141 Dead in November

I’ve updated my Iraq-Vietnam comparison graphs with the number of US dead for November, 2004. This is the worst month in terms of US fatalities since the beginning of the war, edging out by one last April, with its 140 US dead.

Again, I’m getting these figures from the advanced search tool at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund site, and from Lunaville’s page on Iraq coalition casualties. The figures are for the number of US dead per month, without regard to whether the deaths were combat-related.

The first graph shows the first 21 months of each war. (Click on any image for a larger version.)

Next, the same chart, with the Vietnam numbers extended out to cover the first four years of the war:

Finally, the chart that gives the US death toll for the entire Vietnam war:

Disclaimer: I’m aware that we have more troops in-theater in Iraq than we had during the corresponding parts of the Vietnam War graph. Vietnam didn’t get numbers of US troops comparable to the number currently in Iraq until shortly after Johnson won the 1964 election, some three-and-a-half years after the starting point of the Vietnam graphs above.

These graphs are not intended to show the relative lethality of the two conflicts on a per-soldier basis. I was just curious how the “death profile” of the two wars compared, and these graphs let me see that. You are free to draw your own conclusions.

You can view more discussion of these charts on the following pages, if you’re interested. The graphs are all the same; I just update them in place when the new numbers become available.

34 Responses to “141 Dead in November”

  1. Patriot Says:

    Whoah, whoah, whoah, hold your horses! Let’s look at what that second chart TELLS US!

    We lost in Vietnam because we stopped using overwhelming force – something Bush stopped doing for the campeign and is only starting to pick back up on now that it’s over. Not quickly enough for some of us.

    So basically, if we can kill more terrorists, we’ll lose less soldiers!

    And there’s always the grand old Republicrat party line:
    Better to fight them there with spies and marines than to fight them here with firemen and doctors!

  2. Phil Says:

    Out of curiosity, what caused that little blip in Vietnam deaths around the 13 and a half year mark, after what seems like 1 and a half years with zero deaths?

  3. Patriot Says:

    What I just said – the lack of the use of overwhelming force. We started fighting a defensive war, deciding not to go over the line, and lost.

  4. John Callender Says:

    Phil, here’s what the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s search tool gave me for US deaths by month during the last few years of the war:

    Dec-72 76
    Jan-73 28
    Feb-73 14
    Mar-73 0
    Apr-73 6
    May-73 2
    Jun-73 7
    Jul-73 3
    Aug-73 1
    Sep-73 2
    Oct-73 1
    Nov-73 1
    Dec-73 1
    Jan-74 0
    Feb-74 0
    Mar-74 0
    Apr-74 0
    May-74 0
    Jun-74 0
    Jul-74 0
    Aug-74 0
    Sep-74 0
    Oct-74 0
    Nov-74 1
    Dec-74 0
    Jan-75 5
    Feb-75 0
    Mar-75 0
    Apr-75 16
    May-75 41

    A PBS history of the war at http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/timeline/index4.html says the following:

    March 1973

    The last American combat soldiers leave South Vietnam, though military advisors and Marines, who are protecting U.S. installations, remain. For the United States, the war is officially over.

    Later, it says this:

    Early April 1975

    Five weeks into its campaign, the North Vietnamese Army has made stunning gains. Twelve provinces and more than eight million people are under its control. The South Vietnamese Army has lost its best units, over a third of its men, and almost half its weapons.
     
    April 29, 1975

    U.S. Marines and Air Force helicopters, flying from carriers off-shore, begin a massive airlift. In 18 hours, over 1,000 American civilians and almost 7,000 South Vietnamese refugees are flown out of Saigon.
     
    April 30, 1975

    At 4:03 a.m., two U.S. Marines are killed in a rocket attack at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut airport. They are the last Americans to die in the Vietnam War. At dawn, the last Marines of the force guarding the U.S. embassy lift off. Only hours later, looters ransack the embassy, and North Vietnamese tanks role into Saigon, ending the war. In 15 years, nearly a million NVA and Vietcong troops and a quarter of a million South Vietnamese soldiers have died. Hundreds of thousands of civilians had been killed.

