President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam said at a massive Armed Forces Day parade in Saigon on Tuesday (19 June) that no one could be naive enough to believe that the Communists would honour the new ceasefire agreement.
LV Car with Pres. Theiu drives past
SV Band playing
GV President Thieu walks to dais and shakes hands with officials
SV Crowd watch
LV Pres. Thieu takes seat (and Madame Thieu)
GV/TV Forces parade past
SV & GV Soldiers march past camera (2 shots)
LV Thieu and Madame Thieu watch parade
TV Troops march past
SCU & SV Troops march past (2 shots)
GV PAN Armoured units drive past
GV Forces chiefs seated
GV Artillery drive past
GV Thieu watches as troops drive past
GV Tanks drive past (3 shots)
GV Forces chiefs watch
GV Various displays on lorries driven past
GV Flypast by 'planes and helicopters (6 shots)
Initials BB/0401 JK/PN/BB/0430
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Background: President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam said at a massive Armed Forces Day parade in Saigon on Tuesday (19 June) that no one could be naive enough to believe that the Communists would honour the new ceasefire agreement.
In an "order of the day" to almost 10,000 assembled service personnel, President Thieu said only military strength would force the Communists to hold to the agreement, and South Vietnam would maintain and improve its military strength.
About 500 tanks, heavy guns, armoured vehicles and aircraft took part in the two-hour show of strength. Among the weapons on show were M-60 tanks supplied by the United States and self-propelled 175 millimetre guns.
The parade was in sharp contrast to last year's Armed Forces Day, when all celebrations were cancelled because of a major North Vietnamese offensive. The day was marked throughout South Vietnam this year with fireworks, parades and sports events.
Armed Forces Day marks the date in 1966 when the country's military took over government from the ailing civilian administration.
SYNOPSIS: Armed Forces Day was celebrated in South Vietnam on Tuesday with parades, fireworks and sports events. In the capital, Saigon, President Nguyen Van Thieu reviewed a massive parade by army, air force and navy units. Strict security prevented many people from getting near the parade. Instead, they watched it on television.
President Thieu, who was accompanied by his wife, reviewed one of the biggest displays of military power seen in South Vietnam. Almost ten thousand service personnel took part in the parade. They included units from all branches of the armed forces and civilian defence groups.
President Thieu's viewing position for the parade was chosen by a fortune teller. The President stood under a blazing sun for two hours while other officials watched from beneath the shade of parachute canopies.
Armed Forces Day marks the date in nineteen-sixty-six when the military took over government of the country from the civilian administration. There were some fie hundred armoured vehicles, tanks and artillery pieces in the parade. Earlier, President Thieu had told the assembled troops that only military strength would hold the Communists to the new ceasefire agreement.
Among the weapons on display were the most powerful and sophisticated in the South Vietnamese armoury. These included M-Sixty tanks and self-propelled one-hundred-and-seventy-five millimetre guns. The parade was in sharp contrast to last year's Armed Forces Day, when all celebrations were cancelled because of a major Communist offensive.
American-made lorries carried soldiers prepared for action under the varied conditions in which they fight.
The South Vietnamese Air Force also displayed some of the formidable range of aircraft supplied to it by the United States. There were transport aircraft, jet fighters, ground-attack 'planes and helicopters.