Presentation on theme: "Vietnam War Overview. Infer & Predict: 1)What kind of war would make a soldier feel this way? 2)What country do you think this soldier was from? 3)What."— Presentation transcript:
Vietnam War Overview
Infer & Predict: 1)What kind of war would make a soldier feel this way? 2)What country do you think this soldier was from? 3)What do you think he was fighting for? Dear Mom and Dad, Today we went on a mission, and I am not very proud of myself, my friends, or my country.
Vietnam Basics Location: – In Southeast Asia, near Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and parts of China Population – 83 Million People – Mostly Buddhist – Strong minority of Catholics Resources – Very fertile, hot and wet climate, many resources
Vietnam History (Key Points) Before WWII, France controlled Vietnam
WWII & Vietnam At the beginning of the War, French still control Vietnam. Vietnamese resistance grows. Ho Chi Minh – Leader of the Viet Minh – Wants an independent Vietnam Opposes French, Japanese, and AMERICAN Millions rejoice that their country is free of foreign control at last!
Declaring Independence WW2 Ends and September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam independent !! – Ho Chi Minh reads from US Declaration of Independence Some see Ho Chi Minh’s Declaration of Independence as evidence of being a nationalist rather than being a communist. They refer to this example has him expressing his interest in having a relationship with the United States. BUT, the French want Indochina back, and they do not recognize Vietnamese independence. Reclaim colony. What should the US do? Support Vietnamese or help France regain its colonial empire?
Other interests / benefits for the US…?? A secret US govt. memo from 1952 talked about SE Asia’s valuable resources: Rubber Tin Oil were important to the US … if the Vietnam govt. won against France and took over they might be hostile towards the US and not trade with us (Oh NO!)
First Indo-China War – France vs. Viet Minh – French try to keep Vietnam, Viet Minh fight for Independence – 70% of French costs are paid by US Dien Bien Phu – 1954 – Final defeat of French by Vietnamese, French Surrender 1954 Geneva Conference – End Hostilities between French and Vietnamese – Temporarily divide Vietnam at 17 th parallel until French leave. – Elections in 1956
South Vietnam Instead of supporting Geneva Agreement and allowing unification elections and a Communist victory, US supports creation of a non- Communist, South Vietnam. American war in Vietnam is fought to keep South Vietnam Non-Communist!
JFK & Vietnam Views Vietnam as important to Cold War like Truman and Eisenhower Begins Escalation of Troops Overall picture unsure due to assassination JFK believed the best way to stop communists in Vietnam was to build South Vietnam into a nation.
Ngo Dinh Diem First leader of South Vietnam Nationalist but strongly anti-Communist Catholic Receives strong support from Eisenhower & Kennedy – Massive military and financial aid from US – Brutal to communists Upsets Buddhist Majority Administration is very corrupt
Assassination of Diem November 2, 1963 Kennedy either knew of the plot and ignored it or supported it. – American Ambassador promised no American intervention to stop the plot. – South Vietnamese Generals seize power and arrest Diem. – Assassinated following morning in back of an armored vehicle. South Vietnamese government would never be stable. Increased American involvement in South Vietnam’s Internal Affairs.
Troop Escalation When Eisenhower left office, less than 1,000 US soldiers were in Vietnam At the time of Kennedy’s assassination (1963), over 16,000 solders were in Vietnam. By 1969, Vietnam had 543,000 US soliders Many of the solders under JFK were Special Forces and under Johnson, regular ground troops were introduced.
Who did America Fight in Vietnam? Viet Cong North Vietnamese Army Both groups were heavily supplied from USSR via China
Johnson & Limited War Johnson was afraid of conflict spreading to involve USSR & China. Strict rules of engagement – limited targets for US Troops and Air Strikes Areas of North Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos – North Vietnamese Communists can attack, move supplies from and retreat – AMERICAN TROOPS CANNOT GO North Vietnam – Wants a unified, Communist Vietnam – Wants Americans Out – Wants One Vietnam
Early American Support for War in Vietnam Americans initially supported the war – Hit Song “The Green Berets” – Public is told troops will be home soon, and the war is almost over. Vietnam is the first war that is heavily covered by television networks. – American public sees daily images of casualties – Public begins to turn against the war.
Escalation Johnson attempts to limit the war while at the same time constantly increasing the number of soldiers in Vietnam Over 500,000 soldiers by 1969 LBJ would attempt negotiations at the same time he would scale back offensive operations in Vietnam – North Vietnamese take advantage of this.
Tet Offensive Tet – most important holiday in Vietnam, Vietnamese New Year. It is the most popular festival in Vietnam – Viet Cong attack every major US base in South Vietnam – North Vietnamese Army takes city of Hue and kills many inhabitants. – US Embassy in Saigon is attacked.
Effects of Tet Major Military victory for the US Viet Cong is devastated American media turns against the war. American public turns against the war. Political and psychological victory for North Vietnam. American Anti-War Movement – Strong anti-war movement in US – War divides American population
Cambodia Neutral Viet Cong & North Vietnamese use Cambodia as a sanctuary US troops cannot enter Cambodian government is powerless from preventing Communists from entering Bad history between Vietnam & Cambodia
Nixon & Cambodia Nixon: Supports coup that puts strong anti-Communist government in charge Expands conflict Secretly bombs and invades Cambodia Bombing & Invasion fails to make any significance in war Cambodian communists go deeper into Cambodia Vietnamese were using Cambodia to attack Americans Public Opinion: – War is illegal – Public is outraged at expansion of the conflict – Massive protests
Nixon & Ending Vietnam War Uses combination of increased bombing of North Vietnam and Secret Negotations Diplomacy with China and USSR Vietnamization – Nixon’s Plan Turn the war over to the South Vietnamese – Train & equip South Vietnamese to fight the North – US Troops withdraw – Last US troops leave by 1973 South Vietnam Betrayed? – South Vietnam is promised that the US would send troops, money, and supplies if North Vietnamese launched a massive attack. – Nixon resigns due to Watergate – Congress and American people do not support further involvement
1975 & Results of War North Vietnam takes over South Vietnam – US doesn’t prevent the take over. – Vietnam is unified under one communist state Results: – Just under 60,000 Americans killed – US reluctant to use military power – American public is divided – Americans don’t trust government – Vietnam is Communist – Cambodia falls to Communists Khmer Rouge/Cambodian Communist take power Pol Pot is leader Killing Fields – Genocide of 1/3 of the Cambodian population Vietnam invades and occupies Cambodia to defeat Khmer Rouge