RAND MAR 1 I
VIETNAM (NVN) SOUTH VTETNAM (SVN)
Contradictions Between Official Policy And VC Sentiments Concerning DATE OFhe Treatment of Wounded^ Allied
Prisonners ofOF PACES i
PATE AND PLACE OF ACQUISITION
U7) SAIGON, Vietnam
Aooording to VC policy, ell. personnel, whether wounded or.not, were to be well treated by their captors. Several men in Source'a unit grumbled at the rule and commented that thoy would Ao- otherwise, especially with woundod captives. Many hardships would be borne by'soldiers in charge of caring for the wounded; they would have to be carried'and fed out of community stocks, which consequently lowered evoryono's ration. Source overhead aatParty, meeting in which the principal speaker saidattle could not beuccess unless there were prisoners to show for it.
US MBASST (OSA)
'. liiiau oi tit umira
Political cadres instructed the men that. personnel, whether wounded or not, ware to be taken prisoner and treated well. The/ were to receive the same rations as the VC, and their wounds treated if necessary. No one was allowed to shoot the wounded.
There were conflicts between what the cadres preached and what the men felt. Source alleges that he overheard discussions among the troops to the effect that they would shoot US/QVH wounded regardless. They looked at having to care. wounded ao an additionalurden that only they and not the political cadres would experience. First they would have to carry the wounded, end it was difficult enough carrying their own wounded. Secondly, the prisoner would have to share their foodittle resentment was built up against the political officer for the men knew that he would not have to carry wounded prisoners or share his rations.
Source speculated that cadres wouldan to tho roar for trial if he was caughtounded prisoner of war. Prisoners were needed for interrogations that would be conducted In the rear. Source did not know how closoly the unit would follow its policy towards captured personnel as they never had the opportunity torisoner. Moreover, the policy was confusing, for the men were urged to captured and treat prisoners well on one hand and were Instructed at pre-battle briefings to try and annihilate the enemy on the other.
One reason why the cadres were so emphatic about taking prisoners was that it wasardstick whereby the success or failureC campaign or battle could be gauged. Source overhead some cadres disusslng this point ae he walked by their tablearge party meeting hold inne party official informed the othersattle could not be considered successful unless they had prisoners.Original document.