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 Post subject: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:17 pm 
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First Sergeant

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I am working on a game about the Mobile Riverine Force during the Vietnam War ... and that involves reading about many aspects of the war ... I may post some interesting tidbits here ...

==
Regarding one Arthur Simons ... who shows up in fact and fiction on occasion ... here is a tale about him that involves both ...

Excerpt of Ken Follet fiction story about the true rescue of two EDS employees from Iran ... Col (ret) Simons led the rescue effort on behalf of Ross Perot.

Quote:
Simons bent down and spoke in Perot's ear. "Remember you offered to pay me?"

Perot would never forget it. When Simons gave the icy look you froze. "I sure do."

"See this?" said Simons, inclining his head.

Paul [Chiapparone] was walking toward them, carrying [his daughter] Ann Marie in his arms, through the crowd of cheering friends. "I see it," said Perot.

Simons said: "I just got paid." He drew on his cigar.


http://www.danielpipes.org/7958/on-wings-of-eagles

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:53 am 
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Even though I actually first started working on this game in the 90s when I had to travel out to CA alot while working for Adobe ... the idea got put on the shelf for a zillion years ... until this year. Back in the 90s I was going to do it in 1/285 scale using GHQ boats ... but this year a buddy talked me in to doing it in 15mm (roughly 1/100).

But here are some photos of a Frog guy doing 1/285 and doing an amazing job ... I hope my 1/100 look half this good ...

Image

Image

Image

Thanks to "Pibber" on the GHQ forum ...
:)

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:11 am 
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First Sergeant

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You can't do the MRF without understanding the terrain ... and it is different from Kansas!

Image

Image

Image

During the war ... the mekong ag was about 90% rice and 10% mango (and other fruit) orchards ... these days the ratio is completely different ... more like 50/50 rice and mango ... my understanding is this is due to several factors including poor water management reducing the inundation in the rice field areas, thus reducing ability to have rice crop ... and prices ... but Vietnam is still #1 rice producer (I think).

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:45 am 
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The Can Tho area saw the largest battles in the Delta - and I am specifically modeling them. In normal times the riverside towns are markets for locally harvested items.

Image

Another riverside village ...

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:50 am 
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Bridges are not as fancy as in TGLFKAO ... but probably easier to repair ...

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:07 pm 
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Back to the GHQ inspirations ... this is Pibber's scratch build of one of the Artillery barges ... the 3/34th Artillery built these out of barges as there was little suitable ground ashore to emplace artillery. So these provided mobile floating artillery support ... and amazing innovation. The artillery barges were mobilized by surplus LCM-8s.
My fascination with the MRF is the level of innovation across the entire force ... and the level of "joint" between Army and Navy also amazing, given that their formal commands only "joined" at the level of CinCPac ... obviously they didn't wait for CINCPAC to make every decision! The low level officers and NCOs on the spot made the decisions.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:13 pm 
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The MRF field forces were completely afloat ... they lived on about 6-12 barracks ships and LSTs. This "Mobile Base" could shift position 30-50 miles at night and the force could then launch a multi-day operation into an area the enemy had no idea the MRF were near. This mobility in the Delta area made the MRF much more powerful than it's size would indicate. That size typically being 2 battalions of the 2nd Brigade of the 9th Infantry division afloat and the 3rd battalion of the 2nd Bridge being brought in by various loaner assault helicopter companies.

The vessels of the river divisions would moor to barges which themselves were tied up along side the barracks ships and LSTs. All the barracks ships and LSTs had helicopter pads as did some of the assault transport vessels: ATC or ATC(H) which were converted LCM-6.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:47 pm 
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This is probably the single best collection of MRF photos I've found ...

http://www.rivervet.com/larry_irwin.htm

Here is one shot of the actual base force ships ... several barracks ships and LSTs with their "flocks" of assault boats and Helicopters ...

Image

==

Artillery barge ...

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==

While one op was being executed, the next was being planned ...

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==

Not too many Papa Charlies in those days ...

Image

==

In addition to the infantry elements carried about the assault boats ... platoons and companies and even whole battalions would be brought in via helicopter ... with gunships and even fixed wing support on occasion.

Image

==

Smash through the vegetation - up against the bank ... and go ashore ...

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:22 pm 
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I read a paperback book some years ago about the MRF. I don't remember the title but I will see if I can dig it up.

The book was fascinating. As you mentioned, alot of what happened was done from a "bottom up" approach (the front line people working to make things up and get things done) rather than a "top down" with the high rank REMFS deciding everything.

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 Post subject: Re: Vietnam Studies
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:58 pm 
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As to sources:

==
Here is the online version of my main source

http://www.history.army.mil/books/vietn ... er6.htm#b1

Fulton, W. B., MG, RIVERINE OPERATIONS 1966-1969, Dept of the Army, Washington, D.C. 1973

==
Another relevant source:

Culter, T. J., LCDR, Brown Water, Black Berets, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 1988

==
There are many online sources and other books I have, though most of the books are not much directly about the MRF. Several online sources, like the MRF association are directly about the MRF.

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