1975 - Vietnam: Flight from the US Embassy (00:08:20)
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1975 - Vietnam: Flight from the US Embassy

Rights-Managed, Editorial

Location and time:

Vietnam, Saigon, 30-04-1975


By April, the weakened South Vietnamese Army had collapsed on all fronts. The powerful NVA offensive forced South Vietnamese troops on a bloody retreat that ended up as a hopeless siege at Xuan-loc, a city 40 miles from Saigon, and the last South Vietnamese defense line before Saigon. On April 21st, the defense of Xuan-loc collapsed and NVA troops and tanks rapidly advanced to Saigon. On April 27th, 100,000 NVA troops encircled Saigon which was to be defended by 30,000 ARVN troops. On April 29th, the US launched Option IV, the largest helicopter evacuation in history. Chaos, unrest, and panic ensured as hectic Vietnamese scrambled to leave Saigon before it was too late. Helicopters began evacuating from the US embassy and the airport. Evacuations were held to the last minute because US Ambassador Martin thought Saigon could be held and defended. The operation began in an atmosphere of desperation as hysterical mobs of South Vietnamese raced to takeoff spots designated for evacuation, many yelling to be saved. Martin had pleaded to the US government to send $700 million dollars in emergency to South Vietnam in order to bolster the Saigon regimes ability to fight and to mobilize fresh South Vietnamese units. But the plea was rejected. Many Americans felt the Saigon regime would meet certain collapse. President Ford gave a speech on April 23, declaring the end of the Vietnam War and the end of all American aid to the Saigon regime. The helicopter evacuation continued all day and night while NVA tanks reached the outskirts of Saigon. In the early hours of April 30th, the last US Marines left the embassy as hectic Vietnamese breached the embassy perimeter and raided the place. NVA T-54 tanks moved into Saigon. The South Vietnamese resistance was light. Tank skirmishes began as ARVN M-41 tanks attacked the heavily armored Soviet T-34 tanks. NVA troops soon dashed to capture the US embassy, the government army garrison, the police headquarters, radio station, presidential palace, and other vital targets. The NVA encountered greater-than expected resistance as small pockets of ARVN resistance continued. By now, the helicopter evacuations that had saved 7,000 American and Vietnamese had ended. The presidential palace was captured and the Vietcong flag waved victoriously over it. President Minh surrendered Saigon to the NVA colonel Bui Tin. The surrender came over the radio as Minh ordered South Vietnamese forces to lay down their weapons. Columns of South Vietnamese troops came out of defensive positions and surrendered. Saigon fell on April 30th, 1975. As for the Americans, many stayed in South Vietnam but by May 1st, 1975 most Americans had fled, leaving the city of Saigon forever. The Vietnam War was America’s most humiliating defeat, with over 58,000 dead and many left severely injured. As for the people of South Vietnam, over a million ARVN soldiers died in the 30-year conflict.

Other languages: show / hide

Arabic :

1975، فيتنام war, U.S. السفارة، سايغون، مروحيات تحلق فوق سايغون، اللاجئين، تفجير "صوت ابنه نوث"، هنري كيسنجر سبيتشفيتناميسي الجنود، يقود الدبابات، "صولت الفيتنامية" على شرفة التلويح بالحرب السفارة، الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، إعلام، فيتنام،، الطيران، كين James، فرانك سنيبين، بيتر ارنيت، "هاري في الصيف"، غلين هودجز، نغوين لي ديب، الرحلة من "السفارة الأميركية"، العسكرية، لقطات الفيديو العسكري، الجيش لقطات الفيديو، والجندي لقطات الفيديو، لقطات الفيديو في حرب فيتنام،,

Bulgarian :

1975 г., Виетнам war, U.S. посолство, Сайгон, хеликоптери прелитат над Сайгон, бежанци, бомбардирането на звук син Ивайло, Хенри Кисинджър speechVietnamese войници, шофиране цистерни, виетнамски Solat на балкон къдрене флаг, Виетнам, посолство, САЩ, война, полет, James Кийн, Франк Sneppen, Питър Арнет, Хари лета, Glynn Hodges, Лий Софка Нгуен, полет от посолството на САЩ, военни, военни видео кадри, видео кадри армия, войник видео кадри, Виетнамската война видео кадри, ,

Danish :

1975, Vietnam war, U.S. ambassade, Saigon, helikoptere flyver over Saigon, flygtninge, bombningen af lyd søn Nuth, Henry Kissinger speechVietnamese soldater, køre kampvogne, vietnamesiske Solat på balkon vajende flag, Vietnam, ambassade, USA, krig, flugt, James Kean, Frank Sneppen, Peter Arnett, Harry somre, Glynn Hodges, Lee Diep Nguyen, fly fra den amerikanske ambassade, militæret, militære videofilm, hær videofilm, soldier video optagelser, Vietnam-krigen video optagelser, ,

