Military Review

Ho Chi Minh trail. Vietnamese road of life. Part of 1

The defeat of the French colonial troops in Vietnam at the battle of Dienbienfu opened the way for a peace plan that could lead to a cessation of the war in the Vietnamese lands. According to this plan, the warring parties (the Vietnamese People’s Army, subordinate to the government in Hanoi, and the French forces) were to be divorced, the country was to be demilitarized, and in the 1956, both in the north and in the south were to be held elections, which determined would be the future of Vietnam.

All this was recorded in the decisions of the Geneva Conference 1954, the purpose of which was to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Indochina.

But in the 1955 year in the south, in violation of these decisions, the Republic of Vietnam was proclaimed, with Saigon as its capital, led by Ngo Din Snem. The latter, having at first a serious credit of trust from the population, very quickly transformed the political power in the country into a mode of unlimited personal dictatorship. Naturally, no election took place in 1956.

The United States, which had long-standing plans to gain a foothold in Indochina and sought to stifle the local left-wing liberation movements, did not sign the Geneva Agreements (although they were participants in the conference) and supported the dictator Ngo Dinh Siem. Thus, the South Vietnamese regime lost legitimacy from the very beginning. In the future, the South Vietnamese rulers managed to remain in power only on American bayonets. It was a frankly ugly regime that conducted mass forced migrations of citizens, sought to implant Catholicism among Vietnamese Buddhists, very cruel on the one hand, but extremely inefficient and helpless in managing the state on the other, independent in the external and defense sphere and extremely corrupt.

Ngo Dinh Ziem had to fight from the very beginning with political opponents who sought to seize power, and with the Communists, who renewed the armed struggle to unite Vietnam after the usurpation of Ngo Dinh Diem power in the south. In response, quite serious repressions were launched against the population of southern Vietnam — in a matter of years, the number of killed political opponents of the president approached twenty thousand people, of whom more than half were communists. Two coup attempts against the dictator were unsuccessful, but in the course of the third, in 1963, he was still killed. It must be said that the Americans, who knew about the planned coup and did not try to prevent it, had a hand in his murder. Most likely the case was that the methods of Ngo Dinh Diem were so cruel that they "turned the wind" on even the Americans who did not suffer from humanism.

Long before that, in January 1959, under pressure from the future Vietcong activists, who suffered huge losses at the hands of the secret police of South Vietnam, the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Workers' Party in Hanoi decided to dramatically increase aid to the South Vietnamese communists and move to unite the country into one state with strength Of course, Hanoi had previously supported the left-wing rebels, but now it had to be done on a completely different scale.

Vietnam is a narrow strip of land stretching along the coast, and only north of Hanoi, its territory expands, occupying a vast mountain range bordering China. During the years of separation, the demilitarized zone reliably cut the country in half, and there was no question of delivering any supplies for the partisans through it.

There were, however, two workarounds. The first is by sea smuggling. It was immediately clear that during the big war it would be cut off - and with the advent of the Americans it happened. The second is through the territory of Laos, where then there was a civil war between the monarchic pro-American government on the one hand, and leftist movements, acting together as the forces of Pathet Lao. Pathet Lao, fought closely with the Vietnamese People’s Army and the Vietnamese government had a serious influence on them. Eastern Laos, being a sparsely populated and impassable territory, seemed to be an ideal place for the transfer of resources for waging war from the north of Vietnam to the south.

Caravans with weapons, supplies and even people passed through this territory for many years, even under the French, but it was sluggish in nature - people carried loads on their hands, carried them in boats and pack animals, extremely rarely on single machines (part of the route), their number was small. The Americans also conducted rather sluggish operations against this route, mainly by the forces of their mercenaries, from the Hmong people, sluggishly supported (in terms of actions against Vietnamese communications) by the royal troops of Laos and the American pilots-mercenaries from Air America. All this was not serious, but after January 1959, the situation began to change.

At first, a sharp intensification of supplies was provided on the sea route - it was the sea that went the main stream of weapons, ammunition and various kinds of special means for the rebels of the south. It was a very efficient route. But on all sorts of ships and junks it was impossible to hide a lot of people, and after the January decision, additional fighters needed to be moved to the south. And for this the Vietnamese decided to re-activate and expand the Lao route.

