What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam ?

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by ysacres, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member

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    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 243
    (4/9/01 12:09:23 am)
    Reply What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    I'm thinking weapons, tactics, new units, etc.

    I'd have to say the First Air Cavalry, and LURPs/LURSUs.

    Maybe the M203. Arclights? We did use 52s tactically in the Gulf.

    Surely not the 16A1, you think? What about the M60?

    Oh yeah, Wild Weasels! THERE'S something we improvised and now have down to a science. Even if we use F4Es for the same reason we used Thuds...need a maneuverable "dump truck" that's old so we won't miss it so much when they take all those losses...those WW pilots had to be cool.

    Cobra Gunships. Still in the inventory...

    What else am I missing? Ham and mothers?

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 123
    (4/9/01 8:08:50 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Hopefully, we learned NOT to try micromanage a war from the White House or Pentagon.

    Hell, in 'Nam they were managing the war down to the platoon and squad level from Washington.

    "Hello, Pentagon? This is Sgt. Jenks. One of my men wants permission to take a crap."

    Zigzag2
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 242
    (4/9/01 9:26:38 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    10-4 Xracer, that's affirmative. 2 minutes max... and don't forget to WIPE!!! lol

    Tac401
    Administrator
    Posts: 584
    (4/9/01 12:43:47 pm)
    Reply
    Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    And be sure to only use one sheet of paper LOL!!!!!!!!!!!
    The Firearms Forum Vietnam Memories Bulletin Board Contact Administrator

    Kdubya
    Moderator
    Posts: 110
    (4/9/01 5:49:41 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    The best thing out of VN were the butts attached to each and every surviver of that clusterpuck.

    As stated, an impossible situation militarily with micro-management for the very top of the political heap. A lot of ticket punching for careers by the brass.

    Having been in Korea and that negotiated, unsettled mess - I thought the US would never again get boxed into conceeding a conflict with no clearcut victory. Goes to show just how wrong you can be.

    Panama and Granada didn't exactly pan out as overwhelming military adventures.

    Desert Storm was a study in itself. With a coalition of hodge-podge countries and military, we didn't do too badly. Lots of people were upset that Hussain wasn't taken out, but you must remember, to keep the coalition together, the goal was to boot his sorry ass out of Kiwat and send him down the road, not assinate him. 'Course, if he had ducked into the way of a smart bomb, that would have been his tought luck!

    The Viet Nam era junior and battalion level officers, by and large, did a good job as senior managers of the DS venture. This recoginizes Washington's pretty much "hands off" policy regarding field decisions by those commanders on the ground.

    It also demonstrated the acute lack of rapid response we will need to hot-spot wars in the future. Hopefully, the new scaled down and upgraded military will do better at rapid deployment with men and equipment that works (Apache helicopters in Bosnia, remember?)
    Keep off the Ridgeline!!

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 127
    (4/9/01 6:23:58 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Yeah Kdubya.....but the fatasses in the Pentagon still haven't admitted that military missions entail risk.....making F-16s bomb from 15,000 feet in Kosovo.......what stupidity!

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 256
    (4/9/01 8:42:29 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Yeah, Johnson sitting at the breakfast table in the White House picking targets for tomorrows BUFF missions was assinine...

    But in any war comes advances in tactics and weaponry that are revolutionary. I guess that's what I was driving at...

    Korea and Vietnam MAY have been just the beginning of our realization that the "American Way of War" needed changing.

    Most of the world for most of recorded History, used war for LIMITED objectives. Control of a water hole, port, frontier, etc. This was brought to the level of a "fine art" in the 1800s, where "wars" were many times one battle over specific objectives. Most of the times with small 2000-3000 man professional armies. (Yeah, I know logistically they may not have been able to support more at that time, but...)

    E.g.,You lost, so I get Alsace-Loraine (or whatever) for the next 20 years til our next "war."

    It wasn't until the American practice of "Unconditional Surrender" married with the Industrial Revolution that "Total War" became the norm.

    Korea and Vietnam taught us the folly of trying to fight a "limited war" with "Total War" objectives.

    The Gulf War had limited objectives, that were met. Quickly. It more resembled 18th Century Warfare, than 20th.

    We are now seeing the "small, professional," armies again, because technology and skill, intelligently applied, trumps raw numbers again.

