Author Topic: Haflingers in Vietnam  (Read 10021 times)

AGAS 5

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2013, 02:40:56 PM »
I've seen the database Mike had when he was at the AWM.... it was very detailed.... what caught my I at the time were the details of Perentie and Unimogs on operational service   ;D

Although I'm leaning towards the mule theory....   Research for books such as Mikes is only as good as the information available (found !!) during the research phase. Even organisations such as the AWM cannot undo poor archiving - something that Defence is/was notoriously bad at.

Cheers,

Pete

Offline Diana Alan

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2013, 02:45:50 PM »
Hi Pete

Granted the truth of that comment, however at the moment, no evidence has come to light and hence information resources such as Wikipedia (as poor as they are) should reflect the lack of evidence instead of perpetuating urban myth.  It is a simple matter to update if or when evidence is found.

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2013, 02:49:07 PM »
I have sent an email to a conservator I know in the Annex and am awaiting a response - however noting that the AWM only displays/stores items with a war aspect (eg no 101s can ever be displayed) there are no Haflingers on display with the Vietnam exhibit.  I did a private tour of the Annex late last year and there are no Haflingers in storage or being conserved.  Also if you do a search "Haflinger" on the AWM website you only get three hits - two relate to ARNs and the third does not seem to have anything to do with Haflingers at all.

Irrespective of how vehicles got to Vietnam - ship or air I am sure the Army being quite anal about paperwork they would have all been recorded.

Garry 

Offline Diana Alan

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2013, 02:55:21 PM »
Hi Garry

Army would have been recorded everything in multiples, but also knowing where to find it is quite another matter indeed.

On Wikipedia, who makes a point of updating information when you find it is incomplete, not referenced or incorrect?

Diana  ;)
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Tommy

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2013, 07:59:36 PM »
On a side issue - I wonder about the relevance of the Seaking (looks like a UH-3H of the US Marine Corps) on the front cover of  "Mud and   Dust" to the content of the book.



Garry

A couple of years back on the MVCA forum I asked Mike why this particular image was used on the cover over other helicopters such as the more common Chinook or Skycrane.

Mike replied....

The HH-3E 'Jolly Green Giant' image was chosen because it illustrated a number of points: (1) its a comparatively heavy lift chopper: Aust deployed no heavy lift helicopters to Vietnam, so we were dependant on our friends/allies, the US, to provide this, (among many, many other items and assistance) (2) its underslung load is an Australian L5 Pack Howitzer of 105 Bty: the insertion and extraction of artillery by heavy lift helicopter (CH-47, CH-54, HH-3E, CH-3, etc) was characteristic of operations in Vietnam, and there are several images in the book to illustrate this (3) it illustrates that we were part of a coalition of forces, ie we were not operating 'solo' in Vietnam, but part of a greater and larger effort to assist the South Vietnamese Government.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 08:05:24 PM by Tommy »

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2013, 08:43:41 PM »
Thanks

garry

Offline Carzee

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2013, 10:15:14 PM »
Garry I have looked over a lot of Vietnam paperwork this week and on some pages listing vehicle establishments etc I have been a tad forensic for Landys and a few Accos.

The Australian Army Haflinger census code was 6002. That code is not even listed on the proforma used in SVN -- where there are pages of vehicle Census codes and counts.

None seen so far. But thats not to say...

Tommy

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2013, 09:09:28 PM »

I am wondering about the Italian guys and whether they were given information on the M274 mechanical mule that were used in Vietnam usually termed Military Mule the M274 a one man 4WD machine smaller than the Haffie that was used to transport amunition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Military_M274_Truck,_Platform,_Utility_1/2_Ton,_4X4

Delving deeper into the 'so called' Haflinger use in Vietnam, I came across this photo of a M274 Mule on the 2 Sqn (RAAF) Association page on Picasa.

https://picasaweb.google.com/116519384704996976801/2SqnAssociation

What is interesting about this Mule is that the stencil located on the tray side frame has been sprayed over with paint. This is the same location of the stencilled US Army/USMC and vehicle ARN when in US military service. I cannot image that US military personnel would blank out this information whilst in their use. I could however, understand Australian personnel doing this if the Mule was 'on loan' from the US Army. The photo below shows the US Army and USMC stencil location.

Could it be that a member of the RAAF 2nd Squadron took this photo of a 'borrowed' Mule in Australian service.

To add more credibility to this argument, the following comments were noted on MLU: http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16263

"Now I recall the Australian army having some of these, at least we got to the stage of doing trial loadings in a Boo and C130."

and

"Actually there were trials done on the Mule in Australia in the early 60's, I found an interesting article on these trials. Basically the Mule was well liked, but the trial authorities gave it a bad report because of the tip over problem. It was found that at high speeds the vehicle had a tendency to flip over while pulling a sharp turn especially to the left where the driver sat especially loaded with a high center of gravity. During the trials a driver was killed when the vehicle flipped over. If you receive the MVPA magazines there was an article on the Mule last year in the Military Vehicle magazine and it talked about the trials.
Also Mules were used by the Aussies in Vietnam."