Shortly after the decision of the PTV Central Committee to expand the partisan war in the south, a new transport unit was formed as part of the Vietnamese People’s Army - the 559-I transport group under the command of Colonel Vo Bam. At first, this group had a number of literally a couple of battalions, and was armed with a small number of trucks, and its main means of transportation were bicycles. But already in the same 1959 year, it already included two transport regiments - 70 and 71, and the number of cars in it began to grow. In Bam soon received the rank of general, and the command of the group began to coordinate not only transportation, but also construction work to improve the road network on the Lao route. By the end of the year, there were already 6000 fighters in its two shelves, not counting civilian builders and security units recruited.

Ho Chi Minh trail. Vietnamese road of life. Part of 1

First bicycles, then cars, after a while - the roads. First, the narrow ... "Path" has been continuously developed.

By the time the Americans entered the war, the 559 Group, which was commanded by General Fan Thron Tu by that time, had almost 24000 men, six automobile battalions, two bicycle transport battalions, a boat transport battalion, and eight the sapper battalions and the 45 of the logistic units serving the transshipment bases on the routes.

By that time, along with trails along the mountain slopes and river routes, the transport group provided for the construction of several hundred kilometers of roads, partly gravelled or made in the form of towers. The group also built bridges, transshipment bases and warehouses, recreation centers for transport personnel, repair shops, hospitals, caches and bunkers and carried out not only the delivery of people and goods to the south, but also the delivery of building materials for further expansion of communications. By the middle of 1965, it was no longer a route - it was a huge logistics system from a multitude of routes, delivering hundreds of tons of cargo per day to the Viet Cong troops in the south every day. And thousands of fighters every year. And that was just the beginning.

Technique on the trail. Pay attention to the equipment of the soldiers.

The Vietnamese acted extremely original. Thus, part of the supplies was delivered by packing them into hermetic barrels and banal dumping of these barrels into rivers. Downstream, at the transshipment base, the rivers were blocked by nets, and improvised cranes with long arrows and ropes were built on the shore to get the barrels out of the water. In 1969, the Americans found out that the Vietnamese built a fuel line through Laos, through which gasoline, diesel and kerosene flowed through the same pipe at different times. A little later, a presence was discovered on the “path” of the 592 pipeline regiment of the Vietnamese People’s Army, and already in the 1970 year there were six such pipelines.

Over time, the Vietnamese, who were constantly expanding the “path”, were able to cover a significant part of the roads with asphalt and make their operation independent of the season and the rains. Vietnamese military builders laid bridges below the water's mirror on the rivers to hide these crossings from the US air reconnaissance. Already in 1965, the number of trucks that were continuously in motion on the “path” was approximately 90 machines, and only grew in the future.

By that time, the Vietnamese received this traditional transport corridor from then on, the name “Strategic Supply Route of Truong Son”, after the name of the mountain range.

Construction of the road on the "path".

The road between bomb craters.

But in the world stories This route remained under its American name: “Ho Chi Minh Trail”.

The scheme "paths". A separate color highlighted network created in Cambodia. "Pathway Sihanuka"

The Americans carefully tried to carry out targeted sabotage of the work of “Trail” for many years, but after open US intervention in the Vietnam War, it became senseless to hide and the United States began a series of military operations aimed at destroying this route.

14 September 1964, the United States launched the Barrel Roll offensive air offensive against Trail. Thus began the most brutal bombing campaign in human history. For the next nearly nine years, the United States will bomb the Trail every seven minutes. Every hour, every day, until the spring of the year 1973. This will lead to the mass death of not only the military of the Vietnamese People’s Army, but also of civilians. So many bombs will be dropped on the “Path”, especially on its part on Vietnamese territory, that in some places they will change the terrain. And even forty years later, the jungle around the “Trail” is still overflowing with unexploded bombs and dumped outboard fuel tanks.

But it all began modestly.

Laos, on whose territory the Americans were to deliver their blows, was formally neutral with respect to the Vietnam conflict. And in order not to create political complications, the United States had to bomb the objects of the “Path” secretly. On the other hand, the elongated shape of the territory of Vietnam made combat missions to the northern part of the trail from the Vietnamese territory quite difficult.

Therefore, the United States used its aviation forces from the Nah Pan Air Base in Thailand, from where it was most convenient for them to achieve goals in Laos and where safe basing was ensured. It took some time to get over the formalities with the old king of Laos, and soon the Skyraders of the next Air Commandos launched their attacks. As usual, without identification marks.