    [me again]

    So that explains the low US casualties from March of 1973 until March of 1975; we were officially no longer fighting there, with only a limited number of advisors and defenders of embassies and whatnot. And then the eventual invasion of the South in 1975 led to some US casualties among those folks, plus the military people doing the airlift.

    It doesn’t explain the 41 dead in May, 1975, all of whom died after the PBS history says US troops were done dying in the war. Turning to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund advanced search tool, which is where I got that number, it turns out that all the dead from that month are reported as having died on one of two days.

    Twenty-three members of the Air Force are listed as having died on May 13 as part of a crash of an H-53 helicopter that was involved in a rescue attempt of the crewmembers of the USS Mayaguez.

    Eighteen members of the Marine Corps are listed as having died on May 15, also the result of the attempted rescue of the crewmembers of the Mayaguez.

    The Mayaguez was a merchant ship captured by Cambodian forces. An interesting account of the incident is available at http://members.tripod.com/~GranzowMissingLinks/POW_MIA.html.

  5. Patriot Says:

    OK, so you’re comparing Vietnam to Iraq, arguing that those US soldiers died because the US Military wasn’t officially at war there anymore!?

    I’d say they died because they were shot or blown up.

  6. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) Says:

    Thanks for these graphs, which I’ve republished (with links back) on my own blog, unfutz.

    One thing I would like to see, are some “per capita” figures which show deaths in Vietnam and Iraq in ratio to the number of troops committed. Are you aware of any such figures?

  7. Patriot Says:

    why? whats your point?

  8. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) Says:

    My point? Nothing that you’d understand.

  9. Patriot Says:

    I understand you’re encouraging the enemy. War isn’t just about guns and blood, it’s also about ideas. You can’t critisize Bush for not winning the war of hearts and minds when you’re fighting against us in it.

    Another question, even though you have answered none of mine and I have answered all of yours: What is terrorism?

  10. afghanihash Says:

    Terrorizing a peaceful people in a nation doing no harm to the US, is terrorism. GWB is the worlds leading terrorist. Suppression of news and dissent is a tactict used by all dictators. Did you see the clown in his military jacket w epaulets and what looked like fake medals on the chest? Looked like hussein, castro, kadafi, etc.
    Question for you…What is a patriot?

  11. Patriot Says:

    “Terrorizing a peaceful people in a nation doing no harm to the US, is terrorism. GWB is the worlds leading terrorist. Suppression of news and dissent is a tactict used by all dictators. Did you see the clown in his military jacket w epaulets and what looked like fake medals on the chest? Looked like hussein, castro, kadafi, etc.”
    Ha ha ha ha ha!
    Your very statement contradicts itself: If that were true, YOU WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO SAY THAT!

    “Question for you…What is a patriot?”
    A patriot is someone who loves his country, I suppose. “Patriot” was the online name of a fictional psychokiller who murdered innocent people by electrocuting them thru the phone lines in Jefforson Scott’s excellent novel “Virtu@lly Eliminated.” It makes an interesting online name. You see, I decided to come here and act like a psycho to see how “tolerant” the Left really is. So far, none of you have passed the test.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I gather from your response that you dont dispute my definition of terrorism..
    I agree that a patriot is someone who loves his country. However, a patriot would not blindly follow his government as it leads him over a cliff. The enemy is not in Iraq, he is in the white house.

  13. Patriot Says:

    listen to yourself – that is irrational!

  14. afghanihash Says:

    It is not irrational for me to feel the way I do about this administration. My country is being led in the wrong direction on many issues.
    Do you feel safer now that Saddam is behind bars? Did you feel he was a threat to the American way of life? How many Americans had Saddam killed before the war?

  15. BikeWriter Says:

    Who is encouraging the enemy? Who was it said “Bring ‘Em On?”

  16. afghanihash Says:

    Patriot, Where are you? We have quite a few questions for you to answer. Please be honest.

