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Posted on Nov 10, 2008 in Stuff We Like

From the Collapse of France to Empire Total War – Top Forum Discussions

By Jason St. Just

The war had a major impact on U.S. politics, culture and foreign relations. The world became deeply divided on its involvement and its conduct of the war. Opposition in America fueled the popular youth movement of the 1960s, often called the Hippie Culture.

The United States sent about a half-million troops to the dense, dark jungles of Indochina and engaged in extensive air and naval warfare to contain the spread of communism in Asia. Ultimately, it failed to achieve its goal, and in 1975 South Vietnam was forcibly reunited with its victorious northern counterpart to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

It was America’s first military failure and left a deep wound in American pride that never really healed. The hostilities in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia claimed the lives of 58,000 young Americans, another 304,000 were wounded while many thousands more would be scarred emotionally for the rest of their lives. The Vietnamese death toll ranges up to one-and-a-quarter million, not counting the many civilian lives that were lost.


Armchair General has its own forum covering almost every aspect imaginable on the Vietnam War. It is our own little jungle, tended since the spring of 2005 by our moderator Boonierat. When I asked him what areas of interests were most discussed on his forum he humbly replied, though a little surprised, “almost anything dealing with the Vietnam and Indochina Wars … ” From the etymology of the derogatory word “Gook” to the founding of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., all subjects can be found on the forum, but if perchance you do not find what you are looking for, feel free to start your own thread on the subject. So let me invite you to start your tour of duty right here.

To contribute your thoughts on the forums, you will need to register (no charge and we don’t spam our members; signup is required to allow us to monitor and maintain proper content). The instructions will walk you through. It’s a pretty simple process.

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1 Comment

  1. The collapse, or certainly the rapid collapse of France in 1940, could be laid at the feet of General Gamelin and the French command structure, whose misunderstanding of how war had changed proved to be a great detriment to the French Army’s corps and division commanders-a good number of which knew what they were doing. Thed lack of an efficient signals and communications network didnt help, either.

    In 1944 the roles were reversed, with the Germans mirroring the French in 1940-too many layers of command, disrupted communications, overly dependent on fixed fortifications, outclassed in the air, having the biggest and best tanks but too many units dependent on horses and the rails for mobility- If the French held held there would be no Battle of Britain, no involvement in the war by Italy (meaning no desert war and no Rommel) and certainly no Barbarossa. The US probably would not gave gotten involved past the lend lease stage-the French campaign of 1940 shaped the entire European Theatre.

    As far as the Graf Zeppelin, the main German problem was techinical. They had no experience in carrier aviation and only proposed altered land based aircraft for carrier missions. One could theorize that Japanese advisors could train the German pilots and flight crews. The best scenario for the use of the Graf Zeppelin would be as part of a task force with Tirpitz, Prinz Eugen and support ships to operate in 1942 in conjunction with U-boat and Luftwaffe units against the northern convoys- a possibility for actions versus RN and USN vessels