A makeshift hospital in the Vietnam War, 1970 [1200x1606]
By - 1954isthebest
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- "I have trench foot"
- "Oh sorry, that's kinda out of our league"
"I have trench foot"
"you guys have a both feet?"
“….you still have a foot?!”
"I'm here for my prescription of trenchfoot."
I remember visiting a few museums in Saigon a few years ago and seeing how different Americans and Vietnamese view the war. Ken Burns did a pretty detailed series on this. Hadn’t realized how many damn presidents were involved.
”The Vietnam War” by Ken Burns is such an immersive documentary, shame they took it off netflix. I can’t find anywhere to watch it now. The intro in particular really sets the tone.
If you donate to your local pbs station for $5 a month it will give you access to pbs all access that has all of the Ken Burn documentaries and a bunch of other shows.
Unfortunately I can’t since I am European. I would gladly pay 100USD or more for the entire uncut documentary but I can’t because I happen to be born and live in Sweden.
Grab a decent VPN and you’re good to go.
In the UK it's on Amazon Prime, £25, is it on there for you?
Would a VPN not sort the problem ?
I'll just be pirating that shit as a European. I love these situations where Im actually willing to support something financially, but no.
The only reason I *choose* to pay for PBS is because they've never devolved into the kind of stupidity that History, Discovery, etc have. If my 5 bucks a month keeps it that way then that's fine by me.
Yeah, I try to donate when I can, it's just a great channel. And they have such a wide variety of programming, there's something there for just about everyone. I used to love watching Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet when I was a kid with my parents, and credit that with fostering my love to cook even when I was really young.
If yan can cook, you can cook!
PBS makes money from donations and government subsidies. They don't rely on advertising so they can be more independent in what they show.
Cable channels like The History Channel rely on advertising which means they have to show what will attract the most viewers. The average viewer would rather watch sensational alien shows then real history so The History Channel shows that. They are just giving the people what they want.
It's the same reason MTV stopped showing music videos. The ratings for reality shows was way higher so that's what they show.
Yea PBS is legit and provides a valuable service. I donate to them and my local NPR station.
Licensing laws are so archaic. I dont blame you.
to Argentinians I'm already a pirate so makes no difference
this is the third comment I've seen about piracy and Argentina. what is the context?
[The yellow caption reads](https://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/news-photo/british-prime-minister-margaret-thatcher-in-cover-of-news-photo/607439484) "Pirate, Witch, Murderer" It relates to Maggie Thatcher sending the British Task Force to recapture the Falklands after Argentina invaded the islands
Their economy imploded and so they pirate everything to get entertainment
Just did, great recommendation tnx
Levidia.to or levidia.ch should have it.
It’s on Kanopy along with a lot of other Ken Burns documentaries. You can possibly get access to a few films a month on there through your library.
It’s on a website that pirates movies called movies joy.
Too informative. Netflix documentaries are for a bored narrator skimming wikipedia articles or wildly speculative near-fiction about unsolved murders.
>shame they took it off netflix. I can’t find anywhere to watch it now.
Yarr har fiddle dee dee,
Being a pirate is alright to be, Do what you want cause a pirate is free!
Comment above you mentioned you can pay to watch it from PBS, which is a national treasure.
You can still pirate, but that makes you a greedy buccaneer.
It's hard to use the typical pro-piracy arguments when it's both easily available and the proceeds go to PBS lol.
what kind of asshole pirates PBS programming
Non-american assholes who can't even pay PBS if they wanted to.
Would this be able to help you? [Old fashioned physical media](https://shop.pbs.org/XB4762.html), or is even that out of reach? I like to buy documentaries/comedy specials, rip the audio and listen to them on long drives.
Not sure where you are, but *maybe* that could work for you depending on international shipping.
EDIT: Even better. [Audio CD which is cheaper than the dvd/blu ray](https://shop.pbs.org/WA3312.html)
2nd EDIT: Why the downvotes?
Just order everything on [this page.](https://shop.pbs.org/shows/shows-ken-burns)
You can still buy it you know
I would pirate content because it's easier to watch, but I also donate to them.
as someone who donates and spends a lot of time fighting the shitty PBS smartTV app - i get that
I guess PBS does when they air it for free.