    Was Iraq responsible for 9-11?
    Does Iraq have WMD?
    Do you feel safer now that Saddam is behind bars?
    Did you feel he was a threat to the American way of life?
    How many Americans had Saddam killed before the war?

    Who is encouraging the enemy? Who was it said “Bring ‘Em On?”

    Comment by BikeWriter — December 22, 2004 @ 3:48 am

  17. LOOOOOOOOOOOOP Says:

    IRAQ SUCKS

  18. Patriot Says:

    “Patriot, Where are you? We have quite a few questions for you to answer. Please be honest.”
    Just been taking a little Christmas break.
    Not “holidays” or “winter,” mind you, that was a Christmas break.

    “Was Iraq responsible for 9-11?
    Does Iraq have WMD?
    Do you feel safer now that Saddam is behind bars?
    Did you feel he was a threat to the American way of life?
    How many Americans had Saddam killed before the war?”
    Maybe.
    Maybe.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    I’m not sure, but look who’s inferring that Americans are more important that other people now!

    “It is not irrational for me to feel the way I do about this administration. My country is being led in the wrong direction on many issues.”
    It is not irrational to feel that your country is being led in the wrong direction on many issues. That is legitemate disagreement. It is the foundation of democracy that good and honest men will sometimes disagree.
    It IS irrational to believe that “the enemy is not in Iraq, he is in the white house.”

    “Who is encouraging the enemy? Who was it said “Bring ‘Em On?” ”
    John Flip-flop Kerry. Don’t you remember him saying “Bring it on!” ?
    If that had been directed at the enemy, with the intent of demoralizing him, perhaps that would have scored Mr. Kerry some points with me. Just the opposite was the case throughout the campeign.

    This is a war about TERRORISM. The winner will be whoever is able to terrify their enemies the most without being terrified themselves.

    It was the enemy who started this war on this terrain. (terrorism) Bush’s claim that the war in afghanistan was pre-emptive was crap – this is a retalitory war. The reason Reagan was able to win the Cold War without a shot fired was because he was able to terrify the whole world into thinking he was about to authorize a nuclear apocolypse if he spills his drink on the Button. This terrified the commies, and PREVENTED a nuclear apocolypse. The warhawk strategy this time is to use this same strategy of psychological warfare to SCARE the islamo-facists into realizing that Nobody Messes with the US.

  19. afghanihash Says:

    “I’m not sure, but look who’s inferring that Americans are more important that other people now!”

    You are right. I dont give a crap about saddam and what he did to his people in his country. They have been killing each other since time began and will continue to do so w/wo US being in Iraq.

    “It IS irrational to believe that “the enemy is not in Iraq, he is in the white house”
    GWB and his policies put US in Iraq.
    We will soon have more Americans killed in Iraq then were killed on 9/11.

    “Who is encouraging the enemy? Who was it said “Bring ‘Em On?” ”
    GWB on July 2,2003
    “Anybody who wants to harm American troops will be found and brought to justice,” Bush said. “There are some that feel like if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don’t understand what they are talking about if that is the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring ‘em on.”
    What an arrogant ASS!

    “This is a war about TERRORISM. The winner will be whoever is able to terrify their enemies the most without being terrified themselves”
    This war has nothing to do with terrorism. There were no terrorists in Iraq til we invaded.They are now flocking to Iraq from around the world because it is easier to kill Americans now that we are in their neck of the woods. Afghanistan was retalitory, they harbored Al queda,saddam did not. The Islamo fascists do not appear to be at all scared. They have many targets while we have none.

  20. burningbush Says:

    Referring to the campaign to stabilize Iraq, Mr. Bush said: “I know it’s hard, but it’s hard for a reason. And the reason it’s hard is because there are a handful of folks who fear freedom.”

    What an ass we have for president. He alone should be able to clear Iraq of a handful of insurgents.

  21. Patriot Says:

    “This war has nothing to do with terrorism. There were no terrorists in Iraq til we invaded. They are now flocking to Iraq from around the world because it is easier to kill Americans now that we are in their neck of the woods.”
    Which is exactly what we’ve always said. We’re going to go fight them over there with soldiers and spies so we don’t have to fight them over here with doctors and firemen.