    And no war EVER ended in a manner that insured "Peace."

    TYRVR
    Moderator
    Posts: 100
    (4/11/01 10:55:01 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    I cannot say My suggestion falls into the exact parametres set forth under the topic title, but I submit it anyway, I think that the near instant media feeds of War to the American public was one of the most inhibiting factors against this War, and all Wars, the sight of burned bodies and dead children,on the six o'clock news brought home the truth about War to millions that were fed the Myth and Mtyhology of Glory and Sacrifice, that was so heavily propogandized, to keep the support of the American masses by The U.S.Govt. under Kennedy and Johnson, photographs are so cold and remote, but the moving image of A naked,terrified child suffering from raw Napalm burns was etched into the American Psyche, and the footage of supposed V.C. being executed by A Veet Intel Officer, was not lost on the Mothers and Fathers of Sons and Daughters, sent to War against their will and the vote backlash proved it, was this the "Best Thing"? hard to judge, but if it helped to end the slaughter of Our Sons and Daughters for A cause no one ever fully understood, it very well may have been,

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 270
    (4/13/01 11:53:34 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    I remember going to school during Tet and all my friends "buzzing" over the video of that South Vietnamese Officer executing that VC "suspect" with the .38 to the head.

    I just had to watch Walter Cronkite that night to see it.

    YEARS later I found out the "truth" about the circumstances around that event...

    That VC had just been caught right after after throwing a satchel charge into a "temporary" hospital where civilian women and children were being treated in like a "triage" fashion because the other facilities were filled.

    That South Vietnamese light bird colonel had been in action for over 48 hours straight with no rest, and his ARVN were at that moment heavily engaged and taking heavy losses, and doing a GOOD job. (Contrary to the ARVN stereotype.) (He was one of the "good guys.") The fighting was fierce just 100 yds away. He had no reserves left.

    What was the alternative, turn the VC murderer over to the reporters to guard? He absolutely couldn't deal with prisoners at that time.

    He did what probably was and is done on many battlefields in the heat of the moment, with suspected, much less known enemy irregulars. AND sometimes by Americans!

    His only REAL mistake was forgetting where he was, and that reporters and cameramen who sat most of the war in air conditioned bars and hotels in Saigon were around that had never seen actual fighting before.

    War is hell. And HE sure didn't pick that battlefield or the methods his enemies used. He just got "caught" choosing a sucky solution among equally sucky or impossible alternatives to a sucky problem under a lot of combat stress...

    And the US public was not prepared for it.

    What if there were "real-time" cameras rolling at Tarawa or Omaha Beach?

    I'd bet we'd have "negotiated" an end to WWII not soon after...

    And what people still don't recognise was that TET '68 was a MAJOR victory for the good guys, almost totally wiped out the VC as a fighting force.

    But it was the beginning of the end, we let the press convince us we lost, and were losiing the war...




    Indybear57
    Registered User
    Posts: 6
    (4/23/01 9:19:51 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Gen. Giap saw TET '68 as his last, best chance to drive the Americans out of Vietnam. He considered it a terrible loss until he saw Cronkite telling the American people what a resounding victory it had been for the NVN. He knew from that moment that all he needed to do was keep doing what he had been doing and eventually the American forces would leave. BTW-you'll notice that the press corp didn't have free run of the war zone in the Middle East. One lesson learned well!

    Mike L

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 181
    (4/24/01 8:19:59 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    A few years ago I saw a forum on Public TV with members of the U.S. Military and the media.

    One flag officer was asked, "If you were in charge in a war, what would you allow in the way media coverage?"

    He replied, "I'd invite 'em to the victory parade!"

    ldsteff
    Member
    Posts: 5
    (4/24/02 10:27:25 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    My young ass!!!

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 3310
    (4/25/02 7:26:47 am)
    Reply
    Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cobra gunships were a joke. I guess they were ok as far as a starting point but they were very underpowered and undergunned. Could not lift off with a full load of fuel and ammo.

    Same with the OH-58.

    The US military really got screwed over by Lady bird Johnson owning so much of Bell helicopters.

    The current AH-1's the Marines are flying have been upgraded enough to be good and the same with the new OH-58's though there is still a STRONG following for the OH-6.

    The Huey was a good one though.


