About SILENT VICTORY This web site is dedicated to the memory of Col. William C. Maus, Jr. (1928 - 1998)
SILENT VICTORY is the award-winning documentary about F/51st Long Range Patrol (Airborne) Infantry, the most successful unit of its kind during the Vietnam War. U.S. Army special-operations units operate today using lessons learned from F/51st LRP. Despite what the anti-war activists back home in America were saying in protests, in the schools, in the media, and before Congress, the Vietnamese people wanted, and deserved, a chance to be free from Communist tyranny. A real chance for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was in their grasp during the 1968 Tet Offensive, when F/51st   helped show that the Vietnam war could be won… ...if only the American people had the will. MORE ABOUT SILENT VICTORY This is the story of Company F, 51st Long Range Patrol (Airborne) Infantry, the most successful unit of its kind during the Vietnam War, and of the men who served in this unit. It is a story about what made these men and the unit so special, what made them function so well, and what made them successful in accomplishing their mission. F/51st LRP was a prototype unit. Most people today are not aware of the crucial impact the men of F/51st had on the Vietnam war and on how the U.S. military operates today. Because of the early warning from F/51st LRP, American troops were able to thwart the attempted invasion of Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was F/51st LRP that detected a large enemy horde that was swarming from the east toward Saigon in the earliest hours of this massive and well-coordinated enemy offensive. F/51st LRP then helped to direct the counterattack that resulted in the near annihilation of the Viet Cong. It took four more years for the enemy to rebuild its decimated forces and launch another large offensive. The typical war story is full of testosterone: action, fighting, macho posturing, and acts of heroism. While the men of F/51st certainly experienced all of the above, the documentary, SILENT VICTORY, encompasses so much more of who these men were and who they are. It tells of young patriots, perhaps idealistic or naïve, who volunteered to serve in an elite, top-secret intelligence-gathering unit in the U.S. Army. It tells of bravery, courage and survival…and of camaraderie, respect, and good (and bad) leadership. But more, it probes the humanity of these men. These were soldiers, good soldiers, even heroes, who did not love war, but who believed in the ideals of freedom and democracy, and who believed it was their duty to serve their country when called to do so. In their own words, these men, mature now, reflect on their experiences, from harrowing to humorous. They talk about the significance of what they did, about what they learned, and about how their experiences in this unit, and what they faced when they came home from Vietnam, have influenced who they have become. They discuss their pride in their unit, their closeness with each other, and the difficulties they had to overcome both in combat and back home. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf provides significant background and insight.  No narrator is used. Personal photographs, rare archival action film footage, and captured enemy action film footage are used throughout. Click here for SILENT VICTORY festival screenings and awards.
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