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Indo China Wars 1945 - 1975. Covering, French Indo China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc.

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Old 07-02-2010, 05:29 AM   #151
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Just fresh from another Life check :



1948.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:27 AM   #152
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Do we know the province chiefs of Thay Ninh, in the post Diem era? what religious groups they belonged to?
do we have a ever seen in the post Diem era a Cao Dai general in the armed forces?

Alex
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:32 AM   #153
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I think what is becoming clearer (in my mind at least) is that prior to allying themselves fully with the fledgling state, the device which has been debated here, and pictured being worn by those affliated with the Cao Dai, is not clearly defined as being of overt religious origin to any meaningful standard.

Especially in relation to the obvious sect symbolism displayed elsewhere in period images of the faith.

Therein lies the controversy of the nomenclature of the insignia. That thought does not preclude any religious connotations or naturally diminish any faith that the wearer had as they pinned the new insignia to the freshly issued berets and they took their place in the ranks of the new army being created. I think the question as Darwin posited a number of days ago is far more complex than a simple pro-army, anti-faith based argument that has characterised this in the recent past. I am sure it revolves around the blending of the two camps positions.

What the device actually represents symbolically is the crux, how it came to be adopted peacefully and worn by those who had come to regard themselves as a faith based organisation without any of the violent turbulence which marked the decade prior.

Power sharing?

An increased voice in policy, or the cost of relative autonomy for their province?

Or simple real politik of those who viewed government power as a personal dynasty to be protected, and an accommodation reached with influential regional elements to preserve that hold on power and keep them from reaching an accommodation with the north?

A small dilution of one identity to strengthen the foundations of a new state to give the Cao Dai more leverage politically than a bloody, costly war could ever bring?

Just some questions in my mind that could explain how this circle could be squared.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:43 PM   #154
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Okay, I said I wouldn't post anymore on this thread until I had all my facts in line and that I had heard back from Clem Kelly. His reply arrived over the weekend. But, before I post that and some other information I would like to address a couple of other points on this thread.

First there are some on here that feel this thread is an "us versus them", this is ridiculous. We are all on here because there is a great interest in Vietnam items by all of us. Not by collectors from just the US, or England, or France, etc. We are all a group of collectors with the same interest, so let's all drop the conspiracy theories about who is against who, this is all BS.

Another point was were Cecil Smyth was accused of being the person who identified the badge as Cao Dai. If you go back and read the article where he identified it, you will see it was originally identified by Dong Tam Chi and not by Cecil.


Okay, one posting that keeps chewing at me and I will respond to, was the one made about how the Vietnamese would never leave their homes because it was their ancestoral lands, come on, what is this? If any of us were Vietnamese in this particular time, and we were not Communists, but the Communists were rolling forward, we would not have stayed with our ancestors land. We would have packed our personal items and family up, and gotten the hell out of there as fast as we could. You would not stay there because your family had lived there before you. You would have left before the Communists took over your ancestor's land and made you one of them.

Now on to another point.

It was posted over and over on here about how we need to speak to a Vietnamese National about this subject, so that I did. With what this person said there is going to be some collars ruffled, as they are not going to like what is said about their country. This historian said in the early 1920's the Cao Dai was originally started as a patriotic organziation with slight religious overviews. They made a bigger deal about the religion part then they did about the Patriotic organization, as they knew the French goverment would come in and crush them / wipe them out, before they could getting really going. Then over time they became a stronger religious organization but still kept the Patritoic organization quiet, until they became this strong Vietnamese religion. Then in the 1950's when the Cao Dai starting fighting against the Communists, the French and some National units, they were convinced to come in and join forces with the Republic troops so that they were all fighting for the same cause. I cannot remember the Genral's name he said that organized all of this, but right after he got them to come in he was assainated by what was believed to be a French backed operation. By this time the Cao Dai was absorbed into the ARVN army. Within a short time the new General (man, I wished I would have taken better notes while he was talking), realized that if he kept all the Cao Dai together as one fighting unit, they would eventually turn on the National troops. So he scattered as many of the Cao Dai troops all over the country and attached them to many different units, so that they weren't all together and constantly plotting their next moves.

Okay, now on to Clem's reply. In his reply to my question he stated the following:


Quote:
"As to the Cao Dai insignia, well one should not always believe the military as I found out long ago having been in the Army and the Navy. I have a copy of that Army Pocket Guide and, of course the ID of that badge is incorrect. The Navy is just as bad, as SEAL ONE who wrote an article in the VICN on training theCamobodian Marines was given the Cambodian Medal of National Defense which was listed on his official DD-214 as the Cambodian Campaign Medal, and no such medal exists.

Of course the first ID I had on the Cao-Dai badge was when I personally bought some silver metal ones for EM and gold (bright brass) ones for officers, from Phuoc-Hung. Also bought some black berets with gold wire and silver wire insignia sewn into the berets.

