietnamese Liberation Army returning from a successful mission against US forces. Vietnam War. 1966.



    South Vietnamese women communist guerrillas.



    Communist guerrillas armed with cross-bows and poison-tipped arrows.



    Communist guerrillas make grenades for National Liberation Army troops fighting the US South Vietnam.




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