I thought that the Ken Burns documentary was great until I read “The tunnels of Cu Chi” by Tom Mangold and realised he’d practically ignored the immense importance of the (very extensive, as I discovered) network of tunnels that stretched the length and breadth of the country and even into neighbouring countries. By the way, if anyone hasn’t read it I would recommend it wholeheartedly.
> the immense importance of the (very extensive, as I discovered) network of tunnels that stretched the length and breadth of the country
i've seen a fantastic infographic that layed out schematically how [complex & sophisticated the tunnels were](https://i.redd.it/y2fgoj2w7bt51.jpg).
YT historic film nerd "history buffs" did also mention the incredible strategic importance in his review of We Were Soldiers: https://youtu.be/6ABJVrRfr2Q?t=812
essentially, if the vietnamese didn't want to fight the americans (who usually telegraphed their coming with loud helicopters), they just hid in the tunnel system and didn't come out. that means, the battles were almost exlusively chosen by the vietnamese.
(maybe it's hyperbolic by history buffs, i'm not expert, but so far he has always been spot on in his analyses)
The ANZAC soldiers from Australia and New Zealand that fought in the Vietnam tunnels are known as the 'tunnel rats' here.
Same as in the states.
Immersive cinematography and storytelling, but sadly watered-down and apologist history.
What America did to Vietnam is an ugly truth to American foreign policy that does not fit with American cultures values of freedom, dignity and the right to shape your own destiny.
America committed atrocities on a scale that rivaled the evils of any other conflict.To frame it as America being begrudgingly pulled into a civil war between North and South Vietnam,as Ken Burns does, is historically and morally dishonest.
American leaders spanning several presidents consistently chose to pile up corpses of innocents rather than let Vietnam out from under the thumb of American dominion. In that war America is comparable to Sauron, finding a dead and poisoned land under their control preferable to a free people living according to their free will.
> To frame it as America being begrudgingly pulled into a civil war between North and South Vietnam,as Ken Burns does, is historically and morally dishonest.
Did we watch the same doc? I didn't get that impression at all. They frequently pointed out how each president was dragging it on for personal/political gain, and pointed out the reasons for how wrong that was.
Did you watch the right documentary? They very clearly laid out how stupid it was that America dragged itself into a war that they knew was unwinnable from the very beginning, and showed presidential reports of that. They showed that the US presidents got involved due to pride and not wanting to appear weak and back off, not because they were 'forced' to.
I think you do a great disservice by not even referencing the French. The Americans as the new capitalist super power were trying to protect the old European colonial empires. It was called French Indochina when the war started.
>The Americans as the new capitalist super power were trying to protect the old European colonial empires.
Even this is a little inaccurate.
FDR wanted colonized nations to be able to choose their own destiny, and was advocating for it during the waning years/months of WW2. The US heavily supported Ho Chi Minh and his guerillas fighting against the Japanese, and the US was even supportive of a free and independent Vietnam after the war.
This was all well-and-good until the French were liberated, and De Gaul started threatening that France wouldn't join NATO (And might even shift to the Soviet sphere of influence) if they didn't get their old colonies back.
Man I don’t know... I watched it the first time while high AF on weed, which is probably when I am most susceptible to ”leftist” ideology. Don’t misunderstand me here I absolutly think the vietnam war was a horrible tragedy that shouldn’t have happened. Still though I never got the impression that the documentary was apologist in any way and it’s probably the most fair account of the war that I have seen so far.
So is that different from Karnow, Vietnam, a television history (13 episodes plus book)?
The whole documentary is on youtube for free
I was impressed to make it through the entire doc without hearing “Fortunate Son” once
I’d also like to recommend hearts and minds. Very troubling film
I’m currently reading The Pentagon Papers and holy shit, I knew the US was pretty deep in the affairs of Vietnam, but I never knew the US was THAT deep.
The US is knee-deep in the affairs of many countries, which is why the US gets blamed for problems occurring in other countries, which makes uninformed people balk because they don't believe the US could ever be that deeply involved with any other countries.
> Hadn’t realized how many damn presidents were involved.
From Truman to Ford.
