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 Vietnam war by Ken Burns and

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Wed 27 Sep 2017, 20:45

Saw yesterday and today the four of five hours documentary on which they have seemingly 10 years worked as it was in French and near to PBS arte was also mentioned, I was not sure if it was an American documentary. But when I saw the name Burns on which I had a very good rememberance of his WWII documentary I did a bit further research on the net.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_(2007_TV_series)

I really appreciate that style of documentary, the old manner as the BBC historical documentaries of a former time, for instance the "world at war" and even Granada TV had good stuff.
I didn't find an English language version or it has to be episode 4


https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/sep/26/the-vietnam-war-review-a-complex-story-made-immediately-comprehensible
https://www.biography.com/news/ken-burns-the-vietnam-war-pbs
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/09/ken-burns-the-vietnam-war-lynn-novick-documentary/


If one understands French, one can look to the complete series on Arte +7 till 19 october...Meles meles?
https://www.arte.tv/fr/guide/20170919


Will later comment it...

Kind regards, Paul.

PS: Temperance I don't have forgotten our thread, but I have first to gather some background information to not come over as a complete imbécile...
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Wed 27 Sep 2017, 20:47

Addendum

Of course the title has to be Ken Burns and Lynn Novick...
How that is lost now is behind my comprehension

Regards, Paul.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Tue 03 Oct 2017, 14:40

It's being shown on BBC 4 on Monday nights at 10pm. I haven't seen any of it yet, will wait for the DVD.*
This is a trailer, there are episodes on youtube;



EDIT:
* Amazon says this will be 30th October
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Tue 03 Oct 2017, 21:37

Triceratops,

excellent documentary, old BBC style. That's how a good documentary has to be made.

I really enjoyed it and during the nearly 5 hours have never skipped through the episodes as I someonce do with more recent documentaries with parts played by nowadays actors.
I said it already for the French and German speaking ones it is still available to watch till the end of October as I explained in the link above. (I have it all on the hard disc of my telenetconnector too)
If you buy the DVDs you will certainly not regret it (from what I know from you Wink )

Kind regards from Paul.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Wed 04 Oct 2017, 09:37

Paul,

I'm sure it will be a good film. I've already got the American Civil War one, and it is excellent:

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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Wed 04 Oct 2017, 20:33

Triceratops,

I have not yet seen The Civil War, but I have seen The War about WWII as seen by four different American soldiers...

Kind regards, Paul.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Fri 03 Nov 2017, 14:53

I bought the DVD today, and the soundtrack CD for good measure.

I'll start viewing this weekend.

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Fri 03 Nov 2017, 21:57

Triceratops, I hope you will enjoy it as I did.

Kind regards from Paul.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Mon 06 Nov 2017, 13:11

I've watched the first 4 episodes, Paul, and it is excellent.
This is really high quality television, and there is so much of the history of this war I was unaware of.
Apart from the Battle of Ia Drang ( We Were Soldiers ), practically everything else is new to me .President Diem, his family government and the coup which removed them, Ho Chi Minh being very much sidelined and the War in Hanoi directed by the much more aggressive politician, Le Duan.
The " Domino Principle", which I did know about, and  was an article of faith, held by every President from 1945 onwards.

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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Mon 06 Nov 2017, 14:01

This interview is in the programme;

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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Mon 06 Nov 2017, 20:42

@Triceratops wrote:
I've watched the first 4 episodes, Paul, and it is excellent.
This is really high quality television, and there is so much of the history of this war I was unaware of.
Apart from the Battle of Ia Drang ( We Were Soldiers ), practically everything else is new to me .President Diem, his family government and the coup which removed them, Ho Chi Minh being very much sidelined and the War in Hanoi directed by the much more aggressive politician, Le Duan.
The " Domino Principle", which I did know about, and  was an article of faith, held by every President from 1945 onwards.


