M113 armored personnel carrier
The M113 is a tracked armored personnel carrier, developed by Food Machinery Corp. The M113 was sent to USAREUR to replace the mechanized infantry's M59 APCs in the 1961/62 time frame; the M113 was first tried out in combat in April 1962 after the United States provided the South Vietnamese Army with heavy weaponry such as the M113, under the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam program. The M113 was the most used armored vehicle of the U. S. Army in the Vietnam War, earning the nickname'Green Dragon' by the Viet Cong as it was used to break through heavy thickets in the midst of the jungle to attack and overrun enemy positions, it was known as an "APC" or an "ACAV" by the allied forces. The M113 introduced new aluminum armor. In the U. S. Army, the M113 series have long been replaced as front-line combat vehicles by the M2 and M3 Bradleys, but large numbers are still used in support roles such as armored ambulance, mortar carrier, engineer vehicle, command vehicle; the U. S. Army's heavy brigade combat teams are equipped with 6,000 M113s and 4,000 Bradleys.
The M113's versatility spawned a wide variety of adaptations that live on worldwide, in U. S. service. These variants together represent about half of U. S. Army armored vehicles. To date, it is estimated that over 80,000 M113s of all types have been produced and used by over 50 countries worldwide, making it one of the most used armored fighting vehicles of all time; the Military Channel's Top Ten series named the M113 the most significant infantry vehicle in history. The U. S. Army planned to retire the M113 family of vehicles by 2018, seeking replacement with the GCV Infantry Fighting Vehicle program, but now replacement of the M113 has fallen to the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle program. Thousands of M113s continue to see combat service in the IDF, although as of 2014 the IDF was seeking to replace many of its vehicles with Namer APCs; the M113 was developed by Food Machinery Corp. which had produced the earlier M59 and M75 Armored personnel carriers. The M113 bears a strong resemblance to both of these earlier vehicles.
The M75 was too expensive to be useful. The lightened M59 addressed both of these problems, but ended up with too little armor, was unreliable as a result of efforts to reduce its cost; the army was looking for a vehicle that combined the best features of both designs, the "airborne armored multi-purpose vehicle family". of all-purpose, all-terrain armored fighting vehicles FMC had been working with Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Co. in the late 1950s to develop suitable aluminum armor. It was known that use of this armor could produce a vehicle that provided the protection of the M75, the light weight and mobility of the M59. FMC responded with two proposals; the thicker-armored version of the T113 the prototype of the M113, was chosen because it weighed less than its steel competitor while offering the same level of protection. An improved T113 design, the T113E1, was adopted by the U. S. Army in 1960 as the "M113". A diesel prototype, T113E2, was put into production in 1964 as the "M113A1", supplanted the gasoline-engined M113.
In 1994, FMC transferred the M113's production over to its newly formed defense subsidiary, United Defense. In 2005, United Defense was acquired by BAE Systems; the M113 was developed to provide a survivable and reliable light tracked vehicle able to be air-lifted and air-dropped, by C-130 and C-141 transport planes. The original concept was that the vehicle would be used for transportation, bringing the troops forward under armor and having them dismount for combat. Entering service with the U. S. Army in 1960, the M113 required only two crewmen, a driver and a commander, carried 11 passengers inside the vehicle, its main armament was a single.50-caliber M2 Browning machine gun operated by the commander. On 30 March 1962, the first batch of 32 M113s arrived in Vietnam, were sent to two Army of the Republic of Vietnam mechanized rifle companies, each equipped with 15 of the APCs. On 11 June 1962, the two mechanized units were fielded for the first time. During the Battle of Ap Bac in January 1963, at least fourteen of the exposed.50 caliber gunners aboard the M113s were killed in action, necessitating modifications to improve crew survivability.
