However, the Ace of Spades is also associated with death. during the Vietnam War, American GIs began a tradition of placing the ace on a. VIETNAM. The ace of spades, the so-called "death card" is featured in many movies about the Vietnam War. The symbol is also depicted on various unit crests. During the Vietnam War, American soldiers started hearing rumors that the Vietnamese were very superstitious about the ace of spades. In fact, leaving the card on the bodies of dead Vietnamese soldiers became such a popular practice among G. Lieutenant Colonel William J. On the contrary it could probably be easily shown that gimmickry has a reverse effect of conditioning the audience against the emotional effects of well thought-out propaganda. I have shortened it considerably but perhaps it will shed some light on the mysterious history of the ace of spades: He recalls using the above 'Death Cards' in Afghanistan. Captain Blaine Revis was assigned to Military Assistance and Advisory Group Vietnam MAAGV from April to May , and later commanded the 29th PSYOP Detachment attached to the 1st Air Cavalry Division at Anh Khe. In order to understand why the ace of spades is considered the death card, it's necessary to know a little about the origin of playing cards and the symbols we generally take for granted. See each listing for international shipping options and costs. Article What does a death's head on a tombstone mean? For instance, one card depicts a skull wearing a Vietnamese farmer's hat with cross-hairs over the face and the words Sat Cong "Kill Communists". This section needs additional citations for verification. The Battalion did go as part of the invasion force in As the war neared end, he and other LRRPS were encouraged to join the newly-reactivate Ranger Battalions. The ace of spades was also featured in many movies about the Vietnam War. After years of looking at death cards I suspect that nobody ever made as many as the st Airborne. The black ones are masculine, cold, negative, regressive. It seems that they fascinated fixed-wing and helicopter pilots. The Ace of Spades trick was one that we used. The skull on the front is a bit odd and perhaps more Asian than American. Similar decks were reissued in Operation Desert Shield, but more as a tradition than as a psy-ops weapon. He pointed out that the subdued patches were free in the supply room and his platoon sergeant liked to advertise. Army officer William Shelton mentions the continued use of the ace of spades in Vietnam: In the end, the situation got rather politically correct over here in Afghanistan This card depicts the symbol of the st Airborne Division, the figure of Death holding a scythe marked "C," and the words "WHEN DIPLOMACY FAILS. Leaflet was a tactical leaflet that targeted the soldiers of the C, Q and Regiments. We have edited it to make it more readable. US troops believed that Vietnamese traditions held the symbolism of the spade to mean death and ill-fortune and in a bid to scare away Viet Cong soldiers without vietnam war ace of spades firefight, it was common practice to leave an ace of spades on the bodies of killed Vietnamese and even to litter the forested grounds and fields with the card. I asked him what he remembered about his orders and kijijji said: It is almost as if the Americans were trying to teach the Vietnamese. Eventually, trade spread from Central Asia westward, and imported playing cards appeared in Europe before the end of the s.