A viral email from 2004, titled “Blood on Kerry’s Hands,” claims that Giap confirmed that theory. [9] He commanded the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team in operations in Korea from 1952 to 1953. The military lead turbulent lives, but they are people like everybody else. https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/william-westmoreland-quotes When I took command in Vietnam, I gave great emphasis to food and medical care - and to the mail. William C. Westmoreland viewed the post-Tet situation as an opportunity for an American offensive that would further debilitate the enemy and deny any future resurgence. The parade, attended by 200,000 Vietnam veterans and more than half a million spectators, did much to repair the rift between Vietnam veterans and the American public.[31][32]. General Johnson turned out to be prescient. The crucial Tet offensive is recounted in Don Oberdorfer's Tet! We were succeeding. Post 1969 Westmoreland also made efforts to investigate the Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất massacre a year after the event occurred. Tet Offensive would lead many to question this foreseeable ending which Westmoreland had declared during his speech. I do not believe that the men who served in uniform in Vietnam have been given the credit they deserve. The documentary, shown on January 23, 1982, and prepared largely by CBS producer George Crile III, alleged that Westmoreland and others had deliberately understated Viet Cong troop strength during 1967 in order to maintain U.S. troop morale and domestic support for the war. When the soldiers came home from Vietnam, there were no parades, no celebrations. A book reviewer stated that the book offered "a fair hearing for a man who has been alternately overlooked and maligned by history." This was a type of war that we'd had no experience with before. [11][12] The Geneva Conference (April 26 – July 20, 1954) discussed the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina, and temporarily separated Vietnam into two zones, a northern zone to be governed by the Việt Minh, and a southern zone to be governed by the State of Vietnam, then headed by former emperor Bảo Đại. My conclusion is that the Tet Offensive was a turning point in the war. He was unable to use the absolutist stance that "we can't win unless we expand the war". During his four-year spell as commander in Vietnam (1964-68), Westmoreland was a textbook version of how a general should look: ramrod straight, well over 6ft … Supposedly, General Giap had written in How We Won the War that in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive of 1968, the Communist leaders in Vietnam had … Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told President Lyndon B. Johnson in April that Westmoreland was "the best we have, without question". [21] The turning point of the war was the 1968 Tet Offensive, in which communist forces attacked cities and towns throughout South Vietnam. Vo Nguyen Giap was a legendary Vietnamese general credited with defeating French forces — and French colonial rule — in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. [51], 25th Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Headquarters Morning Report, 13 Oct 1944, Division Headquarters, 9th Infantry Division. However, many hard-liners scorned these as too liberal. This also failed to weaken North Vietnam's will to fight, and the Government of South Vietnam—a factor largely out of Westmoreland's control—never succeeded in establishing enough legitimacy to quell defections to the Viet Cong. [46], Westmoreland's military awards include:[47], United States Military Academy class of 1936, Retired from active service in July 1972. Westmoreland was promoted to Brigadier General in November 1952 at the age of 38, making him one of the youngest U.S. Army generals in the post-World War II era. It was a difficult war against an unorthodox enemy. In 1954, he completed a three-month management program at Harvard Business School. We were winning. Detailed in G.S.C. Who cared?" Regular North Vietnamese army units infiltrating across the remote border were apparently concentrating to mount an offensive and Westmoreland considered this the danger that had to be tackled immediately. The attempted French re-colonization of Vietnam following World War II culminated in a decisive French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. By the time Westmoreland became army commander in South Vietnam, the option of a Korea-type settlement with a large demilitarised zone separating north and south, favored by military and diplomatic figures, had been rejected by the US government, whose objectives were to achieve a decisive victory, and not to use vastly greater resources. Just days before the lawsuit was to go to the jury, Westmoreland suddenly settled with CBS, and they issued a joint statement of understanding. That’s why LBJ called General William Westmoreland home in November 1967. Westmoreland made a series of public and private remarks that suggested hope and optimism about the situation in Vietnam. As Stanley Karnow noted, "Westy was a corporation executive in uniform."