This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

My Lai The Great Massacre Essay

919 words - 4 pages

My Lai the Great Massacre

The Olson and Roberts book, My Lai is based upon the March 18, 1968, assault on My Lai. By examining the material, an explanation of why this massacre occurred is drawn. The main factors that lead to the My Lai assault were difficulty engaging with the enemy and the problem of distinguishing between the enemy soldiers and civilians, which both led to rage and frustration among soldiers and a misinterpretation of the mission.

On March 17, 1968, a mission was given to the Charlie company to go into the village of My Lia or Pinktown, and engage in battle with the enemy. The area was said to be heavily populated with Vietcong, the North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong sympathizers (Olson, T'Souvas, CID Statement, p.68). On March 18, 1968, the Charlie company went to My Lia to seek and destroy the Vietcong's 48th Local Force Battalion. The mission turned into a great massacre of harmless civilians. Old men, women and children were gathered together in groups and then executed. Everything that moved was killed. Pfc. Charles Gruver, a soldier at My Lai said to Ronald Ridenhour, "We went in there and killed everybody." After the massacre the military was trying to cover the incident up to keep it from the public. On the report for the battle of My Lai it was listed
2
that 128 enemies killed but only three weapons recovered (Olson, p.23). It was evident to what had actually happened.

The difficulty engaging with the enemy was a factor leading up to the massacre. The Vietcong and the North Vietnamese Army were highly skilled in hit-and-run guerrilla tactics. The Vietcong made extensive use of land mines and boobytraps. Women, children and old men helped the Vietcong to construct and place these defensive weapons. (Olson, p.47,48) While trying to locate the Vietcong on search and destroy missions many American soldiers were killed or wounded by mines boobytraps or snipers. William Calley testified that the sight of men killed in a land mine during an operation brought out feelings of hate and fear towards the Vietnamese (Olson, Calley, p.52). While the American soldiers were being wounded or killed the enemy was rarely to be seen or shot at. The soldiers were frustrated that their friends were being killed by the enemy, but they could not find the enemy to kill them. This lead American soldiers into My Lai with the attitude to seek revenge for previous casualties and that nothing would stop them (Olson, Roberts, Peers Report, p.54).


3 Distinguishing between the enemy soldiers and civilians was another factor of why this massacre occurred. The problem of not knowing who the enemy was...

Find Another Essay On My Lai the Great Massacre

My Lai Massacre Essay

1575 words - 6 pages of the evil in mankind. The events of My Lai are a perfect example of the evil that we as a species are truly capable of. Although the men of Charlie Company were severely mentally affected from the war during the massacre, this is not a blatant excuse for the actions that the men committed that day. The stresses that the soldiers of Charlie Company endured don't in anyway excuse any of the soldiers. That moment they landed in My Lai true evil was

The massacre at My Lai is one of the many

927 words - 4 pages The massacre at My Lai is one of the many results of the negative psychological effects on the men that fought in the Vietnam War. Tim O’Brien’s interpretation of Vietnam in The Things They Carried paints a vivid picture about the horrors of war, how someone could snap, and how easy it is for someone to lose their principles. My Lai is representative of the extreme situations that occurred in war. On March

The My Lai Massacre: Atrocities of a Day, the Horrors of War

3325 words - 14 pages The My Lai Massacre only took a few hours, but its impact on everyone from the perpetrators and victims to the American public will last forever. The My Lai Massacre took place during the heart of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War, on March 16, 1968. The My Lai Massacre is widely considered one of the most horrific moments in United States’ history, which is ironic, because Americans weren’t the victims, they were the opposite

A three page paper covering the massacre at My Lai during the Vietnam war. (Bibliography included)

724 words - 3 pages up a group of the villagers, ordered them into a trench, and viciously mowed them down with bullets.News of the massacre did not reach the American public until December of 1969, when writer Seymour Hersh published an article revealing his discussions with a Vietnam veteran, Ron Ridenhour. Ridenhour had learned of the incident at My Lai from members of Charlie Company who were there. Before speaking with Hersh, Ridenhour appealed to the Pentagon

the great cat massacre

665 words - 3 pages Kelcie Torzilli February 22, 2014 Western Civilization from 1715 The Great Cat Massacre Although the title of this book strikes the reader as unusual it begins to make complete sense once it is read. This book is a series of short essays by Darnton. The second section, which is titled “Workers Revolt: The great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Sérverin” brings the reader directly into the views of the working class during the 1700s in

To what extent did the My Lai Massacre shift the American people’s attitudes towards their government, and the American involvement in Vietnam?

