1 “Eagle Turnover,” January 16, 1972, Box 3, Real Property Management Division: Property Disposal Files, 1972, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (hereafter MACV) Headquarters: Construction Directorate, Record Group (hereafter RG) 472, US National Archives and Records Administration, College Park (hereafter NARA-CP).
2 Veterans’ personal webpages and snapshots constitute an invaluable visual and historical resource. For one soldier’s description of his 1969–70 tour at Camp Eagle and mention of the tombs, see Lee Hill, Photographs, 101st Airborne Division, HHC G2, last accessed September 21, 2017, http://mypage.siu.edu/leehill/Vietnam/VietnamPictures.htm.
3 Details of the cleanup can be found in Province People’s Committee Decree 272, January 26, 2000, “Về việc phê duyệt thiết kế, dự toán công trình khắc phục hậu quả ô nhiễm môi trường do chất độc hóa học và bãi thải chiến tranh của Mỹ tại hồ Khe Lời, xã Thủy Phù, huyện Hương Thủy.” More recently, the Vietnamese daily Pháp Luật VN returned to investigate alleged cancer clusters around the pollution site. See Thùy Nhung, “Nghi vấn thảm họa ung thư từ hầm chứa chất độc CS và kho trữ thuốc trừ sâu,” in Pháp Luật VN, August 18, 2016, last accessed March 8, 2017, www.baomoi.com/nghi-van-tham-hoa-ung-thu-tu-ham-chua-chat-doc-cs-va-kho-tru-thuoc-tru-sau/c/20119429.epi.
5 For a discussion of the mining see Bùi Thị Tân, Về hai làng nghề truyền thống: Phù Bài và Hiền Lương [Regarding two traditional craft villages: Phù Bài and Hiền Lương] (Huế: Thuận Hóa, 1999). Literally, đất phèn are acid sulfate soils in which dissolved iron produces red streaks and that can be toxic to plants. In local interviews area residents explained references to Vùng Phèn as a region of rust-red creeks cutting through the hills.
6 Within the growing subfield of military environmental history, the topic of post-military legacies and land uses is well covered. One exemplary collection focused on European and American sites is Chris Pearson, Peter Coates, and Tim Cole, eds., Military Landscapes: From Gettysburg to Salisbury Plain (London: Bloomsbury, 2010).
7 Francis Sheppard, London: A History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 8–12.
8 Keith Taylor, The Birth of Vietnam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), 63, 226.
9 Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (New York: Harper, 1950), 83.
10 Sombart in particular noted the following passage from Thus Spake Zarathustra: “For earthquakes bury many wells and leave many languishing, but they also bring to light inner powers and secrets. Earthquakes reveal new wells. In earthquakes that strike ancient peoples, new wells break open.” See Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None, trans. Walter Kaufmann (London: Penguin, 1968), 211. Historians of philosophy Hugo and Erik Reinert explain these compelling intellectual borrowings in “Creative Destruction in Economics: Nietzsche, Sombart, Schumpeter,” in Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), ed. Jürgen Backhaus (New York: Springer, 2006): 55–86.
11 David Harvey, “Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 610 (March 2007): 22–44; Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (New York: Picador, 2007). See also Naomi Klein, “Baghdad Year Zero: Pillaging Iraq in Pursuit of a Neocon Utopia,” Harpers, September 2004: 45.
12 Two American historians who have helped launch these environmentalist and historical critiques of war are Edmund Russell and Richard P. Tucker in their book Natural Enemy, Natural Ally: Toward an Environmental History of Warfare (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2004). In Asian Studies, Michael Szonyi’s Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008) examines long-term social and environmental effects of prolonged militarism at the local level. Another strain focuses on base closures and postconflict remediation. See Marianna Dudley, An Environmental History of the UK Defence Estate, 1945 to the Present (London: Continuum, 2012), and Chris Pearson, Mobilizing Nature: The Environmental History of War and Militarization in Modern France (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012). Finally, comparative histories of militarization and war readiness open up opportunities for examining different cultural responses to common problems such as radiation poisoning. See Kate Brown, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).
13 This global discourse on environmental cleanups and base closures has produced its own archives as well as a growing body of historical literature on such demilitarization programs. In the United States, military agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers have taken the lead in designing cleanup programs at former sites. This work includes archive search reports and writing base histories. See, for example, Michael W. Harper, Thomas R. Reinhardt, and Barry R. Sude, Environmental Cleanup at Former and Current Military Sites: A Guide to Research. (Alexandria, VA: Office of History and Environmental Division, US Army Corps of Engineers, 2001).
14 Political scientist Cynthia Enloe popularized the term in her studies on the impacts of military bases and militarized imagery on gender relations. A growing number of historians, geographers, and others have extended the term to study other processes, including environmental ones. See Cynthia H. Enloe, Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990); Cynthia H. Enloe, Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000); Szonyi, Cold War Island; Trevor Paglen, Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World (New York: Dutton, 2009); and Mark L. Gillem, America Town: Building the Outposts of Empire (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007).
15 Geographer Denis Cosgrove in his 1984 classic, Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape, makes the provocative argument that the idea of landscape in art and politics was born out of the European turn to capitalist political economic models in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Linking the rise of landscape art with the rise in capitalist modes of production, he writes: “Thus a landscape painted in accordance with pictorial rules, or nature observed by an eye trained to look at it as landscape, is in important respects far from being realistic. It is composed, regulated and offered as a static image for individual appreciation, or better, appropriation. For an important, if not always literal, sense the spectator owns the view because all of its components are structured and directed towards his eyes only.” See Denis Cosgrove, Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1998), 26.
16 Jackson’s vernacular landscape opens up an approach for interpreting competing military efforts to name and interpret subject landscapes as vital to larger political aims. With the foreign militaries of the United States and France, historic records and maps indicate a rapid-fire succession of place-names overlaid on top of older indigenous toponyms. The name “Camp Eagle,” for example, was unique to the Screaming Eagles 101st Airborne Division and used in 1968 to designate a camp in the hills above the old village Dạ Lê. American military engineers first referred to the area by its Vietnamese name before shifting in 1968 to Camp Eagle. See John Brinckerhoff Jackson, Discovering the Vernacular Landscape (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984).
17 This approach to landscapes in both their vernacular and topological significance is informed by urban and architectural theorists, especially philosopher Henri Lefebvre in The Production of Space. Space, he argues, consists of three components held in tension with each other: spatial practices, activities such as road building that alter a space’s physical characteristics; representational space, symbolic spaces akin to J. B. Jackson’s vernacular landscape; and representations of space, artifacts such as maps, bird’s-eye photographs, and paintings that influence how people “read” a space. Military organizations are powerful, state-backed organizations that can become deeply involved in this three-way spatial dialectic. See Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991), 38–39.
18 Ibid., 34. Lefebvre’s final point, that space is generative, was his most controversial. It raises provocative questions about space and historical agency, especially in a highly contested, militarized area. Do spaces—imagined or real—shape human actions and thus influence the outcome of historic events? Do they shape military outcomes? Do postmilitary wastelands have agency, perhaps in fostering state-owned industrial parks? This is Lefebvre’s point in arguing that space is generative; for him, it figured into the politics of his day in 1960s Paris as citizens clashed on the city streets. He was intimately concerned with the ways that majority political parties and state authorities used spaces to influence decisions of people to flee, conform or resist. Lefebvre’s aim was not solely to develop a spatially inflected theory of political economy but more to detonate commonly held assumptions about the seemingly monolithic unity of space, especially modern, built spaces.
19 Heonik Kwon’s Ghosts of War in Vietnam (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008) offers a fascinating anthropological analysis of the role that ghosts, especially wandering souls, play in everyday life. There are many Vietnamese books, films, and news stories about wandering souls, including some that are available in translation for global audiences. For example, see author Bảo Ninh’s discussion of the “Jungle of Screaming Souls” in Bảo Ninh, The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam, trans. Frank Palmos (New York: Pantheon, 1995). Ghosts also feature prominently in such films as Director Đặng Nhật Minh’s When the Tenth Month Comes (Bao giờ cho tới tháng Mười) (1985).
20 Bernard Fall, Street without Joy: Insurgency in Indochina, 1946–53 (London: Pall Mall Press, 1963).
21 Trần Mai Nam, The Narrow Strip of Land (The Story of a Journey) (Hanoi: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1969).
22 Nhã Ca, Mourning Headband for Hue: An Account of the Battle for Hue, Vietnam 1968, trans. Olga Dror (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014), xix–xx.
23 James Walker Trullinger Jr., Village at War: An Account of Revolution in Vietnam (New York: Longman, 1980).
24 For these online archives see CIA Electronic Reading Room, www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document-type/crest; the Vietnam Center and Archives, www.vietnam.ttu.edu; and the National Security Archive, http://nsrchive.gwu.edu.
25 Historian of science Jeanne Haffner’s View from Above: The Science of Social Space (Boston: MIT Press, 2013) tells a detailed story of such a transition from maps to air photos among French social scientists and geographers. See also David Biggs, “Aerial Photography and Colonial Discourse on the Agricultural Crisis in Late-Colonial Indochina, 1930–45,” in Cultivating the Colonies: Colonial States and Their Environmental Legacies, ed. Christina Folke Ax et al., (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011), 109–32.
26 The GIS-based work informs the book’s larger arguments, while more detailed discussions about the sources and particulars of georeferencing and analysis can be found on the book’s companion website, Footprints of War, at davidbiggs.net.
27 Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, vol. 1 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995). For an account of Braudel’s time in Algiers see Adam J. Goldwyn and Renée M. Silverman, “Introduction: Fernand Braudel and the Invention of a Modernist’s Mediterranean” in Mediterranean Modernism: Intercultural Exchange and Aesthetic Development, ed. Adam J. Goldwyn and Renée M. Silverman (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 1–26.
CHAPTER ONE: SUBTERRAINS
1 Heonik Kwon’s Ghosts of War in Vietnam, 34, pays close attention to the many different ways that people relate to this past through the construction of ancestral shrines (lăng họ) and the worship of wandering ghosts at former military sites such as outposts or bomb shelters. Christina Schwenkel’s The American War in Contemporary Vietnam: Transnational Remembrance and Representation (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2009) focuses more on official practices of remembrance through war martyr monuments, exhibits, and photography.
2 See Nguyễn Thế Anh, “The Vietnamization of the Cham Deity Pô Nagar,” in Essays into Vietnamese Pasts, ed. Keith W. Taylor and John K. Whitmore (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995), 42–50. “Tháp Mỹ Khánh: Dư địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế” [Mỹ Khánh Tower: Geography guide of Thừa Thiên Huế], last accessed March 24, 2014, www3.thuathienhue.gov.vn/GeographyBook/Default.aspx?sel=3&id=21.
3 Political anthropologist James Scott has become well known for his 2009 study of this highlands region that he terms zomia following the work of Willem van Schendel. Scott’s work has attracted much debate for various claims, but one useful contribution of it concerns his notion that steep, forested slopes produced a “friction of appropriation” that challenged coastal peoples from gaining control. Like the seas, the highland forests also offered avenues of attack and thus acquired a reputation of danger. See James Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009), 198–99. Willem van Schendel by contrast does not argue for consideration of zomia as a discrete area in Southeast Asia but rather as a dynamic borderland that challenges what he calls the “statist” assumption implicit in area studies. See Willem van Schendel, “Geographies of Knowing, Geographies of Ignorance: Jumping Scale in Southeast Asia,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 20 (2002): 655. This scholarly tension parallels that between the statists and marginal peoples even at the village level. Military groups from armies to outlaws to rebels typically occupied the spaces where state rule ended and “anarchy” began. Military forces, along with rebel groups, fought not only over land but also over many “non-state” peoples to expand territory and “cultivate” its inhabitants. For much of its ancient history, the narrow strip of villages lining the central coast formed a constantly expanding and contracting state space hemmed in by the highlands and the sea.
