TIME (1986). Regular North Vietnamese army units infiltrating across the remote border were apparently concentrating to mount an offensive and Westmoreland considered this the danger that had to be tackled immediately. I was an adequate student. [33][34] Others point out that the settlement occurred after two of Westmoreland's former intelligence officers, Major General Joseph McChristian and Colonel Gains Hawkins, testified to the accuracy of the substantive allegations of the broadcast, which were that Westmoreland ordered changes in intelligence reports on Viet Cong troop strengths for political reasons. The general's testimony yesterday ranged over a variety of matters, from when he learned that North Vietnamese forces were massing for what became the Tet offensive of January 1968 - … President Johnson did not want the Vietnam War to broaden. [28], Westmoreland served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1968 to 1972. Westmoreland made a series of public and private remarks that suggested hope and optimism about the situation in Vietnam. However, a few days after the tragedy, he had praised the same involved unit on the "outstanding job", for the "U.S. infantrymen had killed 128 Communists [sic] in a bloody day-long battle". 1900–2000 (Gifts to Manuscripts Division 2001, South Caroliniana Library)", "General William Westmoreland, Friend of ASA, Dies", "South Carolina General Assembly 109th Session, 1991–1992, Bill 918", "Laureates by Year – The Lincoln Academy of Illinois", "General William Westmoreland Uniform – UNIFORMS [REF] USA", "Biography General William Childs Westmoreland", An article on the CBS documentary controversy by LTC Evan Parrott for the Air War College, PDF copies of MG McChristian's deposition for the CBS trial, A biography on William Westmoreland at Encyclopaedia Britannica, MG McChristian's deposition concerning his participation in the documentary and clarifying his observation of the facts, Analysis of the broadcast by Professor Peter Rollins of Oklahoma State University, hosted on Vietnam Veterans website, 1981 video interview with Westmoreland about U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, Initial report on the death of Westmoreland, Obituary: General Commanded Troops in Vietnam, Gen. Westmoreland, Who Led U.S. in Vietnam, Dies, Commander of US forces in Vietnam dies aged 91, General Westmoreland's Death Wish and the War in Iraq, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Westmoreland&oldid=996093305, United States Army personnel of World War II, United States Army personnel of the Korean War, United States Army personnel of the Vietnam War, Candidates in the 1968 United States presidential election, Recipients of the Distinguished Service Medal (US Army), Recipients of the National Order of Vietnam, Recipients of the Gallantry Cross (Vietnam), Recipients of the Order of Military Merit (Korea), Recipients of the Croix de Guerre (France), People from Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States Army Command and General Staff College alumni, Articles with dead external links from August 2010, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2009, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2019, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Commander, 34th Field Artillery Battalion, 9th Infantry Division; 1943–1944, Chief of Staff, 9th Infantry Division; October 13, 1944 to 1946, Commander, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division; 1946 to 1947, Chief of Staff, 82d Airborne Division; 1947 to 1950, Instructor, Army Command and General Staff College; 1950 to 1951, Instructor, Army War College; 1951 to November 1952, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team; November 1952 to 1953, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G–1, for Manpower; 1953 to 1955, Secretary of the General Staff; 1955 to 1958, Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division; 1958 to 1960, Superintendent, United States Military Academy; 1 July 1960 to 27 June 1963, Commanding General, XVIIIth Airborne Corps; July 1963 to December 1963, Deputy Commander, United States Military Assistance Command Vietnam; January 1964 to June 1964, Commander, United States Military Assistance Command Vietnam; June 1964 to June 1968, Chief of Staff, United States Army; July 3, 1968 to June 30, 1972, This page was last edited on 24 December 2020, at 14:04. During the acrimonious trial, Mike Wallace was hospitalized for depression, and despite the legal conflict separating the two, Westmoreland and his wife sent him flowers. Westmoreland filed a lawsuit against CBS. Post 1969 Westmoreland also made efforts to investigate the Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất massacre a year after the event occurred. [23], Westmoreland was convinced that the Vietnamese communists could be destroyed by fighting a war of attrition that, theoretically, would render the Vietnam People's Army unable to fight. [16][17] Much of the thinking about defense was by academics turned government advisors who concentrated on nuclear weapons, seen as making conventional war obsolete. [14], The Gulf of Tonkin incident of 2 August 1964 led to a dramatic increase in direct American participation in the war, with nearly 200,000 troops deployed by the end of the year. The last man in the world who should have been criticized was the American soldier. Detailed in G.S.C. By his own admission, by early 1969, I think, he had lost, what, a half million soldiers? Master philosopher of war Karl von Clausewitz emphasized almost a century and a half earlier that because war is controlled by its political object, the value of this object must determine the sacrifices to be made for it both in magnitude and also in duration. Militarily, we succeeded in Vietnam. He did not order them changed, but instead did not include the information in reporting to Washington, which in his view was not appropriate to report. "[36], Westmoreland's view has been heavily criticized by Nick Turse, the author of the book Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam. Tet outmaneuvered all of Westmoreland's pronouncements on "positive indicators" in the minds of the American public. Less than a month after the Tet Offensive, key advisors met to discuss General Westmoreland’s request. U.S. Army General William C. Westmoreland served four years in Vietnam, from 1964 to 1968, as COMUSMACV—Commander U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam.He was in command during the Tet Offensive, a surprise, country-wide attack on the U.S. forces by the combined forces of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam and the Vietnam People's Army in 1968. After the war, Westmoreland was the United States Army's Secretary of the General Staff from 1955 to 1958. Offensive Quotes. Troops in Vietnam", "Finding Aid for Papers (ca. [citation needed], At one point in 1968, Westmoreland considered the use of nuclear weapons in Vietnam in a contingency plan codenamed Fracture Jaw, which was abandoned when it became known to the White House. Who cared?" [46], Westmoreland's military awards include:[47], United States Military Academy class of 1936, Retired from active service in July 1972. A deposition by McChristian indicates that his organization developed improved intelligence on the number of irregular Viet Cong combatants shortly before he left Vietnam on a regularly scheduled rotation. As the senior commander in Vietnam, I was aware of the potency of public opinion - and I worried about it. In 1954, he completed a three-month management program at Harvard Business School. Growing United States casualties and the draft undermined United States support for the war, while large-scale casualties among non-combatants weakened South Vietnamese support. Following the Tet Offensive, General William Westmoreland called for an additional 200,000 troops to help break the resolve of the Vietcong. Some of our policies were kind of … [21] Westmoreland had little appreciation of the patience of the American public for his time frame, and was struggling to persuade President Johnson to approve widening the war into Cambodia and Laos in order to interdict the Ho Chi Minh trail. 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