UNSW Canberra launches the 'Australia's Vietnam War' website

28.05.15

The website displays the details of 4665 recorded combat incidents involving Australian and New Zealand troops from the 1st Australian Task Force in Vietnam in the 1960s and 70s. Detailed information on every one of these incidents has been uploaded onto an interactive Battle Map. Vietnam veterans can access the details of individual combat incidents they were involved in, and upload their recollections, photographs and other digital material to form an expanding archive of details about the campaign. Researchers and other visitors can study the course of the campaign using the website.

"The Australia's Vietnam War website builds upon UNSW Canberra's strengths in digital data pertaining to Australia's wars. UNSW Canberra aspires to be the 'go to' place for this digital data and Australia's Vietnam War website adds to the '1st AIF database' and the digital records of the 'Australians at war' film archive that are already based on campus, said Professor John Arnold, Deputy Rector UNSW Canberra.

"The preliminary access by Vietnam veterans has already prompted a strong response, with several veterans already having uploaded information onto the site about their personal experiences. In just four weeks of trialling, the site has been visited by viewers in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, United Kingdom, and other countries. We are very pleased to see that the website is being actively used in a two way communication", said Dr Bob Hall, Vietnam War veteran and UNSW Canberra Visiting Fellow who worked with his team on the development of the website.

Visitors can filter information using fields such as date, unit, operation name and casualty count. Powerful analytical tools include graphs to examine, for example, the causes of casualties suffered by a particular unit. Mapping overlays allow visitors to visualize trends and concentrations such as the areas of the highest concentrations of land mine incidents. Authentic Vietnam War-era military maps provide the context necessary to appreciate the plotted incidents, while present-day maps make it easier for people to plan visits to battlefield sites.

The multi-discipline UNSW Canberra research team that developed this computer-based, interactive database and website is part of the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS) of UNSW Canberra. ACSACS brings together expertise in history, ethics, politics and business to study armed conflict and society. ACSACS is not just about the lessons of war, but about identifying lessons to better understand how nations can successfully re-build after conflict.

Media contact: Natalia Komarova, UNSW Canberra (02) 6268 8760 / 0468 989 181, publicrelations@adfa.edu.au

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