Vietnam Notes - The Vietnam War by wuyunyi


									The Vietnam War

   A History of
 U.S. involvement
Vietnam: colony of France
             • Indochina (Laos,
               Vietnam, Cambodia)
               was part of the
               French Empire
             • Japanese invaded
               Indochina during
             • When Japanese are
               defeated, France
               wants Vietnam back
 Ho Chi Minh resists French Rule

• Nationalist/ Communist
• Helped the U.S. use
  guerrilla warfare to
  defeat the Japanese
• Declared Vietnam
  independent after WWII
• Western nations, led
  by France, refuse to
  recognize independent
    FIRST Vietnam War
• France v. Vietnam
• War lasts from 1946-1954
• Fall of Dien Bien Phu (1954)
• Round One: Minh
• US backed France with $2B in
  aid, pointing to the policy of
  containment and the domino
        Geneva Accords
• Geneva Accords
  – End First Vietnam War; France defeated
  – Elections are promised in 1956
  – Temporarily divided Vietnam along the
    17th parallel

• North Vietnam
  – Communist government under Ho Chi Minh
  – Pushing for independence, united
    Vietnam, and elections
• South Vietnam
  – Pro-Western government under Diem
Ngo Dinh Diem
      • Aristocratic,
        Catholic family
        with ties to
        Emperor Bao Dai
      • Anti-communist
Vietnam Divided
1956: No democracy for you!
• Elections, while promised by
  the US and France at Geneva,
  were never held in 1956
• 1955-1960: US sends $1B in aid
  to Diem as civil war breaks out
• Diem is a repressive and brutal
Buddhist Monk protests Diem
US Involvement Escalates
• John F. Kennedy   1961-1963
 – Sent 16,000 advisors
 – Diem assassinated, with US support
 – Kennedy assassinated 13 days later
• Lyndon B. Johnson 1963 - 1969
  – Sent more Green Beret
  – By 1964, North Vietnam
    controlled almost half of the
US Involvement Escalates
• Gulf of Tonkin Incident - August 1964
   – U.S. ships “attacked” in the Tonkin
   – LBJ asks Congress to authorize use
     of military to prevent further
   – Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin
   – Resolution gives LBJ power to take
     “all means necessary” to protect US
US Involvement Escalates
• December 1965 – The Draft
 – 2.6 million will serve in Vietnam
 – Average age was 19 – younger than
 – The poor and uneducated were
   drafted at higher percentages
US Involvement Escalates
• The War Intensifies (1965 – 1967)
   – U.S. ground troops: 500,000
   – Many civilian casualties – it was
     hard to tell who was an enemy

      “If it’s dead and Vietnamese,
      it’s Vietcong.” - Army Officer
Tet Offensive
     • Turning point in
       the Vietnam War
     • U.S. involvement
       started little
       then escalated
     • Began on January
       of 1968
     • Vietnam’s Lunar
       New Year (most
       important holiday
       to them)

       “It’s silly talking about how many years we will have
       to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could
       pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it
       and still be home for Christmas” -Ronald Regan 1965
Viet Cong will not surrender
• Tet Offensive – January 1968
  – North Vietnamese surprise attack
    on the New Year
  – Within hours 100 cities and 12
    military bases were under attack
  – A military victory for the U.S.
    but a media victory for the Viet
• Turning point in war.

                                         announces bombing in
                                         •Bombed supply trails
                                         •From March-May
                                         doubled number of
                                         bombs sent
“No event in American history is more
misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It
                                         •Estimated 600,000
was misreported then and is
misremembered now.” – Richard Nixon
                                         people were killed
Atrocities at My Lai
          • Many soldiers
            admit killing
            women and
            children, some
            by accident,
            some on purpose
          • Soldiers were
            also killed by
            friendly fire
       NIXON takes over
 – Trained and equipped S. Vietnamese
   military to replace American forces
 – 60,000 US ground troops withdrawn
 – By 1972 – only 24,000 US troops remain
Second Vietnam War Ends
• January 27, 1972 – Paris Accords
  – Cease fire agreement between the US, N.
    Vietnam and S. Vietnam
By 1975
  - Communist forces overran S. Vietnam
  - April 30 – S. Vietnam surrendered
  - Many Americans escaped the US embassy by
    helicopter as N. Vietnamese troops
    invaded Saigon (capital of S. Vietnam).
Evacuation from Saigon
Consequences of Vietnam
•   ~3,400,000 Vietnamese died
•   58,000 Americans died
•   300,000 Wounded
•   2,300 – MIA – missing in action
•   More than 600 Prisoner’s of War
    – Senator John McCain was a POW for over 5
• Veterans returned to America
    – Many turned to drugs and became homeless
    – Use of Agent Orange Chemical linked to
      medical problems
Senator John McCain
POW for 5 years in
North Vietnamese Prison

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