My Lai Massacre - Bad Military Stragety

Essay by omegamaniacHigh School, 11th gradeB, April 2007

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The My Lai Massacre was considered one of the darkest and appalling wartime activities in the history of the United States Army. It was only one of many atrocities of the Vietnam War. The My Lai Massacre was not considered a “war” but truthfully it was. It was a massacre which ended in more than 300 Vietnamese people loosing their lives. It consisted of many tortures, rapes, and burnings of citizens in the southern part of Vietnam. It was unquestionable that there was a serious authority problem in the United States Army. It was either a result of blind obedience to authority, or a result of bad military strategy. Either way, the massacre was a complete failure because it did not accomplish anything. The My Lai Massacre was only one part of much mayhem in the Vietnam War. The Kelman and Hamilton quote states that “Unquestioning obedience or bad military strategy often produces many disasters such as the Vietnam War, and the My Lai Massacre.

(Source 1)It was early spring, on March 16, 1968, when the men of the Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division, U.S. Army entered the hamlet of Tu Cung in the village of Son My on the coast of Vietnam, and opened fire on groups of unarmed villagers. (Source 2) The mission was to search and destroy. The authority sent out a strategy to kill anything that walks and to burn everything in sight to make sure they had killed all of the civilians in the area. The U.S. Army thought that the Quang Province of South Vietnam was housing Viet Cong soldiers in this territory. The Charlie Company consisted of Lieutenant William Cally, and 60 to 70 more infantry soldiers. (Source 3) They went in and killed more than 300 civilians that were in this...