And beyond, the US didn't stop fucking with Vietnam after the war, they levied crushing economic sanctions on them as revenge until they agreed to let American capital into their country.
Vietnam is also looking towards the US for help against China aswell
Yeah it's pure "enemy of my enemy is my friend" shit. Vietnam sees the US as a powerful common ally against China, so they're willing to overlook our atrocities committed against them, seeing us as the lesser of two evils.
Very magnanimous of them, but we shouldn't instantly forgive ourselves. Thousands of Vietnamese and Cambodians are still dying a year from unexploded ordnance and the effects of Agent Orange.
Interesting how it’s all Asian countries that favor the US.
Not just presidents. If you extend this back to the First French-Idochina war then this goes back across 6 presidents and two different French Republics.
Eagerly awaiting the documentary for Afghanistan, Its gone through more presidents and even lasted even longer.
the sorrow of war is a good introductory book into understanding the vietnamese perspective
Re: burns giving you a different perspective
His civil war doc taught me the nuance between the North and South, and what each sides idea of what the war was. And while we know who was right and who was wrong, and the ultimate reason of the war, when it came to the regular confederate, the water was much more muddy. And the motivations for why they were fighting, was much different than the guys that ran the states, the plantations, and the military.
Hey-a! I don't want to rain on your parade but his Civil War documentary series is hot garbage. Shelby Foote is not a real historian, and the series as a whole deals in tropes that have been roundly discredited by academic historians who study the Civil War.
[Here's an article discussing the problems with the series.](https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-we-need-new-civil-war-documentary-180971996/)
I should rewatch it and view it through a different lens. It's been years. I def didn't notice omissions then, but I have read and learned a lot more. The Foote guy I knew wasn't anyone special, but that article puts it more into perspective, especially in regards to who's opinions got more air time.
The War Remnants museum is unforgettable
Yup, we definitely do. It was a culture shock for me when I moved to the U.S.
I think I got an infection just looking at the photo.
It's worth looking at the entire collection (and other collections on this site)!!
Thank you for sharing!
That's a great website. Bookmarked. Thanks
What are the space suits the construction workers are wearing in [this picture](https://i.imgur.com/4zvaHqA.jpg)? Caption:
> Construction workers discuss repairs of the bombed-out Ham Rong Bridge, in central North Vietnam. The only route across the Ma River for heavy trucks and machinery, the bridge was heavily defended, and several U.S. planes were shot down nearby. An American MIA search team found pilot remains there. 1973.
These are non-SCUBA diving suits. Air was pumped from the surface via hose. Not picture was the heavy metal helmet used to resist the pressure. The suit is basically a dry-suit. These are still in use, although slightly more modern looking ... search "diving helmet" ... mostly you'll see old fashioned ones, but a few modern ones in use by deep-water workers.
(/u/Antti5 - Yes!)
Pretty sure they are just diving suits...
I think that was the top comment last time this pic was reposted as well, lmao
Has to be the most universal response to this photo. I bet the majority of people were coming to the comments section to say the same thing. I know I was. I was relieved to see it was the top comment already. Good job Reddit.
Can confirm. First thing I thought of.
Followed by they are brave af just to be standing in that.
can confirm, got an infection after reading the comment.
Blood-letting is the go-to for most things.
Would think it makes you all realize you aren't clever or unique lol
The top comment last time I saw it was that this was an obviously staged propaganda photo and nowhere close to reality. And here it is being reposted with the same bullshit again.
Yea there is no way anyone with any sense would set up a hospital in a swamp halfway up to your knees. I can't imagine even the Viet Cong being that desperate for dry land.
Mobile emergency hospital in the backline of the guerilla forces on foot, near a battlefield in the swamps? Not easily found by US recon?
I feel like anyone smart enough to do surgery would also be smart enough to know that standing in a swamp for an extended period is a terrible idea.
I mean, war is hell and anything is possible, this just boggles the mind to imagine.
The Vietnam War itself boggles the mind. And we don’t know if they were prioritized rubber boots or not
and I made that one too :) I figure if this is a repost, I can repost too
hive mind, and people stealing staple comment to get free karma...
Its fine they are wearing masks
Such brutality of war and such humanity in a pool of leathal water.