[10]. Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind. ), Westmoreland's War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam By Gregory Daddis p74, Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley, Westmoreland's War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam, By Gregory Daddis p74, The Ia Drang Campaign 1965: A Successful Operational Campaign or Mere Tactical Failure?, Peter J. Schifferle (1994), Parameters.To Change a War: General Harold K. Johnson and the PROVN Study, LEWIS SORLEY, Westmoreland: The General who Lost Vietnam By Lewis Sorley p96, Westmoreland's War: Reassessing American Strategy in Vietnam, By Gregory Daddis p74-5, Murray Kempton, "Heart of Darkness," New York Review of Books, 24 Nov. 1988, p. 26, Superintendents of the United States Military Academy, Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, Viet Cong and PAVN strategy, organization and structure, National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Order of National Security Merit, Tong-Il Medal, Order of National Security Merit, Gukseon Medal, Republic of Vietnam Distinguished Service Order, First Class (Army), Republic of Vietnam Distinguished Service Order, First Class (Air Force), Republic of Vietnam Distinguished Service Order, First Class (Navy), Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, First Class, Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal, First Class, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Civil Actions Medal Unit Citation, "William C. Westmoreland Is Dead at 91; General Led U.S. Troops in Vietnam", "Finding Aid for Papers (ca. In 1962, Westmoreland was admitted as an honorary member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. The Vietnam memorial is a masterpiece. “War is Fear Cloaked in Courage” and 8 Other Quotes from General William Westmoreland Posted on November 6, 2015 by Lucy S. When Ben Carson was busted for lying about meeting General William Westmoreland, we stumbled upon a treasure trove of Westmoreland-isms that prove exactly why a presidential hopeful would want to meet him at all. Following graduation from West Point in 1936, Westmoreland became an artillery officer and served in several assignments with the 18th Field Artillery at Fort Sill. [7] He reached the temporary wartime rank of colonel, and on October 13, 1944, was appointed the chief of staff of the 9th Infantry Division.[8]. He also made use of the United States' edge in artillery and air power, both in tactical confrontations and in relentless strategic bombing of North Vietnam. This request would have put more than 700,000 American soldiers in Vietnam (Schmitz, 232). Turse said that many of the Vietnamese killed were actually innocent civilians, and the Vietnamese casualties were not just caused by military cross-fire but were a direct result of the U.S. policy and tactics, for example the policy "kill everything that moves" which enabled the U.S. soldiers to shoot civilians for "suspicious behavior". He was buried on July 23, 2005, at the West Point Cemetery, United States Military Academy. He was promoted to lieutenant general in July 1963 and was Commanding General of the XVIII Airborne Corps from 1963 to 1964. Vietnam was the first war ever fought without any censorship. The last man in the world who should have been criticized was the American soldier. After the war, Westmoreland was the United States Army's Secretary of the General Staff from 1955 to 1958. [13][14][15], Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General Harold Keith Johnson, and subsequently historians such as Harry G. Summers, Jr. came to see US goals as having become mutually inconsistent, because defeating the Communists would require declaring a national emergency and fully mobilising the resources of the US. After the war, Westmoreland completed Airborne training at the Infantry School in 1946. [42], Westmoreland died on July 18, 2005, at the age of 91 at the Bishop Gadsden retirement home in Charleston, South Carolina. Westmoreland adopted a strategy of attrition against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army, attempting to drain them of manpower and supplies. TIME (1986). Backed at home by resolve, confidence, patience, determination, and continued support, we will prevail in Vietnam over the communist aggressor!" In 1939, he was promoted to first lieutenant, after which he was a battery commander and battalion staff officer with the 8th Field Artillery at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. General Westmoreland’s forces and their South Vietnamese allies had fended off the attacks of National Liberation Front and North Vietnamese forces at