This is the latest film available from Hanoi, made during the heavy 12 days US aerial bombardment which ended on New Years Eve.
This is the latest film available from Hanoi, made during the heavy 12 days US aerial bombardment which ended on New Years Eve. These pictures were shot after Christmas when the raids were at their height and official communiques were claiming heavy damage to the central sections of the North Vietnamese capital. According to the information which accompanied this film, American carpet bombing struck across some of the most densely populated areas of Hanoi. In one streatalone 215 people died and 275 were injured. Casualties would have been far higher, but for the evacuation of thousands of women and children. Nevertheless, many died and their coffins were displayed in the ruined streets and mourners waited for the trucks and ambulances which carried the dead away to mass graves. Official statements do not give exact figure of the dead and injured but it is believed the total will run into many thousands.
The wreckage of American warplanes lay all around Hanoi. One B52 came down in ricefields about seven kilometres from the city centre; the pilot was found dead beside the wreckage. Other crew members who bailed out were rounded up and brought before impromptu press conferences in Hanoi. The Vietnamese searched all wreckage for anything they could salvage--some of the electrical parts, for instance, are later used by the North Vietnamese Army; in Thukho Street, Hanoi, a 352 blocked the road and collected a large crowd of sightseers. This wreck was also stripped of anything which could be used by the military.