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Vietnam War 1959-1975. Aftermath of WWII Before WWII, Vietnam was a French colony. Japan took it during WWII, and afterwards France tried to reclaim it.

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Presentation on theme: "Vietnam War 1959-1975. Aftermath of WWII Before WWII, Vietnam was a French colony. Japan took it during WWII, and afterwards France tried to reclaim it."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vietnam War 1959-1975

2 Aftermath of WWII Before WWII, Vietnam was a French colony. Japan took it during WWII, and afterwards France tried to reclaim it. After WWII, the Vietnamese resisted for independence. Ho Chi Minh led Vietminh resistance Battle ended in 1954 when French were defeated at the battle of Dien Bien Phu.


4 Peace? 1954 International Conference in Geneva – French and Vietminh sign agreement to divide at the 17 th parallel – All Vietnamese elections will be held in 1956 1955 new government forms in South Vietnam headed by Ngo Dinh Diem- American backed. North is backed by China and Soviet Union- Ho Chi Minh Division becomes permanent, elections never happen, civil war erupts


6 Trouble Brews Ho Chi Minh wants to unite Vietnam – National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) tries to overthrow Diem – Northern sympathizers in the South used guerilla warfare US become greatly involved in early 60s – JFK sends Special Forces – LBJ later asks Congress to give him war powers in the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

7 1963 Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated by his own people – Was not strong enough to overcome the Viet Cong – Persecuted Buddhists – President Diem was overthrown and executed, along with his brother, on 2 November 1963 – South Vietnam falls into chaos

8 Here comes America 1964 USA bombs North Vietnam 500,000 troops are sent in China and Soviet Union send North Vietnam aid but no troops Despite help, South Vietnam still struggles – 1968 attacked by North Vietnam- Tet Offensive (Vietnamese New Year) – Turning point in US opinion – Showed North Vietnamese fought at all costs

9 Anti-War Movement What was the purpose of the anti war movement? How did different people react to the anti war movement?

10 Poor Preparation American forces were always on the defensive – Didn’t know how to fight the jungle terrain – Viet Cong ambushed US troops, set up booby traps, and escape through a complex network of underground tunnels – US had to dropped Agent Orange or napalm bombs to clear area; many innocent lives suffered

11 Could not decipher who was the enemy since even women and children built booby traps or housed and fed the Viet Cong U.S. soldiers became frustrated and suffered from low morale, became angry, and some used drugs

12 My Lai Massacre March 1968 Thought village housed Viet Cong but none found 500 people including women, children and the elderly were killed Higher-ranking U.S. Army officers covered up events for a year In 1970, a U.S. Army board charged 14 officers of crimes related to the events at My Lai; only one was convicted


14 On 8 June 1972 a South Vietnamese aircraft accidentally dropped napalm load on the village of Trang Bang

15 South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes a Viet Cong officer with a single shot to the head.

16 1969 Nixon becomes President Vietnamization: remove U.S. troops from Vietnam (started that year) and had fighting back to South Vietnam Easter Offensive (also called the Spring Offensive), on March 30, 1972. North Vietnamese troops crossed over the 17th parallel and invaded South Vietnam

17 Cease Fire 1973 all US troops evacuated 1975 North Vietnam captures Saigon; country is united

18 Fall of Saigon In as many adjectives or phrases as possible, describe what you see.

19 Evacuation April 1975 Most were military personnel fleeing Northern troops American planes airlifted and evacuated

20 The Boat People Picked up by American navy ships and transported to Guam or the Philippines Did not know what was going to happen to them or where they were going

21 Arrival in US 130,000 refugees brought to US in 1975 1 st wave: educated, heads of household, spoke English well, came from cities, were pretty westernized, worked for French or US, ½ were Christian, came as families Placed in processing camps then spread throughout the country

22 War continues without us Communists ruled South harshly Rebuilding difficult because of inefficient government and US sanctions Businesses were nationalized. Re-education camps. Thousands of urban elite were sent to the country to farm or dig irrigation canals.

23 2 nd Wave of Arrivals Mostly Boat People – 2/3 of boats were attacked by pirates – Lost limbs because they couldn’t remove their jewelry, clubbed to death, women raped, men tied up and thrown overboard – Survivors floated to Thailand where they lived in refugee camps for months and some for years – From there, they went to new countries like Australia, Canada, France, and US

24 2 nd Wave of Arrivals Diverse: Professionals, fisherman, farmers, storekeepers, most did not speak English. 40% were ethnically Chinese from Vietnam- experienced hostility and became targets of the new Communist regime Because business is nationalized, the 80% of retail owned by the Chinese were taken

25 Treatment in US Veterans told Americans to be nice to the Vietnamese fought on the same side; just needed a home seen as cheap labor Sojourners who hoped to rid communist government – Women have job opportunities and men break gender roles and help out at home. Ended arranged marriages. – Family ties are strained – The children lose the language because of teasing.

26 The Lost Generation Some kids were sent for better education and to become citizens Some came through Operation Babylift Adoptive parents would abandon them Lacking families, many struggled to survive, lived in motels, joined gangs to rob Struggled in school and no one could help them so they drop out of school

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