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LIFE Vietnam

Vietnam: Photographs from the frontline

In October 1966, in Vietnam, LIFE magazine's Larry Burrows made a photograph that, for generations, has served as the most indelible, searing illustration of the horrors inherent in that long, divisive war. All the more extraordinary, then, that LIFE did not even publish the picture until several years after Burrows got the shot. Forty years after the signing of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords that marked the beginning of the end of the war, LIFE.com presents the story behind that picture, along with many other photos that did not run in the magazine in 1966.