the Vietnamese new year, Tet… Life is plentiful, life is cheap in the Orient. The couple married in May 1947 and had three children: a daughter, Katherine Stevens; a son, James Ripley II, and another daughter, Margaret Childs. Militarily, we succeeded in Vietnam. I didn't marry her until after World War II, but she has complemented me in every job I've ever had. Some contend that Judge Leval's instructions to the jury over what constituted "actual malice" to prove libel convinced Westmoreland's lawyers that he was certain to lose. Historian Derek Frisby also criticized Westmoreland's view during an interview with Deutsche Welle: General William Westmoreland, who commanded US military operations in the Vietnam War, unhesitatingly believed Giap was a butcher for relentlessly sacrificing his soldiers in unwinnable battles. We had the best food any battlefield ever had. President Johnson did not want the Vietnam War to broaden. He then commanded the 101st Airborne Division from 1958 to 1960. When LBJ continued to insist, after Tet, that the war effort was still on track, his message was undercut by a leak of General Westmoreland's request for 206,000 more U.S. troops. I've made this statement many times: If I would have to do it over again, I would have made known the forthcoming Tet Offensive. Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam (2011) by Lewis Sorley, p. 96. However, as time went on, the strengthening of communist combat forces in the South led to regular requests for increases in U.S. troop strength, from 16,000 when he arrived to its peak of 535,000 in 1968 when he was promoted to Army chief of staff. In the final analysis, Giap won the war despite losing many battles, and as long as the army survived to fight another day, the idea of Vietnam lived in the hearts of the people who would support it, and that is the essence of "revolutionary war". [20] As the head of the MACV, he was known for highly publicized, positive assessments of U.S. military prospects in Vietnam. At the age of 15, William became an Eagle Scout at Troop 1 Boy Scouts, and was recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Buffalo from the Boy Scouts of America as a young adult. The Tet Offensive showed that Johnson and Westmoreland were lying about having “reached an important point where the end begins to come into view,” as Westmoreland … After talking to junior officers General Westmoreland became skeptical about localised concentrated search and destroy sweeps of short duration, because the Communist forces controlled whether there were military engagements, giving an option to simply avoid battle with US forces if the situation warranted it. Television is an instrument which can paralyze this country. In addition, China, the Soviet Union and other communist nations recognized the North while the United States and other non-communist states recognized the South as the legitimate government. Westmoreland filed a lawsuit against CBS. The infiltration by regular North Vietnam forces into the South could not be dealt with by aggressive action against the northern state because intervention by China was something the US government was concerned to avoid, but President Lyndon B. Johnson had given commitments to uphold South Vietnam against communist North Vietnam. [27], In June 1968, Westmoreland was replaced by General Creighton Abrams, the decision being announced shortly after the Tet Offensive. He was a member of a distinguished West Point class that also included Creighton Abrams and Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Westmoreland graduated as first captain—the highest cadet rank—and received the Pershing Sword, which is "presented to cadet with highest level of military proficiency". He adopted a strategy of attrition against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army. The report, entitled Study on Military Professionalism,[29] had a profound influence on Army policies, beginning with Westmoreland's decision to end the policy that officers serving in Vietnam would be rotated into a different post after only six months. "[36], Westmoreland's view has been heavily criticized by Nick Turse, the author of the book Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam. Although presented as a consensus view, this document was not accepted by the delegates of either the State of Vietnam or the United States. A Conference Final Declaration, issued by the British chairman of the conference, provided that a general election be held by July 1956 to create a unified Vietnamese state. Tet Offensive The Vietnamese people pay tribute to their ancestors on Tet, their most sacred holiday of the year. He reported this. This meeting consisted of Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara, Nicholas… Tet Offensive, attacks staged by North Vietnamese forces beginning in the early hours of January 31, 1968, during the Vietnam War. 1900–2005) of