1968 - 1969 Vietnam War Propaganda Archive (Leaflets, Posters, Banners)

[Vietnam War Propaganda Archive.] - Main View

1968 - 1969 Vietnam War Propaganda Archive (Leaflets, Posters, Banners)


Propaganda from both sides of the Vietnam War.


[Vietnam War Propaganda Archive.]
  1969 (dated)     x in (0 x 0 cm)


This is an extraordinary archive of Vietnam War (1955 - 1975) propaganda from the estate of Major General Ira A. Hunt Jr. It is a comprehensive retrospective on the propaganda produced by both sides of the long and nuanced war. The collection includes 41 items ranging from Viet Cong produced anti-American pieces to propaganda distributed among the Viet Cong by American Psychological Operations (PSYOPS).
Psychological Operations and the American Propaganda Leaflet Program
Per an article published in the New York Times published on June 3, 1971, 'the United States Army printed during the Vietnam War 6,245,200,000 propaganda leaflets for air drops in Indochina'. Another estimate, provided by Robert J. Kodosky in their article 'Leaflets, Loudspeakers and Radios, Oh My!' states that 'by 1970, the United States had dropped 2,000 leaflets for every man, woman and child in Vietnam'. The leaflet operation focused on the Chiêu Hồi (Open Arms) program, but also promoted efforts by the American military to better the lives of Vietnamese.

American Psychological Operations (PSYOP) was active in Vietnam since the first military missions were established in the 1950s. PSYOP officers trained South Vietnamese and Taiwanese soldiers to fly missions over North Vietnam during the early 1960s, but by 1964 American personnel were flying these missions. As the war in Vietnam escalated during the 1960s, the United States government established the Joint United States Public Affairs Office (JUSPAO) which began directing the American PSYOP campaign in Vietnam. (JUSPAO appears on several of the pieces in this collection.) In 1967, the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) took over directing the PSYOP campaign. The U.S. military directed the leaflet campaign until the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam.
The Chiêu Hồi Program
Many of the propaganda pieces that are part of this collection deal with the Chiêu Hồi (Open Arms) program. The Chiêu Hồi program was created by the Government of South Vietnam (possibly with the encouragement of American or British advisers) and was a general amnesty for anyone that had given aid to the North Vietnamese. Chiêu Hồi propaganda encouraged Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers to 'rally' to the South Vietnamese government in return for a job and full acceptance back into South Vietnamese society. South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem (1901 - 1963) announced the program on Lunar New Year (known as Tet in Vietnam) in 1963. Estimates of the number of individuals who 'rallied' to South Vietnam between the program's announcement and the end of the program in 1971 vary wildly. Some estimates are as low of 100,000 while other put the number at over 250,000. Leaflets, posters, and broadcasts from loudspeakers on helicopters and other aircraft helped the South Vietnamese and the Americans spread the word about the program. Millions of Chiêu Hồi passes were printed and airdropped over North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong positions. (One of these passes is part of the present collection.)

Other Chiêu Hồi propaganda present here includes a comic book, broadsides bearing testimony of returnees, known as 'Hoi Chanh', and information about the excellent treatment received by Hoi Chanh. Another booklet present in this collection was published for American soldiers, instructing them on how to receive returnees.
North Vietnamese and Viet Cong Propaganda
There are two types of North Vietnamese propaganda present in this collection. The first is Viet Cong propaganda aimed directly at American soldiers. These leaflets exhort American soldiers to give up fighting and go home, instead of dying in Vietnam for a corrupt government and leaving their mothers and sweethearts alone to mourn them. The other North Vietnamese propaganda (pamphlets, booklets, and banners) compels Vietnamese to fight the invaders until they are victorious.
The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War, known in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, raged between November 1, 1955, and April 30, 1975, when Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese. A complicated conflict with an even more complicated history and legacy, the Vietnam War pitted the North Vietnamese, led by Ho Chi Minh, against the South Vietnamese. The South Vietnamese were supported by the United States, while the Soviet Union and China supported the North Vietnamese. American anti-communist dogma and fear that 'if one country fell to Communism, then more would fall' drove participation in the far-off civil war. As the conflict grew, American involvement became increasingly overt. Finally, in 1964, American ground troops were sent into combat. In 1968, U.S. troop strength in Vietnam reached its maximum at 549,500 soldiers. The same year saw the Tet Offensive, the most successful North Vietnamese campaign against American forces, and a waning of American home front support. U.S. forces withdrew in January 1973, and Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975.
Provenance: Major General Ira A. Hunt
This archive was part of the papers of Major General Ira Augustus Hunt Jr. (1924 - 2022), an American Army officer, historian, and author. Hunt was the Investigating Officer for the U.S. v. Henderson court-martial. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Hunt entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1945, at which point he became a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He was sent overseas, where he served in several post-war engineer assignments in Europe. A distinguished military and academic career followed, including multiple prestigious degrees, as well as service in Korea. During the Vietnam War (1955 - 1975), he served as Chief of Staff of the 9th Infantry Division and as Commanding Officer of its 1st Brigade. After Vietnam, he was made Assistant Commandant of the Engineer School at Fort Belvoir, then Deputy Chief of Staff for Training and Schools at Headquarters TRADOC, Fort Monroe, Virginia. He retired in 1978, after which he wrote three books: The 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam: Unparalleled and Unequaled, Losing Vietnam: How America Abandoned Southeast Asia, and My Lai Cover-Up: Deceit and Incompetence.


Archive of 41 pieces of propaganda from the Vietnam War. In English and Vietnamese. Pieces vary in condition from Excellent to Average. Some have edge tears or fold separations, none of which have been repaired. Most have no damage at all. All housed in sleeves in a binder.