Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out
Get this document free


VIEWS: 41 PAGES: 101

									The Vietnam War
   By: Daniel Nguyen
 Vietnam war also known as the Second
  Indochina War, the Vietnam Conflict or the
  American War.
 It was a military conflict that took place in
  Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from Nov. 1,
  1955 to April 30, 1975.
 It followed the First Indochina War.
                 Who V Who
   Communist North Vietnam with its communist
    allies against government of South Vietnam with
    the U.S. and other anti-communist nations.
            Battle Strategies
 Viet Cong- a lightly armed South Vietnamese
  communist-controlled common front.
 Fought anticommunist forces

 Use Guerrilla war.
               What is Guerrilla War

 Commonly known as irregular warfare
 Means “Little War” in Spanish

 It is when small group of soldiers attack a larger
  or much more powerful group of soldiers
  through ambush or raid.
            Battle Strategies
 North Vietnam Army
 More conventional Warfare

 They overwhelm their enemies by sending large
  units into battle.
            Battle Strategies
 U.S. and South Vietnam Army
 Relied on air strikes and overwhelming
  firepower to conduct search and destroy
 What they use? Ground Forces, Artillery, and
  air strikes.
     Why U.S. entered the War
 The U.S. entered the war to prevent the
  communist take over of South Vietnam as part
  of their containment policy.
 The U.S. didn’t want South Vietnam to fall to
  communism like China.
          Guide through War
 1950- military advisors began to go to Vietnam
 1960- U.S. involvement escalated