4 Andrew Hardy, “Eaglewood and the Economic History of Champa and Central Vietnam,” in Champa and the Archaeology of Mỹ Sơn (Vietnam), ed. Andrew Hardy, Mauro Cucarzi and Patrizia Zolese (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2009), 107–26.
5 Nguyen Kim Dung, “The Sa Huynh Culture in Ancient Regional Trade Networks: A Comparative Study of Ornaments,” in New Perspectives in Southeast Asian and Pacific Prehistory, ed. Philip J. Piper, Hirofumi Matsumura, and David Bulbeck (Canberra: Australia National University Press, 2017).
6 Nguyễn Hữu Thông, ed., Katu: Kẻ sống đầu ngọn nước (Huế: NXB Thuận Hóa, 2004), 24–25.
7 Vietnam was ruled by Chinese imperial governors for almost one thousand years (111 BCE–958 CE). The portion of the central coast north of Ngang Pass and bordering this contact zone was Cửu Chân District. After gaining independence, Việt rulers renamed the area Hà Tĩnh and Nghệ An Provinces. In Vietnam this area is seen popularly as a cradle of rebellion, as it fostered the anti-Ming uprising in 1420 and especially the communist-led uprising in 1930.
8 Like Vĩnh Linh, this pass also became famous during the Indochina Wars as a key gateway for North Vietnamese soldiers and supplies entering South Vietnam.
9 A recently published history of Thừa Thiên–Huế Province, a collective work including many of Huê’s most prominent historians and archeologists, provides one of the most richly annotated histories of early history on the central coast. See Nguyễn Văn Hoa, ed., Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử (Hà Nội: NXB Khoa Học Xã Hội, 2005), 24–25.
10 Taylor, Birth of Vietnam.
11 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 31–32.
12 Ibid., 38.
13 Georges Maspero, The Champa Kingdom (Bangkok: White Lotus Press, 2002), 87–88. See also Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 47.
14 Sun Laichen, “Military Technology Transfers from Ming China and the Emergence of Northern Mainland Southeast Asia (c. 1390–1527),” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 34, no. 3 (October 2003): 510.
15 Scholars continue to revise earlier presentations of Champa as a single, unified kingdom; newer archeological research, including maritime archeology, suggests that there were multiple Cham polities along the coast, tied together in a federation of sorts. Historian Michael Vickery provides two such revisionist or archipelagic histories of the central coast in recently published edited volumes. See Michael Vickery, “Champa Revised,” in The Cham of Vietnam, ed. Trần Kỳ Phương and Bruce Lockhart (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2011), 363–420. See also Michael Vickery, “A Short History of Champa,” in Champa and the Archaeology of Mỹ Sơn (Vietnam), ed. Andrew Hardy, Mauro Cucarzi, and Patrizia Zolese (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2009), 45–60. One of the first historians to make such a claim for Champa as well as Vietnam as an archipelagic space is historian Keith W. Taylor, “The Early Kingdoms,” in The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia: Volume 1, Part 1, ed. Nicholas Tarling (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 153.
16 Li Tana, Nguyễn Cochinchina: Southern Vietnam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program, 1998), 41; Charles Wheeler, “Re-Thinking the Sea in Vietnamese History: Littoral Society and the Integration of Thuận-Quảng, Seventeenth-Eighteenth Centuries,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 37, no. 1 (February 2006): 123–53.
17 Hồ Trung Tú, Có 500 năm như thế: Bản Sắc Quảng Nam từ góc nhìn phân kỳ lịch sử (Đà Nẵng: NXB Đà Nẵng, 2013), 87.
18 Ibid., 112.
19 Li Tana, Nguyễn Cochinchina, 37.
20 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 75.
22 Thích Đại Sán (Thạch Liêm), Hải ngoại kỷ sự (Huế: Viện Đại học Huế—Ủy ban Phiên dịch Sử liệu Việt Nam, 1963), 107. Translation by Hoàng Thị Bình Minh: “Còn những nơi vì núi biển cách trở, thánh vương đánh dẹp chẳng đến, lễ giáo khó thông; dân cư tụ tập, tự làm quân trương với nhau, quen tập thói quê mùa hủ lậu; chẳng biết lễ nghĩa là gì. Chỉ biết lấy oai lực phục nhau, thì hay sinh ra chiến tranh, mà trong việc chiến tranh, cần phải biến ảo thần kỳ mới hơn người được. Vì thế trong nước hay bàn việc võ-bị, chẳng chuộng văn-đức.”
23 Christoforo Borri, An Account of Cochinchina: Containing Many Admirable Rarities and Singularities of That Country (London: Robert Ashley, 1633), 28. For a thorough account of Borri and the Account, see Olga Dror and Keith Taylor, Views of Seventeenth-Century Vietnam: Christoforo Borri on Cochinchina & Samuel Baron on Tonkin (Ithaca, NY: Southeast Asia Program, 2006).
24 Village-based historians and genealogists have compiled and translated (from Chinese or Nôm scripts into modern Vietnamese) many fragments of village records that survived colonialism and modern wars. Vietnamese family associations have also recently published (online) family genealogies that point to founding ancestors who landed on the central coast. These sources cannot support fine-grained local studies, but they do at least point to some common contours in early modern Vietnamese village life.
26 The TV documentary presents a relatively novel juxtaposition of family history merging with state history, once taboo in the socialist era. The TV newscast depicts family descendants at the celebration exchanging courtesies with local officials, representatives of the state. This image of family-state relations may be new since the socialist era, but it points to a relationship between families, land, and the state that was a central feature of early modern politics, frequently tested through negotiations of taxes and military service. “Lễ Thanh Minh của họ Võ làng Thần Phù,” last accessed June 1, 2014, http://hovuvovietnam.com/Ho-Vo-lang-Than-Phu-phuong-Thuy-Chau-TX-Huong-Thuy-Thua-Thien-Hue_tc_294_0_1110.html.
27 “Hồ Phạm Miền Trung—Tây Nguyên,” family geneological website, last accessed April 22, 2014, www.hophammientrung.com/tin-ve-coi-ngon/2/198/ho-pham-ba-lang-thanh-thuy-thuong/cong-nghe-so.html. The authors of the Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế note that the surname Phạm generally applied to people of Cham descent. See Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 34.
28 Lê Vũ Trường Giang, “Sự vận động của làng xã cổ truyền, bản Thuận ước và những dấu ấn văn hóa ở làng Thần Phù,” Tạp Chí Sông Hương, no. 302 (April 2014), accessed June 1, 2014, http://tapchisonghuong.com.vn/tin-tuc/p2/c15/n15136/Su-van-dong-cua-lang-xa-co-truyen-ban-Thuan-uoc-va-nhung-dau-an-van-hoa-o-lang-Than-Phu.html.
29 “Hồ Phạm Miền Trung—Tây Nguyên.”
30 Nola Cooke, “Nguyen Rule in Seventeenth-Century Dang Trong (Cochinchina),” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 29, no. 1 (March 1998): 137.
31 Lam Thi My Dung, “Sa Huynh Regional and Inter-Regional Interactions in the Thu Bon Valley, Quang Nam Province, Central Vietnam,” Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Pre-History Association 29 (2009): 68–75.
32 Nguyễn Đình Đầu, Chế độ công điền công thổ trong lịch sử khẩn hoang lập ấp ở Nam Kỳ Lục Tỉnh (Hà Nội: Hội Sử Học Việt Nam, 1992), 18–20; Yumio Sakurai, “Chế Độ Lương Điền Dưới Triều Nguyễn,” in Việt Nam Học: Kỷ yếu hội thảo quốc tế lần thứ nhất, by National Center for Social Sciences and Humanities (Hà Nội: Thế Giới, 2002), 577–80.
33 Throughout the book, I use the traditional name of the village, Phù Bài, with ù, to differentiate it from the area a few kilometers north that became the Phú Bài base and airfield and, more recently, a ward of Hương Thủy Town. The spelling with ú has become most common today, while the traditional name has mostly disappeared from maps. Today the village is known administratively as Thủy Phù Commune, a name that preserves the original ù. The meaning of the name deserves mention too. A bài (lá bài, lệnh bài) meant a sacred card used by a village god or magician to help locals avoid ghosts or misfortune. Phù Bài describes a card that brings people support or patronage to avoid bad luck. Phú Bài means a card that brings riches for the people. While the current administrative name has changed, local elders in the village still use the traditional name, so I have kept it here and I add the term village to further distinguish the residential area from the industrial and base area. Thanks to Bùi Trúc Linh for help on this. See also Bùi Kim Chi, Phù Bài làng xưa, Tạp Chí Sông Hương, no. 274 (December 2011), last accessed February 13, 2018, http://tapchisonghuong.com.vn/tap-chi/c253/n9543/Phu-Bai-lang-xua.html.
34 Bùi Thị Tân, Về hai làng nghề truyền thống, 78.
35 Ibid., 60.
36 Nguyễn Đình Đầu, Nghiên cứu địa bạ Triều Nguyễn: Thừa Thiên [Research on Nguyễn dynasty land registers: Thừa Thiên] (Hồ Chí Minh City: Hồ Chí Minh, 1997), 165.
37 Lê Vũ Trường Giang, “Sự vận động của làng xã cổ truyền.”
38 Nguyễn Khắc Thuận, ed., Lê Qúy Đôn tuyển tập: Phủ Biên tạp lục (phần 1) [Frontier Chronicles (part 1)] (Hà Nội: NXB Giáo Dục, 2007), 173.
40 Ibid., 174–75.
41 Trương Hữu Quýnh and Đỗ Bang, eds., Tình hình ruộng đất nông nghiệp và đời sống nông dân dưới triều Nguyễn [Situation of agricultural land and agricultural livelihood under the Nguyen dynasty] (Huế: Thuận Hóa, 1997), 69.
42 Nguyễn Khắc Thuận, Lê Qúy Đôn tuyển tập, 173.
43 Trương Hữu Quýnh and Đỗ Bang, Tình hình ruộng đất nông nghiệp và đời sống nông dân dưới triều Nguyễn, 70.
44 Historian George Dutton notes in his history of the Tây Sơn period that many of those who welcomed Trịnh army troops in 1774 soon grew outraged by their alleged abuses and in 1786 welcomed the Tây Sơn troops as their liberators. Fifteen years later, villagers living under Tây Sơn rule welcomed the Nguyễn army’s return after enduring more famines, economic hardship, and relentless demands for conscripts and materials. See George Dutton, The Tây Sơn Uprising: Society and Rebellion in Eighteenth-Century Vietnam (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006), 165–70.
45 Louis Cadière, “La Pagode Quoc-An: Les divers supérieurs,” Bulletin des amis de Vieux Huế 2, no. 3 (July 1915): 306.
46 Barisy’s letters and those of other Frenchmen in service to the emperor are compiled in Louis Cadière, “Documents relatifs à l’époque de Gia-Long,” in Bulletin de l’École Française d’Extrême-Orient 12 (1912): 1–82.
47 Ibid., 42–43.
48 Ibid., 49–51.
49 Jean-Baptiste Chaigneau married a Vietnamese woman from a prominent family in Huế and raised several children before returning to France in 1825. His son Michel Đức Chaigneau published a popular account of his life growing up in the imperial capital. See Michel Đức Chaigneau, Souvenirs de Hué (Paris: Imprimerie Impériale, 1867).