General William Childs Westmoreland", "Papers of Gen. William Westmoreland (USCS Autumn 1999)", "Battlefield Vietnam – Dien Bien Phu, the legacy", Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies and Colonel Harry G. Summers, "Vietnam, a television history: Tet (1968) minute 3:24", "U.S. General Considered Nuclear Response in Vietnam War, Cables Show", "Vietnam Veterans In Chicago Parade Cheered By Crowds", At peace, at last after 11 years and an emotional parade, Vietnam vets finally feel welcome, Vo Nguyen Giap – 'A master of revolutionary war', "While the General's at War His Lady Does Hospital Work", "Gen. William Childs Westmoreland Papers, ca. Based on later analysis of the information from all sides, it appears clear that Westmoreland could not sustain a libel suit because CBS's principal allegation was that he had caused intelligence officers to suppress facts. From 1947 to 1950, he served as chief of staff for the 82nd Airborne Division. In the 1974 film Hearts and Minds, Westmoreland opined that "The Oriental doesn't put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. [16][17] Much of the thinking about defense was by academics turned government advisors who concentrated on nuclear weapons, seen as making conventional war obsolete. Some of our policies were kind of … He told President Lyndon B. Johnson that the Vietcong would be unable to replenish those kinds of numbers and that the end of the war was near. In the end, we lost IndoChina to the communists. Politicians start wars. The numbers troubled Westmoreland, who feared that the press would not understand them. Nonetheless, Westmoreland was operating within longstanding army protocols of subordinating the military to civilian policymakers. (Entry reads: "O-20223 Westmoreland, William C Col, Reld fr asdg HQ 9 Inf Div Arty & asgd to Div Hq 9 Inf Div per par 1, SO 241 HQ 9 Inf Div dtd 12 Oct 44. He was an instructor at the Army Command and General Staff College from 1950 to 1951. President Johnson was critical of Westmoreland's defused corporate style, considering him overattentive to what government officials wanted to hear. Giap understood that protracted warfare would cost many lives but that did not always translate into winning or losing the war. By the time he was re-assigned as Army Chief of Staff, United States military forces in Vietnam had reached a peak of 535,000 personnel. By virtue of Vietnam, the U.S. held the line for 10 years and stopped the dominoes from falling. [23], Westmoreland was convinced that the Vietnamese communists could be destroyed by fighting a war of attrition that, theoretically, would render the Vietnam People's Army unable to fight. In World War II, Westmoreland saw combat with the 34th Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Infantry Division, in Tunisia, Sicily, France, and Germany; he commanded the 34th Battalion in Tunisia and Sicily. [3][4][5] Westmoreland also served as the superintendent of the Protestant Sunday School Teachers.[6]. Public support for the war eventually diminished, especially after the Battle of Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive in 1968. Westmoreland's strategy was ultimately politically unsuccessful. "He made a speech there in the rain and while he talked we watched the rain turn that hot dinner into cold Mulligan stew. However, the government wished to win at low cost, and policymakers received McNamara's interpretation indicating huge American casualties in prospect, prompting a reassessment of what could be achieved. The fashion for counter-insurgency thinking also denigrated the role of conventional warfare. William Childs Westmoreland was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, on March 26, 1914 to Eugenia Talley Childs and James Ripley Westmoreland. After returning to the United States, Westmoreland was deputy assistant chief of staff, G–1, for manpower control on the Army staff from 1953 to 1955. Westmoreland's anger was caused by the implication of the broadcast that his intent was fraudulent and that he ordered others to lie. He then completed the Army War College as a student in 1951, and stayed as an instructor from 1951 to 1952. In Westmoreland v. CBS, Westmoreland sued Wallace and CBS for libel, and a lengthy legal process began. Many of the battles in Vietnam were technically United States victories, with the United States Army in control of the field afterward; holding territory gained this way proved difficult, however. In 1986, Westmoreland served as grand marshal of the Chicago Vietnam Veterans parade. The most important constraint was staying on the strategic defensive out of fear of Chinese intervention, but at the same time President Lyndon B. Johnson had made it clear that there was a higher commitment to defending Vietnam. Following the Tet Offensive, General William Westmoreland called for an additional 200,000 troops to help break the resolve of the