 1961- U.S. troops sent to Vietnam

 1962- U.S. troops sent to Vietnam

 1965- U.S troops sent to Vietnam

 1968- Tet offensive

 1969-1973- Vietnamization, reduce U.S. troops
  from Vietnam while training South Vietnam
 Jan 1973- Paris Peace Accords, fighting still
 1973- Case-Church Amendment, prohibited use
  of American military unless the president
  secured congressional approval in advance
 April 1975- Capture of Saigon by the North
  Vietnamese army marked end of war
 1976- Vietnam reunified
Background of Vietnam
          The French Control
• 1850- France began its takeover of Indochina
• 1893- The take over was complete
• Indochina- it is a peninsula in Southeastern Asia,
  East of India and South of China
• Indochina was taken over because French
  Colonizers wanted to expand from their territory
  in Vietnam to neighboring countries
• Treaty of Hue- 1884, Gave French rule over
  Vietnam for the next seven decades
• Can Vuong- It was a large Scale Vietnamese
  Insurgency to resist French Rule.
• At first it prospered the French were surprised
  by the attacks and caught off guard, but they
  soon recovered and poured a lot more French
  soldiers into Vietnam
• Because the resistant gradually lost, they blamed
  Vietnamese Christians of aiding the French
• The Can Vuong killed a total of 40,000
  Christians, a third of the Christian population in
• The French did not believed the rumors about
  the massacre at first, but soon evidence showed
  it was true.
• The French put a stop to it and after this event
  the Can Vuong movement slowly became
  smaller until it was gone.
          Another Resistance
• Phan Dinh Phung was a Vietnamese rebel who
  led the fight against the French forces
• Like the Can Voung resistance, Phan Dinh
  Phung rebel army slowly fell to the French
• The French took out more and more rebel bases
  everyday, and the resistance ended with the
  death of Phan Dinh Phung because of
  dysentery( intestines infection)
            Japanese takeover
• WWII- the Germans defeated the French in
• This meant that Germany now controlled
  French Indochina and Vichy French
• But during the invasion of French Indochina,
  the French help Japan in the retaking of the land
• When the German forces were gone from
  French, the Free French started to have talks
  with French Indochina colonial authorities
• March 9, 1945- the Japanese got rid of the
  French because they could not trust them and
  controlled Vietnam by themselves
                 Viet Minh
• Resisted any kind of occupation (French, Japan,
• Founded in 1941
• Funded by the U.S. and Chinese nationalists
• Deep famine struck N. Vietnam- poor weather
  and Japanese occupation
• 1 million out of 10 million in the area died
• Viet Minh urged people to ransack rice
  warehouses and refuse to pay their taxes
• Viet Minh gained many more members
      Japanese defeat in WWII
• Aug. 1945- Japanese defeated and surrender
• Viet Minh started the Aug. Revolution
• It was a group that tried to stop the French from
  retaking Vietnam
• But the Allied victors from WWII all decided
  that the area did belong to the French
                The retaking
• The allies agreed that the British would take
  control of South Vietnam, while Nationalist
  China would retake North Vietnam because
  France did not have enough power.
• To help them retake South Vietnam, Britain
  rearmed some French and Japanese men.
First Indochina War
• France was slowly gaining control of Vietnam
• Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Viet Minh tried to
  negotiate with France
• Jan. 1946 the Viet Minh won election in central and
  northern Vietnam
• March 1946- French forces landed in Hanoi and by
  Nov. they kicked Viet Minh out of the city
• The Viet Minh soon started the First Indochina
  War using the guerrilla war tactic against French
  Union Forces
• This war spread to Laos and Cambodia
• There governments, the Pathet Lao and the
  Khmer Serai, was similar to the Viet Minh
• The Viet Minh had a lack of weapons until 1949,
  when the Chinese communists had won the civil
  war and were able to provide weapons to their
  ally Vietnam
    Two different Governments
•   Viet Minh's government- Democratic Republic
    of Vietnam, communist
•   State of Vietnam, non-communist, led by
    Emperor Bao Dai
•   June 1950, out break of Korean War
•   Convince Washington policymakers the First
    Indochina War was part of a communist
    takeover led by Kremlin( government of
               Major Allies
• Viet Minh- PRC( People Republic of China) and
  Soviet Union
• France- U.S., Military Assistance and Advisory
  Group (MAAG)
             Nuclear attacks
• French and Americans talk about the possible
  use of nuclear weapons
• Operation Vulture- use up to three atomic
  weapons to try to dill Viet Minh's commander
  Vo Nguyen Giap at his position
• But Eisenhower stop this plan, deciding the
  possible benefits is not worth the risks
     The Beginning of the end
• Viet Minh received important support from the
  Soviet Union and PRC in Border Campaign of
  1950, it allowed supplies to be transported to
• The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was the end for
• May 7, 1954- France surrendered
• Geneva Conference- ceasefire and independence
  granted to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
