Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hanoi Hannah

A new restaurant called Hanoi Hannah has opened on the Windsor side of High Street. It is owned by the brother of a friend's workmate. We thought we would give it a try and so six of us arrived and the place was full, the music loud and the customers young and trendy. It was so not us at all. We went around the corner into Chapel Street and dined at the fine Gurkha restaurant.

But where did the name Hanoi Hannah come from? I had not heard of her. I did not do extensive research in a library. I just typed the name into the large internet search engine.

Before the Vietnam war Hanoi Hannah was an English language newsreader in North Vietnam. During the war she broadcast propaganda and disinformation for Radio Hanoi in English aimed at the American soldiers in the south.

American GIs don't fight this unjust immoral and illegal war of Johnson's. Get out of Vietnam now and alive. This is the voice of Vietnam Broadcasting from Hanoi, capitol of the Democratic republic of Vietnam. Our program for American GIs can be heard at 1630 hours. Now here's Connie Francis singing "I almost lost my mind". (Hanoi Hannah, 12 August 1967).  

I believe Hanoi Hannah is still alive and long retired. Hey, she wasn't half right with her warning to GIs. They would have done well to get out.

9 comments:

  1. Fascinating. Like you, I did not know about this woman or these broadcasts. I wonder how much of her message got through to those who were there...

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  2. Rather a lot got through Christine, because she also out targeted information, mostly useless, but the occasional interesting titbit to keep the GIs listening. Also, it appears she played western music, no doubt carefully selected.

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  3. Nod... I am also not sure that her broadcasts were disinformation. But nations at war don't like their citizens not toeing the party line. Especially not so publicly.

    Look what happened to Mata Hari.

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  4. Hanoi Hannah - not a Haw Haw but something of a Ha Ha?
    At least she picked the winning team.

    Maybe this is at least part of the reason Jane Fonda was branded Hanoi Jane rather than something like Jane Cong-a?

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  5. I heard of Hanoi Hannah in the movie Good Morning Vietnam, starring Robin Williams. I had a vague idea of who she was (is), but didn't have a computer then or I would have googled to find out more.

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  6. Hels, I think you are right. They weren't disinformation as no one would listen if they were. At times they gave out valuable information, but still carefully crafted by North Vietnam. I am ignorant about Mati Hari, other than that she was a traitor.

    FC, that is a good funny. I have heard Jane F talking about that time and it was terribly interesting.

    River, well remembered. I don't think I saw the movie, but I do rephrase at times, I love the smell of napalm in the morning, which I think is from the movie. I might greet R in the morning when there is burning off or a bushfire, I love the smell of burning gum trees in the morning. He grunts back, quite unamused at my brilliant wit.

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  7. Hanoi Hannah had predecessors. Didn't Tokyo Rose dispense similar propaganda targeted at the Allies in WW11 for Japan and Axis Sally for Germany?

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  8. Indeed she did, and as Fruit Cake mentioned, Lord Haw Haw during WWII, I think.

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  9. Victor, I must stop skim reading comments. Axis Sally? I don't know about her.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.