A-1 "Skyrader" based in Thailand

The first US subunits that struck the “path” were the 602 and 606-I squadrons of special operations, armed with A-1 Skyraider, AT-28 Trojan and C-47 transports. The operation was planned indefinite. In fact, it lasted until the end of the war and covered the territory in the north-east of Laos. It was there that everything was done in secret, unmarked, on old aircraft.

Combat training AT-28 "Troyan"

But it was not the only operation. The diagram below shows the zones in Laos where others occurred. And if the operation “Barrel Roll” for the purpose of secrecy was assigned to the squadron of special operations, then “Steel Tiger” and “Tiger Hound” were assigned to the linear parts of the Air Force. In part, this was due to the fact that the areas of operations for Steel Tiger and Tiger Hound did not border North Vietnam, and it was possible to act more freely there. One way or another, but over the southern regions of the “path”, American aviation behaved comfortably, and was only cautious in the north, hiding behind “anonymous” air strikes inflicted by unmarked aircraft.

Zones of air operations against the "path".

At first, the bombings were somewhat haphazard. The Americans bombed everything that they believed to belong to the “Trope” - indiscriminately. This applied to the settlements located nearby. Subjected to massive strikes of the crossing on rivers, sections of roads that could be blocked by the rubble caused by a bombing strike, and, of course, trucks.

Very soon came the division of labor. The Air Force and Navy, with their jet planes, began to work on the principle of “bombing everything that moves” and destroying the identified infrastructure of the Trail, then the special purpose squadron pilots of the air force began to specialize in shooting the trucks that after the middle of 60's Already were the main means of delivery of all necessary Viet Cong.

F-100. Such aircraft were the main workhorse of the US Air Force in Vietnam. As part of the air group "Misty" such planes bombed and trail.

The latter, of course, were attacked by other planes when they were detected, but the basic hunt for trucks became the task of special units of the Air Force. They also specialized in night attacks - the plane of advanced guidance, light "Cessna" usually dropped a signal rocket to the ground, and from it the pilot-aircraft carrier gave direction to the target and the distance to it. The crews of attack aircraft, using a flare as a landmark, attacked targets in the dark - and as a rule successfully.

"Cessna" O-2A advanced aviation guidance in Thailand.

A milestone for the struggle to curb supply from the north was the 1965 year. It was this year that the US Navy stopped the sea traffic, after which the “trail” became the only artery of the partisans in the south. And it was precisely this year that the American military intelligence - MACV-SOG (English Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group, literally “Command of rendering military assistance to Vietnam - a group of research and observations”) appeared on the “path”. Well-trained special forces, relying on the participation in their intelligence outlets of the Vietnamese and national minorities, provided the American troops with a mass of intelligence about what is happening on the “Trope” really and gave aviation the opportunity to work more precisely and inflict more damage to Vietnam than before. Subsequently, these units conducted not only reconnaissance, but also capture of prisoners, and quite successfully.

The number of combat missions along the “path” has also grown steadily. It began at twenty per day, by the end of 1965 it was already a thousand per month, and a few years later it steadily fluctuated around the 10-13 marks of thousands of departures per month. Sometimes it could look like a 10-12 raid of B-52 Stratofortress bombers, which at once dumped onto the supposedly important Trail sites on 1000 with more than bombs. Often it was a continuous, hours-long bombing of airplanes from different air bases. It got to the point that pilots bombing the “trail” were afraid of colliding with their own airplanes in the air - there could be a lot of them. But it will be a little later.

In the 1966 year, A-26K Counter Invader appeared over the trail - a deeply reworked and modern piston bomber B-26 Invader of the times of WWII and the Korean War. These cars were radically rebuilt from conventional B-26, the operation of which in the Air Force was banned after a series of destruction of the wings of aircraft in flight (including one with the death of the crew). Since Thailand prohibited the basing of bombers on its territory, they were reclassified into attack aircraft, replacing the letter B in the name (from the English Bomber) with A, derived from the word Attack and traditional for all attack aircraft of the US Air Force and Navy after World War II.

A-26K in Thailand.