              After the War
• Vietnam was split at the 17th parallel, and
  under the terms of the Geneva Convention
  civilians were able to move freely between
  the 2 states for 300 days
• 1 million northern catholic flea to the south
  because of fear of persecution by the
• The U.S. gave 93 million dollars in the
  relocation program
• 2 million more Catholics would have left the North
  if the Viet Minh didn’t stop them
• Election were to be held in 1956 to unified the
• About 130,000 from the south went up north for
• The Viet Minh left up to 10,000 cadres in South
  Vietnam( communist organizers)
• Viet Minh ruled the North and engaged in land
• Former empire of Vietnam, Bao Dai and his
  prime minister Ngo Dinh Diem refuse to hold
• Diem said how can free elections be held if there
  is communism in the North
•   April-June 1955- Diem killed off his
    opposition against the organize crime groups
    of Cao Dai religious sect, the Hao Hao sect of
    Ba Cut, and Binh Xuyen
•   Oct 23- Diem rigged the poll supervised by
    his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu
•   He won by 98.2 percent of the vote, the
    Americans suggest a more moderate or
    reasonable percent like 70%, but Diem saw
    this as a test of authority
• Oct. 26, 1955-Diem declared the New Republic
  of Vietnam(ROV) with him as president
                Diem Era
•   Domino Theory- if one country fell to
    communism, the others will too
•   JFK clearly stated if vietnam fell to
    communism, the neighboring countries would
               Diem's Rule
•   Diem was a devout catholic
•   In the eyes of Vietnam, many ordinary
    vietnamese citizens saw him as a person who
    helped the French
•   His dedication to Mary also alarmed many
    “Denounce the Communists”
•   Ti was a policy in which anti-government
    groups were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, or
•   Opponents were given the name Viet Cong
    (Vietnamese Communist)
•   Political repression- 12,000 suspected
    opponents of Diem killed( 1955-1957), 40,000
    political prisoners(1958)
            The Visit to U.S.
•   May- Diem visit U.S.
•   Eisenhower pledge his support
•   Secretary of State- John Foster Dulles- stated
    the only reason Diem was praise in the U.S.
    because of he was the only alternative
•   American tried to apply American method t
    Vietnamese culture, Diem warned it will not
    work in solving their problems
            Sino-Soviet Split
•   Less PRC interference
•   PRC first Secretary- Truong Chinh demoted
•   Hanoi authorized communists in South
    Vietnam to begin low level of insurgency(
    Dec. 1956)
           The Norther rules
•   Ho Chi Minh was smart
•   Ex. Do not engaged in military operation that
    would lead to defeat, Do not take land from
    plesant, etc.
•   “armed propaganda”- if you have to kill
    someone use a kife and explain why you killed
    that person
                  Le Duan
•   A communist leader in the South replaced
    Truong as first secretary
•   Urged military line and increase insurgency
•   Violence aim at government, then it spread to
    school teachers, health workers, and
    agricultural officials
               The Killings
•   Insurgents killed village chiefs that were
    appointed by Diem
•   Its objective was to destroy Southern Vietnam
    government in rural villages and them with
    shadow government
           “Armed Struggle”
•   Jan 1959- North's Central Committee
    authorize “armed struggle”, South communist
    to begin large scale operations against South
    Vietnam Army
•   North suppplied Southern communists
    through Ho Chi Minh Trail
•   Dec 1960- Hanoi authorized creaton of
    National Liberation Front(NlF), common
    frot, controlled by communists in South
• The U.S overestimated the control that Hanoi
  had over NlF
• Diem's paranoia, repression, and incompetence
  angered a large section of Southern Vietnam
          JFK Adminstration
•   1961-1963
•   When JFK won the 1960 election- “pay and
    price for the survival of liberty
•   The Korean War created the idea of a limited
•   JFK interested in using special forces for
    counterinsurgency in 3rd world countries
•   Green Baret
                The Crisis
•   JFK remained committed to the cold war
•   3 point crisis-
•   Failure of Bay of Pigs Invasion
•   Construction of Berlin War
•   Pathet Lao communist movement
•   JFK determined to stop communism in
• May 1961, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson
  visit Saigon
• He declared Diem the Winston Churchill of
• JFK policy toward South Vietnam- Diem forces
  must defeat guerrilla attacks on their own
• JFK's advisers- Maxwill Taylor and Walt Rostow
  recommend U.S. Troops deguised as flood relief
  workes, he reject this plan, but did increase
• 1963- 16,000 American troops
• John Kenneth Gallbraith warned JFK the U.S.
  might become like France.
           Hamlet Program
•   1961- turn rural population into fortified
•   3 Goals
•   Isolat population from insurgents
•   Provide education and health care
•   Strengthen government hold over countryside
•   Failed mostly because Pham Ngoc Thac ran
    the program, a communist agent who
    damaged the ROV from the inside
Coup and assassination