Soon, makeshift shields formed from metal salvaged from the hulls of sunken ships were fitted to the carriers, which afforded better protection. But, finding that this material could be penetrated by small arms fire, subsequent shields were constructed from scrapped armored vehicles; the ARVN 80th Ordnance Unit in South Vietnam developed the shield idea further and commenced engineering general issue gun shields for the M113. These shields became the predecessor to the standardized armored cavalry assault vehicle variant and were issued to all ARVN mechanized units during the early 1960s; the ARVNs had modified the M113s to function as "amphibious light tanks" and not as battle taxis as U. S. designers had intended. Instead of an armored personnel carrier, the ARVN used the carried infantry as extra "dismountable soldiers" in "an oversized tank crew"; these "ACAV" sets were adapted to U. S. Army M113s with the arrival of the army's
Republic of Vietnam Navy
The Republic of Vietnam Navy was the naval branch of the South Vietnamese military, the official armed forces of the former Republic of Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. The early fleet consisted of boats from France. After 1955 and the transfer of the armed forces to Vietnamese control, the fleet was supplied from the United States. With assistance from the U. S. the VNN became the largest Southeast Asian navy, with 42,000 personnel, 672 amphibious ships and craft, 20 mine warfare vessels, 450 patrol craft, 56 service craft, 242 junks. The origins of the Viet Nam Navy began in 1952 with the French Navy. In 1954, in accordance with the Elysée Accords, the French handed control of the armed forces to the Vietnamese, but at the request of the Vietnamese government, continued to be in charge of the Navy until 20 August 1955. By this time the Navy numbered about 2,000 personnel, with 22 vessels; the Vietnamese received assistance in the development of the VNN from the United States Military Assistance Advisory Group.
In 1956, the North Vietnamese began infiltrating men and arms into the Republic of Vietnam's territory by sea. In response the VNN created the Coastal Junk Force of junks manned by Regional Irregular Forces and local fishermen recruited for the occasion, to patrol the waters around the Demilitarized Zone; the force came to be known as Coastal Groups, patrolled the entire 1,200-mile coastline. This force was under the control of the regional military zone commands rather than the Navy, was not incorporated into the VNN until 1965, by which time it numbered over 100 vessels. In the late 1950s the Vietnam Navy was being modernized and developed, receiving ships and training from the United States Navy. By 1961 the VNN had a force of 23 ships, the largest of which were LSMs, 197 boats, 5,000 men; this was insufficient to counter the growing threat of enemy infiltration and the years 1962-1964 were marked by a rapid expansion. The number of ships increased to 44 and number of personnel to 8,100; this process continued and by the end of 1967 the personnel strength of the VNN had increased to 16,300, with 65 ships, along with 232 vessels of the River Assault Group, 290 junks, 52 miscellaneous craft.
Throughout 1968 the VNN gave priority to the improvement and expansion of their training programs in anticipation of gaining increased responsibility in the war effort as well as additional assets from the US. By the end of 1968 plans for the turnover of the majority of the United States Navy assets in Vietnam had been formulated. In early 1969, President Richard M. Nixon formally adopted the policy of "Vietnamization"; the naval part, called ACTOV, involved the phased transfer to Vietnam of the U. S. river and coastal fleet, as well as operational command over various operations. In mid-1969, the VNN took sole responsibility for river assault operations when the U. S. Mobile Riverine Force stood down and transferred 64 riverine assault craft to the VNN. By the end of 1970, the U. S. Navy ceased all operations throughout South Vietnam, having transferred a total of 293 river patrol boats and 224 riverine assault craft to the VNN. During 1970 and 1971 the United States relinquished control of the coastal and high seas patrols to the VNN.
