Death and Suffering at First Hand: Youth Shock Brigades during the Vietnam War (1950-1975)

Abstract : This article aims to comprehend physical suffering as bodies face war and death experiences, or the "decay of bodies" as we call it, in particular on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The study focuses on a specific group of so-called wartime volunteers, i.e. the Youth shock brigades [Thanh Nien Xung Phong], established in July 1950 and mainly composed of young girls and women aged between 13 to 22 years old, who were often sent to the front line. The objective is to investigate these young people's tragic fate, caught between barbarism and heroism, by stressing how deeply their sacrifices were, and have been, entrenched in individual bodies and collective memory. Confronted with an official historiography that is positivist and "male", the singular history of those young women is crucial to our understanding of the mechanisms of the 30-year-old war led by the Lao Dong.
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Journal articles
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00363082
Contributor : François Guillemot <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 20, 2009 - 11:01:00 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 12:24:03 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-00363082, version 1

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François Guillemot. Death and Suffering at First Hand: Youth Shock Brigades during the Vietnam War (1950-1975). Journal of Vietnamese Studies, University of California Press, 2009, Vol. 4 (3), pp.17-60. ⟨halshs-00363082⟩

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