50 For a comprehensive survey of rural life in the nineteenth century, including a detailed account of storms and famines, Trương Hữu Quýnh and Đỗ Bang, Tình hình ruộng đất nông nghiệp và đời sống nông dân dưới triều Nguyễn, 150–53.
51 Viện Sử Học, Đại Nam Thực Lục [Chronicles of Đại Nam], vol. 6 (Hà Nội: Giáo Dục, 2006), 622–23.
52 Viện Sử Học, Đại Nam Thực Lục, vol. 1, 717.
53 Nguyễn Đình Đầu, Nghiên cứu địa bạ triều Nguyễn, 165, 198.
54 Trương Hữu Quýnh and Đỗ Bang, Tình hình ruộng đất nông nghiệp và đời sống nông dân dưới triều Nguyễn, 155–57.
55 Two English-language histories that focus on the second Nguyễn emperor’s turn to more Confucian and anticosmopolitan policies are Alexander Woodside, Vietnam and the Chinese Model: A Comparative Study of Nguyen and Ch’ing Civil Government in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971), and Choi Byung Wook, Southern Vietnam Under the Reign of Minh Mạng (1820–1841): Central Policies and Local Response (Ithaca, NY: Southeast Asia Program, 2004). Both works draw deeply from royal edicts and histories to show the complex factors that weighed on this monarch as he broke decisively with the policies of his father and his ancestors the Nguyễn lords.
56 Historian Bradley Davis in particular explores this role in shaping not just state building but ethnography of non-Việt peoples. See Bradley Camp Davis, “The Production of Peoples: Imperial Ethnography and the Changing Conception of Uplands Space in Nineteenth-Century Vietnam,” Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 16, no. 4 (2015): 323–42.
57 Choi Byung Wook, Southern Vietnam, 101.
59 For a survey of Q’ing cartographic enterprises, see Laura Hostetler, Qing Colonial Enterprise: Ethnography and Cartography in Early Modern China (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001). I suggest that the Nguyễn court turned to this more common East Asian style of mapmaking only because the Gia Long government had experimented with planimetric and navigational maps developed through its correspondence with French and other European military surveyors. Historian John K. Whitmore’s pioneering essay “Cartography in Vietnam” remains one of the most authoritative studies on Vietnamese cartography, even though he saw it as just a beginning. It provides an excellent synopsis of key cosmological elements guiding Vietnamese ideas of territory, especially the juxtaposition of mountain peaks and rivers. See John K. Whitmore, “Cartography in Vietnam,” in The History of Cartography: Volume 2, Book 2, ed. J. B. Harley and David Woodward (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 478–508.
60 This local usage of the term động is still current in central Vietnam today, especially in reference to certain upland valleys such as Động Chuối that supported Việt Minh resistance zones in the late 1940s. Older locals can still recite common sayings about cốc and động. The term cốc is of unknown etymological origin; Vietnamese around Huế today use it to describe the wildest, most remote mountains. The term động is also unusual in its use. It does not refer to the commonly associated term cave used today but rather to upland valleys settled by non-Kinh people. The usage may derive from a classical Chinese term dong that historians James Anderson and John Whitmore note was a Tang dynasty term for mountain valley settlements. See James A. Anderson and John K. Whitmore, eds., China’s Encounters in the South and Southwest: Reforging the Fiery Frontier over Two Millennia (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 3. Thanks also to Hoàng Thị Bình Minh.
61 These three books were condensed into one in the most common 1910 republication, which was translated from Chinese into Vietnamese and republished again in 1961. See Nguyễn Văn Tạo, Đại Nam nhất thống chí: Thừa Thiên Phủ; Tập Thượng, Trung và Hạ (Sài Gòn: Bộ Quốc gia Giáo duc, 1963).
62 Pierre Brocheux and Daniel Hémery, Indochina: An Ambiguous Colonization, 1858–1954 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).
63 Those treaties included two ceding Sài Gòn and the Mekong delta to France (1862, 1867), one granting a port concession in Đà Nẵng (1868), and two granting concessions in Huế (1873) and Hà Nội (1873).
64 Jules-Léon Dutreuil de Rhins, Le royaume d’Annam et les Annamites (Paris: E. Plon and Cie, 1879).
65 Ibid., 289.
66 Ibid., 282–83. Translation by author: “Plus de la moitié du sol cultivable de la province de Hué est encore inculte, ce qui tient aux différentes causes dont nous avons déjà parlé, principalement à la paresse des Annamites et à leur pitoyable gouvernement…. L’Annamite, à qui le commerce extérieur est interdit, n’a aucun intérêt à faire des cultures riches qui d’ailleurs lui coûteraient trop de fatigues, et il n’est pas encouragé à produire des céréales au delà des besoins de sa consommation, car les mandarins, aussi lâches et rampants avec leurs supérieures que durs et rapaces avec leurs inférieurs, le dépouilleraient bien vite de son superflu.”
CHAPTER TWO: TERRAFORMING
1 For a detailed account of the naval assault on August 20 and succeeding negotiations for the Treaty of Huế on August 25, see Lucien Huard, La guerre illustrée, Chine-Tonkin-Annam, Tome 1: La guerre du Tonkin (Paris: L. Boulanger, 1886), 110–22 and 122–130, respectively.
2 Albert Billot, L’affaire du Tonkin: Histoire diplomatique de l’établissement de notre protectorat sur l’Annam et de notre conflit avec la Chine, 1882–1885 (Paris: J. Hetzel, 1888), 171–84.
3 Brocheux and Hémery, Indochina, 52.
4 Ibid., 55.
5 Known generally as Quốc Học or Quốc Học–Huế, this public school remains one of the most prestigious high schools in Vietnam today. In 1932 it was renamed Khải Định Lycée after the deceased emperor; and it was renamed Quốc Học–Huế shortly after the creation of the Republic of Vietnam in 1955. Many of the central region’s most famous leaders, including Hồ Chí Minh, Ngô Đình Diệm, and General Võ Nguyễn Giáp, attended the school.
6 This set up a legal gray zone as French administrators signed off on transactions and taxes went to the Résidence Supérieure d’Annam but all legal claims and torts were to be settled by Vietnamese customary laws. R. Bienvenue, “Régime de la propriété foncière en Annam,” doctoral thesis, University of Rennes, 1911.
7 Brocheux and Hémery, Indochina, 156.
8 Ibid., 128.
9 Paul Doumer, Situation de l’Indo-Chine (1897–1901) (Hanoi: Schneider, 1902), 92–93. Translation by author: “De plus, le Roi faisait abandon, au profit du Gouverneur Général de I’ Indo-Chine, de sa prérogative de disposer des biens du domaine non affectés à des services publics, et, par conséquent, de concéder les terres vacantes et sans maitres. C’était la faculté pour les colons de s’établir en Annam, et l’on sait qu’ils en ont fait un heureux usage.”
10 Henri Brenier, Essai d’atlas statistique de l’Indochine Française (Hanoi: Extrême-Orient, 1914), 12–13.
11 Land Concession Agreement, October 27, 1900, Folder 220, Resident Supérieure de l’Annam (hereafter RSA) Record Group, Vietnam National Archives Center no. 4 (hereafter VNA4).
12 Ibid. Translation by author: “Il est outre stipulé que S.E. le Vo-Hiên Hoàng Cao Khải aura la priorité sur qui que soit sur les terrains formant le polygon de l’artillerie ils étaient désaffectés.”
13 Khải commanded a band of some four hundred mercenaries in the late 1880s, and his group led colonial military forces into major battles against Cần Vương leaders in the north. See Charles Fourniau, Annam-Tonkin 1885–1896: Lettrés et paysans vietnamiens face à la conquête colonialie (Paris: Harmattan, 1989), 169.
14 Ibid., 168.
15 The estimate is derived from the announcement of the fire school’s personnel and schedule dated February 2, 1910. See “Le Capitaine LAZARE Commandant la 3ème Batterie au Chef de Bataillon Commandant le Subdivision Militaire Territoriale à HUE au sujet des écoles à feu de la 3ème Batterie,” Folio 627, RSA Record Group, VNA4.
16 See my discussion of the East Forest in the previous chapter. See also Lê Vũ Trường Giang, “Sự vận động của làng xã cổ truyền.”
17 January 14, 1911, Les membres du Conseil de Regence à Monsieur le Résident Supérieure en Annam, Folio 627, RSA Record Group, VNA4. Translation by author: “Cependant, déplacer l’autel pour recevoir les listes et abandonner le culte pour faire le service, ce sont des choses contraires aux sentiments des habitants et qui feraient maître des murmures de leur part.”
18 April 8, 1910, Le Résident de France à Thua-Thiên à Monsieur le Résident Supérieure en Annam au sujet du séjour de l’artillerie à Huong-Thuy, Folio 627, RSA Record Group, VNA4.
19 August 24, 1911, Résident Supérieure en Annam à Monsieur le Chef de Bataillon, Commandant de la Subdivision Militaire Territoriale à Hue, Folio 627, RSA Record Group, VNA4.
20 December 5, 1911, Le Général de Division PENNEQUIN, Commandant Supérieur des Troupes du Groupe de l’Indochine à Messieurs le Général Commandant de la 3ème Brigade et le Chef du Bataillon Commandant la Subdivision de Hué, Folio 627, RSA Record Group, VNA4.
21 December 27, 1911, Le Résident de France à Thua-Thiên à Monsieur le Résident Supérieure en Annam, Folio 627, RSA Record Group, VNA4. Translation by author: “Au moment précisément où les tendances du Gouvernement paraissent être de donner à la population indigène la tranquilité et le calme dont elle a besoin, l’obligation faite aux villages peu fortunés de la région de Huong-Thuy de loger encore, pendant plus d’un demi mois, un contingent de plus de 100 hommes, semblera certainement très pénible à la population de cette région.”
22 Léopold M. Cadière “Sauvons Nos Pins!,” Bulletin des amis de vieux Huế 3, no. 4 (1916): 437–43.
23 Ibid., 442. Translation by author: “Aujourd’hui, ce sont les gardiens eux-mêmes, qui abattent ces pins. Aujourd’hui, c’est le ravage sans frein, la dévastation sans mesure. Il nous faut agir.”
24 Pamela D. McElwee, Forests Are Gold: Trees, People, and Environmental Rule in Vietnam (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2016), 47–49.
25 Frédéric Thomas, “Protection des forêts et environnementalisme colonial: Indochine, 1860–1945,” Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine 56, no. 4 (2009): 104–36, 122–23. Thomas challenges historian Richard Grove’s assertion that European imperial science, especially in India, played a formative role in the development of environmentalist ethics. See Richard Grove, Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600–1860 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
26 Henri Guibier, Situation des forêts de l’Annam (Saigon: Imprimerie Nouvelle Albert Portail, 1918), 31.
27 Ibid., 31. Sartage is an archaic form of forest burning once practiced in the Ardennes region of southern Belgium. Where villagers lacked sufficient field acreage, they burned sections of forest and then planted them in wheat or oats.
28 Ibid., 38. For more detailed information on the pine nursery, see M. H. Palisse, Garde Général des forêts à Monsieur le Résident Supérieure en Annam au sujet de l’achat d’un terrain pour l’installation d’une pépinière, Folio 682, RSA Record Group, VNA4.
29 Frédéric Thomas, Histoire du régime et des services forestiers français en Indochine de 1862 à 1945: Sociologie des sciences et des pratiques scientifiques coloniales en forêts tropicales (Hanoi: Thế Giới, 1999), 39.