The U. S. naval command transferred four Coast Guard cutters, a destroyer escort radar picket ship, an LST, various harbor control, mine craft, support vessels. By August 1972, the VNN took responsibility for the entire coastal patrol effort when it took over the last 16 U. S. coastal radar installations. In addition to ships and vessels, the U. S. transferred support bases. The first change of command occurred in November 1969 at Mỹ Tho, the last in April 1972 at Nhà Bè, Bình Thủy, Cam Ranh Bay, Đà Nẵng. By 1973, the Vietnam Navy numbered over 1,400 ships and vessels. In 1973 and 1974, as a result of the Paris Peace Accords, the United States drastically cut its financial support for the Vietnamese armed forces; the VNN was compelled to reduce its overall operations by half, its river combat and patrol activities by 70%. To conserve supplies, over 600 river and harbor craft and 22 ships were laid up. On 19 January 1974, four VNN ships fought a battle with four ships of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy over ownership of the Paracel Islands, 200 nautical miles due east of Đà Nẵng.
The VNN ship Nhựt Tảo was sunk, Lý Thường Kiệt was damaged, both Trần Khánh Dư and Trần Bình Trọng suffered light damage. The Chinese occupied the islands. In the spring of 1975, North Vietnamese forces occupied all of northern and central South Vietnam, Saigon fell on 30 April 1975; however Captain Kiem Do had secretly planned and carried out the evacuation of a flotilla of thirty-five Vietnam Navy and other vessels, with 30,000 sailors, their families, other civilians on board, joined the U. S. Seventh Fleet when it sailed for Subic Bay, Philippines. Most of the Vietnamese ships were taken into the Philippine Navy, though the LSM Lam Giang, fuel barge HQ-474, gunboat Kéo Ngựa were scuttled after reaching the open sea and transferring their cargo of refugees and their crews to other ships. VNN Fleet Command was directly responsible to the VNN Chief of Naval Operations for the readiness of ships and craft; the Fleet Commander assigned and scheduled ships to operate in the Coastal Zones, Riverine Areas, the Rung Sat Specia
South Vietnamese Popular Force
During the Vietnam War, the South Vietnamese Popular Force consisted of local militias that protected their home villages from attacks by first Viet Cong forces and by People's Army of Vietnam units. Called the Civil Guard and the Self-Defense Corps, they were integrated into the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in 1964 and placed under the command of the Joint General Staff; the Popular Force was one of two broad groups of militia. The American forces referred to both groups collectively as "Ruff-Puffs" referring to the abbreviation RF/PF. Popular Forces themselves are divided between larger and better organised Popular Forces as well as the much more provisional People's Self-Defense Forces and resembled the Local Force and village-guerrilla level component of the Viet Cong; these units served on a voluntary, part-time basis and together with South Vietnamese Regional Force members, were the lowest paid and numbered 500,000 in 1974. Poorly-trained, recruited on a voluntary basis as part-time village or area militiamen, these forces often-times bore the brunt of People's Army of Vietnam and PLAF incursions, served as front-line standing forces.
The abrupt U. S ground-force intervention in the war had caused many to become sidelined, due to the ARVN Regular Army being sidelined and fulfilling regional defence roles, despite being the most capable of defending against guerrilla insurgency; these units became better-trained and equipped during Vietnamization, experienced doubled the casualties of Army of the Republic of Vietnam Regular Forces from 1970 on-wards. RF/PF units were responsible for inflicting an estimated 30% of the total People's Army of Vietnam and Viet Cong casualties throughout the war, were much more capable of fulfilling ambush and small-unit movement and detection roles than larger, slow-moving conventional forces. From 1965-1969, the ARVN took over most security operations as the Americans and other allies fought the main force war against the PAVN and NLF; when U. S. forces began to withdraw in 1969, the ARVN took on the task of fighting the communists, the Regional Forces and Popular Forces took on new importance.
