My Lai Massacre Research Paper

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The men of the Charlie Company, First Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division created history on the morning of March 16, 1968 when they committed one of the most shocking events of the Vietnam War known as the My Lai Massacre. The My Lai Massacre was a cruel incident in which a company of American soldiers slaughtered innocent civilians in the Southern Vietnamese village of My Lai. The news of the event didn’t surface until a year later when magazines such as Time, Newsweek, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer published images depicting the bloody, lifeless bodies left in ditches and on the side of the road. When the people learned what happened almost a year later, they were outraged and began to oppose …show more content…
The main proposition is that in the wake of the Tet Offensive, they were growing in anger and frustration (“My Lai Massacre”). Three months before the massacre, the Charlie Company had suffered 28 casualties, lost five men, and morale was dwindling (“Digital History”). Drug use also increased daily among the soldiers (“My Lai Massacre”). The other notion is that their simulated training did little to prepare the men for the horrors of Vietnam and brutality of war. Snipers’ bullets, mines, and booby traps could instantly dismember a man without a warning. This psychologically unsettling form of combat continued for nearly two months and the soldiers became frustrated by their inability to engage their enemies or tell friend from foe (¨American Experience¨). Lieutenant Robert C. Ransom, Jr. wrote his parents after an attack during the war and stated, “I’ve developed hate for the Vietnamese because they come around selling Cokes and beer to us and then run back and tell the VC how many we are, where our positions are, and where the leaders position themselves… I felt like turning my machine gun on the village to kill every man, woman and child in it” (“DALHfV”). It is most likely that the soldiers acted on their anger when faced with the civilians and saw them only as