sounds like the real thing was similar to the subsequent training

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Posted by CalAbDiver on September 14, 2001 at 17:18:55:

In Reply to: Re: wow, just like in the movie The Great Santini ! posted by Grunt on September 14, 2001 at 16:07:34:

Amphibious warfare training now is mostly done on the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia and on Coronado Island in Southern California.

It may become a lost art soon, with the focus of American force projection turning to desert and/or mountain terrain these days. If it becomes a lost art, then it was never meant to be immortal anyway, invented by the French Navy to take back their own country in the 1940s.

Desert and/or mountain combat engagement requires a lot of helicopters for openers, then a whole lot of humping throughout the night (not the California version of humping) when the sun is not blazing.

That change was starting even as recently as 28 years ago. The Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 changed everyone's perspective on combat priorities and tactics and strategy. The USA was out of Viet Nam by then, although the job there was not yet finished.

Suddenly democracy in jungle countries took a back seat to the availability of gasoline and oil. Thats where it stands today, other than with the current interruption by urban guerillas now taking flight training and crashing hijacked jetliners into office towers.

I hate to call them terrorists, because that is such a defeatist sounding word. They are soldiers who fight differently. Stragetic warfare against civilians was only comparatively recently invented by the Nazis in their blitzkrieg against the British in the 1940s. Before that, soldiers did not attack civilians, they limited their combat only to other soldiers. Hitler hated England so much that he bombed their cities too. That was unheard of before then.

It started a new trend in combat warfare, killing civilians. Now however, urban guerillas are flying jetliners into office towers and incenerating them together with the civilians there. Things have really changed since your war, Marine.

Please let me ask you for some elaboration, perhaps even a difficult question. Asking the question is not difficult, although answering it might be.

First of all, I am not worthy to ask this question of you, so you dont have to answer it. I didnt fight in your war. But here goes.

Do you fear that we wasted all those 58,000 American lives in South Viet Nam, as well as around 2 million civilian and military lives in North Viet Nam, for nothing?

We lost that war, you know. Gen. Vu Nyugen Giap changed his tactics at every turn, using guerilla warfare while the USA was fighting there, then regular tank warfare after the USA left in 1973. He won it on April 30, 1975 if my memory serves me right.

So was it a waste for us?

What about for you?

You proved to yourself that you can kill less heavily armed regular and guerilla troups, but what if they had met you with better materiel such as was available to the North Koreans and the Chinese in the latter stages of the war before your war, Korea?

John D. asked you for a war story, and you gave that, and more. You gave everyone a look into the soul of a Viet Nam Veteran Combat Marine Amphibious Soldier.

You didnt finish the story however. It was your generation of veterans that trained my generation of kids in uniform. We are old now. And so are you. So what do you think, deep inside, now that its over with over there, Marine?

I could tell you what I think, but that doesnt matter. I guess the question betrays that a little.

Dont pay attention to some of the flamers here. I dont. Thats the price of an open forum. Chris the webmaster wants this forum to be as open as possible.

Its your turn to speak, Marine.

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