    I'm a man of means by no means

    Bob In St Louis
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2210
    (4/25/02 7:57:30 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    There is a lot of spin-off technology that was developed in conjunction with, and as a result of, Viet Nam. One thing that a lot of folks take for granted today is their "On Star" GPS systems in their autos. The GPS technology was developed and refined during the war by the Defense Mapping Agency to aid in the pin point mapping in the SE Asian area. The original units were huge box like affairs with associated triangulation sensors that had to be placed out in a pattern around the transmitter. The crew had to be dropped in the jungle, clear an area, set up the system, and then wait for the right satellites to get into alignment. Now days you can buy a little handheld device that does the same thing, and there are enough satellites up now that you can get a reading about anytime, and anyplace.
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 314
    (4/25/02 3:52:00 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Technology-wise -

    TOW missiles?
    PBR / Riverine / Brown Water Navy Ops doctrines?
    and already stated above - a huge cadre of trained dedicated (now Senior) Officers

    Rich

    the real fredneck
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 998
    (4/26/02 9:33:09 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    I'm not trying to stir the pot here but there seems to be a lack of good "souviners" from that conflict lots of photos and unit patches etc. but not so many guns etc. like came back from WW1, 2, and Korea, my F-I-L had a couple of AK's stashed in his duffel but they were confiscated before he got on the plane home what sucked was he had already had them demilled he figures the guy who took them traded 'em for a weekend pass

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3505
    (4/27/02 4:56:12 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    I used to know a cop years ago who had a Chinese 47 capture he sent back piece by piece from Nam to his parents, I wonder if he still has it...

    I never fired it, never had the nerve, I just know I would have gotten caught, but I held it, and disassembled it...and actually bought two boxes of ammo for it, that after a couple of weeks "no balls" me gave to him...it was a pretty "open" secret, that he let his friends take and shoot as long as they bought the ammo and didn't get caught...

    I wonder if he still has it?

    He told me once he often wonders how much money he would have made sending back the equivalent weight of heroin....


    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    alexinv
    Member
    Posts: 2
    (7/10/02 4:09:06 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Emergency medicine was advanced more by the Viet Nam war than it had been in it's entire history pre-Viet Nam.

    We developed new, life saving burn treatments and "10 minute medicine" techniques that are used today by EMT's and Paramedics around the world, that keep your body alive long enough to get you to a "trauma center", which is, itself a modern version of a military evac hospital.



    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 5385
    (7/10/02 7:36:23 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Tye, glad to see you again. Right on! I will never forget families, friends and the lot.....sitting around the TV in hopes of seeing their son, husband, father.......at the same time, dispair hoping they would not see their names listed as MIA/KIA daily. The first real TV war, never again I hope.

    Technology as others have mentioned, tatics and the begining of defining the Navy Seals.....though UDT before.
    Redifined tatics, brought to bear what we have today. Many still don`t like them, but they play an important roll.

    Sniping brought to the next level.

    Close air support....and I mean close.

    Medi-Vac.....man, what would it had been like without it. Mentioned above, First-Aid also moved to a new level.
    My hand is out to any Medic who served there.

    Too many things to even think of, this could be a long one.

    nighthawksh
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 120
    (7/19/02 7:13:40 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Just found this so I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents worth,,,

    Sadly, I think, at least for the Army, there were more negative things came out of the war than good, however;


    Best thing out of Vietnam (other than by rear-end);

    As stated, the medical advances were fantastic, to include the "on the ground" medic (real heroes), and the concept of Medi-vac from the site of action direct to a hospital saved many, many lives,,,

    The expanded use of helicopters in Infantry tactics

    A whole list of equipment. A lot of the “snooping” type gear. As mentioned, the GPS. This was a war where much of the newly developed equipment went right from the manufacture, quickly through R&D, and into the hands of the troops. Unfortunately, much of this (as the AR15) should have been tested more thoroughly before going to the field. And, the R&D plus the manufactures should have LISTENED to the troops reactions.