30 Brett M. Bennett, “The El Dorado of Forestry: The Eucalyptus in India, South Africa, and Thailand, 1850–2000,” International Review of Social History 56, no. 4 (2010): 27–50, 42.
31 Jared Farmer, Trees in Paradise: A California History (New York: W. W. Norton, 2013), 112.
32 Indochine Française, Historique de l’aéronautique d’Indochine (Hanoi: Imprimerie d’Extrême-Orient, 1931), 19.
33 Ibid., 45–46.
34 Ibid., 45–46, 57. For a deeper investigation into the highlander revolts and colonial pacification campaigns, see Oscar Salemink, The Ethnography of Vietnam’s Central Highlanders: A Historical Contextualization, 1850–1990 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2003), 106. The landing field at An Khê also served from 1965 to 1972 as a major American military base and airfield, located approximately halfway from the port city of Quy Nhơn to the central highlands town Pleiku.
35 L. Gallin and Indochine Française, Le service radiotélégraphique de l’Indochine (Hanoi: Imprimerie d’Extrême-Orient, 1931), 7.
36 Gouvernement Général de l’Indochine, Service géographique de l’Indochine: Son organisation, ses méthodes, ses travaux (Hanoi: Imprimerie d’Extrême-Orient, 1931), 12.
37 “Terrain d’atterissage de Phú Bài, 1924–1926,” Folio 1438, RSA Record Group, VNA4.
38 Gouvernement Général de l’Indochine, L’aéronautique militaire de l’Indochine (Hanoi: Imprimerie d’Extrême-Orient, 1931), 50.
39 Gouvernement Général de l’Indochine, Service géographique de l’Indochine, 32.
40 “Transfert de la station météorologique de Hue sur le terrain d’aviation de Phu Bai,” Folio 3655, RSA Record Group, VNA4.
41 Christopher Goscha, Vietnam or Indochina? Contesting Concepts of Space in Vietnamese Nationalism (1887–1954) (Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 1995), 19.
42 Ibid., 20.
43 Harry A. Franck, East of Siam: Ramblings in the Five Divisions of French Indo-China (New York: Century Company, 1926), vii.
44 Ibid., 128–31.
45 “Inventaire du domaine militaire à Thừa Thiên, 1925–26,” Folio 1769, RSA Record Group, VNA4.
46 Jean-Pierre Caillard, Alexandre Varenne: Une passion républicaine (Paris: Le cherche midi, 2007), 120–21.
47 Phan Châu Trinh, Phan Châu Trinh and His Political Writings, ed. and trans. Vĩnh Sính (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program, 2009), 36–38.
48 Phan Thi Minh Le, “A Vietnamese Scholar with a Different Path: Huỳnh Thúc Khang, Publisher of the First Vietnamese Newspaper in Quốc Ngữ in Central Vietnam, Tieng Dan (People’s Voice),” in Viêt-Nam Exposé: French Scholarship on Twentieth-Century Vietnamese Society, ed. Gisele L. Bousquet and Pierre Brocheux (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002), 217.
49 Ibid., 224–31.
50 William J. Duiker, Ho Chi Minh: A Life (New York: Hyperion, 2000), 173–77.
51 Thường Vụ Huyện Ủy Hương Thủy, Lịch sử đấu tranh cách mạng của đảng bộ và nhân dân huyện Hương Thủy (sơ thảo) [A history of the revolutionary struggles of party cells and the people of Hương Thủy district] (Huế: Thuận Hóa, 1994), 43–45.
52 Ibid., 47.
53 For my discussion of this political turn to air photography and aerial surveillance, see Biggs, “Aerial Photography and Colonial Discourse,” 110.
54 Pierre Gourou, Les paysans du delta tonkinois; étude de géographie humaine (Paris: Les éditions d’art et d’histoire, 1936). For a discussion of Gourou’s approach to tropical geography in the 1930s, see Armand Colin, “L’évolution de la pensée géographique de Pierre Gourou sur les pays tropicaux (1935–1970),” Annales de géographie 498 (March–April 1981): 129–50. Finally, for a recent study highlighting Gourou’s influence in subsequent use of aerial photography more globally, see Haffner, View from Above, 19–23.
55 Historian of science Jeanne Haffner’s View from Above tells a compelling story of this transition among many of Vidal’s disciples in Europe. For example, she tells the tale of Jean Brunhes and philanthropist Albert Kahn who embarked on a project titled Archives of the Planet with an aim to produce a photographic survey of the globe to present the diversity and harmony of all mankind. See View from Above, 24–25. In the United States, Carl O. Sauer’s work in geography, notably his essay, “The Morphology of Landscape,” University of California Publications in Geography 2, no. 2 (1925): 19–53, advanced a similar perspective.
56 M. H. Palisse, Garde Général des forêts à Monsieur le Résident Supérieur en Annam au sujet de l’achat d’un terrain pour l’installation d’une pépinière, Folio 682, RSA Record Group, VNA4.
57 “Tình Hình quân cộng sản ở Tầu,” Ánh Sáng, April 13, 1935, 1, and April 15, 1935, 4.
58 Điền Dân, “Ước gì có cái ‘làng’ thích hợp với đời mới này,” Tiếng Dân, serialized on the following dates in 1939: August 24, p. 1; August 31, p. 1; September 2, p. 1; September 6, p. 1; September 7, p. 1; September 9, p. 1; September 12, p. 1; September 16, p. 1; September 23, pp. 1–2; September 26, pp. 1–2. See also William Ravenscroft Hughes, New Town: A Proposal in Agricultural, Industrial, Educational, Civic, and Social Reconstruction (London: J. M. Dent, 1919). For a discussion of Hughes’s work with garden cities and early twentieth-century utopian experiments in England, see Dennis Hardy, Utopian England: Community Experiments, 1900–1945 (New York: Routledge, 2012), 84–97.
59 Điền Dân, “Ước gì có cái ‘làng’ thích hợp với đời mới này,” Tiếng Dân, August 31, 1939, 1.
60 Nguyễn Tú and Triè̂u Nguyên, eds., Địa chí Hương Thủy (Huế: Nhà xuá̂t bản Thuận Hóa, 1998), 380. Thanh was later released and rose to the rank of general in the People’s Army. He was a chief military commander for the National Liberation Front, and before his death in 1967 he was a principal architect of the 1968 Tết Offensive.
61 Vietnamese were well aware of the Japanese military’s violent expansion for almost three years before it crossed the borders of Indochina. From the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in July 1937, Vietnamese-language newspapers featured front-page essays chronicling the latest events of the Trung Nhật Chiến Tranh. For example, the March 16, 1939, issue of Tiếng Dân described the Japanese military invasion of Hainan Island and its establishment of air force and naval bases there. See “Nhật lo lập nơi căn cứ không quân và thủy quân ở Hải-Nam,” Tiếng Dân, March 16, 1939, 1. These new bases brought Japanese forces less than four hundred kilometers from Hà Nội. On November 21, 1939, another Huế paper reported that Japanese forces had seized Beihai, a Chinese coastal port located approximately 120 kilometers north from Indochina on the Tonkin Gulf. See “Trung Nhật Chiến Tranh: Quân Nhật đã đỗ bộ ở Bắc Hải rồi chăng?,” Tràng An Báo, November 21, 1939, 2, 4.
62 For a detailed account of these military actions and diplomatic negotiations see Hata Ikuhiko, “The Army’s Move into Northern Indochina,” in The Fateful Choice: Japan’s Advance into Southeast Asia, 1939–1941, ed. James William Morley (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), 155–280.
63 Nagaoka Shinjiro, “The Drive into Southern Indochina and Thailand,” in The Fateful Choice: Japan’s Advance into Southeast Asia, 1939–1941, ed. James William Morley (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), 237. See also Kiyoko Kurusu Nitz, “Japanese Military Policy towards French Indochina During the Second World War: The Road to the ‘Meigo Sakusen’ (March 9, 1945),” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 14, no. 2 (1983): 329.
64 Nguyễn Tú and Nguyên Triều, Địa Chí Hương Thủy, 380.
65 Nitz, “Japanese Military Policy,” 329.
66 Ralph B. Smith, “The Japanese Period in Indochina and the Coup of 9 March 1945,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 9, no. 2: 269.
67 For in-depth treatment of the March 9 coup and reactions among Vietnamese nationalists, especially the royal court, see David G. Marr, Vietnam 1945: The Quest for Power (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); and Pierre Brocheux, Histoire du Vietnam contemporain: La nation résiliente (Paris: Fayard, 2011).
68 For an in-depth military history of photographic and signals intelligence, see John F. Kreis, Piercing the Fog: Intelligence and Army Air Forces Operations in World War II (Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1996). For a discussion on American campaigns to decipher Japanese naval codes from the mid-1930s, see 99–102. For in-depth discussion of the Fourteenth Air Force’s photo intelligence and bombing programs, see 312–20.
69 For a detailed discussion of the K-18 cameras and others used in World War II photoreconnaissance, see Roy M. Stanley, World War II Photo Intelligence (New York: Scribners, 1981), 149–53. Veteran websites for the Twenty-First Photo Recon Squadron list the Lockheed P-38 (F-5) as the principle aircraft for these missions, with planes taking off from Guilin, China, when figure 3.4 was taken in October 1943. For details on the squadron see Maurer Maurer, Combat Squadrons of the Air Force; World War II (Washington, DC: USAF Historical Division, 1969), 111–12. For details on the specific photo mission and interpretation of figure 3.4, see “Military Intelligence Photographic Report No. 373,” File Number 20487, Box 222, MIPI Series, Record Group 341, Records of Headquarters US Air Force (Air Staff), 1934–2004, NARA-CP.
70 Ronald Spector’s history of the relationship forged between the OSS and the Việt Minh in 1945 is one of the most thoroughly researched essays on the topic. See Ronald Spector, “Allied Intelligence and Indochina, 1943–1945,” Pacific Historical Review 51, no. 1 (February 1982): 23–50, 36–39.
71 Historian William Duiker provides a thorough account of interactions between Hồ and Zhang at Liuchow in Duiker, Ho Chi Minh, 267–76.
72 Spector, “Allied Intelligence,” 40.
73 David G. Marr, Vietnam 1945: The Quest for Power (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 429.
74 Nguyễn Tú and Nguyên Triều, Địa chí Hương Thủy, 382.
76 This officer, Phùng Đông, not only stood down, but he soon joined the Việt Minh army and by 1946 had risen to the position of chief of staff for the Trần Cao Vân Regiment. He was caught by the French in April 1947 and executed. See Thường Vụ Huyện Ủy Hương Thủy, Lịch sử đấu tranh cách mạng, 58–59.
77 Ibid., 59.
78 Voice of Vietnam, “A special radio broadcast on September 2, 1945,” last accessed October 6, 2014, http://english.vov.vn/Society/A-special-radio-broadcast-on-September-2-1945/264418.vov.
79 In English see Marr, Vietnam 1945, 364–65.
80 Duiker, Ho Chi Minh, 324.
CHAPTER THREE: RESISTANCE
1 Đảng Bộ Huyện Hương Thủy, Lịch sử lực lượng vũ trang Huyện Hương Thủy (1945–2005) [History of the armed forces of Hương Thủy District (1945–2005)] (Huế: NXB Thuận Hóa, 2008), 38. Translation by author: “Bám vào nhân dân, chỉ có tổ chức được nhân dân mới đánh được địch. Rừng rú, chiến khu cần phải có nhưng nhân tố quyết định là tổ chức nhân dân đánh địch trong làng xã mình.”