I hope that they all survived
Tbh at that point, why bother with the scrubs and gloves when you’re knee deep in a swamp.
Because they aren’t hands deep in a swamp.
Tbh if I was in surgery and the doctor said “don’t worry, the swamp water is only up to my knees” I wouldn’t feel that comfortable 😂
Sure but if they followed that by, “either we try and treat you on this table or you die in the swamp.” I think we know what everyone here would pick.
I mean, if it's been gangrene and a bullet in the head, hand me the fucking gun
Although I think your comfort is already compromised by the Willy Pete burning holes through your internal organs.
The swamps of dagobah, you say?
I mean, probably because when you eat a sandwich off the floor you don't go "Oh well, fuck, since it was already on the floor"
It’s a staged propaganda photo
[Per this source, the photo isn’t staged.](https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/vietnam-war-images-from-vietnamese-photographers/)
“The photographer, however, considered the image unexceptional and never printed it.“
Imagine how callused his soul must have become to consider this image “unexceptional“.
Compared to others though I could see how, so many incredible pieces of photography were captured during this war.
For me this is the most incredible for many reasons but probably mostly because of the juxstaposition of modern medicine and the absolute primitive conditions of a swamp. The operating table is just a few strapped together pieces of wood! They are combating all the possible odds in the worst conditions imaginable.
Damn those photos are amazing. Thank you for sharing that link. I really love B&W photography
These were incredible photos thank you for sharing.
got a source for that claim?
Who would it be staged for. The American public? It doesn’t really send a real message. Like “look how unhygienic our field hospitals are”
We will continue to fight no matter what the conditions.
More for the North Vietnamese. “Look at our brave soldiers and medical staff! Even in dire situations their revolutionary spirit cannot be beat!”
Also, soldiers going off to war like the idea of medical treatment being available in the event they are wounded. Makes it easier to recruit if you can “show” that you care about their well-being
And I mean, their cause was just. That really helped with recruitment as well. America sees a popular leftist revolution happening and just can't not go over there and commit war crimes.
Luckily, America and South Vietnam lost.
It's wild that you're being downvoted for this. The Vietnam War was a war of national unification that happened to be waged by a communist faction against a non-communist faction. My favorite anecdote around this conflict involves a young Vietnamese student trying to get to Woodrow Wilson (famously racist, even for his time--his contemporaries noted that he was shockingly racist in their private writings) to see if the 14 points applied to colonized nations. He was basically told to fuck off back to where he came from. That student? Ho Chi Minh.
By the 60s-70s, the United States was in the throes of Domino Theory--roundly discredited today--and was attempting to do what political scientists who study the Cold War call "perimeter containment" (not allowing communism to expand anywhere) as opposed to "strongpoint containment" (keeping communism out of important areas like Europe and NE Asia) and badly misunderstood the root causes of the war. Throughout the Cold War, the United States understood communism as a force unto itself, rather than a facade put over deeper discontent within various societies.
In 1979, China and Vietnam [fought a war](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Vietnamese_War) over Vietnam's attempts to do something about the barbarism of the Khmer Rouge next door. This war was itself an outgrowth of the larger Sino-Soviet Split, with the PRC backing the Maoist Khmer Rouge and the USSR behind Vietnam.
In short, communism was never monolithic, Domino Theory is dumb and wrong, and the United States' barbarism in Vietnam was based on a deep misunderstanding of Vietnam, what motivated the NVA, and why certain groups within states took up the banner of communism.
There are many parts of the world today that are a mess because of US adventurism during the Cold War, which has often accrued to the detriment of the United States itself later on (funding the mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 80s, etc.).
Further to this, as I understand it Ho only turned to communism after his repeated attempts to get help from other Western democracies in dealing with end of French colonialism fell on (wilfully) deaf ears. He just wanted his country back in the hands of its own people, but the French refused to give it up. Had the UN put pressure on France to do the right thing, the whole civil war might have been avoided.
Forgive me if I’ve misunderstood.
Yes, exactly! Ho Chi Minh turned to democracy for the independence of Vietnam, but never got it. So he eventually went to the soviets and turned to communism to save his people, this is a huge misconception people don’t realize it and I hate it when people make my country look like the bad guys. We just wanted independence, nothing more and we’d do it at any cost to escape colonialism.
