This is a cutaway of a North Vietnamese propaganda rocket recovered from a battlefield and used during the Vietnam War, probably during the early 1970's. It was a modified standard artillery type solid fuel rocket. Most likely, the rocket had a very short range of a mile or less but was sufficient to scatter small sheets of propaganda messages urging U.S. troops and allied South Vietnamese troops to surrender, written in both English and Vietnamese.
The practice of deploying propaganda rockets was not new. They were used, for instance, during the Spanish Civil War in 1939. The rocket was donated to the Smithsonian by the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum in 1989.
U.S. Ordnance Museum
- Country of Origin
- North Vietnam
- Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
- Exhibit Station
- Rockets & Missiles
- CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets
- Body, motor section, aluminum; nozzle and combustion chamber top, steel; inserts along cutway, 6-8 brown paper tubes, cutaway covered with transpararent plastic sheets; electrical igniter wire, copper, with transparent plastic insulation.
- Payload section tube, or half tube, aluminum.
- Three curved segments, steel; disc insert, steel; ring, possibly for carrying rocket, alluminum, with fabric straps secured on inner sides of ring with aluminum rivets.
- Propaganda sheets, rice paper
- Other: 4 1/2 in diameter x 15 in. long (11.4 x 38.1cm)
- Other (Top body): 4 1/2 in. diameter x 16 in. long (11.4 x 40.6cm)