Planes were re-equipped by On Mark Engineering:

After analyzing the requirements of the Air Force, On Mark engineers proposed the following main modifications of the B-26 airframe: a complete re-manufacture of the fuselage and tail, an increased area rudder to improve the aircraft controllability when flying on one engine, reinforcement from the wing root to the tip of the original aluminum wing spars with steel linings , installation of 18-cylinder two-row radial air-cooled engines with an injection system of a water-methanol mixture Pratt & Whitney R-2800-103W with a takeoff power of 2500 hp. The engines rotated fully reversible, automatic, feathering, three-bladed larger diameter propellers. The aircraft was equipped with dual controls with a bombardier station installed on the right side, an anti-icing system for fenders and engine carburetors, an anti-icing system and a cockpit windshield wiper, reinforced brakes with an anti-lock system, a heating system with a capacity of 100000 BTU (BTU - British thermal unit). The design of the dashboard underwent some changes, and the instruments themselves were replaced with more advanced ones. New hardware was installed in the panel on the right side of the cockpit. The aircraft was equipped with a fire extinguishing system, eight underwing suspension points (specially designed for the first prototype YB-26K), fuel tanks at the wingtips with a capacity of 165 US gallons with a quick emergency fuel drain system.
Specially designed quick-change glass nose and nose with eight 12,7-mm machine guns. The dorsal and ventral protective turret systems were removed. In addition to the items listed on the aircraft, a complete on-board electronics set (HF (high frequency - high frequency), VHF (very high frequenc - ultra high frequency), UHF (ultrahigh frequency - ultra high frequency), intercom communications, VOR navigation system, low frequency automatic radio direction finder LF / ADF, ILS (instrument landing system blind landing system), TACAN radio navigation system, IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system — a radar system for identifying aircraft and ships "friend-foe", coder and radio marker, two 300-ampere genes RATOR and two inverters with a power of 2500 volt-amperes. The possibility of installing complex photographic equipment for reconnaissance flights was provided.

A-26K turned out to be the best "Truck Hunters" in the first half of the war. By the end of 1966, these aircraft, which also flew from the base of Nah Pan, had 99 destroyed trucks with supplies or fighters. It should be understood that other American aircraft also had their own statistics.

By the end of 1966, the “role” of aviation was finally divided. Jet fighters-bombers destroyed the infrastructure on the "path", with the possibility of attacking and trucks. Low-speed piston attack aircraft mainly hunted for cars. Intelligence provided special units and aircraft of advanced aviation-light-engine "Cessna".

However, despite the continuous increase in American forces acting against the "path", it only grew. The CIA continuously reported an increase in the number of trucks involved, and most importantly, covered roads. The latter was the most important - during the rainy season, transportation by truck became extremely difficult and often impossible, as a result, the flow of materials to the south weakened. Vietnamese construction of paved roads removed this problem.

In 1967, at the end of March, the former commander of US troops in Vietnam, and at that time the chairman of the NRCS, General William Westmoreland, sent to the Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a request to increase the number of American troops in Vietnam on 200 000 soldiers and officers, bringing the total number of forces to xnumx people. A little later, on April 672000, the general sent McNamara a memorandum in which he pointed out that the new troops (supposed to be mobilized reservists) would have to be used for military expansion in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam. Also in the memorandum was the requirement to start mining the North Vietnamese ports.

In fact, Westmoreland wanted to use the new troops to destroy the Vietnamese logistics network in Laos.

But that did not happen. Then, of course, the number of troops had to be increased, even if not to such a size (but almost to that which Westmoreland considered minimal for that war) and it was necessary to mine, but the most important thing - the invasion of neighboring countries with the aim of destroying the “path” was not done .

Now the Americans had no choice but to continue the air war. But the old recipes did not work - the losses did not force the Vietnamese to stop transporting along the “path”. It was not possible to stop road construction. Moreover, the "trail" expansively on the territory of Cambodia.

In the 1968 year, in parallel with the bombing of the US Air Force began to implement the "Project Popeye" - wasting reagents from the aircraft, which led to the additional formation of rain clouds. The Americans planned to increase the duration of the rainy season and disrupt the transportation along the “path”. The first 65 reagent sprinkling operations gave a real result - there was indeed more rain. In the future, the Americans were pouring reagents almost until the end of the war.

The second unusual project was the project of chemical washing off trails and paths along which volunteers and weapons flowed.

