Vietnam was the first war ever fought without any censorship. He was buried on July 23, 2005, at the West Point Cemetery, United States Military Academy. "Capture Hué," General Westmoreland answered without hesitation, explaining the city was the symbol of a unified Vietnam. The numbers troubled Westmoreland, who feared that the press would not understand them. 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 … per par 2, GO 87 Hq 9 Inf Div dtd 12 Oct 44. In more than a decade of analyzing long-classified military criminal investigation files, court-martial transcripts, Congressional studies, contemporaneous journalism and the testimony of United States soldiers and Vietnamese civilians, I found that Gen. William C. Westmoreland, his subordinates, superiors and successors also engaged in a profligate disregard for human life. Giap understood that protracted warfare would cost many lives but that did not always translate into winning or losing the war. William Westmoreland Quotes ... July 18 2005) was a United States Army General who commanded US military operations in the Vietnam War at its peak (1964–68) during the Tet Offensive. After spending a year at The Citadel in 1932,[1] he was appointed to attend the United States Military Academy on the nomination of Senator James F. Byrnes, a family friend. The general's testimony yesterday ranged over a variety of matters, from when he learned that North Vietnamese forces were massing for what became the Tet offensive of January 1968 - … 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. General William Childs Westmoreland was the US Army commander who led American forces during the early years of the Vietnam War.Having entered the service in 1932, he distinguished himself during World War II and the Korean War.Appointed to lead US forces in Vietnam in 1964, he sought to defeat the Viet Cong through the large-scale use of artillery, air power, and large-unit battles. Primary Duty: Chief of Staff". It became very clear that Hanoi was in effect strategically running the Viet Cong operation. In Westmoreland v. CBS, Westmoreland sued Wallace and CBS for libel, and a lengthy legal process began. [44], In 1996, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution authorized the General William C. Westmoreland award. We had the best food any battlefield ever had. [46], Westmoreland's military awards include:[47], United States Military Academy class of 1936, Retired from active service in July 1972. "[24] However, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF) were able to dictate the pace of attrition to fit their own goals: by continuing to fight a guerrilla war and avoiding large-unit battles, they denied the Americans the chance to fight the kind of war they were best at, and they ensured that attrition would wear down the American public's support for the war faster than they. 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. By the end of the summer of 1973 I thought it was virtually impossible for South Vietnam to survive. Now such a disregard for human life may make a formidable adversary, but it does not make a military genius. "In evaluating the enemy strategy", he said, "it is evident to me that he believes our Achilles heel is our resolve. Just days before the lawsuit was to go to the jury, Westmoreland suddenly settled with CBS, and they issued a joint statement of understanding. We were succeeding. My wife was my greatest asset. [3][4][5] Westmoreland also served as the superintendent of the Protestant Sunday School Teachers.[6]. I do not believe that the men who served in uniform in Vietnam have been given the credit they deserve. He then commanded the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. Post 1969 Westmoreland also made efforts to investigate the Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất massacre a year after the event occurred. Westmoreland met her again in North Carolina when she was nineteen and a student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He adopted a strategy of attrition against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army. He served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1968 to 1972. I was an adequate student. [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. In 1994, Vietnam veteran Samuel Zaffiri published a biography, Westmoreland: A Biography of General William C. Westmoreland. A more minor case, but one revealing of Westmoreland’s character, stemmed from his unwillingness to level with his senior Marine subordinate at the time of the 1968 Tet Offensive. The attacks were carried out by some 85,000 troops against five major South Vietnamese cities, dozens of military installations, and scores 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. He was promoted to lieutenant general in July 1963 and was Commanding General of the XVIII Airborne Corps from 1963 to 1964. Just ten weeks after Westmoreland’s National Press Club speech, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive. 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. By the end of 1967, Westmoreland reported that the rebels had lost 90,000 men. The last man in the world who should have been criticized was the American soldier. Tet outmaneuvered all of Westmoreland's pronouncements on "positive indicators" in the minds of the American public. Growing United States casualties and the draft undermined United States support for the war, while large-scale casualties among non-combatants weakened South Vietnamese support. I was participating in my own lynching, but the problem was I didn't know what I was being lynched for. [21] The turning point of the war was the 1968 Tet Offensive, in which communist forces attacked cities and towns throughout South Vietnam. A book reviewer stated that the book offered "a fair hearing for a man who has been alternately overlooked and maligned by history." In 1986, Westmoreland served as grand marshal of the Chicago Vietnam Veterans parade. [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. Just the names. 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. When the soldiers came home from Vietnam, there were no parades, no celebrations. [42], Westmoreland died on July 18, 2005, at the age of 91 at the Bishop Gadsden retirement home in Charleston, South Carolina. Backed at home by resolve, confidence, patience, determination, and continued support, we will prevail in Vietnam over the communist aggressor!" However, a few days after the tragedy, he had praised the same involved unit on the "outstanding job", for the "U.S. infantrymen had killed 128 Communists [sic] in a bloody day-long battle". Yet, that assessment in itself is key to understanding the West's failure to defeat him. Public support for the war eventually diminished, especially after the Battle of Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive in 1968. He was an instructor at the Army Command and General Staff College from 1950 to 1951. [27], In June 1968, Westmoreland was replaced by General Creighton Abrams, the decision being announced shortly after the Tet Offensive. General Westmoreland Quotes Tet Offensive Free Daily Quotes ... General Quotes. The attempted French re-colonization of Vietnam following World War II culminated in a decisive French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. [25], Westmoreland repeatedly rebuffed or suppressed attempts by John Paul Vann and Lew Walt to shift to a "pacification" strategy. A deposition by McChristian indicates that his organization developed improved intelligence on the number of irregular Viet Cong combatants shortly before he left Vietnam on a regularly scheduled rotation. Vo Nguyen Giap was a legendary Vietnamese general credited with defeating French forces — and French colonial rule — in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. In January 1964, he became deputy commander of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), eventually succeeding Paul D. Harkins as commander, in June. 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]. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told President Lyndon B. Johnson in April that Westmoreland was "the best we have, without question". Westmoreland's anger was caused by the implication of the broadcast that his intent was fraudulent and that he ordered others to lie. S. He later served as U. [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. He wanted the commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam to make the case that the United States was winning. He reported this. Instead, he focused on "positive indicators", which ultimately turned worthless when the Tet Offensive occurred, since all his pronouncements of "positive indicators" did not hint at the possibility of such a last-gasp dramatic event. 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