    “Afghanistan was retalitory, they harbored Al queda,saddam did not.”
    I’ve heard that the 9-11 Commission Report said that Saddam did have links to Al queda, but not in connection with 9-11.
    Not that it particularly matters, because the fact that terrorists are flocking to iraq from around the world shows that they CLEARLY DON’T LIKE OUR BEING THERE, which seems to me a plenty good reason to stay.

    “The Islamo fascists do not appear to be at all scared. They have many targets while we have none.”
    I wouldn’t be scared of the French strategy either.

  22. chimpy Says:

    Commentary: An Urgent Call to Republicans

    Hey, Republicans! If you voted for this war, go fight in it.
    By Donald Trader

    I’d like to put out an urgent call to Republicans to make sure their sons and daughters volunteer for active military service. Uncle Sam needs you. National Guard and Army Reserve recruitment is falling short by some 50%, and it’s getting tougher and tougher for the Marines, the Army and the other services to get the kind of recruit they want. Wait a minute – the Marines and the Army ought to be flooded with volunteers!

    I know that George Bush ran as a war president, and his main declaration was that he would stay the course in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wherever he felt military intervention was required. He held one crowded and cheering rally after another on this theme all across the United States, including Tennessee. I saw all those good people on TV waving their American flags and doing high fives. I read many letters in this very newspaper supporting the war, including some from students of fighting age.

    Some 59,000,000 Americans voted for George Bush and the Republicans. That includes the majority of the people in Tennessee. So why are we short of recruits to fight in Iraq? We ought to be inundated with enthusiastic volunteers. Tomorrow morning, I’d like to see 59,000,000 SUV’s pulling up in front of Marine Corps and Army enlistment offices. I see Tax Cut Hummers full of happy families, including healthy looking young people, whizzing by U.S. recruitment offices, and I wonder what the problem is: brake failure every time you get close to signing up to fight in a war you supported for a President you elected?

    Now if you’re a young Republican who hates taxes and supports the war in Iraq, you can’t get away any longer with a ridiculous yellow ribbon on the back of your car. You’re going to have to pay for the war, and you’re going to have to fight in it. Who did you think was going to do that, if not you? Democrats?

    I’ll volunteer to drive busloads of young Republican volunteers to their first military basic training session after they enlist. And there should be a huge number of volunteers; I don’t think Republicans are cowardly blowhards like most Democrats. Otherwise, I’m sorry to say, I’m going to tell my Congressman Lincoln Davis that we need a military draft in this country. The reason is simple: we need to hold people accountable for what they do, and it’s time for Republicans to go face combat and support their Commander in Chief. You voted for it. Now go get in it.

    Comment by chimpy — January 10, 2005 @ 2:47 pm

    ——————————————————————————–

  23. Patriot Says:

    People might enlist moreif the military wasn’t constantly mocked by people like you. It’s all part of the war psychology I’ve been talking about. Simply put, the only thing either side has to fear is fear itself.

  24. afghanihash Says:

    People might enlist more if they thought they were actually fighting for their country. Getting killed for Bush and the neocons is not worth one American life. If bushies feel this is so important , maybe they or their children should enlist . This war is about oil and control, it has nothing to do with terrorism, which has been blown out of proportion by this administration.

  25. Patriot Says:

    You know, you might already be too late on your offer : the reason you have no takers is because they’re all (except me) already over there in iraq!

  26. Patriot Says:

    If the war was about oil then why isn’t the iraq oil flowing outta there into my local gas station? Oil is another perfectly good reason to depose of Saddam – so he and others like him can’t hold the world hostage by threatening to stop producing this needed energy source.

  27. afghanihash Says:

    I dont see bushes daughters rushing to the recruitment office.

    The oil is not flowing because there was no plan to quell any insurgency that might arise due to the invasion. Bushies were expecting flowers and kisses not blood and death.
    What people would not fight an invader in their country?

    The more damage to the infrastructure we cause means more money for bushies. halliburton and co. are happy to contract to rebuild.