Also as you will recall, the Cao Dai had a pretty good size military force and were bribed with a million US dollars or more provided by Uncle Sam (US) to join the ARVN. They were allowed to use thier own insignia worn on their berets."
Okay so I am sure there will some on here that still don't want to believe what Clem has said, but ask yourselves why would a Vietnamese insignia shop, that catered to the National soldiers would identify these badges to an American buyer, as Cao Dai, if they were really Infantry. I hate to say this, but I would trust most insignia makers / uniform makers to know what everything is, as they made their living off supply these forces, then I would trust a Foreign power that is printing a handout booklet, to be correct..
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Last edited by Patrick Dempsey; 07-13-2010 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:18 AM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Chatt View Post
Clem Quote: "As to the Cao Dai insignia, well one should not always believe the military as I found out long ago having been in the Army and the Navy. I have a copy of that Army Pocket Guide and, of course the ID of that badge is incorrect. The Navy is just as bad, as SEAL ONE who wrote an article in the VICN on training theCamobodian Marines was given the Cambodian Medal of National Defense which was listed on his official DD-214 as the Cambodian Campaign Medal, and no such medal exists.
Of course the first ID I had on the Cao-Dai badge was when I personally bought some silver metal ones for EM and gold (bright brass) ones for officers, from Phuoc-Hung. Also bought some black berets with gold wire and silver wire insignia sewn into the berets.
Also as you will recall, the Cao Dai had a pretty good size military force and were bribed with a million US dollars or more provided by Uncle Sam (US) to join the ARVN. They were allowed to use thier own insignia worn on their berets."

Thank you, Bob, for taking the time to write to Clem and get an important contribution to this thread discussion and topic. I am sure you know all of us (on all sides of the debate) really appreciate this.

Today, we can all sit on our computers, get a few books, download some photos and argue about this or that, but to hear from those who were directly on the ground at that time is definitely the closest we can get to educating ourselves about a subject, and we are all lucky enough to be able to have an interest in these histories while these individuals are still with us, which will not be the case in later years. One day, we will all be the old men sitting around at shows telling newbie collectors the stories we heard from veterans first hand.

Of note, it is really interesting to hear the comment on the US paying the Cao Dai. It is widely known the RVN paid the armed elements of different religious groups at different times, but the US involvement is something, which I, and probably most other people are not aware of, but does seem obvious when considered.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:20 AM   #156
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Hello Bob,

please pass on my thanks for Mr.Kelly for taking the time to reply should the chance arise.

Quote:
Another point was were Cecil Smyth was accused of being the person who identified the badge as Cao Dai.
Just one observation for the moment, i don't read an attribution of identification as being an accusation. An accusation suggests something derived from malign intent which i do not believe occured in this particular instance.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:30 AM   #157
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Bob when i say that normal vietnamese dont move from their ancestal ground, it means that it s their mentality, villagres who were uprooted from a free fire zone, their only deire was to go back to their village where they used to live, and not to be dispalced in another hamlet, of course poeple used to move arround, but it s not in their culture, this is what i ment, and i still do.

when you travel arround VN you will get the feeling for their society, and what is important to their culture.
The ancestor cult is so imoprtant in every Vnese family even now, so think how it was in the 50s.

Alex

Last edited by hochiminhtrail; 07-13-2010 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:33 AM   #158
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First thank you Bob for asking M. Kelly



Quote:
Another point was were Cecil Smyth was accused of being the person who identified the badge as Cao Dai. If you go back and read the article where he identified it, you will see it was originally identified by Duong Tam Chi and not by Cecil.
- Thank you for reminding us that you and you alone spoke about Clem Kelly (post #31) when I said that Duong Chi Tam identified the badge as FACD (post #23). !
- Thank you for this history of the Cao Dai and it relations with the Commies and the French. Whereas we all agree that Cao Dai forces must have been scattered to prevent an uprising, what would be the point to clearly identify them with a badge? The government wanted them kind of disbanded, but at the same time they were giving them a badge to recognize themselves? In my mind, the two cannot match together.

Quote:
Vietnamese would never leave their homes because it was their ancestoral lands, come on, what is this?
At the end of the Indochina war, whereas about 1.500.000 Vietnamese moved from the North to the South, much more remained in the North and had to remain low and oppressed in the North. When the South fell in 1975, most of the population remained in South Vietnam. Before when the Chinese invaded Vietnam and held a giant picknick for a 1000 year, the Vietnamese coped with the situation as for Vietnamese life is a circle and for the Vietnamese, better things have to arrive.

Then to Darwin,
Quote:
Of note, it is really interesting to hear the comment on the US paying the Cao Dai. It is widely known the RVN paid the armed elements of different religious groups at different times, but the US involvement is something, which I, and probably most other people are not aware of, but does seem obvious when considered.
Post #94 gives a link on the subject and anybody interested in the making of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam is aware of Lansdale’s role and his relations with Diem and the Cao Dai. Even Graham Green speaks about it in his novel.

Last edited by Patrick Dempsey; 07-13-2010 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:48 AM   #159
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I will reopen this thread later today at some point, but there are going to be limits placed upon it.

1# Putting it simply, do not denigrate any member, their efforts, their thoughts,or their contributions in this thread or others.

2# Do not attempt to point score or grandstand for effect. For those of a conspiratorial mindset do not infer, suggest or allude to an orthodox position being favoured or 'protected'.

