The radical nature of the struggle and the unforgiving atmosphere of Southeast Asia inflicted exact hardships at the Vietnam-era POWs, whether or not they spent captivity within the jungles of the South, or the jails of the North. This ebook describes their reports - the similarities and the variations - and the way the POWs coped with untreated wounds and different malaises, systematic torture, and tedium. The inventive concepts they devised to stick healthy, song time, withstand the enemy, speak with each other, and cling to a sequence of command attest to the excessive criteria of behavior in captivity that so distinguish the POWs of the Vietnam struggle.
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Extra info for The Battle Behind Bars: Navy and Marine POWs in the Vietnam War (The U.S. Navy and The Vietnam War)
A few 3 dozen Marines, three-quarters of the service’s POW overall for all of Southeast Asia, have been between them. Prisoners held within the South—besides Marines, often infantrymen and civilians—faced exams that extra 7 8 heavily resembled the stipulations in Laos than in North Vietnam. these within the custody of Viet Cong guerrillas have been hauled lengthy distances among VC hideouts in deteriorating . They encountered much less regimented self-discipline and less episodes of deliberate, programmed torture yet a extra chaotic, brutish day-by-day lifestyles than that skilled via U. S. aviators constrained in Hanoi. Their relative early life, thinner management, and larger isolation, with fewer comrades with whom to arrange resistance or proportion details and relieve nervousness, put them at a comparative drawback. also, housed in bamboo cages and thatched huts instead of concrete cellblocks, they have been extra on the mercy of the weather than their compatriots within the North. The latter suffered extraordinarily themselves from the extremes of cold and warm climate, yet their preserve no less than afforded a few defense from blistering sunlight and monsoonal rains. different risks within the South integrated leeches, toxic snakes, guards with brief tempers and hair-trigger nerves from starvation and fatigue, and “friendly fireplace” from U. S. and allied forces focusing on VC destinations. in the course of the Vietnam clash, one in 5 american citizens taken prisoner via the Viet Cong or NVA within the South may possibly anticipate to die in captivity, in comparison with one in twenty seized within the North. The mortality list between these captured within the South could were larger but yet for the truth that a few controlled to flee, capitalizing at the one extraordinary virtue that gathered to prisoners there: an analogous loss of sheltering partitions that left them really liable to the exterior atmosphere got rid of a significant barrier to breaking out and slipping away. The proximity to pleasant forces additionally helped escapees. together with a number of people who have been in custody lower than forty eight hours, approximately dozen American POWs escaped from Viet Cong or NVA captivity within the South. although no longer a multitude, that used to be nonetheless dozen greater than escaped from North Vietnam, and over 10 percentage of the complete quantity seized within the South. such a lot of these who have been successful—including Marine significant Richard Risner; Sergeants James Dodson, Frank Iodice, and Albert Potter; Corporals Walter Eckes, Steven Nelson, and William Tallaferro; and Privates Joseph North, Walter Hamilton, and Michael Roha—accomplished their getaways inside days or perhaps weeks in their trap whereas they nonetheless had the power. significant Risner used to be one of many few Marine officials seized by means of the Viet Cong within the South. the 1st used to be Captain Donald prepare dinner, whose uncooked braveness and made up our minds resistance earned him the Medal of Honor. Lieutenant William Grammar by no means had an opportunity to end up his mettle, pain a bad dying presently after his trap northeast of Quang Tri in might 1967 whilst Viet Cong attackers carried out him and military Sergeant Orville Frits it appears following their torture.