Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 10 years ago

I was watching a program about the mai lay massacre, many of the soldiers who took part in it, were?

emotionally very shook up by it. Living in Germany I know that many germans, after the war after mowing down hundreds of jews with machineguns they went on to live normal lifes. They did not turn into alcoholics, they did not turn to drugs, they sold assurances and had families or something like that. Now most killings were done in concentration camps by prisoners, where the Germans were guards and the ones who throw the cyclone B inside, but sill when watching similiar reports about the war in Germany where Germans were interviewed who did their part in a more close and personal way, by searching and killing "undesirables" at point blank range they did not seem traumatized at all.

Why is that ? Was it due to the extensive indoctrination in Nazi Germany, their believe they were doing the morally right and strategically necessary thing that allowed them to do what they did without suffering psychologically later ?


Honda I think the nazis who committed suicide, at least those who were in prison, did so to escape a death sentence, or were even suicided. Maybe the western allies did not want to be the hangman in front of the german people, so they did sentence them for murder, but the death took place in their cell.

5 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I would say that most people in our company didn't consider the Vietnamese human.

    —Dennis Bunning

    Many of the participants in Charlie Company of 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division (the Americal Division), used the "Nuremberg Denfense". The Nuremberg Defense is a legal defense that essentially states that the defendant was "only following orders" and is therefore not responsible for his or her crimes. The defense was most famously employed during the Nuremberg Trials, after which it is named.

    Just like the Nazis, the participants of the Mi Lai massacre were "simply following orders". Also, the members of Charlie Company were convinced by their higher-ups at the debriefing that the U.S. military intelligence postulated that the 48th NLF Battalion, having retreated in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive (January 30, 1968), was taking refuge in the village of Sơn Mỹ, in Quang Ngai Province. A number of specific hamlets within that village — designated My Lai 1, 2, 3, and 4 — were suspected of harboring the 48th. Furthermore, while the orders from

    Colonel Oran K. Henderson, who urged his officers to "go in there aggressively, close with the enemy and wipe them out for good." Lieutenant-Colonel Frank A. Barker ordered the 1st Battalion commanders to burn the houses, kill the livestock, destroy foodstuffs, and perhaps to close the wells, were up to the interpertation of Captain Ernest Medina, reasoning that by the time of the attack (07:00), most of the residents of the town would have left for the market and the only people that would be left behind were NLF and NLF sympathizers who, due to the fact they were harboring the NLF and were to be considered enemy combatants. Medina was quoted as saying, "They're all V.C. now go and get them" and was heard saying "Who is my enemy?" and added "Anybody that was running from us, hiding from us, or appeared to be the enemy. If a man was running, shoot him, sometimes even if a woman with a rifle was running, shoot her."

    In the investigation of the aftermath, Colin Powell (yes, THAT Colin Powell) was quoted as saying, "I mean, I was in a unit that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored."

    Much of the reasoning and "justification" of the Mi Lai massacre was due to a deeply ingrained sense of Communist hatred, which the U.S. had been drilling into the psyche of the American public and military since the end of World War 2. Also, in the Vietnam war, it was very difficult to determine whether or not a Vietnamese person was an enemy or not due to the style of warfare the Vietnamese used. They used highly effective gurella tactics due to their incredible knowledge of the terrain. Also, the Viet Cong (NLF) were fond of using booby traps such as trip wire explosives and "bouncing Bettys" (which sprang up from the ground when a US soldier stepped on it). After fighting two world wars and structured feild battles, the U.S. was not used to hit and run gurella tactics (though it is interesting to note that those were the very tactics that gave the U.S. an advantage in the Revolutionary War.

    The effectiveness of the Viet Cong's assaults began to unnerve the U.S. troops to the point paranoia set in. It was quoted that, "you couldn't tell who the enemy was: it could be the farmer who worked the fields by day and shook your hand and then be Viet Cong at night, carrying a rifle".

    The reason why the U.S. soldiers felt guilty about it (a few actually committed suicide or deliberately shot themselves to be medivaced from the area) was because most of the troops were not enlisted men, draftees who did not want to be fighting the war from the begining. The Germans, on the other hand were willing participants in the Holocaust, not forceably drafted, who believed with their hearts and minds and an overpowering sense of nationalism that what they were doing was right and justified.

    Some Nazis comitted suicide, but most of them were at the top echelon of the Nazi heirarchy. Hitler did, Jospeh Goebbles did, Heinrich Himmler did and Herman Goring did. Others committed suicide, but only years after the fact and escaping to places such as Argentina. So, you are right about this.

    I hope this gives you more clarity.

    The reason for the Mi Lai attack was

    Source(s): History Buff... hey, its not drugs!
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  • Shogun
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    The MY LAI Massacre and the German actions in WWII cannot actually be compared, although it is a thought provoking question. As a war veteran I can say that to kill at the direction of your country is seen as more of a "service" to your nation. However, My Lai was an atrocity committed without authorization and the protection of "service". It was a horrible crime and such things always haunt those who were involved, unless they are sociopaths / psychopaths. A professional soldier can always fall back on "I just followed orders". This seems to be where many German veterans hid their emotions. The participants of My Lai had no such luxury.

    Source(s): USMC Veteran Military History Buff
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  • El
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Yes & they really were indoctrinated & made to believe that they were Aryan, the superior race. Killing the weak , crippled, even the "different" from them was of no consequence.

    but that is the indoctrination of many other countries (not just Germany) who have had a Genocide or ethnic cleansing, thus the word "cleansing". That by getting rid of the "others" they are made to believe that they are doing the world a favor, "perfecting the human race"!

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  • 3 years ago

    no longer real .. in case you flow lower back you'll see the united kingdom and France attacked Egypt and each of the middle east + north Africa who suggested as Arab global + Islamic international locations alongside with Iran & Pakistan .. also formerly one thousand years in the past the christians they strive against to get Jerusalem by employing strive against the individuals who owned the holly land and they were Arab Muslims and Christians ! I stay in Kuwait and believe me they love united statesa. and they even communicate English by employing American accent ! and they have 7 Christian church homes .. Muslims contained in the global are a million billion & 1/2 20% of the global, meaning no longer all of them are settle for what "Bin encumbered" did contained in the 11/9 or any attack by skill of the global .. if a one hundred or one thousand or maybe 10,000 muslims doing murders that's no longer skill each of the a million & 1/2 billion are similar ! yet i imagine the western international locations gave the reason for some terrorist to do somewhat stuff like those because they don't do any difficulty for Israel even as they nevertheless occupation of Palestinian territories, together with Jerusalem, and that's opposite to the resolutions of the United international locations, which states that that is going to be out Israeli forces from the occupied territories when you consider that 1967. playstation : operating example: In Europe, if I say that the Holocaust is a myth will discover lots you call anti-Semitic and ought to correctly be jailed because of this hence, no longer only Muslims the yankee, Israelies, Europe do no longer settle for grievance or maybe deny the Holocaust by employing Hitler and Nazism ! which even a number of Christian and Jewish aren't to any extent further settle for efficient critisism !

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  • Will
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Personal opinion -- I think you've hit the nail right on the head. In my opinion, the only way one could live with oneself after having committed those atrocities is to convince oneself that he did it because it was, in your words, "the morally right and strategically necessary thing" to do.

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