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Feathered_IV
01-13-2008, 06:38 AM
Hard on the heels of the Root Beer thread. I've just got to ask; Why do soldiers of the Vietnam era stick a single palying card in the little elastic band of their tin hat?

You see it all the time in the movies. Is it a fashion thing? Do they look especially like tuffies if they do this? Or is there some deeper meaning? Perhaps they can ***** a little hole in them and watch a solar eclipse?

Whats going on here? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Feathered_IV
01-13-2008, 06:38 AM
Hard on the heels of the Root Beer thread. I've just got to ask; Why do soldiers of the Vietnam era stick a single palying card in the little elastic band of their tin hat?

You see it all the time in the movies. Is it a fashion thing? Do they look especially like tuffies if they do this? Or is there some deeper meaning? Perhaps they can ***** a little hole in them and watch a solar eclipse?

Whats going on here? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

GIAP.Shura
01-13-2008, 06:46 AM
From Wiki:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The Ace of Spades has been employed, on numerous occasions, in the theatre of war. In the Second World War, the soldiers of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the American 101st Airborne Division were marked with the spades symbol painted on the sides of their helmets. In this capacity, it was used to represent good luck, due to its fortunate connotations in card playing. All four card suits were used for ease of identification of regiments within the airborne division following the confusion of a large scale combat airborne operation. Battalions within the regiments were denoted with tic marks or dots, marked from top clockwise; Headquarters at the twelve o'clock position, 1st Battalion at the three o'clock, et cetera.

Some twenty years later, the Ace of Spades was again used by American soldiers " this time as a psychological weapon in the Vietnam War. US troops erroneously believed that Vietnamese ancient traditions held the symbolism of the spade to mean death and ill-fortune and in a bid to scare away NLF soldiers without firefight, it was common practice to leave an Ace of Spades on the bodies of killed Vietnamese and even to litter the forested grounds and fields with the card. This custom was erroneously believed to be so effective, that the Bicycle Playing Cards company was asked to supply crates of that single card in bulk. The crates were often marked with "Bicycle Secret Weapon".

The Ace of Spades, while not a symbol of superstitious fear to the NLF, did help the morale of American soldiers. It was not unheard of for US soldiers and Marines to stick this card in their helmet band as a sort of anti-peace sign. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Feathered_IV
01-13-2008, 07:20 AM
Oh... But you must admit, it would be awfully useful during solar eclipses though. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

GIAP.Shura
01-13-2008, 10:11 AM
Or if you are an Ace of Spades short of a royal flush. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

leitmotiv
01-13-2008, 10:17 AM
There is the scene in APOCALYPSE NOW when the Airborne Colonel is throwing the "death cards" on the Cong corpses.

jadger
01-13-2008, 10:19 AM
it all comes from this:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=XESEt5A12Zo

The Ace of Spades! the Ace of Spades!!! The only card I need is the Ace of Spades.

Monterey13
01-13-2008, 10:21 AM
What else would they use to cut up their coke?...lol

BSS_Sniper
01-13-2008, 05:23 PM
I find it odd that anyone would have to ask this. Don't ask why, I just do. It's nothing more than a goodluck charm. Some units, and I was in one, do have "business cards" to leave behind as well. Sometimes those cards are a playing card on one side and info on the other.

BSS_Sniper
01-13-2008, 05:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Monterey13:
What else would they use to cut up their coke?...lol </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Don't find that funny. Just because you're a....ah, nvm. lol

Taylortony
01-13-2008, 06:14 PM
must of been a lot of 51 card decks floating about.....

Breeze147
01-14-2008, 08:47 AM
Maybe they were trying to get a game of Liar's Poker going?

Actually, in the '60's culture, playing cards symbolized death. Check out some of your old album covers from the era and see how many show playing cards. There's quite a few.

stalkervision
01-14-2008, 11:52 AM
american slodiers use to put playing cards on the bodies of dead vietcong to send them a message every once and a while.

MEGILE
01-14-2008, 12:07 PM
Why not?

Pirschjaeger
01-14-2008, 12:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BSS_Sniper:
<span class="ev_code_RED">I find it odd that anyone would have to ask this. Don't ask why, I just do</span>. It's nothing more than a goodluck charm. <span class="ev_code_RED">Some units, and I was in one</span>, do have "business cards" to leave behind as well. Sometimes those cards are a playing card on one side and info on the other. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

and a good soldier you are. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Fritz

Copperhead311th
01-14-2008, 12:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BSS_Sniper:
I find it odd that anyone would have to ask this. Don't ask why, I just do. It's nothing more than a goodluck charm. Some units, and I was in one, do have "business cards" to leave behind as well. Sometimes those cards are a playing card on one side and info on the other. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would love to see some examples or those.
two things that always intrested me.
those and Challange coins. i love to hhear the stories behind them.