Great write up!
An interesting detail about Ho Chi Minh, is that the OSS (precursor to the CIA and US Army Special Forces) worked with him to fight the Japanese in WW2. Many in the OSS wanted to support HCM in his resistance against the French as well (DC would never support going against a “major” ally). Very similar circumstances to our involvement with the Mujahideen in the 1980s, the war in Afghanistan and our eventual withdraw from Afghanistan with little to show for our efforts.
Im an American living in Hanoi right now, everything you said is correct and the conflict is deeply simplified in most Americans minds to containing communism. Vietnamese communism ended up failing, but they did it for the right reasons relative to the other options. If the south had won, north Vietnam would either be a Chinese provence or vassel state like north Korea (but most likely less crazy because Ho Chi Minh had no desire to start a dyanaic monarchy)
>Vietnamese communism ended up failing
Isn't Vietnam still a one party, Marxist-Leninist state?
Mujahideen =/= Taliban. Many members of the Mujahedeen formed the Northern Alliance and fought against the Taliban. The old members of the Northern Alliances are the ones in charge of Afghanistan today.
And some of them became al Qaeda.
You think they had trouble recruiting for a war against a foreign invader?
After some cursory research, does not seem staged
> "A victim of American bombing, ethnic Cambodian guerrilla Danh Son Huol is carried to an improvised operating room in a mangrove swamp on the Ca Mau Peninsula. This scene was an actual medical situation, not a publicity setup. The photographer, however, considered the image unexceptional and never printed it."
> Image: Vo Anh Khanh/Another Vietnam/National Geographic Books
There's also a New York Times article backing this info. [Here](https://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/19/world/a-resurrected-picture-of-the-vietnam-war-from-the-other-side.html)
Fun fact - these were officially know as 'rest areas' because it would be against the Geneva convention to bomb a hospital
This is a photo by Võ An Khánh called Mobile Military Medical Clinic.
Serious question,why put an o.r in a swamp?
Necessity. It's unlikely to be caught up in the fighting or even discovered at all by the enemy and might be the only secure area reasonably close to the combat zone in which to treat the wounded.
Hmm I thought I heard this was staged. Also, surgery while standing knee-deep in a swamp seems like a really bad idea...
I came to the comments to see if there was any proof this wasn't staged because nothing in this looks "real." They may be in wetlands, standing in water, but everyone is clean. Their clothes and everything. Even the guy on the stretcher looks like he showered just before this
Thank you for this, I absolutely hate how everyone talks about reddit comments like such an incredibly reliable and knowledgeable source on pretty much anything, then you see stuff like this wherein people ask a question and the responses just straight up start talking out of their assess with absolutely no proof and it's taken as fact. The dude in the link responding that it is staged just infuriates me for some reason, like it's fine to say you don't actually know, or even to say you think/you're pretty sure it is, but to present it as fact and like you know it's fact when it's just blatantly false is what has led to so many massive issues lately. Genuinely makes me angry
Shouldn’t it be clean if it was real?
Honest question: why would anyone take all the time and effort to stage a photo like this? Look how much work would be involved in setting this up if it wasn’t real. It seems there would be so little to gain, and so much time and effort used. Was “fake news” even a thing fifty years ago?
Most of the V.C’s jungle hospitals were in underground tunnels,They could have hoped that this picture would have U.S. intelligence looking through swamps instead of tunnels
But this photo were not even developed until recently.
Propaganda has been a thing for centuries.
Well according to everyone here, North Vietnam is incapable of Propaganda.
The way this is framed and everything gives me a lord of the rings vibes. Like carrying frodo into some elven settlement. Idk
This isn't even the first time this has been reposted *this week*
I think it just gets so much engagement every time because of everyone going off the rails about whether or not it’s staged.
At least they had a never ending supply of leaches!
Putting your hospital, especially the OR, in a swamp seems counter intuitive. Which was probably the point. Why would you check a flooded swamp for anything important?
A photo is worth 1,000 words.
Sometimes those words are propaganda.
That photo was never released and were recently found
When "The Americans are bombing our villages with napalm" isn't enough
This gives me Macbeth with Patrick Stewart vibes!