For this, a special reagent was also intended, which after soap was mixed with water — and decomposing the compacted soil of roads and paths as well as soap dissolves dirt. 17 August 1968 three C-130 airplanes from the 41 Air Force transport air wing launched flights from air bases in Thailand and began pouring powder composition. The initial effect was promising - to blur the roads and turn them into rivers of mud from the composition turned out. But, only after the rain, which seriously limited the use of "chemistry". The Vietnamese quickly adapted to the new tactics - they sent a mass of soldiers or volunteers to clean up the funds, before the rain had activated it and the road was washed away. However, after the loss of the fire from the ground of one of the aircraft with the crew operation was discontinued.

In 1966, the first Ganships AC-47 Spooky from the 4 Squadron of special operations appeared over the trail. Slow airplanes armed with a machine-gun battery could not manifest themselves - the air defense "trails" by that time already had a lot of automatic guns. In a short time, the Vietnamese piled six "ganships", after which they were no longer attracted to the hunt for trucks.

Machine guns on AC-47

Firing. Shot in flight through the door.

But the Americans were able to understand that the matter was not in the idea, but in the performance - an old aircraft of the Second World War with a machine gun battery simply “did not pull”, but if there was a more powerful machine ...

In 1967, its future Beach — Ganship AC-130 — appeared on the trail, at that time armed with two Minigun multi-barreled machine guns, caliber 7,62 mm, and a pair of 20-mm automatic cannons.

The aircraft in its ideology "ascended" to the AU-47 Spooky, based on a C-47 aircraft armed with several Minigun machine guns firing sideways. But unlike the AC-47, the new machines were equipped not only with more powerful weapons, but also with automated search and sighting systems, which included night-vision devices. In general, it was not worth comparing them.

9 on November 9th, during its first experimental sortie, the AU-130 destroyed six trucks. Commanded the first sorties of the new "Ganship" the actual creator of this class of aircraft in the US Air Force, Major Ronald Terry. Unlike the old AC-47, the new AC-130 looked very promising, and the results of combat use of the “path” confirmed this.

One of the first AC-130 since the Vietnam War. Machine guns and cannons are clearly visible.

Now it was necessary to deal with the formation of a new air unit for these aircraft and their production.

Продолжение следует ...
Photos used:
USAF, Ken Burns, Hua Kiem, Peter Alan Lloyd, Horst Faas / Associated Press, Wikipedia, Vietnam News, George Miller, Phill Caroll, LIFE, Jacob Van Staaveren
Articles from this series:

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Same lech
    Same lech April 4 2019 18: 24
    I am amazed at the stubbornness of the Vietnamese in the fight against the Americans ... that’s who has to learn from those who are now being attacked by the USA.
    If the Vietnamese had full anti-aircraft defense, all of these AC-130s and attack aircraft of various classes would have to be tight.
    1. timokhin-aa
      April 4 2019 18: 28
      She had them, in the end. And still had to tight)))

      But perseverance is yes. Do not hold. Laos, by the way, is the most bombed country in the world, as many bombs as they didn’t throw at anyone or anyone. In the next part I will lay out what damage to the landscape was caused by the bombing of the Americans - this must be seen.
      1. Undecim
        Undecim April 4 2019 19: 25
        Laos, by the way, is the most bombed country in the world.