• Bad performance of South Vietnam Army due
  to failed actions
•         1. Battle of Ap Bar- small Viet Cong
  defeated large South Vietnam Army
• Diem's most trusted Gen. Huynh Van Cao had
  been promoted not because of skill but religion
• Washing policy makers dicided Diem not
  capable of defeation Communists and might
  even make a deal with Ho Chi Minh
        Hue Vesak Shootings
•   Buddhists protesting on Vesak on ban of
    Buddhists flags
•   Mass rotest against privledges for catholics
•   Diem refuse to take responsibility for deaths
•   Aug 21, 1963- ARVN Special Forces of
    Colonel Le Quang Tung, lovay to Diem's
    younger brother Ngo Dinh Nhu, raid pagodas
    across Vietnam
             Decision Time
•   1963- U.S. Have to choose between a coup or
           Proposed Change
•   Removal of Diem's younger brother Nhu
•   He controlled the secret police and special
    forces and seen a the man behind the
    Buddhist repression and geneerally the reason
    for Ngo family's rule
•   Proposed to U.S. Embassy in Saigon- Cable
• CIA in contact with generals who want to
  overthrow Diem, U.S. would not oppose such a
• Nov. 2, 1963- Pres. Diem killed along with his
• Pres. JFK did not approve of the murder
• Ambassador too South Vietnam, Henry Cabot
  Lodge, congradulated coup leaders
• Hanoi took advantage of the situation and
  increase guerrilla attacks
• South Vietnam political structure is a mess
• The U.S. Was ignorant toward insurgency
• The U.S. Instead focus on pacification and win
  over the hearts and minds of the population
               CIA formed
•   Special Activites Division
•   Phoenix Program
•   Macp- V SOG (Studies and observation
    Lyndon B. Johnson expands the
           war( 1963- 1969)
•    Took over after JFK
•    NSAM 273- expand the war
•    Gen. Duong Vau Minh- head of the military
     Revolution Council
•    Lodge questioned about his ability
•    Jan 1964- overthrown by Gen. Nnguyen
    The Gulf of Tonkin incident
•   Several attacks on U.S. Ships
•   Congress approve Gulf of Tonkin Resolution-
    gave president power to condust military
    operations in South Eastern Asia without
    declaration of war
•   NSA latered confirmed there was no attack
•   “ The Gulf OF Tonkin incident”- just a way
    for Johnson to gain support for the War
•   1964- both sides increased men
        Bombing Campaigns
•   Because of and attack on Pleiku operations
    Flaming Dart, Operation Rolling Thunder,
    Arrc Light started
•   All bombing campaigns of the North Vietnam
•   U.S. Also bombed VIA( Vietnam People's
•   Tried to mess up Ho Chi Minh Trail
•   Stopping North Vietnam support of NFL(
    Nation Front for the Liberation of Vietnam)
    Esculation and Ground War
•   March 8, 1965- 3,500 U.S. Marines into
    Southern Vietnam
•   Beginning of U.S. Ground War
•   Ho Chi Minh warned about a long war
•   DRV( Democratic Ripublic of Vietnam)
    stated its mission was not to destroy non-
    communist government
•   Marines nearlyy to 200,000 by Dec.
• ARVN9 Army of the Republic of Vietnam)-
  suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Binhoia
• Communists successfully defended strong
  ARVN forces in conventional warfare
• Desertation rates were increasing
• Gen. William Westmoreland decided to let U.S.
  Troops fight and sideline Southern
               3 point plan
•   Commitment of U.S.- forces necessary to halt
    the losing trend by the end of 1965
•   U.S. And allied forces mount major offensive
    actions to seize the initiative to destroy
    guerrilla and organized enemy forces. This
    phase would be concluded whn the enemy
    had been worn down, thrown of on the
    defensive, and driven back from major
    populated areas
•   If the enemy persist give them a final blow
•   The 1 year tour of duty decrease experience
•   Washinton gwt troops from some countries,
    but not from the major allies
•   The coming to power of Prime Minister Air
    Marshal Nguyen Cao Ky and figurehead Chief
    of State, Ge. Nguyen Van Thieu, ended coup
•   1967 Thieu became president and Ky his
•   Calmness during this period allow ARVN to
    become a better fighting force
Tet Offensive
• Jan 1968, NVA and NlF lunced a suprise attack
• They broke the truce that had accompanied the
  Tet holiday
• Over 100 cities attacked
•   NLF and NVA captured the Imperial Citadel
    and much of the city
•   Led to the Battle of Hue
•   Left 80% of city in ruins
•   Between the capture of Citadel and the Battle
    of Hue insurgents massacred unarmed Hue
    civilians, about 6,000
•   Cause damage to NLF forces
    The unexpected consepuence
•   Westmoreland had beome public face of the
•   He said the end of war was near, but even
    thought the Americans won the Tet, it showed
    the intelligence failure that led to the attack
•   It showed the war was not close to the end, it
    turned Americans against the war, and ended
    Johnson political career
• In March Westmoreland became chief of staff
  of the Army
• Promotion, but quickly lost it because of the
  offensive and 200,000 more troops request leak
  to the media
• Succeeded by Creighton Abrams
• May 10, 1968- peace talks began between the U.S.
  and North Vietnam
• Johnson ordered a halt to the bombing of North
• Electon between Hubert Humphrey v.s. Richard