For the first time, they were deployed outside their home areas and were sometimes attached to ARVN units. By 1973 the Popular forces consisted of 8,186 platoons. Charged with local defense, they were too armed and equipped to withstand attacks by PAVN units supported by tanks and artillery, they were overwhelmed during the 1975 Spring Offensive and dissolved
1975 Spring Offensive
The 1975 Spring Offensive or known as The General Offensive and Uprising of the Spring 1975 was the final North Vietnamese campaign in the Vietnam War that led to the capitulation of South Vietnam. After the initial success capturing Phước Long Province, the North Vietnamese leadership increased the scope of the People's Army of Vietnam's offensive and captured and held the key Central Highlands city of Buôn Ma Thuột between March 10 and 18; these operations were intended to be preparatory to launching a general offensive in 1976. Following the attack on Buôn Ma Thuôt, the South Vietnamese realized they were no longer able to defend the entire country and ordered a strategic withdrawal from the Central Highlands; the retreat from the Central Highlands, was a debacle as, under fire, civilian refugees fled with soldiers along a single highway reaching from the highlands to the coast. This situation was exacerbated by confusing orders, lack of command and control, a well-led and aggressive enemy, which led to the utter rout and destruction of the bulk of South Vietnamese forces in the Central Highlands.
A similar collapse occurred in the northern provinces. Surprised by the rapidity of the South Vietnamese collapse, North Vietnam transferred the bulk of its northern forces more than 350 miles to the south in order to capture the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon in time to celebrate their late President Ho Chi Minh's birthday and end the war. South Vietnamese forces regrouped around the capital and defended the key transportation hubs at Phan Rang and Xuân Lộc, but a loss of political and military will to continue the fight became more manifest. Under political pressure, South Vietnamese President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu resigned on 21 April, in hopes that a new leader, more amenable to the North Vietnamese could reopen negotiations with them, it was, too late. Southwest of Saigon IV Corps, remained stable with its forces aggressively preventing VC units from taking over any provincial capitals. With PAVN spearheads entering Saigon, the South Vietnamese government under the leadership of Dương Văn Minh, capitulated on 30 April 1975.
Both ARVN generals in the Mekong Delta, Le Van Hung and Nguyen Khoa Nam, committed suicide after the surrender. The signing of the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973 did not end the fighting in South Vietnam since both sides violated the cease-fire and attempted to gain control of as much territory as possible. Occupation meant population control in any future negotiations or reunification effort; the fighting that erupted was not small in scale. The three-phase North Vietnamese "Land-grabbing-and population nibbling" campaign, for example, included four division-sized attacks to seize strategically advantageous positions; the International Commission of Control and Supervision, established by a protocol of the Paris agreement, had been assigned the task of monitoring the implementation of the cease-fire. The principles of consultation and unanimity among the members, doomed any effort to control the situation or to stop cease-fire violations, the ICCS ceased to function in any meaningful way within a few months of its establishment.
At the end of 1973, there was serious debate among the Hanoi leadership over future military policy as the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam convened to assess the progress of its efforts in the south. General Văn Tiến Dũng, PAVN chief of staff, Defence Minister Võ Nguyên Giáp urged the resumption of conventional military operations, warning that increasing passivity would affect the morale of the army. Premier Phạm Văn Đồng, feared resuming operations would drain vital resources needed for reconstruction in the north; the final result of this debate was Resolution 21, which called for "strategic raids" on South Vietnamese forces in order to regain territory lost to the ARVN since the conclusion of the Peace Accords and to test the reaction of both the South Vietnamese military and the American government. The first blows of the new policy were delivered between March and November 1974, when the communists attacked ARVN forces in Quảng Đức Province and at Biên Hòa. Hanoi's leaders watched and anxiously as strikes by American B-52 Stratofortress bombers failed to materialize.
During these operations, however, PAVN retook the military initiative, gaining experience in combined arms operations, depleting ARVN forces, causing them to expend large quantities of ammunition, gaining avenues of approach and jump-off points for any new offensive. South Vietnamese President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu had made his position on the cease-fire agreement quite public by proclaiming the "Four Nos": no negotiations with the communists. Thiệu still believed the promise made by President Richard Nixon to reintroduce American air power to the conflict if any serious violations of the agreement took place, it was assumed that U. S. financial and military aid would continue to be forthcoming at previous levels. On 1 July 1973, the U. S. Congress passed the Case–Church Amendment, legislation that all but prohibited any direct or indirect U. S. combat activities over or in Laos and both Vietnams. On 7 November the legislative branch overrode Nixon's veto of the War Powers Act. During 1972–1973, South Vietnam had received $2.2 billion in U.
