Monday, March 30, 2009


This is coolbert:

"Why the Channel 7 chopper chills me to my feet?"

Here is an excellent YouTube video.

"Redgum - I Was Only 19 (1983)"

Film footage of Australian troops in Vietnam deploying for combat.

Red Gum is described as a [now defunct] folk music group, specializing in the political protest type genre'. [this particular video has original background music by Red Gum!]

Some comments regarding the video:

* Aussie forces in Vietnam carried the FN FAL rifle [7.62 mm NATO]. Ammunition compatible with the squad automatic weapon, the M-60 machine gun. The FN rifle is called the SLR by the Aussies. [some footage shows the M-16 also being carried.]

* Lightly laden combat troops. NOT carrying an excessive amount of gear. Wearing the floppy bush hat, NOT the steel pot helmet as would be worn by a U.S. troop.

* And NO HAT WORN WHEN BOARDING A HUEY HELICOPTER. TOO MUCH DANGER OF THAT HAT GETTING SUCKED INTO THE CHOPPER ENGINE AND CAUSING A CRASH!! Indeed, debris laying loose around an airfield or landing zone are inherently dangerous to the take off or landing of rotary wind aircraft. THE U.S. ARMY MANUAL ITSELF GIVES INSTRUCTIONS FOR MARKING A LANDING ZONE [the use of white engineer tape] THAT IS DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS!!! [at least until recently]

* One fire team [5 men normally] per helicopter. Multiple trips by the choppers having to be made to airlift an entire unit to the area of operations.

* Australian troops in Vietnam were noted for their ability at jungle warfare, patrolling, small unit actions. Well prepared in advance, using a methodology for low-intensity type conflict as worked out and honed in Malaya, Borneo! Did not employ "Prince Rupert" tactics as common to much larger and unwieldy, and more lavishly equipped American units.

["Prince Rupert" tactics would include making a lot of noise, spectacle, flags flying, drums beating, bugles blaring, lots of marching, orders being shouted, etc. Alert the enemy as to your presence and whereabouts in a manner that is deleterious to the mission!!]


1 comment:

SSC said...

I'd like to offer a little clarification if I may, Aussie forces did not carry the FN FAL as such. The SLR (Self Loading Rifle) while originating in the FN FAL (select-fire), is a semi-auto only version designed by the British under the designation L1A1 and made using Imperial measurements instead of the metric measurements of the FN rifle.
During my time in the Aussie Army, I carried the L1A1 until we changed to the F88 Austeyr rifle so I have fond memories of the SLR.