2What background knowledge should I use? Why America are involved?The Domino TheoryContainmentFrench withdrawal from indo-chinaGulf of TonkinHo Chi Minh and the Communist North
3Essay style questionsMost essays on the Vietnam War will have a factor to discuss and judge on its importanceMilitary FailingsAnti-War MovementYou must discuss each of these factors and make a conclusion to how important these factors are individually.
4What are the factors? US & ARVN military failings Vietcong & NVA successAnti-War MovementInfluence of the MediaEconomic Impact on USUS Moral
5ARVN Strategy Keep control of South Vietnam Remove the Viet Cong from VillagesDefend South from InvasionRely on Massive amounts of money from US.
6ARVN weaknessesEven though they outnumbered the Vietcong they failed to counter the threat of the VietcongDiem’s Regime was deeply unpopular in VietnamPoorly Trained & EquippedUS sent Special Forces to teach basic training and tactics to ARVNRepresented the Middle Class and not the peopleSympathy for Vietcong in the countrysidePoor chain of commandCorruption amongst the Army and GovernmentPolitical interferenceAll crippled the ARVN from being an effective fighting force against CommunismHigh casualty rate during the Vietnam War
7Importance of this Factor The Vietnam War would have been over far quicker without the introduction and escalation of US military forces however it is not a major factor in the US failing to win the Vietnam War.The corruption and chain of command was a key issue in the failings of the ARVN
8US military Failings Operation ‘Rolling Thunder’ ‘Search and Destroy’ Chemical WarfareStrategic Hamlets
9Operation Rolling Thunder Aim to was two fold:To make the North Vietnamese give up the WarHalt the flow of equipment down the Ho Chi Minh trail.
108 million tons of bombs dropped between ’65 and ’73 300 tons for every man, woman and child in Vietnamthe cost to the US of these raids was estimated at $900 million.Life Magazine calculated it cost the USA $400,000 to kill on Vietcong fighterNorth Vietnam had few factories to bombIt failed to stop the supply
11The USA did not anticipate the determination and resilience of the North Vietnamese people. Despite killing between 50,000 and 200,000 civilians, morale remained highThe people volunteered to repair the damage showing they would not give up.
12Operation Rolling Thunder was a costly operation Operation Rolling Thunder was a costly operation. It cost the USA vast sums of money and had little impact on both the economy of North Vietnam and the morale of the people.
13‘Search & Destroy’ Aim: To Locate the enemy and engage Missions using US and ARVN troops transported via helicoptersHigh Body Count approach (grind the enemy into submission)
14Failure of Search and Destroy Killing more NVA and VC soldiers did not have the desired effect. More and more people from the North would join to fight the foreign invaders.As soon as US troops arrived at an area the Vietcong would often disappear only to return later.Innocent villages were often destroyedMade US & ARVN troops unpopularFailed to win the support of the Vietnamese peasants.Inexperienced troops often walked into trapsRapes and Killings occurred
15Search and Destroy did not have the desired effect either as they failed to grind the North into submission through body counts.US public used to their soldiers being hero’s, not beating up children and womenDid not reduce the enemies ability to attack or reduce level of support among the south Vietnamese.
16Agent Orange and Blue Aim: To destroy the jungle and crops supporting the NVA & VCMake it easier to fight the war for US
17It was estimated that approximately 77 million litres was sprayed over Vietnam. Drifted for miles and destroyed crops of local people.Up to 4 million people were exposed to these acidsSettled on animals and got into water supplies
18Strategic Hamlets Very unpopular with locals Relocated peasant farmers from their land and placing them in fortified campsSupposed to protect them from VC attacks however drove the peasants closer to the VC.Like living in prison
19OverallUS military failings were crucial in the Vietnam War’s outcome. The US failed to win the Hearts and Minds of the people and used tactics that were ineffective and largely unpopular amongst the locals.Support for the War at home was wavering as a result of the dead bodies coming home and the tactics used by the US.
20NVA & VC strengths Aim: To win the hearts and minds of the people Wear down the US forcesUse Guerrilla tactics
21Vietcong treated the South Vietnamese with respect and helped them out in their fields In return they gained food, hiding places and supportSupporters of the US/ARVN would be treated with ruthless and brutal behaviour30,000 teachers, police and tax collectors were killed as they worked for the South’s government
22Tactics usedBooby Traps and mines (60% of US casualties result of these)Used the Jungle and countryside to their advantageTunnel system for coverVietcong did not use uniforms so hard to identifyVery skilled due to previous wars against the Japanese and FrenchPrepared to accept a heavy body count
23Vietnamese were fighting for a cause so much more determined than the USA Affected US morale both in Vietnam and at homeGuerrilla tactics ideal for jungle warfareAmerican High Tech warfare nullified
24ImportanceThe success of the Vietcong and NVA in winning the Hearts and Minds of the local peasants in Vietnam was important in the outcome of the War. They fought a determined effort to reunify Vietnam and drive out foreign invaders. The Guerrilla tactics were able to wear down the US/ARVN superior numbers and prevent them from using their superior technological power.
25Anti-War MovementHuge demonstrations carried out during the war calling for the withdrawal of US forces from VietnamVVAWCivil Rights MovementStudentsHippies
26Undermined the war effort as the US failed to achieve a quick victory 58,000 total deathsTelevised pictures showing the horrors of the war
27Student oppositionOctober million people took part in the Vietnam Moratorium protestsNovember million people demonstrated in Washington DC and San FranciscoKent State 1970 massacre
28VVAW Powerful voice against the war Stories of brutality and pointless sufferingHard to dismiss their oppositionVVAW took over the Statue of Liberty in Dec 26th 1971 for 2 days
29Civil Rights Protesting against the draft Martin Luther king against the War as most recruits were young blacksSeen as ‘poor and black mans’ warAli refused to go‘They never called me nigger’
30Anti-war demonstrators labelled as ‘Communists, traitors or cowards’ Impact?LBJ did not seek re-election due to the unpopularity of the War and his policiesCant win a war when you lose the support of the peopleSome would argue that the movement had little impact and not as powerful as first imaginedHowever it split US public opinion and heavily contributed to the eventual withdrawal from Vietnam.
31Media Heavily reported First Televised War US civilians saw war in a way they had never seen beforeSaw wounded and killedUS soldiers committing acts of brutality against prisoners and civiliansMy Lai MassacreNapalm Bombings
32Gave the Anti-War movement the momentum People were turned off by the imagesChallenged the idea that ‘We were the good guys in this war’However critics believe that people became desensitised by the imagery and immune. Still eat their dinner watching the news.
33Economic Impact of the War Economic cost of the war: US deficit of $1.6 billion in 1965 increased to $25.3 billion in Tax increases unpopular.Sacrificed the Great Society which would have improved the lives of many in the USA especially the poor and blacks.Seen as a waste of resources, $2000 million a month in 1968
34The US economy could not sustain the Vietnam War spending Caused high inflationLarge budget deficitImportant Factor but not a crucial factor as the war should not have dragged on as long as it did. Expected to be a quick victory for the US, did not materialise
35US moral Inexperience of US soldiers (not prepared to fight the war) No experience of jungle warfare19 was the average age of the soldier in Vietnam43% of those killed in Vietnam were killed in their first three months of serviceDrug Use (20,000 treated in 1971)Most soldiers main aim was reaching DEROS (Date Eligible for Return Overseas)Conflict between officers and men, ‘Fragging’ was common. (killing of officers by their own men)
36Troops more interested in surviving their tour of duty than winning the war as 2 million serving in the War were drafted.Important factor but not as important as other factors