Thursday, May 4, 1972

The Cost Of Being A General

HUE, Vietnam (UPI) --The commander of a South Vietnamese division routed in the fighting in Quang Tri Province issued an emotional letter Tuesday night claiming "full responsibility" for the retreat.

In what he called a "letter from the heart" to men of the 3rd Div. at Hue, Brig. Gen. Vo Van Giai declared:

"The capital of Quang Tri Province is in ruins. Our food, our ammunition and all our fuel supplies are gone. Our force is exhausted.

"I see no further reason why we should stay on in this ruined situation. I ordered you to withdraw in order to fortify our units again from a new front to annihilate remaining Communist forces if they still engage in this wrongful war."

The letter was unprecedented in the Vietnam conflict. In it, Giai declared, "I bear full responsibility for history and the law for this withdrawal."

Giai has set up a new headquarters base about 18 miles north of Hue, the former imperial capital on Highway 1, about 400 miles north of Saigon.

"The Cost of Being a General", by (UPI) published in the Pacific Stars and Stripes on Thursday, May 4, 1972 and reprinted from European and Pacific Stars and Stripes, a Department of Defense publication copyright, 2002 European and Pacific Stars and Stripes.
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