        BLU-26B submunition that equipped American cluster bombs (B - baseball) This instantaneous fragmentation submunition (1 lb (454 grams), 2,75 inches in diameter) was almost identical to the BLU-36 / B and BLU-59 / B submunitions slow motion, having with them the same color (olive) and the shape of the body with four ribs of wings, but differed only in the nature of the surface of the body. Ammunition BLU-26B and BLU-63 / B, outwardly similar to each other (weight 1 pound (454 grams), diameter 70 mm), differed in purpose: the first was fragmentation instantaneous, the second - mine fragmentation.
        According to today's estimates, about 15 of these unexploded ordnance are scattered across 17 of the 80 provinces of Laos. 000% of all explosive accidents occur in these submunitions. especially they attract children.
        1. timokhin-aa
          April 4 2019 19: 44
          There is still demining going on, and for decades to go. Yes, and in Vietnam is not better places.
        2. Vivan
          Vivan April 4 2019 22: 26
          In 1969-1971 (I was 13-15 years old) I personally sawed pieces of 40 of these ball bombs - we (the children) needed detonators for homemade mines (oh yes to jam fish in the river!). There was a lot of explosive substance (our place was bombed in 1965-1968 every 2-3 days, sappers simply unscrewed the explosive device from time bombs and they rolled everywhere, we armed with crowbar and mined explosives), but there were no detonators, and we mined them at ball bombs.
          Near our village there was a dry well; adults collected thousands of unexploded ball bombs and buried them in this well. After the lessons, we came to the well, removed ball bombs from there, carefully placed them in bamboo baskets in the position in which they lay in the well, and carefully carried them to the river bank. There, by the river, we threw these ball bombs at the boulders in the river. These ball bombs rarely exploded, in most cases they simply fell into the river, we lifted them from the bottom of the river and sawed them to extract detonators (white, cylindrical in diameter with a diameter of about 20-25 mm and a thickness of about 5 mm).
          For the manufacture of mines, any metal containers were useful. We melted the explosive in a pan, then one holds the rod vertically in the middle of the tank, the other pours liquid explosive. In about 10 minutes, the explosive solidifies, we take out the rod, put the detonator and the Bikford cord in a deep hole, fill the empty space with clay - and the mine is ready!
          Now I would not come close to such dangerous things, but then for some reason we were not afraid at all. It used to be that the whole company of 6-7 boys sat in a circle and cheerfully sawed ball bombs! Maybe because our locally bombed regularly for 3 years and we are used to explosions and deaths.
          1. Undecim
            Undecim April 4 2019 22: 31
            our place
            What about the name?
            1. Vivan
              Vivan April 4 2019 22: 43
              Dongmo Town, Tilang County, Langshon Province (120 km from Hanoi and 50 km from the border with China):
              1. Undecim
                Undecim April 4 2019 23: 07
                I know Dongmo Lake, I don’t know the town. From Hanoi, the boys studied with us, all adults who fought.
                1. Vivan
                  Vivan April 5 2019 00: 21
                  Coordinates of Dongmo railway station (my parents' house 300 meters from the station):
                  21.656389C, 106.577389B.
    2. Maki Avellevich
      Maki Avellevich April 4 2019 19: 25
      Quote: The same LYOKHA
      I am amazed at the stubbornness of the Vietnamese in the fight against the Americans ... that’s who has to learn from those who are now being attacked by the USA.

      learning this is difficult. this perseverance is what is called the "character of the people"
      the development of character among peoples lasts centuries
  2. Adjutant
    Adjutant April 4 2019 18: 32
    Our air defenses were good in Vietnam.
    1. timokhin-aa
      April 4 2019 19: 03
      Yes, and Vietnamese nehilo so annealed.
      1. Catfish
        Catfish April 4 2019 19: 42
        Do not remember the name of the Vietnamese guy who on our MIG for the first time in the world shot down a B-52 fighter? He, incidentally, already in the colonels, did not fly into space with our guys? Somehow erased from memory, but sorry ...
        1. Vivan
          Vivan April 4 2019 22: 34
          Читайте о нем здесь -
      2. timokhin-aa
        April 4 2019 19: 54
        Fam Tuan.
        But there were much cooler pilots, Nguyen Van Kok for example.
        1. Dym71
          Dym71 April 4 2019 21: 41
          Alexander, in the comments on the VO read the story about how the Vietnamese covered our air defense operators with their bodies (stood around him) so that he would not be shattered with fragments, tell me please, did you encounter such information? hi
          1. timokhin-aa
            April 4 2019 22: 14
            No, not met.
          2. Vivan
            Vivan April 4 2019 22: 51
            Here, from 16min10sec:
            1. Dym71
              Dym71 April 4 2019 23: 28
              Quote: Vivan
              Here, from 16min10sec

              Thanks for the link good
          3. Amurets
            Amurets April 4 2019 22: 57
            Quote: Dym71
            Alexander, in the comments on the VO read the story about how the Vietnamese covered our air defense operators with their bodies (stood around him) so that he would not be shattered with fragments, tell me please, did you encounter such information? hi
            N, Wheel
            The Vietnam War ... How It Was (1965-1973) "
        2. Catfish
          Catfish April 4 2019 22: 46
          Thank you, Alexander. hi If there is information about the downed Americans, write - interesting. So many years have passed, and the memory is not the same.
    2. Proxima
      Proxima April 5 2019 00: 32
      Quote: Adjutant
      Our air defenses were good in Vietnam.