• Nixon told Saigon do not particpate in peace talks
  until he become president because he will give
  them a better deal
Vietnamization 1969-1972
• Nixon begins the Nixon Doctrine(build up the
  ARVN) and withdraw American troops
• It later became known as Vietnamization
• BY spring of next year- 265,000 troop reduction
• Oct 10, 1969- Nixon ordered 18 B-52s loaded
  with nuclear bombs to fly across the border of
  the Soviet airspace to show he has the power to
  end the war
               New Strategy
• Creighton Abrams shifted to smaller operation
  having better success
• Nixon decrease global tension, but he was still
  upset that the PRC and the Soviet Union still
  supply North Vietnam
• Sept 1969- Ho Chi Minh died at 79
                Anti- War
• The anti-war movement gained strength across
  the U.S., Nixon tried to tell Americans to
  support the war, but events like My Lai
  Massacre and “Green Beret Affair” and Speedy
  Express stop this
            Operation Menu
• Prince Norodom Sihanouk had proclaim
  Cambodia but communists use their soil as base,
  he lets them so he would not be drawn into a
  bigger conflict
• But soon Washington pressured him enough to
  change his policy
• This was when Nixon took advantage and lunch
  operation menu( massive secret bombings against
  communist bases along the Vietnam and
  Cambodia borders_
• The invasion of Cambodia resulted in a nation
  wide protest in the U.S.
• 4 students were killed during the protest by
  National Grardsmen at Kent State University in
• 1971- Pentagon Papers revealed to public, it
  detailed long series of public deception,
  Supreme court ruled it illegal
• Feb 1971- Operation Lam Son 719- aim at
  cutting the Ho Chi Minh Trail
• Half of ARVN troops captured or killed
• Proved Vietnamization was a failure
• Also in 1971 Australia and New Zealand
  withdrew their troops
• U.S. troop count- 196,700
• Fragging- murders of unpopular officer
           Easter Offensive
• VPA and NLF, and forces from Cambodia
  invade South Vietnam
• Operation Line Backer- air power
• Halted the attack
1972 election and Paris Peace
• Nixon v.s. George McGovern
• Started Negogatation
• When North Vietnam went public with the
  negogations Nixon administration claimed it was
  an attempt to embarass the president
          Force to negotatiate
• Operation Linebacker II- massive bombing of
  Hanoi and Haiphong (Dec. 18-29) 1972
• Nixon threatened to take away aid
• Jan 27, 1973- Paris Peace Accord- offically
  ended U.S. involvement in the war and there
  was a ceasefire, U.S. POWs released, and a call
  for elections
Exit of the Americans
         North Vietnam’s plan
• Do Logistics until they were ready to launch a
  massive invasion of the South, predicter for the
  1975-1976 dry season
• Paris Peace Accord between North Vietnam
  foreign minister Le Duc Tho and U.S. Secretary
  of State Henry Kissinger, and reluctantly signed
  by South Vietnam President Thieu
• Novel peace prize awarded to Kissinger and
  Tho- Tho decline
• America had given up on Vietnam
• Vietcong resumed offensive operations when dry
  season began and by January 1974 they had
  recaptured the territory they lost during the
  previously dry season
• 2 battles that left 55 South Vietnamese soldiers
• Jan 4- Pres Thieu announced ceasefire over
• 25,000 South Vietnamese casualties during the
• Vietcong top commander Tran Van Tra
• Gerald Ford took over as U.S. President for
  Nixon on Aug 1974
• Because of the Success during the 1973-1974 dry
  season, Tra returned to Hanoi in Oct 1974 to
  request for a larger offensive during the next dry
• Giap, the North Vietnamese defense minister,
  was reluctant to approve the request because it
  might interfere with the big plan in 1976
• Tra then ask first secretary Le Duan, and he say
•   Tra called for an attack from Cambodia to
    Phuoc Long Province
•   He did not try to win this battle, he just
    wanted to see the South Vietnamese reaction
    and if the U.S. Would return to the battle
•   Jan 6, 1975 Phuoc Binh, the provincial capital
• Ford beg congress to let him help South
  Vietnam because of the Case-Church
  Amendment, but congress refuseed
• Because of the success of the attack, Politburo
  decided that operations in the Central Highland
  would be turned to Gen. Van Tien Dung and
  that Pleiku should be seized.
•   At the start of this time the South Vietnamese
    army had a massive advantage in weapons
    over the North Vietnamese army, but because
    of the rising oil prices it could not be used.
•   North Vietnam could use its weapons because
    of its communists allies.
              Campaign 275
•   March 10, 1975- led by Gen. Dung
•   It was a limited offensive into the Central
    Highlands to try to take Ban Me Thuot, this
    would pave the way for a campaign at Pleiku
    in 1976.
•   It was taken on March 11
• President Nguyen Van Thieu ordered a retreat
  of the South Vietnamese army.
• Some ARVN units attempted to flee while some
  attempted to fight
• It became known as the “Column of Tears”
• The refugees mixed in with the line of retreat
• One of the Poorest withdrawal in history
•   On March 20, Thieu ordered Hue to be held
    at all costs
•   Civilians were fleeing from Hue any way
•   March 31, Hue Fell
Final North Vietnamese offensive
• Politburo ordered Gen. Dung to lunch the final
  offensive against Saigon
• April 7- three North Vietnamese divisions
  attacked Xuan Loc, 40 miles east of Saigon
• The North Vietnamese army encountered fierce
  resistance from the ARVN 18th division
• April 21- they surrender
• President Thieu said the U.S. Betrayed South
  Vietnam and turned his power over to Tran Van
• April 27- 100,000 North Vietnamese troops
  seized Saigon, while the city was only defended
  by 30,000 ARVN troops
• Martial law was declared and Operation
  Frequent Wind was in effect
• On April 30, 1975 Duong Van Minh, who
  succeeded Huong, surrendered
•   Not for sure
•   NLF suffered 1.1 million deads and 600,000
•   Civilians deaths were put at 2 million I North
    and South Vietnam
•   Between 200,000 and 250,000 South
    Vietnamese soldiers died in the war

To top