Triceratops,

thank you for the reply and I am glad that you share my opinion. For me it wasn't that (extremely) new while I, in the time when it happened, followed intensively the background information, which seems to have been right with hindsight. Not that much the shoot and bombing news but more the inside information, which came from different sources as the French reports...after all they had been there before the Americans...

What was a bit new to me was the rapid increase in money and soldiers in a relatively short time...?
It was like in the other documentary that I mentioned here, about the war in Afghanistan, where Brezinsky asked every time more money to the government to bring the Russians on their knees and to bring them down as world power...phenomenal amounts of money at the end to back the mujahideen...and at the end when the Russians retreated they were involved up to their neck in Afghanistan up to this very day... Wink

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Tue 07 Nov 2017, 13:16

A large part of Episode 5, ( July - December 1967 ) involved the North Vietnamese strategy of fighting along the Laotian/ Cambodian border with South Vietnam and along the DMZ to draw the American mobile reserves away from the cities and lowlands prior to the planned Tet Offensive.


wiki:
"Several members of Westmoreland's staff began to see an eerie resemblance to the Viet Minh campaign of 1953, when seemingly peripheral actions had led up to the climactic Battle of Dien Bien Phu. General Giap even laid claim to such a strategy in an announcement in September, but, to the Americans, it all seemed a bit too contrived. Yet, no understandable analysis seemed to explain Hanoi's almost suicidal military actions. They could only be explained if a situation akin to Dien Bien Phu came into being. Then, almost overnight, one emerged. In the western corner of Quang Tri Province, an isolated Marine outpost at Khe Sanh came under siege by PAVN forces that would eventually number three divisions."

This was on as well. US Navy pilot, John McCain being interviewed by a French journalist after being shot down over North Vietnam. McCain went onto become a Senator and ran for the Presidency in 2008.

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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Tue 07 Nov 2017, 20:08

Triceratops,

thanks for this new information. And I forgot to speak about the Kennedy interview. He was right, that was the core of the question. And the Vietnamese people didn't really supported the puppet régime in Saigon and even a Christian in a Budhist land. Although when the Viet Cong did the assault of Saigon, they thought in their Communist self satisfaction that every body would surrender and start to adhere to the Communist "belief". And that was a big miscalculation.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Thu 09 Nov 2017, 13:01

The Tet Offensive was in Episode 6:

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Thu 09 Nov 2017, 20:10

That's interesting Triceratops.

The Tet offensive: The beginning of the gap between the administration and the American public. In any case I hadn't seen "that" in episode 6. Perhaps I have viewed it too quickly. Thanks for this addendum.

On holidays for some days in France...see you next week.

Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Fri 10 Nov 2017, 14:43

@PaulRyckier wrote:
In any case I hadn't seen "that" in episode 6. Perhaps I have viewed it too quickly. Thanks for this addendum.


Paul, that was just a youtube I found on the web and not part of the programme.

This was one of the veterans  interviewed:

Hal Kushner


Quote :
I really enjoyed it and during the nearly 5 hours have never skipped through the episodes as I someonce do with more recent documentaries with parts played by nowadays actors.

Hmmm. the DVD has 10 episodes each one between one and a half and two hours long. Did Arte only show part of the documentary??
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Mon 13 Nov 2017, 10:32

Episode 8, June 1969 to May 1970.

New President, Richard Nixon, announces policy of "Vietnamisation", which in effect means the US will withdraw from Vietnam. And since the South Vietnamese forces couldn't win with American support, the chances of them winning without American support were zero.
In the US itself, protests against the War increase, some escalating into violence, while a group calling itself "The Weathermen" begin a bombing campaign.
In Vietnam, the effectiveness of the US forces deteriorates as the ranks are filled with unwilling conscripts. Attacks on officers, known as "fragging" from the fragmentation grenades generally used, increase dramatically.
In the Autumn of 1969, stories begin emerging of events which took place at hamlet of My Lai, 18 months earlier.