      Yeah not bad. Three thousand units of aircraft were knocked out ... fellow
      1. kalibr
        kalibr April 5 2019 11: 30
        A lot more! See the newspaper True!
        1. Vivan
          Vivan April 5 2019 12: 18
          DRV official information:
          During the war, from 05.08.1964/31.12.1972/4181 to 2568/60/320, 9 American aircraft were shot down over the territory of North Vietnam, including: anti-aircraft artillery - 1293 (31%), fighter aircraft - 32 (90%), anti-aircraft missile forces - 52 aircraft (XNUMX%), of which XNUMX (XNUMX%) are strategic B-XNUMX bomber.
          In 1965 - VNA air defense shot down 834 combat aircraft.
          In 1966, VNA air defense shot down 773 aircraft, of which 221 were destroyed by missiles.
          In 1967 - VNA anti-aircraft defense shot down 1067 aircraft, including ZRV - 435, IA - 129 (1 B-52), ZA - 503 aircraft.
          In 1968, there were 557 aircraft, including ZRV - 119, IA - 47 aircraft.
          In 1969 - 71 aircraft.
          In 1970 - 43 aircraft.
          In 1971 - 56 aircraft.
          In 1972, 922 aircraft, including 34 B-52, of which 32 - missiles.
          The ratio of losses of parties in air battles for the entire war 131/320 in favor of the Vietnamese Air Force.

          PS. In the period from April 1968 to March 1972, Americans bombed only a narrow strip of the territory of the DRV (from the 17th to 20th parallel).
          1. kalibr
            kalibr April 5 2019 12: 35
            I remember how we answered at school: 3000 was shot down! 4000 down! Hooray to the Vietnamese people. And they raised money to help. By xnumx cop off your nose!
  3. Tochilka
    Tochilka April 4 2019 19: 25
    Fine! I look forward to continuing!
  4. Harpoon
    Harpoon April 4 2019 19: 37
    The Vietnamese are worthy of respect. France, USA and China. From all fought off
    1. timokhin-aa
      April 4 2019 19: 42
      From China, not really. If you discard the myths, the picture for Vietnam is not very successful.
  5. Catfish
    Catfish April 4 2019 19: 38
    GAZ-63, ZIL-157, ZIL-130 - if it’s not a landscape, I would decide that these photos are from the teachings of our army. Here you can immediately see who helped someone. )))
    Thanks to the author and plus. hi
    1. timokhin-aa
      April 4 2019 19: 41

      But in general, there were still very Chinese people there. I just did not search for a photo.
      1. Catfish
        Catfish April 4 2019 19: 50
        Yes, I know. But there were, and more than once, problems with cargo that was sent from the Union by "piece of iron" through China. They were detained, or not delivered at all to the addressee. Everything was. And here I just spoke specifically for the cars. smile
        1. timokhin-aa
          April 4 2019 19: 55
          There were a lot of Chinese cars on the trail.
          1. Catfish
            Catfish April 4 2019 20: 02
            The Chinese copied our cars, but they were noticeably different in appearance, and in quality too. In the photo in the article, I did not see the "Chinese".
            1. timokhin-aa
              April 4 2019 22: 05

              In the first photo, the first car - DongFeng
              On the second, the first two cars of the same brand, then ZIL.
              1. Catfish
                Catfish April 4 2019 22: 26
                Yes, that's right, it is especially clearly visible in the bottom photo. But I didn’t mind, sort of. hi
              2. Amurets
                Amurets April 4 2019 23: 23
                Quote: timokhin-aa
                In the first photo, the first car - DongFeng
                On the second, the first two cars of the same brand, then ZIL.

                One hell. "June 15, 1953 is considered to be the birthday of the entire automobile industry in the PRC. Then FAW began its work in Beijing." June 15, 1953 is considered to be the birthday of the entire automobile industry in the PRC. Then FAW began its work in Beijing.

