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Thread: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

  1. #46
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    There may have been some executions, and certainly some harsh penalties, in relation to rapes and related crimes behind the lines in Normandy and the expanding front from there in the second half of 1944 and perhaps into 1945. My recollection is that whatever punishments were awarded were largely or exclusively imposed on American Negro troops. There was certainly a major problem at the time with such crimes in rear areas, as is usually the case because front line troops are too busy fighting for their survival to get engaged in the various physical and property crimes which are more common in rear areas.
    Correct, I should have expanded on this a bit. Everyone who's seen "The Dirty Dozen" knows this.

  2. #47
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    The Fifth Field: The Story of the 96 American Soldiers Sentenced to Death and Executed in Europe and North Africa in World War II

    The Fifth Field reveals one of the final secrets of the war: how 96 American soldiers in Europe and North Africa were tried by American General Courts-Martial, convicted by military juries, sentenced to death, executed and buried in an obscure, secret plot at an American military cemetery in France.

    This is a non-fiction book, but you will swear you are reading a mystery fiction thriller. It begins with a visit to the cemetery, where to this day – seven decades after the war – their small flat gravestones have only the numbers 1-96, not names, chiseled into them.

    These were not crimes against enemy soldiers or against civilians actively supporting the enemy. These 96 soldiers murdered 26 fellow American military personnel, and killed or raped 71 British, French, Irish, Italian, Polish and Algerian civilians, in addition to the one soldier executed exclusively for desertion.

    The executions were not ad hoc, shot-while-trying-to-escape killings. Every single verdict had been personally approved by General Dwight D. Eisenhower or another high-ranking Theater Commander. Many of the executions occurred in the French villages, where previously the crime had occurred. There were no last-minute opportunities to avoid the noose by volunteering for a suicidal mission la the fictional account of condemned soldiers in The Dirty Dozen, although one American general, as discussed in the book, proposed something similar.

    The actual cases are the stars of the book. The public really only knows of one – Eddie Slovik – and knows little of the process involved. The courts-martial, some of which started just five days after the commission of the crime, were to the point and strict (“if the glove won’t fit, you must acquit” tactics were not allowed); some proceedings took as little as one hour. Judge Advocate reviews then took a few weeks, although the defendant had no legal representation, nor did he appear at these later proceedings.

    Surprisingly, the Army found that it had no qualified hangman, so English hangmen conducted 16 executions for crimes committed in Britain, but British hangmen could not serve outside England. Matters became so serious that Eisenhower ordered a U. S. Army brigadier general to hang four condemned soldiers one chilly morning in Sicily in 1943. The Army finally found a hangman, with claimed experience in Texas and Oklahoma. That was untrue – he had no previous practice, but the Army remained unaware of his deception and promoted him from private to master sergeant in a single day, but he botched at least one-third of the hangings he conducted. Seven of the 96 condemned met their ends by firing squads. Ricochets and bad marksmanship sometimes marred the proceedings.

    The Army did its level best to ensure the trials were fair, although a review of the wartime legal system led to significant changes after the conflict. After spending a decade poring over the files – in the author’s opinion – three of the soldiers likely were not guilty, ten others were possibly not guilty, while two dozen others could have received life imprisonment and not the death penalty, because of mitigating circumstances.
    http://thefifthfield.com/published-b...e-fifth-field/