  28. chimpy Says:

    We were supposed to be saving the world from WMD (none found) and we were told we’d be welcomed as saviors from Saddam (didn’t happen). What, then, has NOT been a lie from the Bush government?

    Why is the resistance growing in popular support among both Shiite and Sunni Muslims everywhere? Because of the stupid policies of George W. Bush, that’s why. Can anyone think of a way to make more enemies? Short of attacking additional innocent countries, we can’t.

  29. Patriot Says:

    Oh yes, I’m SURE Iraq was an “innocent” peaceful country that was dedicated to world peace and freedom before the evil american imperialists from Texas Hell started attacking it gratuitously.

    I wouldn’t send close members of the First Family into combat if I were President of the United States for obvious security reasons. What powerful terror videos the islamo-facists could produce with high-profile people like that!

    What even greater evils could they purpotrate if we didn’t have people in the world like the Republicans who on some level at least are determined to do what they think is right whether it’s popular or not!

    Wait, I take it back. I’d send them to attack France if the need arose. After all, that is one campeign with NO chance of injury or capture whatsoever, unless you’re allergic to flowers.

    “What people would not fight an invader in their country?”
    Certain Republicans, including unfortunately the President. These foriegn invaders have now been termed “guest workers.” Welcome to the United States of Mexico, amegos.

  30. Patriot Says:

    More insightful things for your consideration, if you are interested in reason and not just in your emotional rage against your political enemy Goldstien… I mean Bush. (orwellian 1984 reference)

    1. The burden of proof was on Saddam to prove that he did NOT have WMDs. This he repeatedly refused to do. What was seen by weapons inspectors was deliberately manipulated by Saddam and could not be varified. This defiance, in the face of 14 UN resolutions, continued until he was removed from power, proving among other things how obstelete the UN is. Bush decided the United States would enforce those resolutions because the UN is a useless paper tiger.
    The Republicrat’s WMD argument was simple:
    Saddam shouldn’t have them.
    Saddam won’t prove he doesn’t have them.
    Thus there is a risk that he has them – greater than the risks associated with liberating his country from his tyrannical rule.

    2. There is a difference between a direct lie and stating your belief and later finding out it is wrong.

    Reguardless, my argument is also simple:
    The islamo-facists are evil.
    The islamo-facists seem to be really angry that we have liberated iraq.
    We are still here reguardless.
    Thus we must be doing the right things to fight the islamo-facists.

  31. TeacherVet Says:

    The Islamo fascists do not appear to be at all scared. they have many targets while we have none.

    Let’s see … we killed about 1,500 of those non-existent targets in Fallujah while losing 18 of our own. Most of our 18 were killed by “exploding dead bodies,” rigged by those “fearless” Islamo fascists.

  32. TeacherVet Says:

    We were supposed to be saving the world from WMD (none found).

    Please read the War Resolution that was passed by Congress, the document that authorized the war in Iraq. After doing so, please read it to those Democratic members of Congress (and their aides and staffers) who apparently signed it without reading it.

    That document defined the arguments for the war against the Saddam regime, and I cannot find any mention of WMD in that declaration. I DO find that details of 1) human rights violations, 2) attacks on our planes in the “no-fly” zone, 3) safe haven for terrorists (later confirmed by the 9/11 Commission), and 4) financing of terrorists’ activities were among the many arguments given to justify military actions to remove the Saddam regime.

    In my perusal of the document, perhaps I simply overlooked the sole reason (WMDs) many of you conveniently “remember” as Bush’s justification. Someone please help me – point out where the War Resolution used the WMD argument as a primary justification for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  33. TeacherVet Says:

    What, then, has NOT been a lie from the Bush government?

    I provided the answer to that question in the second paragraph of my last post. All four of the arguments to which I made reference from the War Resolution, presented to Congress by the Bush Administration, were true; and all were verified by the 9/11 Commission.

  34. Patriot Says:

    There was a huge WMD found in Iraq yesterday: A Weapon of Mass Democracy! heheheh

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