Vietnam War and Landscape Dynamics: Objective Identification by Iconographic Data in Thua Thien Hue Province

Abstract : During the Vietnam War, South-Vietnam underwent numerous herbicides spraying and bombing, which were conducted by the American army. These military activities aimed to defeat the enemy by destroying its environment; thus they were not without consequences on landscapes. As prime target of aerial attacks, the forests were particularly affected. The Vietnam War can thus be considered as a cause of forest loss but not the main one. Some assert that the areas affected by the military practices were forested before the war and the forest disappeared due to these ones; but did it correspond to the reality? To answer, to identify as objectively as possible the landscape dynamics, which occurred during the war, Thua Thien Hue province, particularly affected by the military practices, is taken as an example; its pre- (circa 1954) and post-war (1975) landscapes have to be reconstructed, basing on a priori unbiased data such as iconographic data. Aerial photographs are available for circa 1954 but the reconstruction can only be partial because some are missing and their processing is long. For 1975, another iconographic data is used, a satellite image; available, it has the advantage of covering the studied province and of requiring a shorter processing. The pre- and post-war landscapes thus known are then compared to identify wartime dynamics. This study demonstrates that some forests were destroyed but other sylvo-ecosystems progressed as well. Besides the military activities, the civilian practices were factors of these dynamics.
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Contributor : Amélie Robert <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 2, 2015 - 11:34:14 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 10:54:07 AM

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Amélie Robert-Charmeteau. Vietnam War and Landscape Dynamics: Objective Identification by Iconographic Data in Thua Thien Hue Province. International Relations and Diplomacy, David Publishing, 2015, 3 (1), pp.65-78. ⟨10.17265/2328-2134⟩. ⟨hal-01121962⟩



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