Myth: We deliberately targeted the rice paddies in the North to flood the homes of innocent civilians and, thus, kill thousands more by starvation. Also, we purposely bombed well-marked hospitals.
Fact: The US never intentionally bombed North Vietnamese dikes or hospitals.
- Bombing the North Vietnamese dikes was considered by war planners on three separate occasions; 1965, 1966 and 1972. Those plans were never implemented.
- Some dikes were hit unintentionally due to the inaccuracy of bombing at the time, but the damage was minimal and inconsequential.
- Hospitals were never a target of bombings, even though the North Vietnamese build military facilities adjacent to hospitals to take advantage of errors in bombings for propaganda purposes.
- The North Vietnamese also placed radar installations, surface to air missiles batteries and artillery batteries directly on the dikes. Those were attacked with anti-personnel weapons; napalm and cluster bombs that did not destroy the dikes.
- Antiwar activists tried but were never successful in proving that the US deliberately bombed dikes. They found one hospital that was hit by a bomb when a B2 was struck by a North Vietnamese missile while releasing its load.
- US bomb damage assessment proved that no dikes were destroyed sufficiently to cause flooding. In 1971 the dikes flooded naturally. The North Vietnamese used the pictures as "proof" of US bombing of the dikes.