S. assistance. In 1973–1974, that figure was slashed to $965 million, a more than 50 perce
South Vietnam Air Force
The South Vietnam Air Force the Republic of Vietnam Air Force was the aerial branch of the Republic of Vietnam Military Forces, the official military of the Republic of Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. The VNAF began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era, it grew into the world's sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974. It is an neglected chapter of the history of the Vietnam War as they operated in the shadow of the United States Air Force, it was dissolved in 1975 after the Fall of Saigon. In March 1949, Emperor Bảo Đại requested that the French help set up a Vietnamese military air arm. Pressure was maintained with the assistance of Lt. Col. Nguyễn Văn Hinh, who had flown the B-26 Marauder with the French Air Force during the Second World War. In March 1952, a training school was set up at Nha Trang, the following year two army co-operation squadrons began missions flying the Morane-Saulnier MS.500 Criquet light aircraft.
In 1954, the French allocated a number of Dassault MD.315 Flamant armed light transports to the inventory of this Vietnamese air arm. Vietnamese pilot trainees began to be sent to France for more advanced training. In May 1954, with the fall of Dien Bien Phu, the position of France changed, on January 31, 1955, the Vietnam Air Force was inaugurated; the RVNAF consisted of 58 aircraft and about 1,300 personnel. Aircraft consisted of C-47 Skytrains, Grumman F8F Bearcats. French instructors for pilots and mechanics remained until late 1956, transferred 69 F8F Bearcat aircraft to the VNAF, which throughout the late 1950s were the main strike aircraft. In May 1956, by agreement with the South Vietnamese government, the United States Air Force assumed some training and administrative roles of the RVNAF. Teams from Clark Air Force Base began in 1957 to organize the RVNAF into a model of the USAF when the French training contracts expired. Unlike the ARVN, the VNAF was an all-volunteer service, remaining so until its demise in 1975.
The VNAF recruiting center was located at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. Recruits were given a screening test, followed by a physical examination. Basic requirements for service in the VNAF was to be a Vietnamese citizen. S. 9th grade education for airmen. If a volunteer met all the qualifications, the recruit was sent to basic training at the ARVN training base at Lam Song. Non-commissioned officer training was held at Bien Hoa Air Base. After two months of training, or four months for aviation cadets, the recruit was given an aptitude test and progressed to specialized technical training. From there, he was sent to one of the ARVN wings for journeymen training. Aviation cadets pursued three additional months of specialized training after completing their initial four-month training course; some were sent to the United States for advanced pilot training while non-rated officers pursued training in South Vietnam for their non-flying assignments. This training lasted about nine months, whereupon a cadet served in an operational unit for about a year before receiving a commission as a second lieutenant.
Women served in the VNAF. The Women's Armed Forces Corps was formed to fill non-combat duties beginning in December 1965. Women were assigned to VNAF wings, the Air Logistics Wing, performing duties as personnel specialists and other administrative roles. During the final 1975 offensive, it was not a case of a massive collapse; the ARVN forces in Long Khánh were fighting to the death. A cooperative effort between the ARVN and the VNAF enabled ARVN troops there to hold on. CH-47 helicopters brought in 193 tons of artillery ammunition over two days. A-1 Skyraiders flew in and C-130 Hercules transports dropped massive 15,000-pound daisy cutter bombs on enemy positions. Flying against intense antiaircraft fire, they took a heavy toll on the NVA divisions around Xuân Lộc. On 28 April at 18:06 three A-37 Dragonflys piloted by former VNAF pilots who had defected to the Vietnamese People's Air Force at the fall of Danang, dropped 6 Mk81 250 lb bombs on the VNAF flightline at Tan Son Nhut Air Base destroying several aircraft.
