Fifty years ago this month, on march 16, 1968, two companies of us army troops belonging to the americal division entered the my lai and my khe days after the my lai massacre, a south vietnamese government field worker reported from son my village that 427 people had been killed in my lai and. The my lai massacre during the vietnam war saw us soldiers kill hundreds of innocent civilians — and get away with it the my lai massacre: 33 disturbing photos of the war crime the us got away with by mark oliver is the my lai massacre the greatest shame in the history of the us military. The my lai massacre, as it became later known, constituted one of the most heinous war crimes committed by us forces during the vietnam war the massacre and torture of civilians, throughout history, has always been the unfortunate consequence of the use of military force and there has virtually. On march 16, 1968, during a roughly four-hour operation in the vietnamese village of son my, american soldiers killed approximately 504 civilians, including his case became a kind of litmus test for american values, a question not only of who was to blame for my lai, but how america should conduct war and what.
My lai, vietnam (ap) — with talk of peace and cooperation rather than hatred, more than a thousand people marked the 50th anniversary friday of the my lai massacre in vietnam, the most notorious episode in modern us military history on march 16, 1968, the american soldiers of charlie company. The pervasive grotesque nature of the vietnam war had become a mainstay on the nightly news and in the consciousness of those willing to listen for those who may need a quick primer in the history of the area near the central coast of south vietnam, the villages that made up my lai were referred to as. The my lai massacre took place on mar that letter would soon change the way american citizens thought and talked about the war in vietnam divided at the time, history has come out fairly firmly on one side: in 1998, three men who turned their weapons on fellow soldiers instead of my lai residents. My lai massacre-woman with a gun to her head on march 16, 1968, in what was one of the most shocking incidents of the vietnam war and in the history of the us military, an estimated 500 vietnamese villagers were killed by us army soldiers from company c of the 1st battalion, 20th infantry regiment, 11th brigade of.
The massacre at my lai was not the only time american troops committed war crimes against vietnamese civilians, but it was the single worst instance its severity, its cover-up and the eventual trial of just a handful of the unit's leaders became a synonym for the entire american war in vietnam but while. Many young americans today do not learn about this dark chapter of their history vietnam is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the my lai massacre, and dozens of american veterans have flown in to join the healing process, many of whom say the incident is still very hard for them to deal with.
The my lai massacre and the whole vietnam war had a profound influence in my interest in history although born in the united states, i was reared from the age of four in tralee, co kerry, were i received all my primary and secondary education my introductions to the study of history was during my final. The revelations about south korean atrocities during the vietnam war, which began in the early 2000s, sparked a debate about the country's culpability for the us-led conflict this reckoning, which jarred with south korea's own history of abuse by foreign powers and mass killings, is still going on today. Nz soldiers were not exempt from the vietnam war stigma, which started to gain momentum after the my lai massacre on the following day, a minor story on the new york times front page carried a triumphant retelling of this official story: “ gi's, in pincer move, kill 128 in daylong battle” us army.
On the morning of march 16, 1968, soldiers of charlie company, a unit of the americal division's 11th infantry brigade arrived in the hamlet of my lai in the northern part of south the unit met no resistance in my lai, which had about 700 inhabitants the my lai massacre became a defining symbol of the vietnam war. Before the day was over, 504 vietnamese villagers were killed by american soldiers in what would be known as the my lai massacre in the vietnam war the massacre wasn't widely known to the public until freelance journalist seymour hersh broke the story in november 1969 the horrifying details of. Mark f cancian on march 16, 1968, us army soldiers killed between 300 and 500 unarmed vietnamese civilians in and near the village of my lai next on american history tv we look back at that moment during the vietnam war with military law. The my lai massacre was the most notorious episode in modern us military history, but not an aberration in america's war in vietnam the us military's own records, filed discreetly away for three decades, described 300 other cases of what could fairly be described as war crimes my lai was.
What happened next was one of the most remarkable events of the entire war, and perhaps unique: thompson told the american troops that, if they opened fire on the vietnamese civilians in the bunker, he and his crew would open fire on them you risked your lives, i said, to protect those vietnamese. Survivors, government officials, and vietnam veterans remembered the victims of the my lai massacre during the vietnam war.
Few events in us military history have been more saddening or sinister than the 1968 atrocities at my lai in vietnam. Detroit remembers the vietnam war on the anniversary of the my lai massacre posted by michael jackman on wed, mar 14, 2018 at 11:05 am click image source: report of army review into my lai incident, book 6, 14 march 1970 on march 16, 1965, a german-born detroit librarian and former wayne state university. In 1968 us soldiers murdered several hundred vietnamese civilians in the single most infamous incident of the vietnam war the my lai massacre is often held to have been an aberration but investigative journalist nick turse has uncovered evidence that war crimes were committed by the us military on a. The my lai massacre is probably one of the most infamous events of the vietnam war the my lai massacre took place on march 16th 1968 my lai was a village of about 700 inhabitants some 100 miles to the southeast of the us base of danang shortly after dawn on march 16th, three platoons of us troops from c.