2046 words - 9 pages soldiers suffering from low morale both physically and emotionally, seen foremost in Americans (Sanders). Although atrocities were committed by both sides, the My Lai Massacre was perhaps the most brutal. On March 16th, 1968, the US Army ‘Charlie Company’ division entered the Son My village led by Captain Medina and the 1st Platoon leader, Lieutenant Calley (Oliver). According to the soldiers, Medina ordered “the killing of every living thing in

My Lai: The Event, the Trial,

1535 words - 6 pages colleges, and sometimes towns across the country. Then one day, as the media was delivering their daily recurrences of the horror that was Vietnam, reports of a massacre in a village designated as My Lai 4 came up. Following these reports and some "thorough" investigation came the indictment of Lt. William Calley, the man slated responsible for the event, along with that indictment came charges of murder. The trial and crime helped bring the

My lai: the event, the trial,

1535 words - 6 pages colleges, and sometimes towns across the country. Then one day, as the media was delivering their daily recurrences of the horror that was Vietnam, reports of a massacre in a village designated as My Lai 4 came up. Following these reports and some "thorough" investigation came the indictment of Lt. William Calley, the man slated responsible for the event, along with that indictment came charges of murder. The trial and crime helped bring the

The My Lai Massacure could have been avoided

755 words - 3 pages , and in the hamlet that they called My Lai 4 ordered troops to lash out at whomever they found--mostly women, children, and old men. Some villagers were herded into ditches, where they were shot."Roger Bar, The Vietnam war. After the massacre had ended, they searched for weapons. Calley had said that there were 200 Vietcong in the village and only 3 weapons were captured. Calley took advantage of his powers to make unnecessary killings. In My

MY LAI MASSACRE AS A RESULT OF OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY. Relates to stanly milgrams experiments and how authority play a part in genocide killings

1215 words - 5 pages MY LAI MASSACRE AS A RESULT OF OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY The Vietnam controversy made many people feel at distress. It was never considered a "war," although that is exactly what it was. The My Lai Massacre in Vietnam was one of the many atrocities of that war. There is an unquestionable connection between Milgram's "Obedience to Authority" and the My Lai Massacre. According to Kelman & Hamilton, "Unquestioning obedience has been the cause of such

The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in Fren

3142 words - 13 pages that it was the best book for this review. The book itself was looking at history in a different way and it made it extremely difficult to compare or contrast it with another source. Mr. Darnton whose views in my opinion are sound it's just that are very narrow questions about a very large subject "French Culture" and it was hard to locate different opinions.Works Cited Darnton, Robert. The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural

Similar Essays

The My Lai Massacre Essay

1045 words - 4 pages confront it," said David L. Anderson in his book Facing My Lai: Moving Beyond the Massacre. The massacre at My Lai was witnessed by at least one soldier who wasn't swept up in the drama unfolding on the ground beneath his helicopter. Pilot Hugh Thompson, enraged by what he was witnessing in the hamlet below, set down his aircraft and began to rescue the Vietnamese survivors. He ordered his machine gunner to open fire on any American soldiers who

My Lai Massacre Essay

842 words - 4 pages pilot on a reconnaissance mission, landed his aircraft between the soldiers and the retreating villagers and threatened to open fire if they continued their attacks.” (http://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/my-lai-massacre, Cover Up of the My Lai Massacre: Paragraph 1). If he had not made this heroic act, the soldiers of Charlie Company would have continued and there would have been many more deaths than there already were. There were a few

My Lai Massacre Essay

1057 words - 4 pages ." If only Mr. Lincoln had been in My Lai on March 16, 1968 to remind the U.S. troops of that very point, maybe things would have turned out differently. "My Lai conveys terrible truths about the Vietnam war that we simply must face. We cannot avoid the abyss that is our history. We repeat it, if we are ignorant of it, and if we cannot confront it," (1) said David L. Anderson in his book "Facing My Lai: Moving Beyond the Massacre." The massacre at

My Lai Massacre Essay 708 Words

708 words - 3 pages My Lai Massacre "My Lai was no accident. It was pure, premeditated murder". The memory of this tragic day is forever etched in the memories of many Vietnamese. The area in which the massacre took place was known as the Quang Ngai Province in the Song My village. This area was many times the scene for the worst fighting to take place between the U.S. and the National Liberation Front. The hamlet of My Lai was said to be the strongest of the NLF