    Bad things?
    The way media was allowed to cover the war, the "ticket punching", the 1 year individual rotation system, the rotation system within country of Company and Battalion Commanders (average 3 months in command), the OER/EER, as said before the "micro-management", the desire of the Commanders seeking a “decisive victory” and not grasping the concept of fighting guerrillas, the implementation of the NCO “Shake & Bake” schools to attempt to make up for the drastic shortage of qualified NCOs, the concept of “body counts”, etc, etc, etc. (I could go on with this list,,,,,)


    As far as tactics, the Army continued to teach and train the "Big War", concept clear into the 80's, with little emphasis on counterinsurgency/counter guerrilla tactics.

    OK, enough for now,,,,, (I tend to rant a bit about this subject, sorry)

    Stan H ,, nighthawk

    "Those willing to give up freedom in exchange for security will soon discover they have neither"

    RockinU
    Member
    Posts: 11
    (7/23/02 12:45:25 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    What I sincerely hope was learned at the higer echelons of the military is that in the future the tactics need to be more flexible so that they can be made to fit the war...no more conventional set piece set ups to fight a jungle guerilla. The system needed to be more fluid so that the training, tactics, and equipment could be changed to meet the necessities that the battlefield is dictating at the time.

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3662
    (9/3/02 11:11:22 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Well, you have to remember, we were WINNING the war until Johnson sent in the Marines after the "Tonkin Incident," that's when the WWII "raised" conventional warriors "took over."

    As much as I hate to say it, because he WAS worthless, (and LTS will jump down my throat, ) there IS One thing (ONLY one thing I can think of... ) we owe JFK...

    If he DIDN'T "fall in love" with the Green Berets, Special Forces would have been disbanded by 1964...they were hated by ALL conventional Generals, and even the Airborne that spawned them turned on them...they thought they should only be "Super Troopers" leading the massed drops of the "Real" airborne corps...never cottoned to the real mission the Berets were formed for, and that had worked well in Greece in '46, Korea in the late part of the war, in Africa in the 50s and 60s, in Cuba during Bay of Pigs, and WERE winning the war in Vietnam in 63 and 64, just not "fast enough" for the conventional military...

    It WAS that close...he doesn't step in, there may not have been ANY special ops in the US Military...Seals, Delta, etc, etc, etc...maybe NOTHING to put into Afghanistan today, except a massive drop of the 82nd, which would have had more than 50% losses before the first shot was fired, and been scattered ineffectually all over God's half acre, just like any other drop in history.

    Kinda funny, "Airborne" that tried to kill it is pretty much a dead concept now, but the Beanies live on, and have more stature in today's military than maybe just about any other branch...
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 6000
    (9/4/02 8:59:51 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Polish, I doubt JFK had any real effect on the inevitable. We had-had some form of special forces for some time and so did many other countries, AND most of ours were (early ones) trained by other countries as we saw what they could really do. This goes hand in hand with sniping......good-bad-bad-good. Maximum Surprise with Maximum Violence, this was a new concept in war(?) "yes it was," much like standing in lines during the first wars of our Nation and before...twern`t fair and was considered cheating if you did not follow the rules of engagement. During VN, most had forgotten we had learned jungle and guerilla warfare during WWII, that cost us dearly and to this day.....will never be forgotten. That is part of the very problem today, we use VN as the milestone and it kills most any type of real use of force anywhere. Sorry to say, but, but most of American`s have no concept to make the commitment again......."We have nothing to fear, but fear itself!" LTS

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3672
    (9/7/02 12:06:49 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    All good points, but JFK DID save Special Forces, its fact. Airborne was trying to rein it in, make them only "Super Pathfinders," in fact, after they "lost" them, was when the Ranger concept resurfaced. The Army Special Forces School is not called the "John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School" for nothing.

    It was a REAL close thing...the Beanies first mission was Counterinsurgency, then Hearts and Minds, and only after that the "Guerrilla" stuff.

    Remember, late 50s early 60s, ALL top brass in every service pooh-poohed the "Guerrilla" stuff, it was "conventional" or nothing.


    Another REALLY good thing to come out of VN was the Army thumbing their nose at the Key West "Treaty" of 1948...the one that said the Army would have NO armed aircraft, and NO transports, only the Air Force. (The Navy ignored them both at the time, thank God!) In the 50s 60s, most AF Generals were only into Strategic Bombers, interceptors, and missiles...they didn't care about close support, even if only THEY could do it by LAW after 48!

    If the Army doesn't ignore it, at it's political peril, we have NO armed Helicopters, and possibly not ANY land-based close support aircraft at all! Or else ALL flown by the baby blues...