Feel like this is posted every day, give it a breathe
I saw this picture in a book in elementary school. Eyewitness history or something. Blew my mind then and still does almost 10 years later.
Forgive my ignorance… there was no better place to set up an impromptu hospital? I can’t imagine what is living in that water. And what if you drop something? Whack
Damn, this is incredible. Talking about working with what you've got and under wild conditions! If you can operate and save a life out there, you've got mad medical skills.
I'm not arguing that these sort of medical stations didn't exist, but everything in this photo looks staged. The guy in the stretcher looks great. Super clean. Look at his hands. All the clothing is wet, but they're all clean.
“THE MOSQUITOES ARE DRIVING ME INSANE, LITERALLY, RN!” Whole fuck.
Is this available as a print anywhere?
All because the imperial powers (read the US) couldn't stand having socialists control rubber and their own country.
Well they also you know invaded South Vietnam that definitely did not want a socialist government. There’s a reason it began as a police action
They did want a socialist government. They voted in favor of the Geneva Accords and reunification with the North. The US had to prop up a fascist dictator that rejected the accords in order to stall reunification. Why don't you read a bit more about the politics of the time?
But South Vietnam really shouldn't even existed in the first place. It was the US who aid Diem to staged a rigged election in favor of "Southern Independent" because HCM will definitely win the general election following the sigining of the Geneva Agreement
South Vietnam was a fiction made up and propped up by the West.
>South Vietnam was a fiction
So was North Vietnam. Did righteousness fall by default to the first Vietnam to invade the other under the guise of national unification then?
That’s what fiction means.
>and propped up by the West.
And the North was propped up by the USSR and China. Does outside support suddenly delegitimise a state’s right to exist, or its citizens right of self determination?
>>South Vietnam was a fiction
>So was North Vietnam. Did righteousness fall by default to the first Vietnam to invade the other under the guise of national unification then?
The damn country was split by the West. That's the whole point. You don't get to arbitrarily split a country in half against the wishes of most of the people living there and then complain when one of the halves fights back.
>That’s what fiction means.
Aren't you a clever one.
>>and propped up by the West.
>And the North was propped up by the USSR and China. Does outside support suddenly delegitimise a state’s right to exist, or its citizens right of self determination?
Did China or the Soviet Union make up North Vietnam out of thin air? It's very easy to take a quote from my post and put it out of context and then make up a whole argument about it.
South Vietnam was a shitshow of a country, marred by corruption and always on the verge of collapse, with little to no support from the local populace. Army morale was almost non-existent. The North had major support both in the North and South and its people fought the most powerful military in the world until they won. I wonder why they were willing to sacrifice so much 🤔
>The damn country was split by the West. That's the whole point. You don't get to arbitrarily split a country in half against the wishes of most of the people living there and then complain when one of the halves fights back.
How do you propose that one split a country which has never existed? Fact is that if we look at pre colonial “Vietnam”, the South and the North were two separate kingdoms.
And the only people “fighting back” where the South Vietnamese, who fought the North Vietnamese invasion even before America got involved.
>Did China or the Soviet Union make up North Vietnam out of thin air?
What an unbelievably silly argument. America didn’t create South Vietnam any more than the USSR and China created North Vietnam, so what’s your point?
>South Vietnam was a shitshow of a country, marred by corruption and always on the verge of collapse, with little to no support from the local populace.
Yet the Viet Cong was perpetually and wholly dependent on massive, continuous and direct Northern support to remain active, and completely collapsed after the Tet offensive.
Not exactly impressive local support.
>The North had major support both in the North and South
Patently false. For starters the Northern regime had support by being a totalitarian state that was even more brutal against dissent than the South.
Secondly they committed wholesale genocide against the Hmong.
Thirdly and again, that “major Southern support” is entirely a fiction of your imagination and self delusion.
>and its people fought the most powerful military in the world until they won.
Interesting concept, “winning” a war against an opponent you’ve not been fighting for three years.
>I wonder why they were willing to sacrifice so much
Yes, that brave totalitarian, self sacrificing North Vietnamese making the sacrifice of sending millions of Vietnamese to die killing other Vietnamese.