P.O.W.s in the Vietnam War Essay

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P.O.W.s in the Vietnam War

The Vietnam war, also called the Indochina War , may be said to have started in 1957 when Communist-led rebels began mounting terrorists attacks against the government of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The rebel forces, commonly called the Vietcong, were later aided by troops of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). American combat personnel were formally committed to the defense of the South in 1965. An agreement calling for a ceasefire was signed in January 1973, and by March the few remaining U.S. millitary personnel in Vietnam were withdrawn. However, the war between the two Vietnamese sides persisted inconclusively for two additional years before South Vietnamese resistance
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They would tie their hands with rope and turn a wheel that stretched their back. The worst part was coming off and getting the rope off of you. Soldiers were placed in handcuffs and leg irons and were left that way for sometimes many years. Mr. Ralph Gaither was a navy ensign when his plane was shot down. He was immediately taken to one of the thirteen vietnamese prisons. He would spend the next seven to eight years of his life in an 4.5x9 cell with another man. From the cell he watched many of his friends lives get wasted, because they talked back to the Vietnamese. There was no love in these camps between the Americans and the Vietcong. Soldiers were told that they were not prisoners-of-war, but mere criminals. A war had not been declared by the United States Government so therefore they could treat their advisaries as murderers and thieves. The prisons that they were being held in were built by the French in the latter parts of the nineteenth century. The same times when the Geneva Accordance came around. This was the law on treatment of all foreign prisoners of war and civilians. It stated that humane treatment of civilians, prisoners, and wounded persons in wartime must be adhered to or a war crime indictment would be issued. Colonel Bud Day whose f100 was shot down in Vietnam stated "I was hung by my feet like a side of butchered beef for many hours because I refused to answer my captors questions." Beatings were uncontrollable and sometimes resulted in death.

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