VNAF Northrop F-5s were unable to intercept the A-37s. At dawn on 29 April the VNAF began to haphazardly depart Tan Son Nhut Air Base as A-37s, F-5s, C-7s, C-119s and C-130s departed for Thailand while UH-1s took off in search of the ships of the U. S. Task Force 76 offshore. At 08:00 Lieutenant General Trần Văn Minh, commander of the VNAF, 30 of his staff arrived at the American DAO Compound, demanding evacuation; this signified the complete loss of command and control of the VNAF. Some VNAF aircraft did stay to continue to fight the advancing NVA however. One AC-119K gunship from the 821st Attack Squadron had spent the night of 28/29 April dropping flares and firing on the approaching NVA. At dawn on 29 April two A-1 Skyraiders began patrolling the perimeter of Tan Son Nhut at 2500 feet until Maj. Trương Phùng, one of the two Skyraider pilots was shot down by an SA-7. At 07:00 the AC-119K "Tinh Long" flew by Lt. Trang van Thanh was firing on NVA to the east of Tan Son Nhut when it was hit by a SA-7 missile, fell in flames to the ground.
Sgt. Son, one of the AC-119K gunners tried to escape but his chute tangled in the tail of the airplane. Despite sporadic artillery and rocket fire, Binh Thuy Air Base remained operational throughout 29 April and on the morning of
3d Armored Cavalry Squadron (South Vietnam)
The 3d Armored Cavalry Squadron a battalion-sized unit of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the South Vietnamese army. It was part of II Corps; the 3d Armored Cav was organized on January 1, 1954. In 1971, the Presidential Unit Citation of the United States was awarded to the 3d Armored Cavalry Squadron and attached U. S. Advisor/Liaison Personnel for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy during the period January 1, 1968, to September 30, 1968, in Pleiku and Binh Dinh Provinces; this makes the squadron one of only a few non-U. S. military units to receive the highest U. S. military honor awarded at the unit level. DA General Order No. 24, 27 April 1971 THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION FOR EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM TO THE 3D ARMORDED CAVALRY SQUADRON ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM CONSISTING OF SQUADRON HEADQUARTERS AND SERVICE TROOP AND 1ST, 3D AND 4TH TROOPS AND U. S. ADVISOR/LIAISON PERSONNEL The 3d Armored Cavalry Squadron distinguished itself by extraordinary heroism in military operations against hostile ground forces during the period 1 January 1968 to 30 September 1968.
The Squadron engaged a Viet Cong battalion near the city of Pleiku during the Tet Offensive. Utilizing an imposing array of weapons, the enemy fought tenaciously in an attempt to occupy the city of Pleiku; the Squadron, by steadfast resolve and against countless odds, annihilated the enemy force. This lifted the siege of the city of Pleiku, the 3d Armored Cavalry Squadron was able to resume its normal mission of securing the U. S. 4th Division logistical lifeline between Pleiku and Kontum. The enemy committed large forces in an effort to close a single existing supply route; the 3d Armored Cavalry Squadron engaged a most determined enemy to relieve the pressure of being isolated. In each encounter, the South Vietnamese cavalrymen exhibited brilliant tactics under harrowing circumstances and inflicted prohibitive casualties on a numerically superior force. Elements of the Squadron spearheaded direct strikes against the 18th North Vietnamese Army regiment in other major engagements in Binh Dinh Province and the city of Phu My.
