|One of the many things I learned from 2UE Shock-jock John Laws was never to trust Historian's, Journalist or TV Presenter's with the truth - there is always another side of the story !
For many years, I beleived everything that was written by Author Lex McAulay, and budding historian Terry Burstall, about the exploits of D/6RAR on that fateful day 18 August 1966.
On reflection,and as a result of my own War experience, I began researching the subject - reading reports of proponents and antagonist alike. Here are some of my misgivings.
More then half McA's book was made up of Journalistic hypothesis of what the VC, NVA may have ruminated about. These assumptions have never been ratified, nor validated by Aust War Memorial/museum or any credible entity. McA should have warned reader's it was a piece of speculative Fiction.
Burstall, on the other hand is at least honest, even though he exaggerates in some chapters. Like McA, he stated he did 3 tours of VN which to an onlooker suggests he was engaged in military operations over an extraordinary 36 months ? He dosen't mention he was working with the ABC on a documentary ( vested interest ) which was aired last year on TV. Overall, his books are regarded with a degree of skepticism.
The village of Xa Long Tan, one of 13 villages in the district of Phuoc Tuy Province, from whence it is alleged a few VC combatants emerged to join D445 Battalion - was subjected to intense US Air strikes on 18/19.
Another example of ' shock-an-awe 'tactics on civilians. Was there a body count or burial party detail to collect elderly men, women and children and fittingly given a Christian burial ? Were they compensated ? Did anybody bother to check ? They were CIVILIANS ! Iraq's War, boast 655,000 civilians kia and still counting ?
Whatever else is said, this is a crime against HUMANITY !
Practically the whole of S E Vietnam was sprayed with herbicide Defoliant Agent Orange. Roughly 19 million gals of 50/50 Dioxin 2,4,D and 2,4,5,T made up of 15 highly poisonous dinoxol, trinoxol, diquat etc.. were indiscriminately sprayed the length and breath of Indochina.
Oz Vet Affr's launched an inquiry into the suffering of Vet's and families, seeking answers to why third generation offspring are still suffering deformaties, chronic cardio/vascular problems, abnormalities, cancer ?
Aust servicemen and women were inadvertently exposed to USAF A 123 Providor a/c aerial spraying Programme. The devastation to foliage and vegetation was appalling. The civilian Population at the time numbered 35 million. Time Magazine quote 1.5 million Vietnamese victim's of the War. Have the number-counter's put a figure on Orange victims ?
sorry, to be continued .