Pirschjaeger
01-14-2008, 12:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Copperhead311th:

I would love to see some examples or those.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

+1 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Sniper, is this what you are talking about?

http://s11.photobucket.com/albums/a198/FritzFranzen/macintoshhdlynnsphotoscallingcardb.jpg

Fritz

Copperhead311th
01-14-2008, 04:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Copperhead311th:

I would love to see some examples or those.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

+1 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Sniper, is this what you are talking about?

http://s11.photobucket.com/albums/a198/FritzFranzen/macintoshhdlynnsphotoscallingcardb.jpg

Fritz </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

lol rolf LOVE IT! lol got any more? lol

Pirschjaeger
01-14-2008, 04:15 PM
Sorry Copper, I just googled "Sniper's calling card" and that was one of the first to pop up. I've been waiting for more info in this thread so I'll have better keywords for the search.

BTW, "Sniper's" as a keyword had nothing to do with BBS_Sniper.

I'll give it another go. Maybe "Commando's calling card"?

2 mins later

Good news Copper. Check this out : http://www.psywarrior.com/DeathCardsAce.html

Fritz

Pirschjaeger
01-14-2008, 04:28 PM
If you scroll to the bottom, you'll find this:

Author's note: Although this article is mostly about the use of the Ace of Spades for a death card, what may be the earliest death cards on record are those left on the bodies of dead German soldiers in Italy during WWII by the joint American-Canadian 1st Special Service Force. This commando unit was trained at Fort Harrison in the United States. Their patch was a red spearhead with the words "USA" written horizontally and "CANADA" written vertically. The unit was deployed to Italy in 1943 and immediately earned a reputation for being able to take impenetrable objectives when no one else could. In one operation they wiped out a strategic enemy defensive position that sat high atop a mountain surrounded by steep cliffs. Previously, American and British forces had been unable to take the same target.

During the battle around Anzio the unit became known as "The Devil's Brigade." Allegedly, the diary of a dead German soldier had the comment: "Die schwarzen Teufel (the black devils) are all around us every time we come into the line." The brigade's members smeared their faces with black boot polish for their nighttime covert operations. During the Anzio campaign, the brigade fought for 99 days without relief. It was there that they first used their trademark death cards. The brigade members carried cards depicting the unit patch and a slogan written in German: Das dicke Ende kommt noch ("The worst is yet to come"). They were allegedly left on dead German soldiers or on destroyed vehicles or fortifications.

That site has a lot of info.

Fritz

Cajun76
01-15-2008, 04:02 AM
I'm risking my life here, but the main reason to carry a card is for when you run out of grenades.

Soldiers are trained to charge the card and then toss it toward the enemy.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/Cajun76/Gambit_by_JPRart.jpg

Whirlin_merlin
01-15-2008, 05:06 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Copperhead311th:

I would love to see some examples or those.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

+1 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Sniper, is this what you are talking about?

http://s11.photobucket.com/albums/a198/FritzFranzen/macintoshhdlynnsphotoscallingcardb.jpg

Fritz </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Please don't interpret what I'm about to wtite as some 'bleeding heart liberal' criticism of those cards, it's not I'm thinking about practicalities.

I can see the tactic would help intimidate your enemy and help build espirit d'corps.
However if you were trying to 'win hearts and minds' it would surely be counter productive.

Now of course the 'hearts and minds' tactic is open to debate but in unconventional conflicts it seems a good approach e.g Malay were it was deamed successful.

Breeze147
01-15-2008, 05:55 AM
You know, I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm reading on the work computer and the network has so many images and links blocked that the whole thing is nearly indeciperable.

Monterey13
01-15-2008, 07:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BSS_Sniper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Monterey13:
What else would they use to cut up their coke?...lol </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Don't find that funny. Just because you're a....ah, nvm. lol </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just a little Ubizoo humor. Lighten up.
Personally, I would think beheading all of the dead soldiers would have affected their morale more, but that's just me. The cards were a nice touch, though.

Friendly_flyer
01-15-2008, 08:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Monterey13:
Personally, I would think beheading all of the dead soldiers would have affected their morale more, but that's just me. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It probably would, but it would also be a lot more messy, time consuming and require a bit of stommak I honestly don't think many US troops had. You'd be surprised at how firmly the head is attached to a body. You're not likely to get it of in one go, even with an axe and a chopping block (that's why being an executioner used to be a profession), and the head itself weighs quite a bit, it smells and drips body fluids on everything. I think I would have gone with the cards too.

jarink
01-15-2008, 08:45 AM
Memories of "Full Metal Jacket"...


Colonel: Marine, what is that button on your body armor?
Private Joker: A peace symbol, sir.
Colonel: Where'd you get it?
Private Joker: I don't remember, sir.
Colonel: What is that you've got written on your helmet?
Private Joker: "Born to Kill", sir.
Colonel: You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?
Private Joker: No, sir.
Colonel: You'd better get your head and your azz wired together, or I will take a giant sh*t on you.
Private Joker: Yes, sir.
Colonel: Now answer my question or you'll be standing tall before the man.
Private Joker: I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir.
Colonel: The what?
Private Joker: The duality of man. The Yin Yang thing, sir.
Colonel: Whose side are you on, son?
Private Joker: Our side, sir.
Colonel: Don't you love your country?
Private Joker: Yes, sir.
Colonel: Then how about getting with the program? Why don't you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?
Private Joker: Yes, sir.
Colonel: Son, all I've ever asked of my marines is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every **** there is an American trying to get out. It's a hardball world, son. We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over.
Private Joker: Aye-aye, sir.

