“It was terrible. They were

slaughtering villagers like so

many sheep.”- Larry La Croix,

–American sergeant

 

On 16th March 1968, US military troops killed an estimated 504 Vietnamese residents in what came to be known as the My Lai Massacre. This was a prominent incident that took place during the Vietnam War, which was a proxy-war that tied into the greater Cold War politics of the twentieth century.

During this massacre, extreme violence manifested in the murders of civilian residents of the coastal lowlands of South Vietnam, with old men bayoneted, women and children shot, some girls raped, and others systematically rounded up an executed near a ditch. This specific incident drew the ire and horror of the international community, and significantly impacted the way US citizens viewed the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was the first war to be documented following the advent of photographic journalism, and hence significantly shaped mainstream understandings of the human cost of war and global imperial politics.