As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
When it comes to foreign troops trained by Americans, 1 in 10,000 has any ability, with 9,999 of them running away in combat or shooting their American trainers, and only 1 in 1000 is serviceable with Americans in command, whether it is the Negroid of the American Civil War or the Muslim in Afghanistan.
- Lame Cherry
Dichotomies always appear when scapegoats are needed, and where Americans are no longer in position to make weak commanders appear strong. Such is the case of a rather remarkable South Vietnamese General in, Lieut. Gen. Hoang Xuan Lam.
Hoàng Xuân Lãm (Chữ nho: 黃春覽; born 1928, Huế) was a general in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). Given responsibility for the I Corps Tactical Zone in 1967, Lãm coordinated the South Vietnamese offensive known as Operation Lam Sơn 719 which aimed at striking the North Vietnamese logistical corridor known as the Hồ Chí Minh Trail in southeastern Laos during 1971.
Due to his political connections with President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, he was still serving as I Corps commander when the North Vietnamese launched the Nguyên Huế Offensive (called the Easter Offensive) in 1972. Lãm was recalled to Saigon on 2 May 1972 by Thiệu, who relieved him of his command, due to complaints regarding Lãm's fitness and competency as a general. Lãm was named to head an anti-corruption campaign at the Ministry of Defense.
Lãm's replacement as I Corps commander, Lieutenant General Ngô Quang Trưởng, said “I had served in I Corps under General Lãm and the disaster that occurred there was no surprise to me. Neither General Lãm nor his staff were competent to maneuver and support large forces in heavy combat.”
General Lam was one of the few Vietnamese heroes in the Tet Offensive, when the North Vietnamese Communists broke a Christmas truce, into New Years and without honor attacked South Vietnam and American positions in a surprise attack.
Lieut. Gen. Hoang Xuan Lam was at the time in command of Da Nang in the south when the attack took place. He was one of the few leaders who revoked leave so he was staffed, along with a remarkable few days when upon hearing his base was under attack replied BALONEY, and upon being assured he was under attack, left his position and drove under heavy fire to his command to direct the defense of Da Nang which was the second largest city in South Vietnam.
Lam was like a fictional military character in carrying a riding crop and being powerfully built would wade through situations with the arrogance of what most officers lacked.
Upon reaching headquarters, he studied the map closely and began slapping it with his riding crop, and informing his American advisor, "You bomb here. Big bombs. Bomb here and here".
The American Major on station replied to the General, "That is close to I Corps position in it is just 200 yards away from us".
The Americans would never bomb that close to their own allied positions.
Lam replied, "Bomb".
With that the American radioed for artillery fire and was challenged that it needed another officer to agree and with that the American stated, "General Lam just issued the order".
Immediately the American artillery carpeted the Vietcong positions 200 yards away and silenced them. General Lam seeing his opening in the VC were crippled and pulling back, order attack helicopters in pursuit of the enemy and destroyed them.
It is most interesting in Tet, in Saigon the battle waged for days and weeks, other areas had their cities obliterated in the fighting, but due to General Lam responding immediately and with full force, Da Nang was left in tact and literally at peace while the rest of South Vietnam was in turmoil.
As an example the Mekong Delta was literally lost to the South Vietnamese and Americans due to the psychological win there by the communists, as the VC were so embedded that heavy fighting had to occur for a period of time as American evacuated some Vietnamese and left others.
Lieut. Gen. Hoang Xuan Lam was provided a northern command due to the Da Nang successes. In his dichotomy, he would lead the attack to liberate the Imperial City of Hue, which another South Vietnamese general, the most celebrated in the nation was pinned down. Lam would suffer costly and withering fire from the communists, and prevail, as his forces proved they would fight while others would not.
In a few years though with the problems of American political intrigue against Nixon and the weakness of South Vietnam, he was blamed for failures and removed.
For a time though, he was one of the great Vietnamese generals, the warrior who saved Da Nang.