    Add in Eddie Leonski, an American soldier executed in my city during WWII for murdering several women. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/leon...d-joseph-10814 One of the interesting aspects of this case is that he was hanged in an Australian prison after being convicted in an American court martial. One of these days I'll track down the legal intricacies of how murders of Australian women in Australia were tried by a foreign power under foreign military law in Australia and the prisoner then hanged in an Australian prison not subject to or controlled by the foreign power which sentenced him to hang. A sound legal defence might have demonstrated that there was no power to execute him in an Australian prison. A sound examination of sentiments at the time might have demonstrated that there was no sympathy for him and, given the attitude to capital punishment at the time, that he couldn't have expected anything else for three murders. But, I'm still interested in the legal details which allow an Australian hangman to kill a foreigner not convicted of anything by an Australian court. The hangman mightn't be in a better legal position that Leonski killing his victims as far as the legality of the hangman killing Leonski was concerned.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/12004306
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 10-19-2013 at 11:38 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  3. #48
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    The atrocities committed by U.S. troops in Vietnam can be partly laid at the the door of General Westmoreland, and his failed strategy that was little more than attrition --using U.S. firepower to inflict maximum casualties on the PAVN and NLF combined with a "Search and Destroy" mentality. In part, the strategy was to keep U.S. ground forces highly mobile as to avoid set piece battles and making them vulnerable to high casualties and a series of "Dien Ben Phu's." The failure of this strategy lies in the fact that it clearly shows that Westmorland did not understand the fundamentally political nature of the war and did not understand that this was not a war the United States could win without a strong South Vietnamese regime and political infrastructure. Merely killing lots of Northern Vietnamese and Southern communists would not lead to victory when facing an enemy willing to sacrifice enormous numbers of its men and even women. There is a large body of contemporary literature based on the notion that the United States and her South Vietnamese allies largely won the insurgency battle against the NLF and the evidence is compelling.

    The palpable change in the United States' focus under the much more able General Creighton Abrams after Tet led to strategies of counterinsurgency, population control, and changing the focus of U.S. troops from "Search-and-Destroy" to "Clear-and-Hold" paralleling the pacification efforts under the controversial Phoenix Campaign. This more than anything, including Tet, led to a complete marginalization of the National Liberation Front. This was in no small part a shifting of internal security duties away from the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) to the Regional & Popular Forces (reserve/militia) that often turned out to be much more effective and populist, and I think ultimately would have led to a more vibrant and democratic Vietnam had they survived. In many cases, some "Ruff Puffs" were better armed with light infantry weapons than their ARVN counterparts. Under Abrams, U.S. forces were broken up into smaller units and imbedded into Vietnamese rural society by placing them into fortified compounds within, or nearby, villages they were charged with protecting. This allowed Americans to bond with the Vietnamese and they no longer saw them as merely a strange, alien race but as people to be defended and protected rather than just feared and loathed while on mobile SAD operations. The argument put forth is that the U.S. actually won the counterinsurgency aspect of the war and largely crushed the VC/NLF and was increasingly rendering PAVN infiltration into South Vietnam moot by preventing North Vietnamese access to the population. It was of course too little, too late as funding for the war was being drastically cut and the U.S. population as a whole was largely fed up with the war that seemed endless after Westmorland's dubious "Saigon press conferences" that often were little more than exercises in boastful exaggerations and misinformation --whereas Abrams was ever the pragmatic realist...
    1. The American troops put into villages were generally under-resourced, under-supported by external forces such as fire missions and air support, and thus not able to demonstrate the power against the VC which was necessary to give any hope to that process of inspiring the villagers to believe that they'd be any better off throwing in their lot with the Americans than they were with the ARVN and French against revolutionary forces which previously had come and gone.

    2. Regardless, the principal problem in Vietnam was the idiocy of the ARVN and American and associated forces confining their ground troops south of the DMZ. The same sort of brilliant strategy in WWII would have seen Berlin bombed to buggery but the various Allied forces halting their forces on the German borders until Germany was ready to surrender, while allowing German forces to come out of Germany to continue the land war.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 10-19-2013 at 12:10 PM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  4. #49
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    http://thefifthfield.com/published-b...e-fifth-field/

    Add in Eddie Leonski, an American soldier executed in my city during WWII for murdering several women. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/leon...d-joseph-10814 One of the interesting aspects of this case is that he was hanged in an Australian prison after being convicted in an American court martial. One of these days I'll track down the legal intricacies of how murders of Australian women in Australia were tried by a foreign power under foreign military law in Australia and the prisoner then hanged in an Australian prison not subject to or controlled by the foreign power which sentenced him to hang. A sound legal defence might have demonstrated that there was no power to execute him in an Australian prison. A sound examination of sentiments at the time might have demonstrated that there was no sympathy for him and, given the attitude to capital punishment at the time, that he couldn't have expected anything else for three murders. But, I'm still interested in the legal details which allow an Australian hangman to kill a foreigner not convicted of anything by an Australian court. The hangman mightn't be in a better legal position that Leonski killing his victims as far as the legality of the hangman killing Leonski was concerned.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/12004306
    Interesting case, sounds like a serial murderer...