As Diana states, maybe the Haflinger sightings in Vietnam were infact M274 Mules. If the Australians knew of the Mules versatility from trial evaluations, it would seem plausible that the Aussies would 'commandeer' some for their own use if they became available.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 09:17:10 PM by Tommy »

Offline Phoenix

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2013, 10:15:12 AM »
How does that photo compare to the mule at bandiana.?
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Offline Mike C

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2013, 02:24:00 AM »
Well, no need to 'pop' anywhere now, as I'm here.

RE the image of the AUSTRALIAN 105mm L5pack howitzer under the Sikorsky HH-3E 'Jolly Green Giant': heavy lift was provided by the US - there are a number of images of HH-3E, CH-47, and CH-54 Tarhe working with Australian Units, and a number are reproduced throughout M&D (pp26, 40, 45, 46, 52, 54, 171,etc). One of the points I though I had emphasized in the text was that this was very much a helicopter-supported war, and was thus fought differently to almost every war before because of the prodigious use of helicopters to support and sustain operations - even AFVs were able to stay in the boonies longer because of aerial resupply by helicopter, including delivery of heavy fuel bladders and ammunition canisters.

(Just noticed Tommy's comment above, after writing, so I'm glad I'm consistent at least!!)

Haflingers and Mules: yes, the Aust Army had both. Haflingers were not, as far as I am aware, used outside Australia, including use in SVN. I've trawled an awful lot of files and not come across even an obscure reference - let alone a piece of 'solid' evidence - to their use in SVN. Mules were only test vehicles and rejected for service. I think I wrote an article in the MVPA magazine on the M274 trials, with several images.


Mike C
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 02:28:41 AM by Mike C »

Offline Mike C

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2013, 11:01:11 AM »
I've just received the latest MVPA journal and their is an article about Haflingers in the Australian Army. As usual, it states that there were 50, and that, despite a lack of concrete evidence, they were used in small numbers in South Vietnam by Australia.

Firstly, I've only ever found reference to 46 Haflingers and 46 trailers, not the '50' number that keeps on being quoted. Even the REMLR website lists 46. Hmmm: unless there are another 4 lurking somewhere that both Richard and I have missed, then I'd guess the actual number might be 46?

The article's reference to their use in SVN is as follows: 'There are also accounts of at least two Haflingers being used in Vietnam with helicopters carrying vehicles to remote jungle areas, where they were used primarily to transport ammunition. There is no substantiation of their use in Vietnam in any official record currently available. One Australian veteran states that several were brought in to theatre via Hercules and Caribou aircraft on a trial basis but not officially assigned to any specific transport platoon. He recalls eight or so Haflingers in service in and around Nui Dat in 1970-71.'

Anyone got any opinions on the above claims?  I certainly have! Air transport to SVN from Australia was precious: only the highest priority cargoes went by air, and I doubt eight (the number just keeps on growing....) Haflingers qualify as a high priority cargo, especially when plenty of M274 Mules were available in country along with their spare parts. 'Not assigned to any particular unit' just doesn't ring true with the way army operates: someone is given/assigned responsibility, even for so called 'trials' vehicles, and if they were in SVN, then they had to be RTA at some time as a low priority backload, and there is no record of that that I've ever found. (All the Haflingers and trailers were disposed of within Australia, none in SVN).

I may be a Doubting Thomas, but until someone shows me an image of one in SVN, or a solid written reference, then I'd say the Haflingers of the Australian Army never left the Land of Oz.

The last comment I'll make is about the comment that it is unknown why the Aust Army chose to procure Haflingers when they did. That is, I think, an easy one to explain: the Pentropic organization (light, largely air-mobile divisional structure geared for tropical warfare) was still extant when the Haflingers were ordered, but by the time of their arrival in 1966, that organizational structure had been abandoned. Result?  46 'orphans' subsequently used (mostly) by RAASC as run-abouts....

OK: off my soap box now........

Mike C   



Offline Diana Alan

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2013, 11:29:54 AM »
Hi Mike

I think most of us doubt the existance of the Vietnam Haflingers and like yourself are waiting for some documentary or photographic evidence to come to light.

Diana
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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2013, 12:57:38 PM »
Since getting a non mil Haffie and looking right into this - I agree 46 Haffies and did not serve in Vietnam.  All references to Vietnam service all lead back to one unsubstantiated reference by someone?.  There are no other source references only the one.

Garry

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2013, 03:25:00 PM »
Agreed on the 46 unless something comes to light later. 

As to the vietnam thing, kinda sounds like one of these Wannabe veterans would say if you ask me, and their facts are as solid (ie, not at all) as their military "service"
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Tommy

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Re: Haflingers in Vietnam
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2013, 11:51:07 AM »
Just found this photo of a Mule in Australian hands, SVN.

I notice that the side tray railing have been modified by adding to it's height. The original rail (as can be seen in the photo) was not very high and would have been of little effectiveness if carrying a large amount of boxes etc.

Can anyone identify the TAC plate in front of the drivers position?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 11:53:48 AM by Tommy »