Sunday, January 30, 2005

On this day in military 1945 and 1968

On this day in military history….in 1945. The German cruise ship Wilhelm Gustloff is sunk off Gdansk (Danzig), Poland. The Wilhelm Gustloff was a German cruise ship that was evacuating German civilians and troops from the advancing Russian Army. The ship set sail from Gotenhafen (now Gdynia, Poland) and was torpedoed by a Russian submarine somewhere between Gdansk and the Danish island of Bornholm. The ship was built to hold 2,000 people, but official records state that there were 6,050 people on board when the ship was torpedoed and sank in less than 90 minutes. However, because many were able to sneak on-board the ship unaccounted (to escape the Russians); there are accounts that there were as many as 10,000 people on board. Whatever the number, only 1,239 people were saved when the ship sank making this the worse maritime disaster in history.

On this day in military history….in 1968. The North Vietnamese launch the Tet Offensive. The Tet Offensive involved attacks in every major city in South Vietnam and against the US firebase at Khe Sahn and the purpose was to stimulate a popular uprising against the South Vietnamese government. Of all the attacks, only the attacks against Khe Sahn, Hue City and Saigon had any visibility or success. The attacks against Khe Sahn, which had already been surrounded, did not start until February and were repulsed using coordinated air strikes and artillery barrages. Hue City was overrun by the North Vietnamese and numerous civilians were massacred by the invading North Vietnamese. The town was retaken by US Marines and ARVN troops after about a month of house-to-house fighting. Saigon was attacked and both Tan Son Nhut and Bien Hoa airbases were attacked and suffered damage. The US embassy was also attacked, but the attack was repulsed.

The NLF and North Vietnamese Army suffered around 95,000 casualties with no military success. The US and ARVN dead totaled around 6,000. However, thanks to the MSM, they portrayed the Tet Offensive as a crushing US defeat to the US public. This helped to turn the US public against the war in Vietnam and hastened the US’ desire to leave Vietnam as soon as possible. Doesn’t it sound like the MSM is operating off the Tet Offensive page in their Mis-information Playbook?

A tit-bit of information: The famous quote, "it became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it” (sounds like it came straight from the mouth of John Kerry) was a product of the Tet Offensive.


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