2 Hùng Sơn and Lê Khai, eds., Đường Hồ Chí Minh qua Bình Trị Thiên (Hà Nội: Quân Đội Nhân Dân, 1992), 28–29.
4 Fredrik Logevall, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam (New York: Random House, 2012), 199.
5 Ibid. See also Marr, Vietnam 1945; and Marr, Vietnam.
6 Nguyễn Tú and Nguyên Triè̂u, Địa chí Hương Thủy, 384.
7 Nguyễn Tú and Nguyên Triè̂u, Địa chí Hương Thủy, 389.
8 Historian Christopher Goscha has written several major works on Việt Minh and communist networks extending beyond Vietnam throughout Southeast Asia and into China. For reference to the regional trading around Huế, see Christopher E. Goscha, “The Borders of Vietnam’s Early Wartime Trade with Southern China: A Contemporary Perspective,” Asian Survey 40, no. 6 (November 2000): 1004. For his work on networks extending across Southeast Asia, see Christopher E. Goscha, Thailand and the Southeast Asian Networks of the Vietnamese Revolution, 1885–1954 (Richmond, UK: Curzon, 1999).
9 For an in-depth discussion of the modus vivendi agreement see Stein Tonneson, Vietnam 1946: How the War Began (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 65–70.
10 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 330.
11 Vietnamese sources differ on numbers in Thừa Thiên–Huế from 1,300 to over 2,400 by summer 1946. A district-level party history of Hương Thủy notes that the 850 soldiers sent to the French quarter of Huế came from the Franco-Laotian guerilla forces in Laos. They marched from Savannakhet, Laos, through the mountains to Quảng Trị via Highway 9 and then headed south to Huế. See Thường Vụ Huyện Ủy Hương Thủy, Lịch sử đấu tranh cách mạng, 81–82.
12 The Trần Cao Vân Regiment was formed in autumn 1945 shortly after the August Revolution in Huế. Trần Cao Vân was a patriotic member of the royal court who was executed by colonial authorities in 1916. The regiment included many French-and Japanese-trained Vietnamese officers and soldiers who had served the pre-revolution Vietnamese government supported by the Japanese military. One such officer, Hà Văn Lâu, took command of Việt Minh forces openly fighting French units around the southern port city of Nha Trang. He returned to his native Huế to command the Trần Cao Vân regiment in December 1946 following the outbreak of hostilities with France in the north. For an in-depth interview with Hà Văn Lâu see Voice of Vietnam Online, “Giao lưu trực tuyến với Đại Tá Hà Văn Lâu và ông Lê Danh” [Online exchanges with Colonel Ha Van Lau and Mr. Le Danh], September 11, 2006, last accessed November 21, 2014, https://archive.today/20120716145957/vov.vn/Home/Giao-luu-truc-tuyen-voi-Dai-ta-Ha-Van-Lau-va-ong-Le-Danh/20069/42212.vov#selection-705.0-705.56. See also Marr, Vietnam, 168.
13 Thường Vụ Huyện Ủy Hương Thủy, Lịch sử đấu tranh cách mạng, 82.
14 Christopher Goscha, Vietnam: Un état né de la guerre 1945–1954 (Paris: Armand Colin, 2011), 63.
15 Binh Chủng Thông Tin Liên Lạc, Quân Đội Nhân Dân Việt Nam, Lịch sử bộ đội thông tin liên lạc, 1945–1995 [History of military communications, 1945–1995] (Hà Nội: NXB Quân Đội Nhân Dân, 1996), 28–29. One of many famous quotes attributed to Hồ Chí Minh concerns his words about the need for modern communication technologies: “Communications is one of the most important in the work of revolution, because it determines a unified command and the distribution of forces thus ensuring victory.” Translation by author: “Việc liên lạc là một việc quan trọng bậc nhất trong công tác cách mệnh, vì chính nó quyết định sự thống nhất chỉ huy, sự phân phối lực lượng và do đó bảo đảm thắng lợi.” For a discussion of the quote see Đỗ Trung Tá, “Sáng mãi lời dạy của Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh đối với công tác đảm bảo thông tin liên lạc” [Eternal lessons of President Hồ Chí Minh related to the work of preserving communications networks], Việt Báo, August 14, 2006, last accessed on November 10, 2014, http://vietbao.vn/Chinh-Tri/Sang-mai-loi-day-cua-Chu-tich-Ho-Chi-Minh-doi-voi-cong-tac-dam-bao-thong-tin-lien-lac/65063156/96/.
16 Marr, Vietnam, 168.
17 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần Lịch sử, 339; Nguyễn Tú and Nguyên Triè̂u, Địa chí Hương Thủy, 340.
18 Thường Vụ Huyện Ủy Hương Thủy, Lịch sử đấu tranh cách mạng, 89.
19 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần Lịch sử, 339–42.
20 Thường Vụ Huyện Ủy Hương Thủy, Lịch sử đấu tranh cách mạng, 92.
21 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 348–49.
22 On D’Argenlieu’s politics with Bảo Đại, see Oscar Chapuis, The Last Emperors of Vietnam: From Tu Duc to Bao Dai (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000), 146. For a discussion of the decision’s impact in Hương Thủy see Thường Vụ Huyện Ủy Hương Thủy, Lịch sử đấu tranh cách mạng, 94–97.
23 Thường Vụ Huyện Ủy Hương Thủy, Lịch sử đấu tranh cách mạng, 115.
24 Ibid., 116. Translation by author: “Chiến khu là nơi của nhiều thương nhớ, niềm phấn khởi, nơi đoàn tụ và lòng nhân ái, ở đây là sự sống cơ sở quí giá của con người … Những chiều hôm, nhân dân Phú Vang và Hương Thủy tại quê mình nhìn lên chiến khu, những dãy núi xa, lại nhớ khi đi dân công, tải thương, tiếp tế, vận chuyển, lần đầu tiên đi vào chiến khu.”
25 Hùng Sơn and Lê Khai, Đường Hồ Chí Minh qua Bình Trị Thiên, 67.
26 For a general overview of the Vietnamese gazetteer tradition see the introductory comments by historian Đào Duy Anh, ed., Đại Nam nhất thống chí: Tập 1, trans. Phạm Trọng Điềm (Huế: Thuận Hóa, 1992), 5–12.
27 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 349. Translated from Vietnamese by the author: “bằng nằm giữa sông Ô Lâu—Rào Quao va dải núi rừng sát chân động Chuối.”
28 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần Lịch sử, 356.
29 Gerald C. Hickey, Window on a War: An Anthropologist in the Vietnam Conflict (Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 2002), 71–75.
30 Ngô Kha, ed., Lịch sử đảng bộ huyện Nam Đông (1945–2000) [History of the Party in Nam Dong District (1945–2000)] (Hà Nội: NXB Chính Trị Quốc Gia, 2003), 48, 54.
31 Thường Vụ Huyện Ủy Hương Thủy, Lịch sử đấu tranh cách mạng, 92.
32 Ibid., 96.
33 Telegram No. 1489, April 11, 1947, Ambassador Jefferson Caffery to Department of State, Frames 431–432, Reel 3, in Paul Kesaris, ed., Confidential US State Department Central Files, Indochina Internal Affairs, 1945–1949 (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1984).
34 Tonnesson, Vietnam 1946, 224.
35 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 354.
36 File 1035, “Rapport Politique,” September 1949, Phủ Thủ Hiến Trung Việt [THTV, Records of the Central Vietnam Governing Committee], VNA4. Translation by author: “Si les troupes françaises continuent leur politique de pacification par la terreur, cette situation pourrait devenir un jour irrémédiable et remettre sur le tapis le problème franco-viêtnamien. Le retrait des troupes françaises dans leurs bases semble être le seul remède possible.” Note that from April 1949, the Việt Binh Đoàn local forces were folded into a new national Vietnamese army called Vệ Binh Việt Nam and later Quân Đội Quốc Gia Việt Nam. Locally in Huế, both French and Vietnamese continued to call these battalions Việt Binh Đoàn to 1954.
39 Ellen J. Hammer, The Struggle for Indochina (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1954), 246.
40 For an extensive historical analysis of the Revers Mission and subsequent report see Danielle Domergue-Cloarec, “La mission et le rapport revers,” Guerres mondiales et conflits contemporains 148 (October 1987): 97–114.
41 Box 3448, Series 10H, Service Historique de la Défense, Vincennes, France (SHD).
42 Here I am indebted to James Scott for his argument that (pre-1945) lowland states encountered resistance—in the terrain and from upland peoples—and therefore expanded mainly in lowland areas. This he terms the “friction of terrain.” See Scott, Art of Not Being Governed, 21. In correspondence with Scott, we examined a related question: what do states do in flooded or swampy terrain. In Southeast Asia, especially central Vietnam, coastal lowlands and estuaries were subjected to intensive state-funded irrigation and diking projects. However, some lagoons and swamps proved too expensive or difficult to manage; in my work, I have argued that such swampy terrain also produces a kind of ecological and political “friction,” and insurgents allied with indigenous dwellers of these areas to build resistance bases, too. See David Biggs, Quagmire: Nation-Building and Nature in the Mekong Delta (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011).
43 Translation by author: “LA LIBERTÉ EST MA VIE—ELLE EST AUSSI MA FILLE—O INDEPENDENCE! ARABES: Sachez que la guerre sainté est déclarée à la France qui nous opprime. Que celui qui veut combattre pour lÍndépendance sache quíl se battra sous l’égide du nouveau Parti de la Liberté. Ecoutez! Région de CONBAN les combattants du Vietnam ont remporté de gros succès en très peu de tempe. Du1/11/49 au 10/12/49 ils ont fait 9 opérations. Les pertes one été du côté français prend: 112 tués, 17 blessés, 63 prisonniers. Le matériel récuperé comprend: 1 mortier, 9 mitrailleuses, 7 mitraillettes, 181 fusils anglais et américains, un poste radio portatif etc … JE COMBATS POUR MA PATRIE ET POUR L’INDEPENDANCE ET TOI TU TE VENDS—TON AME EST PERDUE.”
44 Considering the struggle for sovereignty at the heart of the Indochina War, the position of these goums–ethnic Berber and Arabic Moroccan soldiers—reflects the multiple contradictions facing soldiers in the occupied zones. In Morocco in the early 1950s, Moroccan political groups made increasing calls for independence from France. The sultan of Morocco, somewhat like Emperor Bảo Đại in Vietnam, was growing increasingly bold in his advocacy for independence too. Inside Morocco and North Africa, Berber-speaking people navigated ethnic boundaries not only as colonial French subjects but also as historically indigenous peoples in an increasingly Arab-Islamist state. Berbers were one of the oldest indigenous groups, and much like Vietnamese experiences in the Red River delta, they had fought many wars over centuries against Roman, Arab, and French imperial expansion.
45 Edward L. Bimberg, The Moroccan Goums: Tribal Warriors in a Modern War (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999).
46 “Reflections sur la Region du Sud de Nam Giao,” 1953, Box 3166, Series 10H, SHD. For a more positive description of the Ninth Tabor in Indochina, see Bertrand Bellaigue, Indochine (Paris: Editions Publibook, 2009), 95–100.
47 Box 3166, Series 10H, SHD.
48 “Reflections sur le Region au Sud de Nam Giao,” October 1952, Box 3166, Series 10H, SHD.
