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The objectives that needed to be captured were communication and command and control centres. Towns and fortified areas were to be bypassed and road axes for logistic support were to be opened later. These concepts were forced down on to commanders, who most reluctantly accepted them.

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There were many occasions later during operations when commanders tried to revert back to metalled roads from their subsidiary axes. By the end of May I had prepared a draft outline plan based on the following strategic parameters:. Enemy forces bypassed were to be dealt with later. In planning any operation for the liberation of Bangladesh, we in eastern command had also to cater for defence against any possible Chinese intervention, contain insurgency in the NE, and in addition ensure the defence of Bhutan.

The terrain in East Pakistan is divided by the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna river systems into four sectors. We selected subsidiary objectives for each sector. In the north-western sector north of the Ganges and west of the Brahmaputra river we selected the communication centre of Bogra as the principal subsidiary objective.

The western sector lies south and west of the Ganges. Faridpur was to be the final subsidiary objective as it lay opposite the city of Dacca. We asked army HQ for two additional infantry divisions. These we proposed to allot for this sector. The south-eastern sector lay east of the river Meghna. The key objectives were to be Daudkhandi and Chandpur on the river Meghna, an important river port in the proximity to Dacca.

The Second World War - Veteran Stories - The Memory Project

We had 57 and 8 Mountain Divisions with no artillery operating in a counter-insurgency role in Mizoram and Nagaland. We could use them in this sector. We would require an additional infantry division. For command and control of the sector we could use HQ 4 Corps, whose primary role was to defend against the Chinese in Tibet, which could move to this area leaving behind a small HQ at Tezpur. I had no doubt that Dacca, the geopolitical and geostrategic heart of East Pakistan, was the primary and final objective.

No campaign could be complete without its capture.

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I sent an outline plan based on the above to army HQ in May which was delivered to the then director, military operations Maj. KK Singh was later relieved by Maj. Inder Gill as DMO. The monsoon was about to commence in the east. Therefore we had very little time to build up the infrastructure and get the logistics in place. I's stripped to the waist with no safety equipment, suits, masks, or rubber gloves , and many were smoking cigarettes.

They got it all over them and on their smokes and they just puffed away as usual. There were no mandatory showers taken after handling the herbicide -- they may not have showered for days after. The stuff is still toxic in the soil today.

Adventures & Sunsets

Because it was happening in a land far away from the U. They just kept painting the jungle with it -- as well as animals, U. Now, of course, anything sold commercially has to have MSDS material safety data sheets that go along with every phase of handling it, for employees and for the public. There also must be documented training for employees in handling the material safely, as well as the use of PPE personal protective equipment.

This must go along with the shipped bulk materials and it must also have warning labels. I would like to think that these days, any company would require and document the training and safe handling of such toxic material. At least I hope we handle toxic materials better today. Sadly, it came too late for many who were exposed to Agent Orange, or any other chemicals.

Just like anything else, AO affected everyone differently. Onset can be soon after exposure, or like what we're seeing now. After lying dormant for decades, it is suddenly triggered by health, or immune system weakening, or maybe time itself brings it on. Personally, I think the U. The DoD should be the donkey on this -- they were in love with destroying the jungle canopy at any cost. It was effective, but the casualties are still mounting up all these years later. I can't do everything, but I can do something.

The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will. You are also invited to write about anything you feel comfortable sharing. You are writing America's history, sharing the truth about the Vietnam veteran, and what it was like in Our War. There were lots of thoughts and memories evoked and revived in my mind.

When l first got in country, a few days after turning eighteen, l realized that those l'd been thrown in with were That scared me bad, because l'd come up a little different Then as days turned to weeks, l emulated and copied those around me, trying to learn everything they'd learned. Soon l also realized that if l wanted to survive, l was going to have to become just like them. That realization scared me even more. As weeks turned to months, those who'd been killed, wounded, or left, were replaced with new guys that were as dumb as you'd once been.

Veteran's Memoirs - index

Soon, every firefight, ambush, and operation became blurred in your mind and all of it blended into one nebulous event. Most things became so obscured, to the point that you weren't even sure they'd happened, yet when you looked around for those once there, you knew that it was all too real. Actually, if you were single, it was a very simple way of life.

You carried most everything you owned and lived wherever you were. Your clothes, food, medicine You had nothing to worry about, except staying alive. If you failed at that, all the other things didn't matter anyway. Then, what you had never allowed yourself to believe in, became real. In twenty-four hours, or less, you were home, but home wasn't there for you.

Home, was as maddening as the war once had been. Everything and everybody had changed so much. In time, you came to realize that everything was the same, but you had changed. You wanted even some small semblance of your old life back, but it always seemed just out of reach. To worsen matters, you realized that in an insane way, you missed the war that you'd hated so much.

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At the same time, those around you tried to make you feel guilty for where you'd been and what you'd done, when they didn't even know what you'd done. In actuality, you did feel guilty, but not for the same reasons. You felt as though you deserted the friends you'd left behind, and felt even worse when you realized that you had liked the adrenaline rush of combat and the camaraderie of war.

Then you go to your next duty station, hoping it will be better. Once again, you were back to weekly hair cuts, shined boots, starched uniforms and war games.

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It was different, but still not right. It was as if you would never fit in anywhere. Many of those with you had no idea what you had been through and didn't care. You talk to others just returning and band with them. But they have no answers, because they all felt the same as you. Finally, in desperation I came to a decision.

I just couldn't handle the world around me and I knew what I had to do at least in my case. After putting in the paperwork, DD Form , l waited. Weeks later, l was feeling somewhat normal Chronologically accurate, it covers the major operations of that period, as seen through one man's eyes. They throw dates and place names on to the screen as if what you are about to see is a faithful reproduction of events, when they are simply trying to pass off their fiction as authentic. This is basically a marketing ploy that has developed over the last 20 years or so. Unfortunately, fake authenticity sells.

People are more likely to want to see something they think is very close to the truth, so they can feel they are learning as well as being entertained. There are many examples of shameless deception, such as the notorious U , in which a US warship is shown to capture a German submarine and seize its Enigma decoding machine, thus enabling the Allies to win the battle of the Atlantic. Right at the end, in the credits, a brief text admitted that in fact it had been the crew of a Royal Navy destroyer, HMS Bulldog, that performed the feat — seven months before the US entered the war.

The director was trying to woo me and persuade me not to be too severe on the question of truth, because we had found in the Russian ministry of defence archives that the whole story of the sniper duel — portrayed by Jude Law and Ed Harris — had been a clever figment of Soviet propaganda. The real problem is that the needs of history and the needs of the movie industry are fundamentally incompatible.

Hollywood has to simplify everything according to set formulae. Its films have to have heroes and, of course, baddies — moral equivocation is too complex. Feature films also have to have a whole range of staple ingredients if they are to make it through the financing, production and studio system to the box office. Endings have to be upbeat, even for the Holocaust. I was asked by a large-circulation American weekly magazine to review Saving Private Ryan.