A Thousand Tears Falling: The True Story of a Vietnamese by Hai Lua

By Hai Lua

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Extra info for A Thousand Tears Falling: The True Story of a Vietnamese Family Torn Apart by War, Communism, and the CIA

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The operation failed and the ARVN were severely criticised by their American advisers and the press. The failure was attributed to, amongst many complaints, the poor state of training of the ARVN and Civil Guard units. The senior American adviser to IV Corps endorsed the extremely critical observations of Lieutenant Colonel John P. Vann, 7th ARVN Division Senior Adviser, and added a list of his own. Relationships between the military and the press became strained as the military blamed the media for the subsequent international attention heaped on the operation.

QX5 34 19/7/05 2:04 PM Page 34 Bookhouse THE MEN WHO PERSEVERED New men continued to arrive in a trickle system of replacement for members completing their tours of duty. Don Dalton, who had been Company Sergeant Major of Alpha Company, 1 RAR, joined AATTV in June 1963. Don described both his first impressions and how he was prepared for his tour of duty with the Team: We did some courses here in Melbourne; a couple of small scale raids on Swan Island; quite a bit on the Vietnamese language. They were initially translating into French and then into Vietnamese and, by the time they’d done that, it had lost its meaning.

I might add that these little fellows couldn’t shoot for quids. Somewhere along the line they were taught to shoot in the standing position. This was okay as long as they weren’t trying to shoot with those great big American Garands, which used to knock them over backwards. At the swamp camp it was basically water and various activities related to water. It took some time before the Vietnamese would accept you and accept your advice. They treated you with a certain amount of suspicion. QX5 19/7/05 2:04 PM Page 35 Bookhouse DEFEAT, DOUBT AND DEATH 35 fought with the French at Dien Bien Phu.

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