49 File TV310, SHD–Fort de l’Est.
50 Details of the establishment of these camps can be found in File 3378, Series 10H, SHD.
51 For detailed correspondence on clearing activities around Huế, see Boxes 3482 and 3166, Series 10H, SHD.
52 For a classic study including primary US sources on the decision to offer direct military aid and to recognize the ASV, see the source materials collected for the Pentagon Papers: US Relations with the Bao Dai Government, 1947, Folder 11, Box 01, Douglas Pike Collection: Unit 13—The Early History of Vietnam, the Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University, accessed December 17, 2014, www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=2410111012.
53 American diplomatic historians Mark Atwood Lawrence and Fredrik Logevall provide extensive, compelling treatments on the American entry into the Indochina War. See Mark Atwood Lawrence, Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005); Mark Atwood Lawrence and Fredrik Logevall, eds., The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007); Logevall, Embers of War.
54 Ironically, some of the first pieces of American military equipment sent to Indochina were the radio sets delivered by the OSS to Hồ Chí Minh’s guerillas in southern China in 1944–45. See beginning of this chapter. Logevall, Embers of War, 284–85.
55 Ibid., 321.
56 Logevall devotes an entire chapter to Graham Greene, illuminating in new ways the interconnected world of spies, diplomats, generals, and journalists who crossed paths on the streets of Saigon. See Logevall, Embers of War, 293–310. Bernard Fall, a former maquisard with the French resistance and a child of Vienna Jews killed by the Nazis, came to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship in 1951 and a year later took up studies of the Indochina conflict. See Logevall, Embers of War, 358–59. His account of a huge but largely unsuccessful French offensive to clear areas of Highway 1 north of Huế in 1953 gave the name of his account of the French defeat, Street without Joy. See Graham Greene, The Quiet American (London: William Heinemann, 1955). See also Bernard Fall, Street without Joy: Indochina at War (Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1961).
57 Tourane Base Justifications, March 1953, Series 10H3388, SHD.
58 The Indochina War, 1945–1956, An Interdisciplinary Tool, last accessed September 2, 2017, http://indochine.uqam.ca/en/historical-dictionary/288-civil-air-transport-cat.html.
59 February 1952, Commandement des Forces Terrestres du Centre Vietnam, “Directive Particulière à la Zone Nord,” Box 3248, Series 10H, SHD.
60 October 1953, Le Chef des Escadrons BONNEFOUS à Monsieur le Général de Division, Box 3248, Series 10H, SHD.
61 Fall, Street without Joy, 171.
62 Ibid., 170.
CHAPTER FOUR: RUINS
1 For a party-centered history of Interzone IV drawn especially from party and People’s Army records on the 1953–54 period, see Trình Mưu, ed., Lịch sử kháng chiến chống thực dân Pháp của quân và dân liên khu IV [History of the resistance against French colonialism by the military and people of Inter-Regional Zone IV] (Hà Nội: NXB Chính Trị Quốc Gia, 2003), 556–80.
2 See Ken MacLean, “Manifest Socialism: The Labor of Representation in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1956–1959),” Journal of Vietnamese Studies 2, no. 1 (2007): 27–79. See also Edward Miller’s in-depth discussion of Diệm’s agricultural development centers, Misalliance: Ngo Dinh Diem, the United States and the Fate of South Vietnam (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013), 158–84.
3 One of the only biographies of Cẩn is a somewhat popularized police genre account by the People’s Police Publishing House describing details of the police unit’s atrocities taken from seized police records after 1975. See Công An Nhân Dân, Đoàn mật vụ của Ngô Đình Cẩn [The secret police division of Ngô Đình Cẩn] (Hà Nội: NXB Công An Nhân Dân, 1996).
4 Dương Phước Thu, Tử Ngục chín hầm và những điều ít biết về Ngô Đình Cẩn (Huế: Thuận Hóa, 2010).
5 Ann L. Stoler, ed., Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013), 9.
6 Thomas F. Conlon, “John J. Helble” (Arlington, VA: Foreign Affairs Oral History Project, Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, 1998), 53–55, last accessed March 10, 2016, http://adst.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Helble-John-J.toc_.pdf.
7 Trình Mưu, Lịch sử kháng chiến chống thực dân Pháp của quân và dân liên khu IV, 569–72.
8 Ibid., 571. Translated by author: “Tiếp tục giải quyết tư tưởng, thống nhất nhận định, quán triệt phương châm và đường lối mới của cấp uỷ Trung ương, sửa chữa sai lầm, khuyết điểm. Cán bộ các cấp phải thấy được tình hình miền Nam và Trị Thiên … Tổ chức cơ sở đảng phải giữ vững nguyên tắc bảo đảm bí mật và quan hệ chặt chẽ với quần chúng. Việc sắp xếp lại chi bộ, chọn lọc đảng viên phải tiến hành dần dần, có kế hoạch, có trọng điểm, tránh làm chấn động trong đảng. Thường xuyên bồi dưỡng cán bộ để khi cần tăng cường cho địa phương.”
9 Ngô Kha, Lịch sử đảng bộ huyện Nam Đông, 63–64.
10 November 22, 1955, Director of National Police, Central Vietnam, to General Director of National Police, Saigon, File 1927, Records of Government Delegate to Central Highlands and Central Vietnam (hereafter TNTP), VNA4.
11 August 21, 1954, Letter from Nguyễn Hữu Đính to Director of Forestry, Central Vietnam, File 2837, TNTP, VNA4.
12 August 30, 1954, Province Chief of Thừa Thiên to Lt. Col. Robert Le Bihan, Commander of Huế Sector, File 2837, TNTP, VNA4.
13 Thừa Thiên Province Chief to Central Vietnam Delegate, October 6, 1954, re “Thanh Thủy villagers riot after we apprehend two cadres” [Dân chúng Thanh-Thủy Thượng bạo động tiếp ứng giải vây cho hai cán bộ bị ta bắt], Folder 1949, TNTP, VNA4.
14 Miller provides an excellent thirty-thousand-foot perspective on the Diệm-Hinh struggle in the summer and fall of 1954, drawing largely from Vietnamese, French, and American primary records. Miller, Misalliance, 102–6.
15 Special Information Bulletin: August 3, 1954 re: anti-French activities of a company in the Twenty-Fifth Vietnamese Infantry Battalion, File 10H3246, SHD. Translation by author: “Ngo-Dinh-Diem se rendra sous peu en Amérique pour demander l’intervention armée de ce pays contre les Français et les VM. Si Ngo-Dinh-Diem a laissé les Français partager le Viêtnam, c’est parce qu’il espèrait une réaction américaine qui se matérialisera par le bombardement atomique de la zone VM. La France réssemble, après le partage du Viêtnam, à une prostituée qui s’offre à tous, même à un lépreux, pour de lárgent. C’est une ennemie perfide qu’il nous faut combattre avant les V.M. qui sont nos compatriotes. Notre devoir à nous, catholiques patriotes, est d’effectuer partout une propagande anti-française. Cette propagande doit insister sur le perte de prestige de la France après la conférence de Genève.”
16 Popular seizure of the Gia-Le-Chanh Post, August 5, 1954, File 10H3246, SHD.
17 Worker protest at Phú Bài during American aid delegation visit, September 10, 1054, File 1993, TNTP, VNA4.
18 Activities of the French Army in Central Vietnam, 1954–55, File 1927, TNTP, VNA4.
20 Nick Valery, “Difference Engine: Revenge of the Gooney Bird,” Economist, May 13, 2014.
21 “MAAGV 320.2—Development of US Forces and Equipment for VN Forces in Region,” Box 4, Security Classified General Records, 1950–1961, MAAG Vietnam—Adjutant General Division, RG472, NARA-CP.
22 US Army, Vietnam Studies: Command and Control, 1950–1969 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1991), 7.
23 Ibid., 13–14.
24 September 10, 1956, Monthly Summary Report, Box 8, MAAG-VN, RG472, NARA-CP.
25 January 10, 1956, Central Vietnam Delegate to Lieutenant General of Huế Sector, File 2051, TNTP, VNA4.
26 Hữu Mai, Ông cố vấn: Hồ sơ một điệp viên (Hồ Chí Minh City: Văn nghệ, 2002).
27 Dương Phước Thu, Tử Ngục chín hầm và những điều ít biết về Ngô Đình Cẩn, 86–88. The party began as a political seminar organized by older brother Nhu, but after July 1954, both Nhu in Sài Gòn and Cẩn in Huế used the Cẩn Lao Party as a secretive organization for indoctrinating regime loyalists and infiltrating such organizations as the national assembly and the military. Edward Miller’s unpublished paper on the Cẩn Lao remains one of the most informative investigations of this little-studied organization. For his discussion of Cẩn’s mobilization of the party network, Edward Miller’s unpublished paper remains one of the few English-language sources detailing conflicts between Diệm’s two brothers. See “A House Divided: Ngô Đình Nhu, the Cẩn Lao Party and the Internal Politics of the Diệm Regime,” paper presented at the conference The American Experience in Southeast Asia, 1945–1975, US Department of State, Washington, DC, September 30, 2010, esp. pp. 18–20. CIA historian Thomas Ahern’s book CIA and the House of Ngo (Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2009) relies on American sources who suggest that by 1957 Cẩn and his allies were in a position to take over the party nationally with help from loyalists in the Mekong Delta (p. 106).
28 Dương Phước Thu, Tử Ngục chín hầm và những điều ít biết về Ngô Đình Cẩn, 63–64.
29 Ibid., 153. At the historic monument today, guides show tourists to specific bunkers reserved for Buddhist protesters and students as well as one bunker where the French-Vietnamese manager of the Morin Hotel was taken and held for ransom. The ransom paid, he was released but soon after died from his injuries.
30 Ahern, CIA and the House of Ngo, 106.
31 Trullinger, Village at War, 75–77.
32 Ibid., 78.
33 “V/v trả trường Giạ Lê Thượng để có chỗ học sinh học,” File 2973, TNTP, VNA4.
34 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần Lịch sử, 401.
35 Letter from the Consul in Huế (Heavner) to the deputy Chief of Mission in Vietnam (Elting), October 15, 1959, in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958–1960, Vietnam, Volume 1, ed. John P. Glennon et al. (Washington DC: GPO, 1986), 244–46.
36 “Kết quả cuộc nghiên-cứu về địa-điểm Dinh Điền Nam-Đông,” November 16, 1960, File 14319, RG ĐICH, Vietnam National Archives Center no. 2 (hereafter VNA2).
37 For an in-depth treatment of RVN policies on sedentarization see Salemink, Ethnography of Vietnam’s Central Highlanders, 184–94.
38 Ibid., 51. Translation by author: “Phải biến đồi hoang thành rẫy sắn; nhà nhà, người người, thôn thôn sản xuất, thi đua nhau sản xuất để có cái ăn, nuôi quân đánh giặc.”
39 Hickey, Window on a War, 71–75.
40 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 403.
41 Ngô Kha, Lịch sử bộ huyện Nam Đông, 73–74.
42 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần Lịch sử, 403.
43 Miller, Misalliance, 198–202.
44 Lien-Hang T. Nguyen, Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012): 41–47.
45 Ronald H. Spector, Advice and Support: The Early Years of the United States Army in Vietnam 1941–1960 (New York: Free Press, 1984): 332.
46 Ngô Kha, Lịch sử đảng bộ huyện Nam Đông, 106–8.
47 Miller, Misalliance, 208–10.
48 November 11, 1960, Province Chief to Government Delegate for Central Highlands and Central Region, File 6077, Phủ Thủ Tướng Record Group (Prime Minister Office, hereafter PTTG), VNA4. Translation by author: “Cuộc hành quân có tính cách thuận tuý quân sự và hoàn toàn nhằm mục đích quân sự: tảo thanh, truy kích địch và khám phá cơ sở của chúng. Không có sự phối hợp với các cơ quan Hành chánh, Công an, và các lực lượng bán quân sự.”
