View Full Version : POW's

3rd Oct 2004, 17:09
Been playing this game for a few days now, and im really enjoying it - although it is a little difficult to control the player accurately when in the middle of an intense firefight.

I have just graduated to Special Forces having completed the mission with the fort.

This leads me onto my question; The treatment of the POW's within the fort, seemed - in my opinion - to be a bit over the top. Whilst im aware that POW's in Vietnam were treated horrificly, surely the way they are portrayed in the game is a tad exagerated!? What with the severed heads on sticks, every single one being mutilated and the corpes being strung up from rope etc etc.

Im sure this happened every so often, but i wouldnt have though to the degree portrayed in the game. I stand to be corrected, but this seems to transform the game from a war game, to a kind of horror based game, such as Resident Evil and other such bizarre titles.


4th Oct 2004, 03:38
While overstated a tad in the game, it was not uncommon.

We reconned a village, and found the VC torturing the village chief ... they eviscerated him and were letting the hogs rut around in his entrails -- all the while forcing him to watch his wife and daughter (about age 8) being raped.

Alas, HQ denied us permission to intervene, so we did a headcount and disengaged.

But, as I said, it was not uncommon: with villagers, or with those who were captured ... far better, it was said, to be captured by the NVA than the VC. The NVA might beat you, etc. but you would go off to the Hanoi Hilton (eventually) or an equivalent interment camp. Then again, maybe not: there are still an awful lot of troops unaccounted for, and you can bet your bottom dollar they didn't go AWOL in the middle of the jungle.

Take point troop and don't get yourself waxed to the max. Geronimo. -- d2

4th Oct 2004, 10:12
I apologise for asking such questions, but the conflict in Vietnam has always interested me.

When you were there, were you and your colleagues aware of the treatment you would receive if you were captured. I mean it was obvious you would have been beaten etc etc, but were you aware to what extent the NVA / VC went, and how barbaric they actually were.

From reading books and watching documentary's etc, and am under the impression that only a handful of men actually escaped their captors, therefore only a few stories of what they had experienced would have filtered back to the troops in the field.

After the war, and the POW's were released it would have become apparant what they had went through, but actually during the war itself were you aware of what you faced if captured.

It appears to me (again from research) that the airmen were taken prisoner, whereas the infantry appeared to just vanish (ie killed). I would assume that the 2500 or so MIA's probably fell into the latter category?

Leading on from that, i can imagine it must have been your biggest fear - possibly even worse than being killed in action. It makes me wonder why men surrended to these people. Obviously in some situations, such as being wounded or knocked out then it wasnt really an option. Having not experienced it myself, i am not really in a position to comment on such actions, but its just a thought that has occurred to me on a number of occassions.

4th Oct 2004, 14:34

No need to apologize for asking questions. I have reached a point in my life now where I can talk about such things after many, many years of keeping it all internalized. Nothing like free forum therapy lol.

You are correct in that as a grunt, your odds of just disappearing were pretty great (whether it was the VC or NVA). That's why the "leave no one behind" mantra was so very, very important to morale: you knew that your buddies would do everything in their power to get to you.

That being said, I can't remember dwelling on the possibility very much at the time. Call it youthful bravado, extreme belief or what have you, I never felt that I would be in such a predicament.

Since I was a LRRP, the odds would have more that likely been to join the ranks of the missing 2,500. The enemy forces in our AO had no love of the 101st in general, and recon troops in particular.

I was there from Dec 69 to Jan 1971 -- but did take a 30-day R&R in Australia (heh heh, but that my friend is a different story.) Other than a few trips to Danang, my experience was in the Central Highlands (roughly in the area near An Khe), working the multitudinous mountain valleys for intel on supply routes, locating enemy force concentrations and the like.

Occasionally we did ambushes (strategic denial of trail use) and other semi-covert operations geared to discourage the Vietnamese people from cooperating with the VC.

In larger operations, we acted as scouts for brigade or a battalion in the field, although that role was much more rare.

Take point troop and don't get yourself waxed to the max. Geronimo. -- d2

11th Oct 2004, 12:59
I recall a story about a young (8yrs) boy who's family was dead and all he had left was grandma. A certain squad did what they could to help with her disease and she eventually passed away.

They took the boy into their squad to take care of him while in the AO. Eventually they had to let him go home to stay while the squad was routed to another AO.

They had finished and returned to the village to see the boy who had been their mascot and friend and son to those who didn't have children. The village was raised and the boy was found...
...hanged and gutted.

Seems VC knew of the boy's involvment with the squad. The idea is to get into you head and scare you off. Didn't work.

11th Oct 2004, 14:32
Quite the opposite. Incidents similar to that abounded, and American GIs are notoriously soft touches for hard luck stories (particularly kids).

No different than today in Iraq (referring to the incident where those "couragous" freedom fighters/jihadists/terrorists blew up a bunch of kids while soldiers were handing out candy.

I can't speak for others, but those sorts of incidents made it easier to do my job because I understood what it was I was fighting for. And it wasn't the higher, lofty ideals of politicians, either.

Take point troop and don't get yourself waxed to the max. Geronimo. -- d2