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Vietnam War until 1968. Vietnam Controlled by France until WW2 –Japan took it during WW2, opposed by the Viet Minh.

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Presentation on theme: "Vietnam War until 1968. Vietnam Controlled by France until WW2 –Japan took it during WW2, opposed by the Viet Minh."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vietnam War until 1968

2 Vietnam Controlled by France until WW2 –Japan took it during WW2, opposed by the Viet Minh

3 Viet Minh Vietnamese Communists who fought for independence In WW2, supported by US & China against Japan Founded by Ho Chi Minh

4 Ho Chi Minh Vietnamese Communist Leader National hero for fighting for Vietnamese independence

5 French claims to Vietnam After WW2, France tried to regain control of Vietnam Indochina War –Viet Minh defeated French in northern city of Dien Bien Phu

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7 Geneva Accords Treaty separated Vietnam into N&S –North – Communist –South – Nationalist National election to decide which system for unified Vietnam

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9 Conflict inside Vietnam SV pres Ngo Dinh Diem feared communists would win the nationwide election Refused to allow the election US supported him

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11 Ngo regime Vietnam – majority Buddhist –Diem was Christian, had laws passed that restricted Buddhism

12 Vietcong (VC) Organization of Communists living in South Vietnam –Worked to overthrow Diem –Assassinated SV officials

13 Vietcong (VC) VC was located in SV Communist allies in NV helped Supply line from N to S nicknamed “Ho Chi Minh Trail”

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15 JFK & Vietnam At first, supported Diem’s rule –Didn’t want to look “soft on communism” so supported strongest anticommunist Then, Diem’s oppression of the people got worse

16 Diem & Buddhism Diem began imprisoning & killing Buddhist monks Some protested by committing ritual suicide

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18 JFK & Vietnam US public horrified by repression of Buddhists in SV JFK approved a US / SV coup to overthrow Diem –Diem was assassinated in the coup

19 Gulf of Tonkin US Navy was on patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin area NV shot torpedoes at USS Maddox

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21 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution Congress gave LBJ power to expand military presence in Vietnam US began bombing targets in north War escalated

22 US gets involved Most in US supported involvement in Vietnam at first –Containment doctrine –1965: 61% LBJ’s top advisors urged him to  number of US troops

23 Troop buildup Gen William Westmoreland wanted more US troops –Said US troops would fight better than US- trained S Vietnamese Reported battlefield success to convince them to add troops Credibility Gap – public eventually didn’t trust reports

24 Gen. William Westmoreland

25 Troop buildup Number of US soldiers in Vietnam –Mid ,000 –End of ,000 – ,000

26 Fighting in the jungle US had superior weapons, but jungle was very tough to fight in –Provided cover for VC guerilla tactics –Elaborate tunnel systems allowed for escape and/or resupply –VC could blend into villages

27 Fighting in the jungle US had superior weapons, but jungle was very tough to fight in –No front line of advance – attacks were hit and run everywhere –Booby traps & land mines –Jungle weather –Ridiculous insects

28 War of attrition Gradually wear your enemy down & destroy morale until they quit –Gen Westmoreland’s main strategy Didn’t work at all – Vietcong were way too committed to their cause

29 War on rural Vietnamese Had to keep S Vietnamese from joining Vietcong cause Very difficult because US had to destroy the jungle to win –To fight out in the open –Angered the locals

30 Getting rid of jungle US used Napalm and Agent Orange to destroy the jungle

31 Napalm

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33 Agent Orange

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35 Morale of US soldiers US military strategies caused morale of troops to drop –No end in sight –Many became alcoholics & drug addicts –Draftees were drag on morale

36 War at home Impact on LBJ’s Great Society programs for the poor –High cost of war = massive debts –$ that would have gone to help poor went to war –Gov had to raise taxes also

37 How the Draft always worked Since WWI: All men register when they turn 18 Anyone not excluded (usu medical reasons) between serves

38 How Vietnam War Draft worked People got out of it: –Med exemptions (many were bogus) –National Guard –Coast Guard –College deferment Most people who avoided service were wealthy & white

39 African Americans & Vietnam 10% of total population of USA 20% of Vietnam deaths MLK spoke about “cruel irony” –Fighting for others’ freedom & equality when they didn’t have it themselves


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