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Posted: 12/26/2003 2:17:38 AM EDT
I heard they were vicious and feared by the VC and the NVA.  So, my question is, what made them anymore fearful than our gallant fighting men?  We kicked butts realy darn well in Vietnam, if you ask me.

Link Posted: 12/26/2003 3:32:25 AM EDT
I always heard they they were more vicious than the N. Vienamese et al.  They would not take prisoners and were not very nice about it.

I remember hearing of one battle where a classic hammer and anvil tactic was neing used.  The ROK troops were driving them towards a large force of Marines that were well entrenched waiting to ambush them and catch them in a crossfire.

The marines kept hearing the distance to the enemy closing on the radio but never say anything.  In the end they got a call telling them to hold their fire, ROK trops would be passing through their positions from the front.The commander asked the ROK troops where all of the Vietnamese troops were, he turned arouns, and pointed the direction he just came from and said "dead".

I have read that they were all well trained and damn near fearless. Were well versed in martial arts and had a bit of a chip on their shoulders.  Having been beeten by almost everyone for the past couple hundred years, noth through a lack of efort on thier part, they were looking to prove themselves.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 10:49:41 AM EDT
I read that story too.  Wasn't that the First Wolfhounds acting as a blocking force.  I think it was in [i]Some Even Volunteered.[/i]
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 4:10:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2003 4:12:00 PM EDT by Clay-More]
I believe it was in Philip Caputo's [i]A Rumor of War[/i] that he mentions the ROK Marines.  When the USMC was under a VC mortar attack one night, men scrambled for their bunkers and remained their until the rounds stopped.  The ROK Marines emerged from the jungle in the morning with the mortar tube, base plate, and a number of severed VC heads.    
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 9:38:42 PM EDT
It was either "A Rumor of War" or "A Sniper in the Arizona" that I read that account in.  I am sure it is in other books as well.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 10:22:16 PM EDT
ROK Counter-Guerrilla doctrine was shaped strongly bu the recent fighting they had done in their own country.  Few people realize that while all the more commonly discussed fighting was going on up to the Yalu, and back, and along what was to become the DMZ, ROK soldiers were fighting continuosly in the rear areas with insurgents who used tactics almost identical to those later used by the VC.  The ROK Army learned some tough lessons about fighting such an enemy - which often included the necessity of killing or torturing their "own" people.

The best explanation to understand the mindset of fanatical guerrilas is the "horror" speach by the Colonel in "Apocolypse Now."  ROK soliders understood that those were the techniques of their enemy, they were more than willing to fight fire with fire, and had no qualms about creating civilian casualties to support the greater goal.

The VC were willing to use the most heinous threats of torture and murder to force compliance by neutral villagers.  We Americans could not compete with that kind of pressure, short of eliminating all of the VC and then convincing the locals that was indeed the case (similar to the struggle in our cuurent operating environment).  In the case of the ROKs, the villagers feered them more than they feared the VC.

American sensibilities simply cannot tolerate the tactics that work and are a fact of life in most of the third world.  Heck, most Americans are in denial that even people like Hussein could be as dastardly as they are.  I have my doubts that the ROK Army circa 2003 is anything like the ROK Army circa 1966 - their society now is much more softened and liberalized - and is amazingly like ours was in the 1960s.
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