The Craziest Schemes that the Government Ever Tried to Push on the Masses
The Craziest Schemes that the Government Ever Tried to Push on the Masses

The Craziest Schemes that the Government Ever Tried to Push on the Masses

Khalid Elhassan - August 13, 2022

The Craziest Schemes that the Government Ever Tried to Push on the Masses
Operation Fracture Jaw further soured President Johnson on General Westmoreland. Imgur

1. Fortunately, This Plan Was Abandoned Early On

FRACTURE JAW never went beyond the planning stage. As things turned out, fears of an American Dien Bien Phu at Khe Sanh proved to be overblown. The French debacle in the earlier siege was caused by France’s inability to resupply its beleaguered garrison from the air. However, America had an ace in the hole that France did not: the US Air Force, whose capabilities were orders of magnitude greater than that of France. American aerial assets managed to sustain the US garrison at Khe Sanh with adequate resupplies of men and materiel. Simultaneously, American air power severely punished the North Vietnamese besiegers until they lifted the siege and withdrew in the summer of 1968.

The Craziest Schemes that the Government Ever Tried to Push on the Masses
General William Westmoreland, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, and President Lyndon Baines Johnson. All Poster

As to General Westmoreland, after years of LBJ acceding to his requests for more and more troops, the president finally drew a line in 1968. That year, the American buildup in Vietnam reached a peak of 535,000 men. When Westmoreland asked for 200,000 more men, the president had enough. The general was already on thin ice because of his insatiable appetite for troops and materials. The attempt to keep secret from the White House a plan to nuke North Vietnam, and overall dissatisfaction with the war’s direction and prospects, soured LBJ on him even more. So Johnson decided to get a new commander. Westmoreland was sacked by promoting him upstairs to Army Chief of Staff. He was replaced with his deputy, Creighton Abrams, who began a steady troop draw down.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Agriculture Victoria – Red Fox

All That is Interesting – Newly Declassified Documents Reveal That a Top US General Planned For Nuclear Attack During the Vietnam War

Anderson, Jon Lee – Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (1997)

Atavist – American Hippopotamus: A Bracing and Eccentric Epic of Espionage and Hippos

Atlantic, The, April 4th, 2011 – Old, Weird Tech: The Bat Bombs of World War II

Atlas Obscura – The Almost Perfect World War II Plot to Bomb Japan With Bats

Beschloss, Michael – Presidents of War (2018)

Boing Boing – US Air Force Proposal: Pause the Earth’s Rotation So Nukes Would Miss Targets

Cabinet Magazine, Summer, 2005 – New Foundlands: How Many Countries Are There in the World?

Coman, Brian – Tooth & Nail: The Story of the Rabbit in Australia (2010)

Cracked – Hippos in Louisiana? Learn About America’s Failed Plan to Raise Hippopotamuses as Farm Animals

Crompton, Samuel – Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary (2009)

Davidson, Phillip – Vietnam at War: The History, 1946-1975 (1988)

Disciples of Flight – Napalm Bats: The Bat Bomb

Fall, Bernard B. – Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu (1967)

Fossen, Anthony Van, and Chambers, Kristy – Tax Havens and Sovereignty in the Pacific Islands (2012)

History Collection – 10 Conspiracies That Are Far From Crazy Theories

New York Times, October 6th, 2018 – US General Considered Nuclear Response in Vietnam, Cables Show

New York Times Magazine, January 15th, 1995 – The Great Ivy League Nude Photo Posture Scandal

Philosopher of the Boudoir – Grim History: Michael Oliver, the Phoenix Foundation and Three Failed Attempts at Starting a New Nation

Rabbit Free Australia – The Rabbit Problem

Seattle Times, October 6th, 2018 – Cables Show US Was Close to Adding Nuclear Weapons to Vietnam War

Smithsonian Magazine, August 10th, 2015 – Bats and Balloon Bombs: The Weird Weapons That Could Have Won WWII

War History Online – Crazy: General Westmoreland Initiated Plan to Use Nukes in Vietnam

We Are the Mighty – America Wanted to Stop Earth’s Rotation During Cold War

Wired – The Crazy, Ingenious Plan to Bring Hippopotamus Ranching to America