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Mounyards??

53hawkeye53hawkeye Member Posts: 4,673
edited September 2009 in US Military Veteran Forum
I know I'm not spelling this correctly.

A work buddy of mine kept telling me stories about these people.

One day I went over to his place and he showed me a crossbow that was carried by them in 'nam.
I was amazed at the hand work on the cocking mechanism. All pieces were wood and it was very sturdy. The pull was amazingly stout.

I could see this being a very good jungle weapon. No metal parts to rust.

Anybody know what kind of wood they used ?

Comments

  • Sky SoldierSky Soldier Member Posts: 460
    edited November -1
    The tribes of the central highlands of Viet Nam were called Montagnard(Mountain People (pronounced Mountain Yard ))by the French.
    We called them "Yards" until we got to know them. They called themselves "Digahr" and they hated the French(They didn't like Americans all that much either but they tolerated us because we weren't French).
    They are fierce and fearless fighters.
    I don't know what kind of wood they used in their crossbows(which they used mainly for hunting deer and pigs)but they could master an M-16 or a 1911 with three rounds.
  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    The yards where great people, honest and tuff. Lots of hard wood in the highlands, big mahogany trees. I saw lots of crossbows, but I don't realy know what kind of wood they where made out of. Drank lots of yard rice wine[:o)], and looked at alot of topless yard women[:D][:D].
    2-1 armored cav, 68-69
    W.D.
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 12,874 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The Montagnards I worked with hated the Vietnamese, the French and everybody else (us included) in that order. They worked eagerly with us because we were killing North Vietnamese, because the NV were half of their biggest enemy. Our local chieftain was one of the most singularly impressive men I have ever met, and that includes Presidents, astronauts and other really famous men. I was most relieved to have him on our side, and would have feared for my life if I had ever displeased him.

    At one time, somebody dumber than a mud sandwich decided to deploy mixed recon teams into Cambodia, half 'Yard and half ARVN. The only team members to ever come back were the 'Yards. Imagine that, huh?

    The crossbows I saw were bamboo, which ought not be a major surprise. So were the arrows, an example of which came back in one of our pilot's wings once. I saw several of them miss me more than once. (We flew a little bit below officially allowed altitudes!)

    After we slunk away in disgrace, the Vietnamese systematically tried to annihilate the Montagnards and are still doing so, very much in secret. Some 'Yard villages are used as tourist attractions, but they are more like zoos or carnivals than free communities.

    I truly and deeply regret what happened to such a proud people. BTW, the Hmong people featured in the current movie "Gran Torino" are and were Laotian Montagnards. They were the people that we tried to support in our secret Laotian war, and they also have been almost exterminated. Do see that movie; you will learn a lot about a great people.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • bobbyjackbobbyjack Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Rocky Raab
    The Montagnards I worked with hated the Vietnamese, the French and everybody else (us included) in that order. They worked eagerly with us because we were killing North Vietnamese, because the NV were half of their biggest enemy. Our local chieftain was one of the most singularly impressive men I have ever met, and that includes Presidents, astronauts and other really famous men. I was most relieved to have him on our side, and would have feared for my life if I had ever displeased him.

    At one time, somebody dumber than a mud sandwich decided to deploy mixed recon teams into Cambodia, half 'Yard and half ARVN. The only team members to ever come back were the 'Yards. Imagine that, huh?

    The crossbows I saw were bamboo, which ought not be a major surprise. So were the arrows, an example of which came back in one of our pilot's wings once. I saw several of them miss me more than once. (We flew a little bit below officially allowed altitudes!)

    After we slunk away in disgrace, the Vietnamese systematically tried to annihilate the Montagnards and are still doing so, very much in secret. Some 'Yard villages are used as tourist attractions, but they are more like zoos or carnivals than free communities.

    I truly and deeply regret what happened to such a proud people. BTW, the Hmong people featured in the current movie "Gran Torino" are and were Laotian Montagnards. They were the people that we tried to support in our secret Laotian war, and they also have been almost exterminated. Do see that movie; you will learn a lot about a great people.


    Rocky you truly know what you speak brother! Preach it!!

    Bob 1st Cav.
  • Laredo LeftyLaredo Lefty Member Posts: 13,452 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was in the 4th Inf Div out of Camp Enari, near Pleiku. We spent alot of time in the Kontum and Dakto areas.

    The Montagnards would come into our firebases and take the wood crates our 105 ammo came in. They used it to build their villages.

    I have some pictures of them with me I'll try to post... and yes the women were topless. It was kind of like Natl Geographic. Dont know how they will turn out, they were taken with a Kodak 126 instamatic.

    Me with some Montagnards.... CapnMidnight.. Do these bring back memories??
    [img][/img]IMG_2143.jpg

    More of them, some topless......
    [img][/img]IMG_2132.jpg
    [img][/img]IMG_2133.jpg
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 12,874 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks, Bob. I'm honored.

    It's all in my novel, "Mike Five Eight." The novel ends in late 1971, so there is none of the bloodbath that the 'Yards went through after we left. I might be able to get some of that into the third book, though. I'm writing it now.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    Joe,
    Do you remember where the "Black Hawk" fire base was? On the road to An Kea (sp)befor the Mang Yang pass? 2-1 Amored Cav.
    W.D.
  • chuckusaretchuckusaret Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I had a good friend get hit in the calf of his leg with an arrow from a crossbow in 1966 when we were operating in the central highlands. We never saw who shot it, nearly went thru his leg.
  • charlie15charlie15 Member Posts: 937 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    We called them "vietnamese hillbillies'.
  • CanThoCanTho Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    They have a website were you can still get bracelets made by them.[url][/url]http://www.montagnards.org/store.cfm
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