The resulting enemy casualties together with the destruction of residual weapon supplies forced the North Vietnamese to flee the field of battle. Through their unyielding tenacity, imaginative tactics, fierce determination the officers and men of the 3d Armored Cavalry Squadron achieved victory against insurmountable odds, their demonstrated professionalism and extraordinary heroism under hazardous and adverse conditions reflect the utmost credit on them and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. February 1, 1968 The ARVN 3rd Cavalry Squadron fought a pitched battle with the Liberation Front's H-15 Local Force Battalion in or near Pleiku. August 1968 Elements of the 3rd ARVN Cavalry, along with a reaction platoon from the 2/1st Cav, OPCONed to the 4th Inf, foiled an attempted NVA ambush, killing 31 enemy; the following day the soldiers found 10 more bodies bringing the toll to 41 enemy killed. In the third day of enemy harassment of convoys along Highway 14 in Kontum Province, an estimated force of two NVA companies attacked a 4th Div convoy 14 miles south of Kontum with mortar, recoilless rifle, small arms, rocket and machinegun fire.
Armored cars from the 4th MP Company returned the fire. At the outbreak of the attack and armored cavalry assault vehicles of the 3rd ARVN Cavalry and the 2/1st Cav, deployed along the highway in anticipation of possible contact, began to pour heavy fire into the enemy positions. Under the onslaught of allied armor the enemy broke contact. Non-U. S. Recipients of U. S. gallantry awards 1968 in the Vietnam War M113 armored personnel carrier Simon Dunstan,'Vietnam Tracks: Armor into Battle 1945-75,' Osprey Publishing Ltd, London, 1982 Video taken of 3d Armored Cavalry Squadron in 1969—https://archive.org/details/gov.archives.arc.32456
The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable; the works of William Shakespeare and Beethoven, most early silent films, are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are dedicated by their authors to the public domain; the term public domain is not applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". As rights vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another; some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, gives rise to public-domain status for a work in that country.
The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". Although the term "domain" did not come into use until the mid-18th century, the concept "can be traced back to the ancient Roman Law, as a preset system included in the property right system." The Romans had a large proprietary rights system where they defined "many things that cannot be owned" as res nullius, res communes, res publicae and res universitatis. The term res nullius was defined as things not yet appropriated; the term res communes was defined as "things that could be enjoyed by mankind, such as air and ocean." The term res publicae referred to things that were shared by all citizens, the term res universitatis meant things that were owned by the municipalities of Rome. When looking at it from a historical perspective, one could say the construction of the idea of "public domain" sprouted from the concepts of res communes, res publicae, res universitatis in early Roman law.
When the first early copyright law was first established in Britain with the Statute of Anne in 1710, public domain did not appear. However, similar concepts were developed by French jurists in the 18th century. Instead of "public domain", they used terms such as publici juris or propriété publique to describe works that were not covered by copyright law; the phrase "fall in the public domain" can be traced to mid-19th century France to describe the end of copyright term. The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that, left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademarks, expire or are abandoned. In this historical context Paul Torremans describes copyright as a, "little coral reef of private right jutting up from the ocean of the public domain." Copyright law differs by country, the American legal scholar Pamela Samuelson has described the public domain as being "different sizes at different times in different countries".
Definitions of the boundaries of the public domain in relation to copyright, or intellectual property more regard the public domain as a negative space. According to James Boyle this definition underlines common usage of the term public domain and equates the public domain to public property and works in copyright to private property. However, the usage of the term public domain can be more granular, including for example uses of works in copyright permitted by copyright exceptions; such a definition regards work in copyright as private property subject to fair-use rights and limitation on ownership. A conceptual definition comes from Lange, who focused on what the public domain should be: "it should be a place of sanctuary for individual creative expression, a sanctuary conferring affirmative protection against the forces of private appropriation that threatened such expression". Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "here are certain materials – the air we breathe, rain, life, thoughts, ideas, numbers – not subject to private ownership.
The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival." The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". A public-domain book is a book with no copyright, a book, created without a license, or a book where its copyrights expired or have been forfeited. In most countries the term of protection of copyright lasts until January first, 70 years after the death of the latest living author; the longest copyright term is in Mexico, which has life plus 100 years for all deaths since July 1928. A notable exception is the United States, where every book and tale published prior to 1924 is in the public domain.