                March 10, 1958 - the first truck (NJ130) with a carrying capacity of 2,5 tons, based on the GAZ-51, was produced in Nanjing.
                March 10, 1958 - The first truck (NJ130) with a carrying capacity of 2,5 tons, based on the GAZ-51, was produced in Nanjing. "
  6. Moskovit
    Moskovit April 4 2019 20: 07
    It seems that the author is on the side of the Americans. On their part is described in detail, but about the Vietnamese in passing. Surely there were attempts to secure the trail.
    1. RL
      RL April 4 2019 21: 09
      It would not be bad to remember that there was North Vietnam and there was South Vietnam. The children from the North fought with the hands of the Chinese and Soviet "volunteers", in the present "ichtamnet", but the South ones fought for themselves and not sickly imposed ideas of a "world proletarian revolution" on all these northern hostages.
      And the atrocities? On both sides were. à la guerre comme à la guerre.
      1. Dym71
        Dym71 April 4 2019 21: 26
        Quote: RL
        but the South fought for themselves

        And the North for uncle? belay
      2. timokhin-aa
        April 4 2019 21: 41
        Well, in general, everything was exactly the opposite.

        Even the Americans had a joke in those years "ARVN rifles for sale. Never fired, just dropped once". Alteration of the joke about the French in WWII.

        Need to translate?
        1. Dym71
          Dym71 April 4 2019 21: 46
          Quote: timokhin-aa
          Need to translate?

          Clearly, Alexander good
      3. hohol95
        hohol95 April 4 2019 22: 20
        but the South ones fought for themselves and did not sickly impose on all these northern hostages the idea of ​​a "world proletarian revolution".

        Especially their "not frailty" manifested itself during the operation Lam Son 719!
    2. timokhin-aa
      April 4 2019 21: 38
      Of course they were. About this in the next part.
  7. Operator
    Operator April 4 2019 21: 24
    I added an article to the article, in connection with which the author’s wish - turn your retrospective look further, and send the prospect to far away laughing
    1. timokhin-aa
      April 4 2019 21: 39
      I do not accept advice from people confusing warm with soft, and white with square, who are also proud of their inability to think at least somehow.
      1. Operator
        Operator April 4 2019 21: 47
        Yes, for God's sake - you just do not convert the retrospective into the future and you will be happy laughing
        1. timokhin-aa
          April 4 2019 22: 17
          Yes, and so I have happiness. Regarding you, do not forget - everything that you understand, understand is wrong. If you are sure of something, then it is not so, etc.

          Therefore, it’s not worthwhile to crap, you need to be puzzled by self-development, for example, download the old logic textbook for high school, develop the brain, it doesn’t work for you at all, absolutely.

          Reflect, try asking yourself the question "what could I be wrong about" (you will find that in everything laughing ) etc.

          Up to a certain age, the brain can be saved. Do not miss your chance.
  8. Operator
    Operator April 4 2019 22: 36
    Quote: timokhin-aa
    Up to a certain age, the brain can be saved

    What I'm talking to you laughing
    1. timokhin-aa
      April 5 2019 08: 45
      No, I do not tell you this, but I am writing.

      You obviously stuck Poseidon in the brain, that you yourself do not see laughing
  9. Scaffold
    Scaffold April 5 2019 00: 16
    A curious list of changes to the A-26K. What is left of the original - cup holders? What is the point of reworking that is more expensive than developing a new aircraft?
    1. timokhin-aa
      April 5 2019 08: 47
      No more expensive as a result. The fact is that the Air Force did not want to invest in assault aircraft, they hated it then, they hate it now, and they tried to get by with half measures during the war.

      I wrote about it here -
  10. Razvedka_Boem
    Razvedka_Boem April 5 2019 04: 58
    Definitely a plus, we are waiting for the continuation.
  11. Burbur
    Burbur April 5 2019 07: 30
    Thank you so much! I look forward to continuing. I heard about this trail since childhood. Always admired the courage of the Vietnamese people!
  12. aakvit
    aakvit April 5 2019 13: 50
    the regime that carried out mass forced resettlement of citizens, sought to impose Catholicism among Vietnamese Buddhists, is very cruel on the one hand, but extremely ineffective and helpless in managing the state on the other, not independent in the external and defense sphere and extremely corrupt

    Is something familiar painfully visible, or does it just seem to me?
    1. timokhin-aa
      April 5 2019 14: 41
      Looked vassal USA. Classic option.
    2. AK1972
      AK1972 April 5 2019 15: 07
      We have a small river in the city that flows out of the lake. A path is trodden along it. In the summer, the floodplain is overgrown like in the jungle. So this path is still popularly called "Ho Chi Minh Trail". Respect to the author!
  13. 112-17
    112-17 April 14 2019 08: 15
    MACV-SOG is strategic intelligence, not military