Massacre in Songmy

The following sample essay on “Massacre in Songmy” tells the story of a war crime in the rural community of My Lai in the vicinity of Songino, Quang Ngai province in South Vietnam. This happened in 1969 during the Vietnam War.

Civilians often make up the biggest number of casualties in a war; this was no different in the Vietnam War. In fact, one of the turning points in this brutal war occurred when 400 hundred unarmed Vietnamese civilians were mercilessly slaughtered in the My Lai Massacre.

The Charlie Company, part of the American Division, had suffered heavy losses as a result of the March 1968 Tet Offensive. Nearly 30 men were killed, leaving only about a 100 American troops. Charlie Company’s men were exhausted, angry, and had intent on revenge. In March 1968 the Charlie Company was informed that there was a Viet Cong stronghold in My Lai. the men were briefed by their commanding officer, Captain Ernest L. Medina. Charlie Company and were instructed to destroy My Lai.

The My Lai Massacre began on March 16, 1968. The Charlie Company did not encounter any Viet Cong. Instead, most of the people living in My Lai were women, children, and old men. On Lieutenant Calley’s orders, Charlie Company proceeded to inflict absolute terror and unempathetic attitude towards innocent civilians and then to cover it up. They set homes on fire and ruthlessly murdered the villagers. This led to many soldiers in New Zealand being affected, as they were also blamed for the massacre. This caused an escalation of opposition to NZs involvement in the war.

Get quality help now
Bella Hamilton

Proficient in: Imperialism

5 (234)

“ Very organized ,I enjoyed and Loved every bit of our professional interaction ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Protesting NZs involvement in the Vietnam War became a rallying point for many radicals. New Zealands involvement in the Vietnam War created a considerable public debate. By 1971 up to 35,000 people were protesting on the streets. New Zealand youth protests which was very much radicalized by the Progressive Youth Movement (PYM), led by Tim Shadbolt. One of the key reasons for this perspective was the opinion/argument that the conflict was a civil war in which New Zealand should play no part. They wanted this country to follow an independent foreign policy; not take its cue from the United States.

The Progressive Youth Movement would lead public demonstrations and hand out leaflets and anti-war posters. During the demonstrations they would frequently chant one, two, three, four we dont want your bloody war! And Hell no, we wont go! The reason The Progressive Youth Movement took these actions was because they believed the New Zealand government shouldnt be sending NZ troops into what they thought was a civil war that they should have no part in.

Cite this page

Massacre in Songmy. (2019, Dec 04). Retrieved from

Massacre in Songmy
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7