The My Lai massacre was one of the most horrific incidents of violence committed against unarmed civilians during the Vietnam War. A company of American soldiers brutally killed most of the people—women, children and old men—in the village of My Lai on March 16, More than people were slaughtered in the My Lai massacre, including young girls and women who were raped and mutilated before being killed.
This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website. On August 31,a rape was committed in Vietnam. Maybe numerous rapes were committed there that day, but this was a rare one involving American GIs that actually made its way into the military justice system.
On the morning of March 16,U. Yet they proceeded to set huts on fire, gang-rape the women, and murder some unarmed civilians including approximately 50 children under the age of four. On the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre, the barbaric act still remains difficult to fathom.
It will then look at the court-martial of Lieutenant Calley before discussing how the Army learned lessons from this tragedy, and took actions that not only ensured that there would be no more war crimes like My Lai, but also made the Army a more ethical and professional institution. The result is that fifty years after My Lai, some genuine good has come out of a very dark episode in U. Army history. The Americans also believed that since the VC battalion had a base camp near Song My, and that because enemy guerrillas had controlled the area for twenty years, that Company C could expect heavy resistance and would be outnumbered more than two to one.
A version of this story appears at foto. Ron Haeberle was a combat photographer in Vietnam when he and the Army unit he was riding with — Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment — landed near the hamlet of My Lai on the morning of March 16, But within minutes, an official Army report would later find, the troops opened fire.
The only US Army officer convicted over the massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai made an extraordinary public apology while speaking to a small group near the military base where he went on trial. William Calley, who has long shied away from publicity and routinely turned down journalists' requests for interviews about My Lai, broke his long silence after accepting a long-time friend's invitation to speak at a meeting of a local community club. Speaking in a soft, sometimes laboured voice, he told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus, Georgia: "There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai," the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported yesterday.
Robert Hodierne does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. They gave the children sweets to eat. Then they smiled and left.
Hundreds of villagers were about to enjoy a simple breakfast outside their bamboo huts when a flotilla of U. Old men and women, young mothers tending their children, most didn't bother to run away - they thought they had nothing to fear as the Americans routinely swept the countryside hunting the communist Viet Cong guerillas, 'the VC' in U. How could a huddle of defenceless farming people pose any threat?