Vietcong. [19] Westmoreland's critics say his successor, General Creighton Abrams, deliberately switched emphasis away from what Westmoreland dubbed attrition. [39][40][41], Just hours after Westmoreland was sworn in as Army Chief of Staff on July 7, 1968, his brother-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Van Deusen (commander of 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment), was killed when his helicopter was shot down in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. [43], The General William C. Westmoreland Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, is named in his honor. Less than a month after the Tet Offensive, key advisors met to discuss General Westmoreland’s request. However, to lessen the impact of this damaging report, Westmoreland ordered that the document be kept on "close hold" across the entire Army for a period of two years and not disseminated to War College attendees. It became very clear that Hanoi was in effect strategically running the Viet Cong operation. Yet, that assessment in itself is key to understanding the West's failure to defeat him. Disagreements persist about the appropriateness of some of the methods of CBS's editors.[35]. “[The Tet Offensive] failed because we underestimated our enemies and overestimated ourselves. S. He later served as U. When you looked at specifics, this became a war of attrition. Wallace's memoir is generally sympathetic to Westmoreland, although he makes it clear he disagreed with him on issues surrounding the Vietnam War and the Nixon Administration's policies in Southeast Asia. The names of the dead are listed there, chronologically. Anytime it was advertised that I was going to be at a particular place, the radicals would be there, … It is not clear if Khe Sanh was meant to be distraction for the Tet Offensive or vice versa;[22] sometimes this is called the Riddle of Khe Sanh. The alternative of sustained countrywide pacification operations, which would require massive use of US manpower, was never available to Westmoreland, because it was considered politically unacceptable. General Westmoreland Quotes Tet Offensive Free Daily Quotes ... General Quotes. Your continued strong support is vital to the success of our mission. [30], Many military historians have pointed out that Westmoreland became Chief of Staff at the worst time in history with regard to the army. William Childs Westmoreland (March 26, 1914 – July 18, 2005) was a United States Army General, most notably commander of United States forces during the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968. On February 27th, 1968 General Westmoreland requested 205,000 additional troops from the US government. [21] Westmoreland had little appreciation of the patience of the American public for his time frame, and was struggling to persuade President Johnson to approve widening the war into Cambodia and Laos in order to interdict the Ho Chi Minh trail. In the second half of 1967, the United States military chief in Vietnam, General William C. Westmoreland, made three trips home brief President Lyndon Johnsonon the progress of the war. Westmoreland was sent to Vietnam in 1963. Primary Duty: Chief of Staff". [14], The Gulf of Tonkin incident of 2 August 1964 led to a dramatic increase in direct American participation in the war, with nearly 200,000 troops deployed by the end of the year. By the end of the summer of 1973 I thought it was virtually impossible for South Vietnam to survive. My wife was my greatest asset. It's the first war we've ever fought on the television screen and the first war that our country ever fought where the media had full reign. In January 1964, he became deputy commander of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), eventually succeeding Paul D. Harkins as commander, in June. They should have criticized me. We won every engagement we were involved in out there. He wanted the North Vietnamese to leave their brothers in the South alone. Westmoreland claimed that under his leadership, United States forces "won every battle". American troops were adapting to the conditions, Westmoreland said; the enemy was weakened and depleted and his theatre … And as the philosophy of the Orient expresses it: Life is not important. With the encouragement of Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Earle Wheeler, Westmoreland renewed an earlier request for more troops.… During the acrimonious trial, Mike Wallace was hospitalized for depression, and despite the legal conflict separating the two, Westmoreland and his wife sent him flowers. I was participating in my own lynching, but the problem was I didn't know what I was being lynched for. BrainyQuote has been providing inspirational quotes since 2001 to our worldwide community. Westmoreland later served on a task force to improve educational standards in the state of South Carolina. 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