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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:01 pm 
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Seconded. Any timeline that eliminates the Khmer Rouge is a good one.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:41 am 
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Thank you for your kind words Gents and, part of my motivation in writing this TL was to avoid the predations of the Khmer Rouge.

One more chapter to go and, then I'll be joining the ranks of Red Dawn authors on this website :D.

Which is fair as I have read and commented on the overall thread for several years.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:21 am 
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Thirded (if that's a thing).

However I would imagine that using CW will not make the Cambodians particularly popular. To the point that US and Australian help is withdrawn pretty quickly.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:41 pm 
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Bernard Woolley wrote:
Thirded (if that's a thing).

However I would imagine that using CW will not make the Cambodians particularly popular. To the point that US and Australian help is withdrawn pretty quickly.


Great point.

The CW release order was issued via field telephone and, the subsequent Alpha strike followed by an Arc Light strike destroys most of the evidence. In time the truth comes to the fore and, a covert arms embargo is imposed by the Carter Administration on Cambodia. The fact that a prior Administration provided the weapons to the Cambodians in the first place is another matter. However, the Cambodians are still able to obtain a reasonable supply of spare parts for their existing American weapon systems (thanks Thailand, South Vietnam, South Korea and Imperial Iran). In time the weapons embargo is lifted in the 1980s and the 'Bodes do reasonably well at that time.

However, in this case the Cambodians warned the Vietnamese about the possibility of the Cambodians possessing special weapons in their arsenal and, that they were contemplating their use. Further, they were used in a defensive capacity on their own land against a military target, on the balance of facts there is enough grey there for a QC to mount a pretty reasonable case.

Regardless, by using these weapons the Cambodians will be unfortunately placed into the same category as the Iraqis, Iranians and Libyans.

Thanks for reading and the comment :D .

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:54 am 
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Once a certain POTUS is elected I would imagine that any arms embargo would be lifted.

I must admit to being fairly ignorant about the war in Cambodia. However when I did recently read a book on Air America I do remember it was said at the time that if you thought you understood the war you really didn't know what was going on.

I'f say that if a country faces an existential crisis, as Cambodia did here, that use of CW against military targets is fully justified. After all one might ask why is gassing the invading North Vietnamese Army so much worse than ripping them to pieces with artillery, or shooting them with machine-guns?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:54 pm 
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Couldn't agree more with you Bernard, when your back is against the wall all bets are off.

This is the final chapter of 12MtM Mk 3, I hope you have enjoyed reading this TL as much as I have writing it.

Chapter Fifteen: The walls of Jericho

And it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. Joshua 6:20

The surviving North Vietnamese soldiers retreated to the north east, following the devastating ‘Arc Light’ strike by a B-52 wing. To Thiếu tướng (Major General) Nguyen Huu An’s credit, the North Vietnamese successfully reorganised their force, thus preventing their retreat from turning into a rout. At first, the Cambodians were content to let them go, but they in turn slowly followed the retreating Vietnamese, re-establishing control over the formerly captured provinces.

Signals intelligence indicated that most of the surviving PAVN forces were withdrawing into Central Vietnam. This left the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea relatively defenseless, following the annihilation of most of their army at Srae Seam. The General Staff reconstituted the Cambodian divisions and, started planning Operation Retribution. Retribution was the codename for the planned offensive to liberate all of Cambodia from Communist rule.

The Cambodians commenced their drive north west towards Labansiek, encountering only scattered resistance. However, it was not the engagements that characterised the drive, but rather what or whom they found. Major Keo shares his thoughts below:

“To see photographs is one thing, but to go in and smell and be exposed to this horror you cannot really be ready for that. We all knew what we were likely to encounter, after all the intelligence accounts from Op Suryavarmann II were shared widely within the military. But to see it with your own eyes was another thing entirely… Before that moment, I still found it hard to kill, after that, I never had the problem again. My only thought was that I hadn’t killed enough Communists.”

Major Keo looked at the wide straight boulevard that led to the former Governor's office; a building that had for the preceding eight years housed the inner sanctum of the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea. Fifteen years ago, as a child Keo had walked along the boulevard with his father in the shade of the trees that marked either side, a visit to pay his respects to his mother's family, whom as petty bourgeois were marked for death by the Angkor. Now artillery fire crashed down on the city spraying smoke and scattering rubble in its wake. Keo was glad that the smoke wafted over the boulevard, as it partially obscured the bodies that dangled limply from a tree branch or, from buildings with placards draped around their necks detailing their crimes.

For him and the other soldiers of the Cambodian Army their advance had resulted in the deaths of far too few Vietnamese. After seeing friends burned alive by explosives or eviscerated by a Vietnamese bayonet, had made him view Vietnamese as not human, but rather a savage beast to be hunted down. The General Staff had allowed the PAVN forces to retreat over the border into Southern Laos content to harry any lingering elements, but not to destroy them. In time Keo acknowledged that this was a far more prudent action.

The General Staff had belatedly given their approval for reporters to accompany the units as they drove on Labansiek and, they provided real time television footage of the atrocities found by the Cambodian Army. It has been said that silence can be deafening, and the international community seemed indifferent to their plight. No national representative condemned the Khmer Rouge atrocities on the floor of the United Nations, or was uttered in the baritone voice of respected News Anchormen across the world, or even found in the banner headlines of newspaper broadsheets. If it was recorded at all, details of the atrocities were confined to a small article buried deep within the paper, after the social section or before high school sport.