49 Nancy Peluso and Peter Vandergeest discuss similar maps developed by American and Thai military and development officials. They targeted “pink areas on the map,” especially near national borders, for forest clearing and permanent settlements similar to Nam Đông. These maps, with pie charts and pink zones, and land clearing strategies fit in a broader set of American designs on development and counterinsurgency. See Nancy Peluso and Peter Vandergeest, “Territorialization and State Power in Thailand,” Theory and Society 24 (1995): 410n129.
50 Trullinger, Village at War, 85.
51 Document 303, Memorandum from Robert H. Johnson of the Policy Planning Staff to the Counselor of the Department of State (Rostow), October 16, 1962, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963, Volume II, Vietnam, 1962 (Washington: GPO, 1990), 703–6.
52 Nguyễn Tú and Nguyên Triè̂u, Địa chí Hương Thủy, 406–7.
53 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần Lịch sử, 413–14.
54 Helble’s accounts of Cẩn are some of the only American comments from the Huế area prior to the coup that toppled his brother’s regime in November 1963. Helble’s only face-to-face meeting, ironically, occurred as he escorted Cẩn by plane to Sài Gòn where he was taken by South Vietnamese military officers and later imprisoned. See Thomas F. Conlon, “John J. Helble,” Foreign Affairs Oral History Project, Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, 1998, 53–55, last accessed Thursday, March 10, 2016, http://adst.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Helble-John-J.toc_.pdf.
55 Thomas F. Conlon. “John J. Helble.”
56 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 425–26.
57 Hickey, Window on a War, 75.
CHAPTER FIVE: CREATIVE DESTRUCTION
1 US Army, Vietnam Studies, v.
2 Trần Mai Nam, Narrow Strip of Land, 90–91.
3 Samuel Huntington, “The Bases of Accommodation,” Foreign Affairs 46, no. 4 (1968): 642–56.
4 Ibid., 652.
5 Đảng Ủy Ban Chỉ Huy Quân Sự Huyện A Lưới, Lịch sử lực lượng vũ trang nhân dân huyện A Lưới (1945–2010) [History of popular armed forces in A Lưới District] (Hà Nội: NXB Quân Đội Nhân Dân, 2011), 86–89.
6 David Biggs, “Frame DS1050–1006DF129: March 20, 1969,” Environmental History 19, no. 2 (2014): 271–80. The resolution of these images varied, but high-resolution stereo images produced from 1968–72 had a comparable digital resolution of about one pixel per meter, equivalent to commercial satellite imagery produced after 2000.
7 Historian David Zierler provides a detailed account of the Kennedy administration’s debates as well as efforts by senior American scientists in the late 1960s to force the United States to abandon herbicides. See Zierler, The Invention of Ecocide: Agent Orange, Vietnam and the Scientists Who Changed the Way We Think About the Environment (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011).
8 Historical Working Group, “Herbicide Operations in the Republic of Vietnam,” Box 8, Historians Background Material Files, MACV Secretary of the Joint Staff (MACJ03), RG472, NARA-CP.
9 Flight records for the first six missions list the type of herbicide as “unknown.” The arsenical herbicide Agent Blue was available and used for crop destruction missions throughout the war. In these early tests it was available, possibly in commercial form, as Phytar 560G, produced by the Ansul Company in Wisconsin. Records of these early missions are included in the “Services HERBS Tape—A Record of Helicopter and Ground Spraying Missions, Aborts, Leaks, and Incidents.” Special Collections, USDA National Agricultural Library, last accessed December 6, 2016, www.nal.usda.gov/exhibits/speccoll/items/show/1258. For an in-depth discussion of the early testing of herbicides in Vietnam, see also Alvin Young, The History, Use, Disposition and Environmental Fate of Agent Orange (New York: Springer, 2009), 65–69. For the area sprayed, see Historical Working Group, “Herbicide Operations in the Republic of Vietnam,” 11–12.
10 Historical Working Group, “Herbicide Operations,” 20–21. In their recent studies of the DRV’s path to all-out war in 1964, historians Lien-Hang Nguyen and Pierre Asselin both highlight the intense struggles that occured that summer between prowar and coexistence camps in Hà Nội as well as Beijing and Moscow. By the mid-fall, the prowar group had succeeded in convincing a majority of party leaders as well as allies in China and the Soviet Union that it was time to fight. Radio broadcasts alleging chemical war and American confirmations that chemicals had been sprayed certainly helped the prowar cause. The party passed Resolution 9 on January 20, 1964, mobilizing PAVN units for war in the south. See Pierre Asselin, Hanoi’s Road to the Vietnam War, 1954–65 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013), 163–67. See also Nguyen, Hanoi’s War, 62–64.
11 Robert A. Darrow, Report of Trip to Republic of Vietnam, August 15–September 2, 1969. Alvin Young Collection, USDA National Agricultural Library, last accessed July 7, 2017, www.nal.usda.gov/exhibits/speccoll/files/original/f994332e7ad90bc9b846049d846b4639.pdf.
12 The Eighth RRU and surrounding installations is described in a map accompanying documents on the Eighth RRU. See “Phu Bai,” Box 23, MACV J3 Historians Working Group Files, RG472, NARA-CP.
13 “US Electronic Espionage: A Memoir,” Ramparts 11, no. 2 (1972): 50. For a history of the NSA direction-finding operations in Vietnam, see a recently declassified history of the NSA and cryptology during the Cold War. Thomas R. Johnson, American Cryptology during the Cold War, Book II: Centralization Wins, 1960–1972 (Washington, DC: National Security Agency, 1995), 509–28. The declassified, redacted history is available online at the George Washington University National Security Archive, last accessed December 5, 2016, http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB260/index.htm.
14 Correspondence dated August 15, 1964, File 21852, PTTG Record Group, VNA2.
15 Correspondence dated November 3, 1964, File 21852, PTTG Record Group, VNA2.
16 Harvey Smith, Area Handbook for South Vietnam (Washington, DC: GPO, 1967), 292.
17 April 1965, Về tình hình, biện pháp an ninh, chính trị, quân sự tại Vùng Chiến thuật năm 1965, File 17115, PTTG Record Group, VNA2.
18 Nguyễn Tú and Nguyên Triều, Địa chí Hương Thủy, 412.
19 Russel H. Stolfi, U.S. Marine Corps Civic Action Efforts in Vietnam, March 1965–March 1966 (Washington, DC: Headquarters US Marine Corps, 1968), 17–18.
20 Ibid., 19.
21 Bruce C. Allnutt, Combined Action Capabilities: The Vietnam Experience (Washington, DC: Office of Naval Research, 1969), 8.
22 Interview with Paul Ek, January 24, 1966, US Marine Corps History Division Oral History Collection, the Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University, last accessed January 10, 2017, www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=USMC0046.
23 Ibid., minutes 43:00–46:00.
24 Congressional Record—Senate 112 (February 23, 1966) (Washington DC: GPO, 1966), 3888–89. The debate over tax increases and the US$10.7 billion spending bill in 1967 appears in Congressional Record—Senate 112 (March 4, 1966) (Washington DC: GPO, 1966), 4930–31.
25 Ibid., 3890.
26 Nguyễn Tú and Nguyên Triều, Địa chí Hương Thủy, 416.
27 A Shau was an American spelling of the Vietnamese A Sầu, however it referred to just one of the three special forces bases, the southernmost base. See Plate 4. Also, I use the term “PAVN-PLAF units” because many of the communist large-unit battles involved integrated units with component battalions and companies coming from separate PAVN and PLAF commands.
28 After-Action Report—The Battle for A Shau: A Shau SF Disaster, March 1966, Folder 03, Box 03, Dale W. Andrade Collection, the Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University, last accessed September 13, 2017, www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=24990303002.
29 Captured Documents (CDEC): Unknown Interrogation Source, Log Number 12-2318-00, 10 / 28 / 1966, A Shau, December 24, 1966, Reel 0060, Vietnam Archive Collection, Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University, last accessed September 13, 2017, https://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/reports/images_cdec.php?img=/images/F0346/0060-1135-000.pdf.
30 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần Lịch sử, 531.
31 A detailed account of the American actions at Phong Điền is provided in the official US Marines history of the Vietnam War. See Jack Shulimson, US Marines in Vietnam: An Expanding War, 1966 (Washington, DC: History and Museums Division, Headquarters, US Marine Corps, 1982), 323–26.
32 This highly detailed GIS is publicly available by the US Air Force Research Institute. To access datasets of US bombing missions since World War I, see US Air Force, THOR: Theater History of Operations Reports, last accessed January 18, 2017, http://afri.au.af.mil/thor/index.asp. For an essay describing the dataset, see Sarah Loicano, “Historic Airpower Database Now Online,” U.S. Air Force, last accessed January 18, 2017, www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/466817/historic-airpower-database-now-online.aspx.
33 The primary source for strategic bombing in World War II are the many volumes of the US Strategic Bombing Survey published in 1945. Historians Claudia Baldoli and Andrew Knapp cite the figure of two hundred thousand tons of bombs dropped by the US Eight Air Force and the Royal Air Force in 1943. See Claudia Baldoli and Andrew Knapp, Forgotten Blitzes: France and Italy under Air Attack, 1940–1945 (London: Continuum, 2012), 42.
34 Robert Topmiller’s The Lotus Unleashed: The Buddhist Peace Movement, 1964–66 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2002), remains one of the few, in-depth English-language studies of the Unified Buddhist Church and the Buddhist protests. In Vietnamese sources, opinions on the Struggle Movement in the diaspora and opinions about the protests are deeply divided among those following Buddhist organizations and others that accuse the Buddhist leaders of being secretly in coordination with the NLF and North Vietnam. For one of many works exploring the “secrets” of the protests, see Liên Thành, Biến động miền Trung: những bí mật chưa tiết lộ giai đoạn 1966–1968–1972 [Operations in Central Vietnam: Secrets not et revealed from 1966–1968–1972] (Westminster, CA: Tập san Biệt Động Quân xuất bản, 2008).
35 “Ky Foes Seize Two Radio Stations: Assail US and Military Junta,” Chicago Tribune, March 23, 1966, 1–2.
36 Topmiller, Lotus Unleashed, 75.
37 Ibid., 132.
38 Michael Kelly, Where We Were in Vietnam: A Comprehensive Guide to the Firebases, Military Installations, and Naval Vessels of the Vietnam War (Central Point, OR: Hellgate Press, 2002), 5-5.
39 One of the most useful English-language texts on PAVN and PLAF history is historian Merle Pribbenow’s excellent translation of the PAVN’s official military history. See Merle L. Pribbenow, trans., Victory in Vietnam: The Official History of the People’s Army of Vietnam, 1954–1975 (Lawrence: University of Kansas, 2002), 209–10.
40 The history of the origins of the 101st or Trần Cao Vân Regiment is recorded in Phạm Gia Đức, Sư đoàn 325: Tập một [325th Regiment: Volume 1] (Hà Nội: NXB Quân Đội Nhân Dân, 1981), 25–30. The activities at Khe Sanh are detailed in Đảng Bộ Quân Khu 4, Lịch sử đảng bộ sư đoàn 324 (1955–2010) (Hà Nội: NXB Quân Đội Nhân Dân, 2012), 140–45.
41 Ibid., 212–13.
42 Nguyễn Văn Giáo, “Lực lượng vũ trang Thừa Thiên Huế trong tổng tiến công và nổi dậy Tết Mậu Thân 1968,” in Cuộc tổng tiến công và nổi dậy Mậu Thân 1968, by Military History Institute of Vietnam (Hà Nội: NXB Quân Đội Nhân Dân, 1998), 143–52.
