On this day, 10 October 1971 at 11 AM, the men of Bravo Company, 1/12, First Cavalry Division of the US Army by the Cambodian border declared a private unofficial ceasefire with the North Vietnamese. The move was following a mutiny shortly before where six men refused to go on a dangerous mission, and were now facing court martial. A petition was circulated in support of the mutineers and was signed by two thirds of the company. The petition was leaked to the French press via a journalist and the army dropped the court martials and shipped out Bravo Company to safety, replacing them with Delta Company. A few days later 20 men in Delta Company refused to head out, and the army pulled them out and the artillery company they were supporting, abandoning the position. This is a great account of this and another rebellion of troops during the Vietnam war: https://libcom.org/history/gi-revolts-breakdown-us-army-vietnam And episodes 10 and 11 of our podcast are about the GI resistance, find it here or your favourite podcast app by searching “working class history”: https://workingclasshistory.com/2018/08/06/e10-the-gi-resistance-in-vietnam-part-1/
Pictured: Bravo Company members signing the petition https://www.facebook.com/workingclasshistory/photos/a.296224173896073/1231712067013941/?type=3
The first known incidents of fragging in South Vietnam took place in 1966, but events in 1968 appear to have catalyzed an increase in fragging. After the Tet Offensive in January and February 1968, the Vietnam War became increasingly unpopular in the United States and among American soldiers in Vietnam, many of them conscripts. With soldiers reluctant to risk their lives in what was perceived as a lost war, fragging was seen by some enlisted men “as the most effective way to discourage their superiors from showing enthusiasm for combat.“
The resentment directed from enlisted men toward older officers was exacerbated by generational gaps, as well as different perceptions of how the military should be conducted. Enforcement of military regulations, especially if done overzealously, led to troops’ complaining and sometimes threats of physical violence directed toward officers.
The total number of known and suspected fragging cases by explosives in Vietnam from 1969 to 1972 totaled nearly 900 with 99 deaths and many injuries.