During the winter of 1967, the people of Dak Son village had no idea what was bound to transpire just mere weeks before Christmas. Unfortunately, when America said it would aid South Vietnam in their struggle to avoid and annihilate the opposing communist forces: North Vietnam and Viet Cong, they didn’t assume that such atrocities were even humanely possible during a war, which caught America more by surprise than they had expected, leaving them with no choice but to exhibit absolutely no mercy to their enemies. Thus, leaving the United States viewing the war as a way to prevent communist takeover and repeal the domino theory. So, we fast forward eight years into the war, long after both sides are seen to be nothing short of ruthless as well as practically nothing less than fearless. They seemed to be pretty evenly matched throughout quite possibly the longest, most grueling war Vietnam has ever gone through.
Since the Viet Cong’s headquarters were based in the south, it gave them much more accuracy and success when planning any sort of attack because they see everything their opposition tries to hide. Eventually, the war ended up as a compilation of many, many massacres; Dak Son village being one of the of the few that had survivors give testimonies to the horrors they had to endure solely because they disagreed with communism and the possibility of this village helping some refugees of the Viet Cong escape leading them to reply with an outlandish act of complete and utter vengeance. This left the Viet Cong with no choice but to act upon the burning fiery fuchsia that is their anger.
Two battalions of Viet Cong systematically killed 252 civilians with flame-throwers and grenades that week in December, a “vengeance” attack on a small hamlet less than a mile from the capital in Phuoc Long Province. Survivors of the December 6 attack said the VC (Viet Cong) shouted their intentions to “wipe out” the hamlet of Dak Son as they struck from the surrounding jungle. A local defense force of 54 men gave ground before the estimated 300 uniformed communists. The village wasn’t exactly prepared for this sort of uncalled for attack, leaving them in utter shambles upon the departure of the Viet Cong. According to the survivors, the VC (Viet Cong) ranged up and down the hamlet streets, systematically burning more than half the 150 thatched homes of the community. Two defenders were killed, four wounded and three are missing.
Many of the victims were burned to death in their homes, others, who fled to underground shelters, died as flame-throwers with their napalm-based fuel, were directed into the small shelters. Other Viet Cong threw hand grenades into holes where families were covered. This was certainly a war where morals had no backup and the only thing that was relied upon was our selfish, animal instincts with how we deal the opposition who are our fellow human beings nonetheless.
Courtney from Study Moose
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