Letter written by Ron Ridenhour to the authorities regarding rumours he had heard while serving in Vietnam. ( History Channel video):



News of the Massacre prompts even greater protests. In May 1970, 4 students are shot dead by National Guardsmen at Kent State University.
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Mon 13 Nov 2017, 10:43

May 1969, Allied troops assault Hill 937, held by North Vietnamese Forces. The hill becomes nicknamed "Hamburger Hill" due to the losses incurred.
The hill is finally captured only to be abandoned a few days later. Something which happened a lot in Vietnam, the principal aim being a "bodycount" of enemy dead rather than taking and holding ground as in a conventional war.

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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Mon 13 Nov 2017, 13:03

70 years old today. On the 13th November 1947, Mikhail Kalashnikov completes design work on his new assault rifle., the AK-47.

wiki:
In November 1947, the new prototypes (AK-47s) were completed. It utilized a long-stroke gas piston above the barrel. The upper and lower receivers were combined into a single receiver. The selector and safety were combined into a single control-lever/dust-cover on the right side of the rifle. And, the bolt-handle was simply attached to the bolt-carrier. This simplified the design and production of the rifle. The first army trial series began in early 1948. The new rifle proved to be reliable under a wide range of conditions with convenient handling characteristics. In 1949, it was adopted by the Soviet Army as "7.62 mm Kalashnikov assault rifle (AK)".

This weapon would be the principal firearm of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops during the War.

Approximately 100 million of these guns have been manufactured.

US Military Policeman with AK-47 captured in 1968:

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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Mon 13 Nov 2017, 13:14

The American M-16, got off to a rather inauspicious start.

wiki:
The original M16 fared poorly in the jungles of Vietnam and was infamous for reliability problems in the harsh environment. As a result, it became the target of a Congressional investigation.
The investigation found that:
The M16 was billed as self cleaning (when no weapon is or ever has been).
The M16 was issued to troops without cleaning kits or instruction on how to clean the rifle.
The M16 and 5.56×45mm cartridge was tested and approved with the use of a DuPont IMR8208M stick powder, that was switched to Olin Mathieson WC846 ball powder which produced much more fouling, that quickly jammed the action of the M16 (unless the gun was cleaned well and often).
The M16 lacked a forward assist (rendering the rifle inoperable when it jammed).
The M16 lacked a chromed barrel and chamber, causing corrosion problems, contributing to case swelling and extraction failures (which was considered the most severe problem and required extreme measures to clear, such as inserting the cleaning-rod down the barrel and knocking the spent cartridge out).

By 1968, the initial problems had been fixed. It has been calculated that 20,000 American lives were saved in Vietnam by issuing the M-16 in favour of its' predecessor the M-14.

Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division using M-16s in action in 1969:

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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Mon 13 Nov 2017, 21:52

@Triceratops wrote:
@PaulRyckier wrote:
In any case I hadn't seen "that" in episode 6. Perhaps I have viewed it too quickly. Thanks for this addendum.


Paul, that was just a youtube I found on the web and not part of the programme.

This was one of the veterans  interviewed:

Hal Kushner


Quote :
I really enjoyed it and during the nearly 5 hours have never skipped through the episodes as I someonce do with more recent documentaries with parts played by nowadays actors.

Hmmm. the DVD has 10 episodes each one between one and a half and two hours long. Did Arte only show part of the documentary??

 
Triceratops,

thanks for the information and I was really moved by the interview of Hal Kushner.
I checked the Arte hours and I came in six episodes at around 7 hours that is quite less than your 15 à 20 hours...can it be that arte gives only the film itself and that in your DVDs there is additional information as interviews and so on...?

In any case thanks for the interest and the buying of the DVDs...I have it all on the hard disk of my television cable station...

And thanks for the further information on the other episodes as in the following messages.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Tue 14 Nov 2017, 14:28

This is a short film about the main events of 1972:

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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Tue 14 Nov 2017, 14:33

and "Hanoi Jane":

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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Wed 15 Nov 2017, 09:43

The final part. Richard Nixon had promised to support South Vietnam with US air power, but after Watergate, American involvement did not extend to this.
When limited offensives failed to provoke any US reaction, the North Vietnamese launched full scale offensive which overwhelmed South Vietnam in the Spring of 1975.



