The soldiers of which nation committed the My Lai massacre?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The My Lai Massacre was an atrocity that was committed during the Vietnam War.  It happened in March of 1968.  The soldiers who committed this atrocity were Americans.

The only person who was actually convicted of and punished for participating in the My Lai Massacre was Lt. William Calley.  He was the commander of the platoon that committed the atrocity.

In this atrocity, hundreds of Vietnamese civilians were killed.  Many of them were attacked in other ways.  There were, for example, rapes as well as evidence of beating and torture.

This atrocity helped to turn public opinion in the US even further against the war.

mdenson28 | Student

The incident at the village of My Lai took place during the Vietnam War; a war between Vietnam and the United States. In early 1968, the American soldiers of Charlie Company attacked My Lai at the order of Lieutenant William Calley, who claimed it was an order by his own superior. It was no ordinary attack. Hundreds of innocent and weaponless Vietnamese men, women and children were brutally killed.

In the book My Lai: A Brief History with Documents, by James Olson and Randy Roberts, the incident is described this way:

"a bloody atrocity had taken place at My Lai and American troops had been responsible. By noon the slaughter was over. What had happened in the four hours of the morning of March 16, 1968, was a tragedy." (pg. 23)

johnwilli | Student

The My Lai Massacre

On March 16, 1968 the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai. "This is what you've been waiting for -- search and destroy -- and you've got it," said their superior officers. A short time later the killing began. When news of the atrocities surfaced, it sent shockwaves through the U.S. political establishment, the military's chain of command, and an already divided American public.