Even domestically while their soldiers still fought and died, the seaside resort towns of Kampot and Sihanoukville were bustling. Indeed, it was so busy that hotels were reserved six weeks in advance; seemingly the final flickers of the war provided a quaint backdrop to their holiday. Dith Pran a reporter for NTK, the national broadcaster, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion after his seminal efforts reporting the recent battles of Krong Suong and Srae Seam.

Keo touched the amulet in his left breast pocket, as he looked at the blood red flag that hung above the building to his front. It seemed strange that a cloth flag, could be associated with so many strong emotions. As the Queen’s Tigers had driven on the capital, they were ill prepared for what they encountered. The scores of malnourished civilians lying next to the road either dead or dying, his men pausing to share their ration packs with their countrymen. As the news had trickled upwards, the General Staff had ordered them to drive seemingly impervious to their suffering, but his soldiers had ignored the directive slowing to give their ration packs to the civilians. The state of the civilians and the atrocities that had greeted them seemingly made each kilometre drenched in blood as they ventured ever closer to the heart of the DRK, a heart filled with darkness.

Raising his binoculars, Keo watched his soldiers dart from shadow to shadow, only moving once their squad mates covered them, edging forwards towards the heart of residence. Their rifles were raised, covering each window for enemy combatants; the APC gun mounts likewise slowly traversed across the buildings husks and alleyways. Leading the column was a platoon of Tiger tanks, that trundled down the centre of the road, suddenly a soldier dashed across to the rear of the Tank, and picked up the infantry phone. The tank platoon's guns then shifted towards the parliament building... it was on, Keo thought, this was it.

A flight of A-4C Skyhawks flashed overhead as the soldiers bounded over the fence, while a tank crashed through the locked gate creating one of the most recognisable photos of the war. The Air Force had sustained severe losses during the recent battle at Srae Seam, but Major General So Satto, with an eye to posterity, had ensured their participation was noted on this seminal day.

Keo’s Guardsmen moved in bounds into the building expecting to receive heavy fire in return, but encountered only silence. The remaining civilians cowered under their furniture surrendered to the soldiers as they entered the building, still begging for mercy as their hands were roughly bound behind their backs. Their pleas for clemency worked, for a time, as they were temporarily located in a small room, secured by stony faced Gendarmes. The remaining soldiers continued to search the building, before declaring it clear. There was a commotion as two television crews rushed to the building, racing up six flights of stairs, to set up their cameras to film the momentous occasion.

At exactly 4:56 p.m. on Friday, 19 November 1976 Guardsman Khat and Corporal Pang of the 2nd Battalion Royal Dragoon Guards pulled down the revolutionary flag of Angkor, ensuring that they stomped on it for good measure. Guardsman Khat then reached into his rucksack taking out a threadbare Cambodian National Flag, attached it to the flagpole, before hoisting the flag so that it once more fluttered over the city. Each television and radio channel in Cambodia interrupted their program to broadcast the events from Labansiek live. To this day, the raising of the National Flag over Labansiek, remains one of the defining images of the Civil War.

Although Khmer Rouge remnants remained at large in the north east of the country, for all intents and purposes the Country was reunited.

The Civil War was over.

Closing Act

Labansiek Airport, Democratic Republic of Kampuchea

The Vietnamese Mil 17 Hip sat on the tarmac, its rotor blades still, waiting for the Cambodians to arrive. Two PAVN soldiers stood outside of the helicopter with assault rifles in hand, their eyes darting across the smouldering buildings surrounding the airfield, the result of a Cambodian air strike two days before. The Fan Song radar from a SA – 2 battery spun through the air, its electronic eyes attempting to locate the ARVK aircraft. Artillery fire could be heard in the background heralding the advance of the Cambodian Army, and the collapse of the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea. Several bodies were visible swaying in the breeze from street lights, a grim reminder that even on the verge of defeat the Khmer Rouge continued their murderous ways.

Two black limousines with small red flags snapping in the breeze, generating massive plumes of dust, arrived at the edge of the tarmac escorted by three Ural trucks filled with soldiers from the Santebal Regiment. Stopping adjacent to the helicopter, the limousine passengers alighted from their vehicles, and were briskly whisked inside the waiting helicopter by several Vietnamese soldiers. The aircraft slowly took off roaring northwards at tree top height, to avoid the roving ARVK Skyhawks that roamed the skies of the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea with impunity.

Inside the helicopter, the remnants of the DRK’s leadership cadre calmly sat in their seats, some gazed out of the small windows, while others attempted to sleep. It was a remarkably tranquil scene, which ignored the fact that these men and women, had the metaphorical and literal blood of tens of thousands lay on their hands.

An alarm sounded in the cockpit, and the pilots began to pitch the aircraft to the right. The evasive manoeuvre was too late, as two AIM – 9 Sidewinders crashed into the helicopter and exploded, sending shards of metal throughout the entire aircraft eviscerating all the occupants.

-The End-
 

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