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Vietnam War until 1968.

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Presentation on theme: "Vietnam War until 1968."— 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


7 Geneva Accords - 1954 Treaty separated Vietnam into N&S
North – Communist South – Nationalist National election to decide which system for unified Vietnam


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


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”


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


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


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 LBJ’s top advisors urged him to  number of US troops
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-1964 16,000
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

32 Napalm

33 Agent Orange

34 Agent Orange

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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