Estonian :

1975, Vietnami war, U.S. saatkond, Saigon, helikopterid lendavad üle Saigon, pagulased, pommitamine heli poeg Nuth, Henry Kissinger speechVietnamese sõdurit, sõidu tankid, Vietnami Solat rõdul viipab lipud, Vietnami saatkonda, USA, sõda, põgene, James Kean, Frank Sneppen, Peter Arnett, Harry suved Glynn Hodges, Lee Diep Nguyen lend USA saatkond sõjavägi, sõjalise videomaterjali, armee videomaterjali, sõdur videomaterjali Vietnami sõja videomaterjali,

Finnish :

1975, Vietnam war, U.S. suurlähetystö, Saigon, helikoptereiden lentäminen Saigon, pakolaisten pommittaminen ääni poika Nuth, Henry Kissinger speechVietnamese sotilaita, ajo säiliöt, Vietnamin Solat parvekkeella heiluttaen lippuja, Vietnam, suurlähetystö, USA, sota, lento, James Kean, Frank Sneppen, Peter Arnett, Harry kesät Glynn Hodges, Lee Diep Nguyen, lento Yhdysvaltain suurlähetystö sotilas, sotilaallinen videomateriaalia, armeijan videomateriaalia, sotilas videomateriaalia Vietnamin sodan videomateriaalia,

Sound Bite and conversation:

Arnett, Peter

(CNN reporter) , speaking English:
-  "The events happened very quickly. The communists occupied the suburbs. And about 10, the tanks marched in as well. The people were really scared."

Kean, James

(American marine) , speaking English:
-  "We felt the historical meaning of this last flight. Finally we switched off the lights and finished off the American intervention in Southeast-Asia. It was touching. "

Kean, James

(American marine) , speaking English:
-  "Exactly at 7.58 a single helicopter showed up. When we saw the bird, we knew, we were saved."

Kean, James

(American marine) , speaking English:
-  "When we retired, there were still people climbing through the walls. We did not want to hurt these people, but we betrayed them. It was clear to every soldier in my team that this time America ran away from the responsibility. "

Kean, James

(American marine) , speaking English:
-  "There were no more helicopters. We were sitting there, and I started to see our situation: eleven of us were here and there were no flights anymore. We had no clue whether we would ever get out from there."

Kissinger, Henry

(diplomat in Vietnam, 1975) , speaking German:
-  "The whole personnel left the territory without panic or remarkable damage. Nothing serious happened, luckily, even the public security and the order remained. "

Kean, James

(American marine) , speaking English:
-  "We burnt documents, and spoilt money, counted in American currency, it was about 4.7 million."

Summers, Harry

(diplomat in the Vietnam war) , speaking English:
-  "They were sitting there patiently, waiting for their turn. And we knew that nobody would go for them. We betrayed them. It was a miniature Vietnamese war. Awesome plans and false realization. This was the only occasion in my life when I was ashamed of being American. "

Summers, Harry

(diplomat in the Vietnam war) , speaking English:
-  "We thought everyone could leave. I am not lying. We thought everybody could get out, and there wouldn’t be any panic."

Snepp, Frank

(CIA, American embassy) , speaking English:
-  "We played God that day. All of us, even the marines and the CIA. We took the ones whom we could reach to the helicopters."

Kean, James

(American marine) , speaking English:
-  "When the people saw that the helicopters were still flying, even more and more people wanted to climb through the walls. "

Snepp, Frank

(CIA, American embassy) , speaking English:
-  "The Air America helicopters, owned by the CIA were flying above the city, trying to collect the people from the top of their houses. But this was not done methodically. They knew they did not have the power to carry out a real evacuation. "

Lee, Nguyen

(She was in South-Vietnam, 1975) , speaking English:
-  "Of course we believed in the help of the Americans, since they were our allies. We never thought that Saigon would topple down so fast. "

Snepp, Frank

(CIA, American embassy) , speaking English:
-  "The building of the embassy was an island in the sea of chaos. The people were assaulting the walls, like indignant waves."

Lee, Nguyen

(She was in South-Vietnam, 1975) , speaking English:
-  "We have been very desperate. Very scared from the communists."

Lee, Nguyen

(She was in South-Vietnam, 1975) , speaking English:
-  "The moment of desperation lasted 10 years for me. My husband disappeared. The whole country was a prison, a huge prison."

Snepp, Frank

(CIA, American embassy) , speaking English:
-  "It was a perfect finale of a terrible war, because it showed what we did incorrectly. It also meant the end of a period which was the symbol of loosing the American might."




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18-12-2010 22:41:24

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