‘1965-1975 another Vietnam: unseen images of the war from the winning side‘, Mashable, 5 February 2016
Next month, 8 March, is the 50th anniversary of the Australian government’s announcement that its commitment to the Vietnam War would be increased to 4350 men, including conscripts (national servicemen). By the end of the Australian commitment around 200 conscripts were among the total of 521 Australians killed. The official number of total Australian casualties was over 3000, which certainly understates the numbers suffering from PTSD and other war-related conditions.
This post shows the war from the other side, with pictures by Vietnamese photographers of civilians, militia and North Vietnamese regulars. Perhaps the most arresting picture (by Le Minh Truong) shows troops traversing the Ho Chi Minh Trail in 1966. The photographs have been available since at least 2002 in various forms. They are drawn from a much larger cache of photographs on the website Another Vietnam. They remind us of the broader parameters of the Vietnam War: somewhere between one and three million civilian and military deaths, countless numbers injured and suffering from disease and deformity, and economic, environmental and social devastation.
The Honest History website includes a number of resources on the Vietnam War, notably this collection exploring the issue of whether Australians returning from the war were treated appropriately and Willy Bach’s work on the effects of the chemical Agent Orange. For more, search under ‘Vietnam’. There are government plans to commemorate the Vietnam War in August on the 5oth anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.