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Vietnam – a French Colony no more  France, after ruling Vietnam or over 100 years was defeated by Gen. Giap at battle of Dien Bien Phu-forced to leave.

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Presentation on theme: "Vietnam – a French Colony no more  France, after ruling Vietnam or over 100 years was defeated by Gen. Giap at battle of Dien Bien Phu-forced to leave."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vietnam – a French Colony no more  France, after ruling Vietnam or over 100 years was defeated by Gen. Giap at battle of Dien Bien Phu-forced to leave Vietnam.  The Vietminh take over and declare Vietnam Independent  France & Vietnam signed Geneva Peace Accords of 1954-split Vietnam along 17th parallel.

2 The United States Steps in  Geneva Accords stated that in 1956 Vietnam would hold elections to reunify country.  US worried Ho Chi Minh was too popular and would win so the US doesn’t allow elections to take place  Why? Domino Theory

3 North vs South  The North led by Ho Chi Minh  Communist  Vietminh  Supported by the Viet Cong in the South later called the National Liberation Front  South led by Ngo Dinh Diem  Supported by US  US supported creation of counter- revolutionary group in S. Vietnam

4 Pros of GW in Vietnam o Easy to slip into a village; look like civilians o More cooperation from other Vietnamese o Easy supply system o Territory and topography already known o Used rainy season as cover o Easy to attain civilian help in ambushes and information Cons of GW in Vietnam o Un-organization easily occurs o Renegade or untrained troops confuse strategy o High rates of civilian casualties o Can ruin economic development o It is a long drawn out process; low moral o Can kill own civilians with unremembered booby traps and mines

5 o Extended from N Vietnam to S Vietnam o Est and used by N. Vietnamese troops for a major military supply route o Goes through Laos and Cambodia on its way to S. Vietnam o main route for invasion of S. Vietnam in 1975 The Ho Chi Minh Trail

6 o built in the time of the French o joined village to village and often passed beneath American bases o not only fortifications for Viet Cong guerillas, but also center of community life o several stories deep and housed up to 10,000 people, supplies and weapons o connected isolated pockets of Viet Cong territory enabled the guerrillas to mount surprise attacks and vanish without trace The Underground Tunnels

7 o Punji sticks were sharpened sticks of bamboo concealed and designed to pierce the enemy’s feet; many times they were contaminated to cause disease o Bamboo maces swung down onto soldiers who triggered tripwires; also used crossbows o Land mines were a favorite of guerilla forces and they were taken from the U.S.S.R., the French, and even U.S. troops Anti-Personnel Weapons

8 Kennedy & Johnson  Kennedy increased aid to Diem  Sent military advisors to help train S. Vietnamese troops  Expands conflict  Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964 gave Johnson broad military powers

9 Troop Build Up  180,000 troops by 1965  500,000 troops by 1967

10 US Tactics -copy slide  Agent Orange – a leaf killing toxic chemical devastated landscape and ruined villages  Napalm – a gasoline based bomb stuck to leaves and skin  Search and destroy – uprooting villagers by day and evacuating at night

11 War at Home - copy  Great Society Suffers – money spent on war and not on helping poor at home  Living- room war – media heightens American concern  Manipulatable Draft – different qualifications, if in college could put off service or join National Guard or Coast Guard  African Americans were disproportionately drafted

12 Tet Offensive  This offensive by the Viet Cong in S. Vietnam shows Americans at home that “We are not winning this war”  Turning point in public opinion  LBJ decides not to seek reelection

13 Protests at Home  New Left organization SDS – Students for a Democratic Society demanded participatory democracy & Free Speech  20,000 Marched on the White House in 1965  Resistance – “Hell No We Won’t Go!”  Doves vs. Hawks

14 Kent State Tragedy  Students in Ohio protest the secret bombings in Cambodia  Governor sends in National Guard  Shooting erupts  4 students are killed  Colleges across country are shut down

15 American Policy changes  Martin Luther King Jr. & RFK are assassinated  Nixon wins Presidential election  Pull out begins 500,000 troops to 25,000 over 3 years - Vietnamization  Secret bombings of Cambodia and Laos

16 Atrocities  My Lai Massacre  Massacre of 100 innocent civilians by American troops  “Kill anything that breathed”  Court martial - Lt. Calley

17 The War America Lost American forces are not able to defeat the North Vietnamese 1973 US pulls out 1975 North Vietnamese invade and capture Saigon.

18 The War’s Painful Legacy  Longest War  58,000 US soldiers died  2,212 solders MIA/POWs  Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial  US questions role as police officer of world


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