Rattler68
01-15-2008, 01:55 PM
Why stick a playing card in your helmet strap?

Why write notes to Hitler on 500lb bombs?
Why put nose are on a plane?
Why put kill rings on tank barrels?
Why have nicknames for units?

All essentially the same thing - morale. We name our tanks too; usually indicating the letter of the squadron we belong to, i.e.: A Sqn = Avalanche, Awesome, B Sqn = Battleaxe, Bruiser, C Sqn = Catherine (LdSH Korean War Sherman), Carnivore, etc.

Pirschjaeger
01-15-2008, 02:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Friendly_flyer:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Monterey13:
Personally, I would think beheading all of the dead soldiers would have affected their morale more, but that's just me. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It probably would, but it would also be a lot more messy, time consuming and require a bit of stommak I honestly don't think many US troops had. You'd be surprised at how firmly the head is attached to a body. You're not likely to get it of in one go, even with an axe and a chopping block (that's why being an executioner used to be a profession), and the head itself weighs quite a bit, it smells and drips body fluids on everything. I think I would have gone with the cards too. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

To add, no doubt their hair would be short, being soldiers and all. How do you carry a bodyless buzzcut head?

What you wanna do is remove the heads and sew them back on,...different bodies. If that doesn't screw up the enemy's psychi,... be afraid.

Be very afraid. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

Fritz

Airmail109
01-15-2008, 03:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Friendly_flyer:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Monterey13:
Personally, I would think beheading all of the dead soldiers would have affected their morale more, but that's just me. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It probably would, but it would also be a lot more messy, time consuming and require a bit of stommak I honestly don't think many US troops had. You'd be surprised at how firmly the head is attached to a body. You're not likely to get it of in one go, even with an axe and a chopping block (that's why being an executioner used to be a profession), and the head itself weighs quite a bit, it smells and drips body fluids on everything. I think I would have gone with the cards too. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

To add, no doubt their hair would be short, being soldiers and all. How do you carry a bodyless buzzcut head?

What you wanna do is remove the heads and sew them back on,...different bodies. If that doesn't screw up the enemy's psychi,... be afraid.

Be very afraid. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

Fritz </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Unless you had an army full of psychopath special forces, it would probably screw up your own guys as well.

Pirschjaeger
01-15-2008, 03:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Whirlin_merlin:
Please don't interpret what I'm about to wtite as some 'bleeding heart liberal' criticism of those cards, it's not I'm thinking about practicalities.

I can see the tactic would help intimidate your enemy and help build espirit d'corps.
However if you were trying to 'win hearts and minds' it would surely be counter productive.

Now of course the 'hearts and minds' tactic is open to debate but in unconventional conflicts it seems a good approach e.g Malay were it was deamed successful. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Honestly, I think leaving calling cards, I mean literal calling cards, is silly. I doubt it would have much of an effect.

Private: Sarge! Johnny's been hit. He's dead!

Sgt: Sorry to her that private, but this is war son.

Private: But Sarge, they left a calling card!

Sgt: What!!!*&^%$$##&()% Kill'em all!!!

I just can't imagine it having much of an effect.

Fritz

Blood_Splat
01-16-2008, 07:45 AM
http://www.warmuseum.org/helmet.jpg

Breeze147
01-16-2008, 08:33 AM
You could always do what the VC did: Cut off a GI's genitals and shove them into his mouth while simultaneously pouring gasoline into the wound and lighting it; all the while the GI is still conscious. While still alive, they decapitated him with a machete and placed the head with the genitals in the mouth on top of a sturdy piece of bamboo and left it as a calling card.

Makes the Ace Of Spades seem relatively tame, doesn't it. This happened to a fellow Air Force Security Policeman, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Tet of '68 and who knows how many others.

I simply can't understand my distaste for the VC.

Bremspropeller
01-16-2008, 08:43 AM
Well, shows they mean business.
Much more than leaving rediculous cards behind.

Friendly_flyer
01-16-2008, 09:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Breeze147:
I simply can't understand my distaste for the VC. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What you'll have to ask yourself as a commander is: How will my enemy react to this, and how will my men react to doing it. If we disregard the moral aspect for a moment, it all boils down to a cost benefit argument. Will the effect on the enemy be greater than the effect on my own men? In VCs case I think the answer would be yes, in the case of most US-Army groups I think the answer would be no.

neural_dream
01-16-2008, 09:52 AM
This discussion has derailed in a rather charming kind of way. Beheadings, echoes of the "Ace of Spades" hit of the 80s, quotes from a favourite movie, a general uneasiness. Looks like a flamewar, smells like one, sounds like one, but isn't. Something here's charming but can't quite identify it. Go on, go on.