1960-1969 | Uncategorized | VIetnam

Britain backs escalation of U.S. assault on Vietnam

[ 13 June 1965 ] Today in 1965, Labour MP Tony Benn noted in his diary, regarding the situation in Vietnam, that ‘the Americans are now deciding to invade in full strength and we are left in the embarrassing position of appearing to support them.’1 Washington’s role had previously been limited to deploying military advisers and…

1960-1969 | Backing dictatorships | VIetnam

British ambassador to South Vietnam defends the Diem Dictatorship

20 December 1961 Today in 1961, the British ambassador in Saigon, Henry Hohler, wrote to Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home, advising that ‘we should not be too greatly moved by complaints that the Vietnamese authorities are holding large numbers of individuals in detention camps.’ He reminded the foreign secretary that ‘At the worst period in Malaya…

1940-1949 | Battlefield butchery | Burning towns and cities | Civilians slaughtered | Massacres | VIetnam

British kill hundreds of Vietnamese and burn large areas of Saigon

23 September 1945 On 23 September 1945, the British army in Vietnam backed a French coup in Saigon, the former capital of French Indo-China, with the aim of restoring colonial rule.  General Douglas Gracey with a force of British troops had arrived two weeks earlier on 6 September, soon after Japanese forces surrendered at the…

1960-1969 | Backing dictatorships | VIetnam

Harold Macmillan praises South Vietnamese dictator Diem

7 May 1962 On 7 May 1962, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote a personal letter to President Ngô Dình Diệm, the dictator of South Vietnam, lauding his murderous regime. ‘We have viewed with admiration,’ he reassured Diem, ‘the way in which your government and people have resisted’ attempts to ‘overthrow the freely established regime in…

1960-1969 | VIetnam

Harold Wilson declares his full support for U.S. war crimes

24 March 1965 On 24 March 1965, Prime Minister Harold Wilson made it clear that his government supported the US assault on Vietnam, including the extensive use of chemical warfare and napalm in the south and the bombing of North Vietnam in contravention of international law. He reminded MPs: ‘I have said a number of…

1960-1969 | United States | VIetnam

Labour Government supports American bombing of North Vietnam

3 February 1966 In the Cabinet minutes, it’s described as ‘considerable disquiet’ and in Transport Minister Barbara Castle’s diaries as ‘the most spirited wrangle yet.’  On 3 February 1966, there was a fiery Cabinet discussion over a Foreign Office statement, issued the previous evening, that ‘Her Majesty’s Government understand and support the decision of the…

1800-1859 | 1900-1919 | 1940-1949 | Battlefield butchery | Chemical weapons | Looting and plunder | Russia | VIetnam

26 SEPTEMBER

BRITISH TROOPS RANSACK THE CRIMEAN PORT OF BALAKLAVA [ 26 September 1854 ] On 26 September 1854, the British army ransacked the small Crimean port of Balaclava.  Professor Saul David comments that when they arrived they found ‘the port was largely deserted.: most of its 1500 inhabitants had already fled… leaving their homes to be…

1920-1939 | 1960-1969 | Bombing villages | Collective punishments | Pakistan | Punitive operations | RAF crimes | VIetnam

10 AUGUST

OUR MORNING’S SALUTATION – ‘REBELS ! TURN OUT YOUR DEAD !’ [ 10 August 1781 ] During the American Revolutionary War, the British kept so many captive rebels in New York that it became a virtual city of prisons. Thousands were confined in squalid conditions in makeshift jails converted from sugar houses, hospitals and warehouses. …

1920-1939 | 1960-1969 | 2010-2019 | Appeasing Hitler | Backing dictatorships | Blair's crimes | Egypt | Germany | Media propaganda | United States | VIetnam

1 FEBRUARY

THE DAILY EXPRESS URGES HITLER TO USE ‘EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES’ [ 1 February 1933 ] On 1 February 1933, just days after Hitler was elected to power in Germany, the Daily Express urged the nascent Nazi regime to take ruthless action to tackle the supposed threat from Russian backed communists; informing its readers that ‘the communist wave of…