43 Ibid., 146–47.
44 Author interview with former PAVN soldier in Huế, July 2009.
45 James Willbanks, The Tet Offensive: A Concise History (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 46–47.
46 Two of the most succinct histories of the battles in Huế for English-language readers include Willbanks, Tet Offensive; and Pribbenow, Victory in Vietnam, 216–229.
48 Willbanks, Tet Offensive, 50–52. For Vietnamese civilians in Huế who survived the destruction of the city, personal accounts of the fighting remain a divisive topic for many; discussions of local personal and neighborhood involvement are still largely confined among family and close friends. Some neighbors revealed hidden identities as party members and participated in identifying officials in the city administration. After the communists retreated, they either fled or exposed themselves to reprisals and detention.
49 Willbanks, Tet Offensive, 54.
50 Pham Van Son, The Viet Cong ‘Tet’ Offensive (1968) (Saigon: RVNAF Printing and Publications Center, 1969), 294–96.
51 Pribbenow, Victory in Vietnam, 224.
52 This is one of Trịnh Công Sơn’s more popular works and is still available in many versions and formats in Vietnam and diasporic communities. For one album, see Trịnh Công Sơn, A Tribute to Trịnh Công Sơn (Independence, OR: East Wind Records, 2004). While most of his family left Vietnam, Sơn stayed in Vietnam after 1975. He was sentenced to a reeducation camp, but in the post-1986 liberalization period, he enjoyed a popular resurgence and accolades from the state. The Vietnamese name of the song is “Bài Ca Dành Cho Những Xác Người”.
53 Nhã Ca, Mourning Headband for Hue, xix–xx.
54 Ibid., 283.
55 Willard Pearson, The War in the Northern Provinces, 1966–1968 (Washington DC: US Army, 1975), 58–59.
56 Pearson, War in the Northern Provinces, 67–68.
57 Trullinger, Village at War, 133–34.
58 Ibid., 135.
59 Ibid., 137.
60 First Cavalry Division (Airmobile), Construction of a Firebase, Box 17, Command Historian General Records, Headquarters US Army Vietnam, RG472, NARA-CP.
61 Directorate of Intelligence, Intelligence Memorandum 68–46: Road Construction in the Laotian Panhandle and Adjacent Areas of South Vietnam, 1967–1968, CIA CREST Declassified Documents, Report Number CIA-RDP85T00875 R0015002 20048-6, 1–3, last accessed February 3, 2017, www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/cia-rdp85t00875r001500220048-6. John Prados describes the oil pipeline in his history of the trails. See John Prados, The Blood Road: The Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Vietnam War (New York: Wiley, 1999), 339–40.
62 The communist history of the battle is detailed in Đào Quang Đới, Nguyễn Thống, and Võ Việt Hòa, Sư đoàn 324 (Hà Nội: NXB Quân Đội Nhân Dân, 1992), 53–55. Thanks to military historian Merle Pribbenow for excerpts.
63 Project CHECO Southeast Asia Report #2—Special Report: A Shau Valley Campaign—December 1968 to May 1969, October 15, 1969, Folder 1306, Box 0008, Vietnam Archive Collection, the Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University, last accessed February 3, 2017, www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=F031100081306.
64 See “U.S. Troops Abandon Viet Hill, Center of Congressional Storm,” Los Angeles Times, May 28, 1969, A1, A13; and “Reds Back On Viet Hill; US General Ready To Fight,” Los Angeles Times, June 18, 1969, A1, A12.
65 Diplomatic historian David Zierler provides an in-depth study of US government deliberations over use of herbicides as tactical agents in war. See Zierler, Invention of Ecocide, 117–18.
66 For a description of domestic American pesticide use in 1968–69, a comprehensive source is the USDA’s annual Pesticide Review. For discussion of 2,4,5-T see US Department of Agriculture, The Pesticide Review: 1968 (Washington, DC: USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, 1969).
67 These missions are detailed in the Tenth Chemical Platoon’s Daily Mission Log. Chemical Officer Daily Journal, Box 1, 101st Airborne Division, United States Army Vietnam, RG472, NARA-CP. As with most US military operations, there were manuals that explained procedures for each of these chemical operations. For the manual used by the Tenth Platoon, see Box 1, Tenth Chemical Platoon, Chemical Units, RG472, NARA-CP.
68 Edwin Martini, Agent Orange: History, Science and the Politics of Uncertainty (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2012), 77–83.
69 Herbicide Operations Project 1 / 2 / 2 / 70, Records Pertaining to Herbicide Operations, Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations (G3) Advisor, MACV First Regional Assistance Command, RG472, NARA-CP.
70 Local party histories of these mountainous districts note significant participation in both political and military agendas by the ethnic minorities in the highlands. Many descendants of these highlanders continue to serve in regional and national government posts in the present. For histories of Montagnard participation in Thừa Thiên Huế Province, see Ngô Kha, Lịch sử đảng bộ huyện Nam Đông, 48–54; and on ethnic minority participation in the A Sầu Valley, see Đảng Ủy Ban Chỉ Huy Quân Sự Huyện A Lưới, Lịch sử lực lượng vũ trang nhân dân huyện A Lưới.
71 Ecologists in particular pointed to picloram in Agent White as a more problematic military herbicide for its persistence. It rendered soils unproductive far longer than Agent Orange. For a detailed study on Agent White, see Leif Fredrickson, “From Ecocide to Eco-ally: Picloram, Herbicidal Warfare, and Invasive Species, 1963–2005,” Global Environment 7, no. 1 (2014): 172–217. Agent Blue was an arsenical herbicide and used especially for killing rice crops. See US Army, Field Manual 3-3: Tactical Employment of Herbicides (Washington, DC: US Army, 1971).
72 Robert A. Darrow, Report of Trip to Republic of Vietnam, August 15,—September 2, 1969, Alvin Young Collection, USDA National Agricultural Library, last accessed July 7, 2017, www.nal.usda.gov/exhibits/speccoll/files/original/f994332e7ad90bc9b846049d846b4639.pdf.
73 Author interview with Mr. Dan, February 2, 2012, Thủy Phương Commune, Thừa Thiên–Huế Province. Also like many other bộ đội (infantry) soldiers who fought in these areas, Mr. Dan reported that he could not have more children after he and his wife gave birth to a severely disabled daughter in 1984. He believed that her ailments were directly related to his exposure to dioxin.
74 Trần Mai Nam, Narrow Strip of Land, 9–10.
75 Barry Weisberg, Ecocide in Indochina: The Ecology of War (New York: Harper and Row, 1970).
76 Kelly, Where We Were in Vietnam, 44.
77 Nguyen Duy Hinh, Lam Sơn 719 (Washington DC: US Army Center for Military History, 1979), 161.
78 Ibid., 117.
79 “Eagle Turnover,” January 16, 1972, Box 3, Real Property Management Division: Property Disposal Files, 1972, MACV Headquarters: Construction Directorate, RG472, NARA-CP.
80 Discussion of the terms for exempting Pacific Architects and Engineers’ property from the agreement happened after the transfer in late January 1972. See “MACDC14-Update,” January 26, 1972, Box 2, Real Property Management Division: Property Disposal Files, 1972, MACV Headquarters: Construction Directorate, RG472, NARA-CP.
81 “Eagle Turnover,” January 16, 1972. American military officials in Saigon quickly responded to the bad press, and they scrambled to arrange an additional sale of used equipment to the RVN for an additional US$4 million.
82 NBC News, “Camp Eagle is Handed Over to Vietnamese Army,” January 21, 1972, clip 5112474944_s01, www.nbcuniversalarchives.com/nbcuni/clip/5112474944_s01.do.
83 Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 470–71.
84 Malcolm W. Browne, “Firebase Yielded to Foe a 2nd Time,” New York Times, July 28, 1972, 1. See also Craig R. Whitney, “Supplies Running Low at Besieged Fire Base near Hue,” New York Times, April 13, 1972, 16, http://search.proquest.com/docview/119445069?accountid=14521.
85 Cao Van Vien, The Final Collapse (Washington DC: US Army Center for Military History, 1985), 34.
86 Ibid., 31. The same back-and-forth exchanges by smaller units is discussed from a communist unit perspective in Nguyễn Văn Hoa, Địa chí Thừa Thiên Huế: Phần lịch sử, 473–74.
87 Ibid., 44.
88 Ibid., 484.
89 Ibid., 488.
CHAPTER SIX: POSTWAR
1 Interview with Ông Phương, Hamlet 5, Dạ Lê, January 20, 2012.
2 Paul A. Scipione, “Life in Vietnam,” New York Times, December 4, 1983.
3 Interview with Ông Phương, Hamlet 5, Dạ Lê, January 20, 2012.
4 Bảo Ninh, The Sorrow of War, trans. Martin Secker (New York: Riverhead, 1996), 72–73.
5 There is an especially robust scholarly literature on issues of the Vietnamese diaspora and economic and cultural dimensions of transnational migrations. For her treatment of remittances and the sparking of new commercial enterprises see Ann Marie Leshkowich, “Wandering Ghosts of Late Socialism: Conflict, Metaphor, and Memory in a Southern Vietnamese Marketplace,” Journal of Asian Studies 67, no. 1 (2008): 5–41.
6 Interview with Mr. Minh, Dạ Lê, January 18, 2012.
7 Details of the cleanup can be found in Province People’s Committee Decree 272, January 26, 2000. More recently, the Vietnamese daily Pháp Luật VN returned to the site to investigate alleged cancer clusters around the pollution site. See Thùy Nhung, Nghi vấn thảm họa ung thư từ hầm chứa chất độc CS và kho trữ thuốc trừ sâu, in Pháp Luật VN, August 18, 2016.
8 L. Wayne Dwernychuk, H. D. Cau, C. T. Hatfield, T. G. Boivin, T. M. Hung, P. T. Dung, and N. D. Tha, “Dioxin Reservoirs in Southern Vietnam—A Legacy of Agent Orange,” Chemosphere 47 (2002): 117–37.
9 Ibid., 121.
10 The ecologist, Dr. Phùng Tửu Bôi, is nationally and internationally known for his work in the A Sầu Valley. In 2007 the New York Times featured his development of the “green fence” approach to keep village cattle from grazing around the hotspot area. See Christie Aschwanden, “Through the Forest, a Clearer View of the Needs of a People,” New York Times, September 18, 2007. Environmental activist Susan Hammond also describes elements of the A Shau base as well as the problem of disentangling the Agent Orange disaster narrative from specific sites like A Shau and the nearby commune. See Susan Hammond, “Redefining Agent Orange, Mitigating its Impacts,” in Interactions with a Violent Past: Reading Post-Conflict Landscapes in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, ed. Vatthana Pholsena and Oliver Tappe (Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2013), 186–207.
11 Patrick Meyfroidt and Eric F. Lambin, “Forest Transition in Vietnam and Bhutan: Causes and Environmental Impacts,” in Reforesting Landscapes: Linking Pattern And Process, ed. H. Nagendra and J. Southworth (Dordrecht: Springer, 2010). See also McElwee, Forests are Gold, 97.
12 Nguyễn Hữu Đính, “Lâm phần miền nam Việt Nam nói chung, Thừa Thiên Nói Riêng và vai trò trước mắt của rừng rú chúng ta một khi hòa bình được thật sự vãn hồi,” Nghiên Cứu Huế 6 (2008): 7–30.
13 James C. Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), 201.