These quotations have been researched, selected and compiled by Alpha History authors.
The unit met no resistance in My Lai, which had about inhabitants. Indeed, they saw no males of fighting age. They only found villagers eating breakfast. Nevertheless, over the next three hours they killed as many as Vietnamese civilians.
Some were lined up in a drainage ditch before being shot.
The dead civilians included fifty age 3 or younger, 69 between 4 and 7, and 27 in their 70s or 80s. In addition, Vietnamese women were raped; other civilians were clubbed and stabbed. Some victims were mutilated with the signature "C Company" carved into the chest.
One soldier would testify later, "I cut their throats, cut off their hands, cut out their tongues, scalped them. A lot of people were doing it and I just followed.
I lost all sense of direction. In one incident, a soldier, Robert Maples, refused an order to fire his machine gun on people in a ditch, even when his commanding officer trained his own weapon on him. Hugh Thompson, a helicopter pilot, had threatened to fire on the American troops in order to rescue Vietnamese women and children from the slaughter.
The My Lai massacre took place shortly after the Tet offensive. Charlie Company had arrived in Vietnam three months before the My Lai massacre. Charlie Company had suffered 28 casualties, including five dead.
Just two days before the massacre, on March 14, a "C" Company squadron encountered a booby trap, killing a popular sergeant, blinding one GI and wounding several others.
The Cover-Up The 11th Brigade claimed to have killed Viet Cong during the operation, which would have been the largest number killed by the Brigade in a 24 hour period.
Curiously, the Brigade reported only 3 weapons captured. Even though he had personally seen at least bodies, he maintained that between 20 and 28 civilians had been killed by gunship and artillery fire.
That conclusion was echoed in a report submitted a month later by the commander of the 11th Infantry Brigade, Col Oran K Henderson.
He claimed that 20 civilians had been killed inadvertently, The massacre was covered up until a year-old helicopter gunner in another unit, Ron Ridenhour, wrote letters to 30 congressional and military officials a year later detailing the events at My Lai.
The Peers report concluded that the brigade commander, Col. Oran Henderson, and the commanding officer, Lt Col Frank Barker, had substantial knowledge of the war crime, but did nothing about it. In the end, Army lawyers decided that only 14 officers should be charged with crimes. Seventeen men had left the Army, and charges against them were dropped.
Army investigators concluded that 33 of the members of Charlie Company participated in the massacre, and that 28 officers helped cover it up. Charges were brought against only 13 men. In the end, only one soldier — Lt.
William Calley - was convicted. Calley was charged with murdering villagers in the My Lai massacre.My Lai was not a “war crime” because the victims were not enemy aliens in an occupied territory.  Even though not technically “war crimes,” what occurred at My Lai clearly fell within the list of crimes specified by Congress in the Uniform Code of Military Justice – .
Seymour M. Hersh returns to Vietnam to visit the site of the My Lai massacre. The Scene of the Crime Asked if he could understand why such war crimes were tolerated by the American command.
War crimes: My Lai is a lesson from history whose only crime was to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
the troops who carried out the massacre at My Lai were from C, or. The My Lai Massacre and War Crimes Written and Edited By: Alix Nelson, Caitlyn Campbell, Kathleen Moody, and Katy Wilkens "The most disturbing thing I saw was one boy and this is what haunts me .
Jan 14, · A War Crime the My Lai Massacre My Lai Massacre is a war crime committed by American soldiers in the village community of My Lai in South Vietnam, which has received worldwide fame in during the Vietnam War.5/5(94).
Type my essay online Essay on why lai massacre was not a war crime.