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Admiral Felt Says Victory in Vietnam “Inevitable”

Jan. 11, 1963 - Admiral Harry D. Felt, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, declared today that Communist guerrillas in South Vietnam faced “inevitable” defeat, but he acknowledged that difficulties existed between South Vietnamese commanders and U.S. military advisers. He compared the U.S.-Vietnamese differences to difficulties within a family. “The general rule is we understand each other — it is only the exception when we become a little angry with each other,” he added. Admiral Felt was referring to charges by U.S. officers that South Vietnamese commanders had rejected American advice and lacked aggressiveness in their fight against the Viet Cong guerrillas. These charges, voiced softly for months, came into the open after the guerrillas had repulsed strong Government forces in the battle at Ap Bac village last week. Three Americans were killed and ten wounded in the action. The Communists also shot down five U.S. helicopters.


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