3# Focus on the subject at hand, that is the prime reason the thread exists, it is not here to allow clashes between members. Any point can be debated and disagreed with but do not take that as carte blanche to launch attacks simpy because someone has a differing viewpoint to you.

4# Today is a clean slate for the thread. Do not rake up earlier edited posts in any subsequent replies to this one. If there is factual point to be made however, then do so. Do not encase that reply in any form of abrasive language.

This is the last chance for this thread.

Should it devolve again it will be locked for good. Consider your posts very,very carefully before hitting the 'submit' button.

There is enough food for thought posted in the preceeding pages to allow most rational adults to evaluate and form an opinion, or spur the adventurous to investigate deeper themselves. The faith has branches in most parts of the world which are contactable, and i am sure most of those branches will have a member of the priesthood concerned with public relations or archival duties who may be prepared to help.

I am not sure how much appetite remains for the thread, or how long it can continue without becoming too circular in content as definitive archival proof has yet to be shown, it may never surface to the satisfaction of most, or perhaps it may surface in the future. That remains to be seen.

To finish on a more positive note, i've had a PM from a fellow Moderator who chanced across a phrase quite alien to him ( Cao Dai) when viewing/searching the whole of WAF of an evening. He isn't a collector of the period at all, but became quite enthralled by the subject matter at hand and was fascinated by the history and imagery displayed.

This, is why we do what we do....keep that in mind.
 
 
 
 
 
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:43 PM   #160
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Good evening,

I will try to revive this slumbering thread before it gets absorbed in the other topics.

Here are two Army magazines dated 1957. The magazines are named Quân Đội, which means Army.



They deal with army perspectives, aims of the government, world news etc… The yellow one is a special issue about engineers. The cover is a reminder of the 7th of July 1955, the Day Ngo Dinh Diem became President.

No reference to any sects, even in an entry about Tay Ninh province.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:44 PM   #161
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Several ads from well known tailor shops are printed in the magazine, displaying our badges :

Hồng Phát, 15th of April 1957 :



The berets are one of the most visible items.

The ad says that the ranks are especially made with a French system that enable easy fastening and guaranty that the rank s remain in place.

The other part of the text can be roughly translated as :

Production of military equipments for the Navy, the Army and the Air Force.

Medals, metal insignias, embroidered badges, cannetille embroidered badges, wool berets, cloth berets, gabardine berets, embroidered and sewn national flags, armed forces flags, unit flags.

Handmade regular army black shoes, with leather and plastic soles .

Nothing about any sects.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:47 PM   #162
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An Thành, 15th of April 1957 :



An Thanh, specialized in the making of military medals.

Navy, Army and Air Force.

Then, they detail their flag making skills : Vietnam unit flags, Division, Battalion, Company flags, Foreign unit flags.

The two berets are very the most visible items. Note that the berets are drawn both sides, more for the esthetic than per regulation, even if photos sometimes show them inverted.

Other badges visible are the Police forces, the Customs, the Shield of the Republic, the “bông mai”/flower ranks.

No reference to the sects, but it is worth translating the upper part.

“Mountly Army magazine, published by the Psychological Warfare Department, (CTTL stands for Chiến Tranh Tâm Lý), Ministry of Defense, General Staff, 100.000 copies printed”.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:54 PM   #163
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An Thành, 7th of July 1957 :



Like the previous An Thanh ad, the two berets are very the most visible thing inside the Cong Hoa shield. In addition to the badges pictured on the first An Thanh ad, we can also see the metal name tag (to be pinned on the uniforms), the flags for the different units, the national flag and flags for other nations.

The three branches Navy, Army and Air Force are named.

No reference to any sect.

My comment would that once again, those documents are about the National Army of the Republic of Vietnam, official documents. Nothing is said about the sects. To me, the ads are clearly targetting soldiers for the three branches of the Vietnam Armed Forces (the VNMC being part of the Navy).

Again, I doubt that something Cao Dai would have been allowed, at least so vivid compared with the rest.

To be continued…
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:50 AM   #164
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One thing that I have always found interesting is the quantity of Cao-Dai insignia that is available. I think that most of us can agree that this insignia is the most common among the other formations of the SVN regime.
Has anyone ever wondered why this is the case? While beret insignia can be found for the regular army formations such as the airborne, BDQ, LLDB etc, for every one of these that can be found I would say that double that can be found for the Cao-Dai.
If you look at the comparative numbers of different units during the war, the Cao-Dai are surely not even close to the main units within the army.
So why are these insignia so common?. I have read somewhere that the NVM did not view the Cao-Daiist's as a military unit and therefore more of these insignias survived. While any monument, flags, insignia which were associated with the SVN regime was obliterated.
This seems like a viable reason to me and I think should be considered within the scope of this discussion. I have never had a horse in this race either way but if the NVM considered the Cao-Dai insignia as part of the Army formations why then did the owners of these berets, etc not destroy more of them to avoid the wrath of the north? Just my two cents, Jeff
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:59 AM   #165
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I love the leather AND plastic soled custom shoes made to order .
Great military related newspaper ads NTS .
owen
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