    Look how many times the Air Force tried to dump the Warthog? It has been saved at least FIVE times from the graveyard by the Army threatening to take it over if the AF dumped it...the AF lost on the helicopters, they weren't about to give the Army Fixed Wing combat planes too...and it's STILL on active, but as late as last year the AF was trying to dunp it AGAIN, just like they tried in the 1980s and 1990s, heck, I think they FIRST tried to dump it in 1979!




    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    Edited by: polishshooter at: 9/7/02 1:08:46 am

    beesay
    Member
    Posts: 3
    (1/12/03 12:03:08 am)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Best things to come out of Vietnam were the ships and planes taking me home.

    Bill
    Member
    Posts: 24
    (2/5/03 8:03:41 pm)
    Reply What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam
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    My biased answer: Improved helicopter technology for military and civilian use.
    Warpig883 says the Cobra was a joke. Not so! it served well in VN escourting us Slick (Huey) drivers into hot LZ's, prepping the zone, and providing excellent close in air support for our grunt buddies. Even tho fuel loads would have to be adjusted to allow max ammo loads, it was a great leap forward over the old B&C model Huey "gunships". Also it was the starting point for dedicated gunship helo development that followed.

    I also flew the OH-6A in VN and it was truely superior for scout work over the OH-58. The OH-6A (Later, Hughes 500 in the civilian world) was the cat's meow for hovering between trees, maneuverability etc.....But coming out of VN the OH-58 was transformed into the Bell 206 Jet Ranger which is probably the most prolific if not most successful civilian helicoper ever made. Hats off to warpig who kept them big ole CH-47's in the air, they too were an extremely sucessful outcome of the era. "To fly is great to hover is divine." Bill

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 6149
    (2/5/03 9:17:25 pm)
    Reply
    Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam
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    Hey Bill nice to see you.

    The Cobra did fill a very needed role and did it with little development and did a good job. I was a bit harsh on it I will admit. They are/were pretty dependable aircraft that put down lots of firepower. When comparing them to more modern aircraft it is easy to cite the performance characteristics as less than desireable.

    How about those Hughes 500's There are still pilots, crewchiefs, and mechanics who say it is a better bird than the OH-58. Rumor has it that if Lady Bird Johnson wouldn't have owned so much of Bell that issue might have come out different.

    I did work on the newer OH-58D a few years ago. Loaded with electronics for laser guided weapons and communication.




    Ignorance is a crime in 49 states. In the other one it is bliss.




    Bill
    Member
    Posts: 25
    (2/5/03 11:18:25 pm)
    Reply What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam
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    Hey hey, Warpig, glad to learn you benefited from the VN helo experience by working in the industry.
    I agree the OH-6A was way superior as a scout compared to the OH-58. Politics certainly had a roll in Bell winning contracts. But Hughes who sold TH-55 Trainers and OH-6 scouts to the government, raised replacement part prices to unreasonable levels which was part of the reason the Gov switched to the OH-58. For whatever reason it wasn't a good idea.
    After VN the Bell became the chosen civilian helo as a 5 place aircraft. The Hughes was a better performer but it would only support 2 midgets in the back seat while the Bell could seat 3 burly workers. I flew the Bell in the Gulf of Mexico for PHI for 3 years. They had hundreds of them and only a few Hughes. The Hughes were very useuful transporting response maintenance teams to fix problems with other helos.
    I love helos, Bill

    jp58c
    Member
    Posts: 12
    (2/17/03 9:42:28 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    My Sgtsmaj Daniels,1stsgt Beck,and my favorite GySgts Teague and Merkel[ a former SF Capt who saw the light and came to RECON]And ever other mofo who made it back
    Lest we forget POW/MIA
    SEMPER FI

    sgtfubar
    Member
    Posts: 4
    (2/27/03 10:43:50 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Certainly not the M60...it has a tendency to jam...alot...a better alternative would be the M240..i personally favor the M249 SAW...Although these didn't come out of nam, i was just griping about the M60

    Rat A Tat SR
    Member
    Posts: 6
    (3/1/03 1:52:46 pm)
    Reply Re: What was the best thing to come out of Vietnam?
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    Vietnam girls their sweet -n- nasty.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2003
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