  5. #50
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Interesting case, sounds like a serial murderer...
    That's how he's generally described.

    Nobody seems to have looked into any similar murders in America, despite the reasonable chance that he'd killed there before coming to Australia. Probably not surprising given the localised nature of policing at the time, but it could still be fruitful research even now if his movements were backtracked.

    He was certainly a nut case who is said to have confessed that he killed his victims to capture their lovely voices.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  6. #51
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    That's how he's generally described.

    Nobody seems to have looked into any similar murders in America, despite the reasonable chance that he'd killed there before coming to Australia. Probably not surprising given the localised nature of policing at the time, but it could still be fruitful research even now if his movements were backtracked.

    He was certainly a nut case who is said to have confessed that he killed his victims to capture their lovely voices.
    Perhaps someone should, my girlfriend is interested in this stuff.

    It's seems he was from the New York City, Northern New Jersey area. It's very plausible he killed there before being drafted...

    After reading a bit about him, there was a strain of mental illness running through his family. He seemed to have held it together in civilian life, but began drinking heavily in the Army. It sounded like he almost strangled an American girl in Texas in a bar or something but was stopped. The Army ignored his psychotic tendencies and shipped him out to war anyways....
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 10-20-2013 at 11:08 AM. Reason: added

  7. #52
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    1. The American troops put into villages were generally under-resourced, under-supported by external forces such as fire missions and air support, and thus not able to demonstrate the power against the VC which was necessary to give any hope to that process of inspiring the villagers to believe that they'd be any better off throwing in their lot with the Americans than they were with the ARVN and French against revolutionary forces which previously had come and gone.

    2. Regardless, the principal problem in Vietnam was the idiocy of the ARVN and American and associated forces confining their ground troops south of the DMZ. The same sort of brilliant strategy in WWII would have seen Berlin bombed to buggery but the various Allied forces halting their forces on the German borders until Germany was ready to surrender, while allowing German forces to come out of Germany to continue the land war.
    I'm recommending the book A Better War: The Unexamined Victories And Final Tragedy Of America's Last Years In Vietnam by Lewis Sorley. It's a seminal work on counterinsurgency and Gen. Abrams' tenure there...

  8. #53
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Perhaps someone should, my girlfriend is interested in this stuff.
    Ummm, might be wise for you to sleep very lightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    It's seems he was from the New York City, Northern New Jersey area. It's very plausible he killed there before being drafted...

    After reading a bit about him, there was a strain of mental illness running through his family. He seemed to have held it together in civilian life, but began drinking heavily in the Army. It sounded like he almost strangled an American girl in Texas in a bar or something but was stopped.
    Interesting, and not surprising.

    Got any links?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    The Army ignored his psychotic tendencies and shipped him out to war anyways....
    Well, nobody can blame any army for sending a killer to war.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  9. #54
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Ummm, might be wise for you to sleep very lightly.


    Interesting, and not surprising.

    Got any links?
    These are the two I read. He's on "Murderpedia": http://murderpedia.org/male.L/l/leonski-edward.htm

    http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/leon...d-joseph-10814

  10. #55
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    Default Re: Hanoi Jane : the bits not widely known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    These are the two I read. He's on "Murderpedia": http://murderpedia.org/male.L/l/leonski-edward.htm
    From the above link: "In a departure from normal procedure, on November 4, 1942, MacArthur personally signed the order of execution (in future executions, this administrative task would be entrusted to his Chief of Staff, Richard Sutherland)."

    Which makes me wonder how many US soldiers (and ?USN sailors as MacArthur was commander of the SWPA) were executed subsequently under MacArthur's command, and for what offences?
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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