Berlin (VNA) – The My Lai massacre was a terrible war crime in its dimensions but it was not an isolated incident, German historian Bernd Greiner from Hamburg was quoted as saying by the German-based public-broadcasting radio station Deutschlandfunk.
The radio station broadcast a programme on the My Lai massacre on March 28, giving the audiences detailed information on the wartime crime committed by the US army in Vietnam in March 1968.
Deutschlandfunk recalled that by the end of 1965, about 100,000 US soldiers were stationed in South Vietnam, and the number even reached half a million at certain times in 1968. However, the US troops could not defeat the resistance war of the Vietnamese people.
On March 16, 1968, a unit of US soldiers led by 24-year-old Lieutenant William Calley raided My Lai hamlet of Son My village in the central province of Quang Ngai, where they shot at anything that moved, be they men or women, the elderly or children. As many as 504 unarmed civilians were killed.
On March 29, 1971, Calley was convicted by a US military court for the willful homicide of 22 civilians and attempted murder of a two-year-old child and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was the only one convicted in the case.
However, Calley served only three days of his sentence in jail, then President Richard Nixon personally ordered him to be released and placed under house arrest. Nixon finally pardoned Calley in 1974.
Bernd Greiner said there were dozens of other massacres, not necessarily on the scale of My Lai, but it will never be possible to determine exactly how many victims were actually injured or killed as a result of these attacks./.