Vietnam had to confront the Maoist regime of Pol Pot in neighbouring Cambodia then an attack by the PRC. The death of Le Duan in 1986 brought an end to the Stalinist economic policies which had caused hardship and a more pragmatic attitude was adopted by the Vietnamese Government.
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Wed 15 Nov 2017, 11:16

The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC:

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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Thu 16 Nov 2017, 04:24

There was a review of this today on our national radio and they said how great it was, and also that it was 10 episodes of 1 and a half hours each.  He said he thought he knew the Vietnam War quite well but after viewing this realised he didn't know it much at all. It's the sort of thing  I might get my husband to tape and then never watch.  There is a series on now about the NZ wars between Maori and colonial troops and we have taped them, but they are still sitting waiting to watch (along with many other programmes).
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Thu 16 Nov 2017, 10:23

I thoroughly enjoyed it, Caro. I will watch it again in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Sat 18 Nov 2017, 19:50

@Triceratops wrote:
I thoroughly enjoyed it, Caro. I will watch it again in the future.

Thank you very much for all the additional footage and documentaries Triceratops. I read them all with great interest.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Fri 24 Nov 2017, 11:16

@PaulRyckier wrote:
excellent documentary, old BBC style. That's how a good documentary has to be made.

The BBC will probably be flattered by such a comparison. When Ken Burn's The Civil War (mentioned by Trike) was broadcast in 1990 it caused a sensation and set a new standard in historical documentary making. It was a seminal production which other program makers (including the BBC) subsequently sought to emulate.

The Vietnam War is very similar in format to The Civil War. In fact so similar is the narration that at first I thought that it was indeed David McCullough (who narrated The Civil War) who was also narrating this series when it’s actually Peter Coyote. The similarity of narrative delivery is no doubt testament to Geoffrey Ward’s unique and engaging writing style.

The variety of contributors (South Vietnamese, North Vietnamese and American) is extensive. Quite moving (and also disturbing) was the elderly former Vietnamese fighter who related how she had had 8 brothers, 4 of whom died fighting the French and 4 died fighting the Americans. She said that she had been urged by her superiors to marry and have children so as to produce the next generation of fighters. This she duly did giving birth to 2 sons who when they came of age also joined the struggle only for them both to be killed fighting the South Vietnamese army in 1975 during the final months of the war. And this all said while smiling and nodding inscrutably in her veteran’s uniform.

The series has a fabulous soundtrack. The discordant original music is well suited as are the various Vietnamese pieces used. There is also a whole slew of nostalgic tracks of 60s and 70s folk, rock and pop music played although used somewhat erratically in terms of chronology. For example we hear The Animals We’ve Gotta Get Out of this Place (released in the spring of 1965) yet being used in the documentary to illustrate low morale of U.S. troops in 1971. And there is Jimi Hendrix’ version of All Along the Watchtower (released in the autumn of 1968) yet being played as background music during the shelling of Vung Tau just before the fall of Saigon in 1975. The choice of The Beatles Let It Be as the finale to the whole series was also maybe a bit clichéd.

But that’s just a (very) minor criticism. All in all a superb series and highly recommended to anyone who hasn’t seen it.
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PostSubject: Re: Vietnam war by Ken Burns and   Wed 29 Nov 2017, 21:01

Vizzer,

I thank you for the eulogy that you made about the series. I really think it is it worth. And BTW: Triceratops said that the whole series was about 15 hours long and I said that I only came at about 9-10 hours on the French equivalent of the series, but now I have seen that there were 9 episodes in French and I only registered 7, I have seen now. Thus Triceratops can be right that it was also some 15 hours in French...

I hope that many after the positive critics of us three will give it a try...to see if we are right... Wink

Kind regards from Paul.
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