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A Bloody Stalemate Emerges in Vietnam

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1 A Bloody Stalemate Emerges in Vietnam
By the end of ,000+ U.S. troops were fighting in Vietnam This doubles by 1966 America went in overzealously & were frustrated with the different styles of fighting

2 Frustrating Warfare…Why?
VIETNAMESE Ambushes Booby traps Guerrilla tactics Blended with general city population Knowledge of the land, valleys, mountains, etc… AMERICANS Used to trench-style combat Reliance on firepower Strategy: battalions, shifts & constant communication with other flanks

3 Our New Tactic: “Search & destroy” missions: find enemy troop, bomb their position, destroy supply lines & force them into the open for combat Napalm: jellied gasoline that explodes on contact to destroy jungles (guerrilla) Agent Orange: a chemical that strips leaves/foliage – leaving farmlands/forests wasteland

4 What it really looks like…

5 How did the Vietcong send supplies to fight into S
How did the Vietcong send supplies to fight into S. Vietnam without getting ambushed? Ho Chi Minh Trail: network of jungle paths winding through Cambodia & Laos, bypassing the border b/w North & South Vietnam Why wouldn’t we just attack that trail? “No! This trail passes through countries full of innocent people NOT involved in this war” - LBJ

6 Then why wouldn’t LBJ just attack N. Vietnam?
Fear that China would join the war (remember the Korean war?) The Soviet Union & China supplied N. Vietnamese troops with weapons & supplies

7 Let me tell you about the stresses of a Vietnam soldier
U.S.’ Tactical Flaw Let me tell you about the stresses of a Vietnam soldier U.S. troops were ordered to fight a war of attrition: a strategy of defeating enemy sources by slowly wearing them down Grisly body counts daily after battles to determine how many enemies had died Time in Vietnam much longer as a result

8 How Close is the End? The war has been going on for approx. 10 yrs
1954: 1965: 1975: - Vietminh defeat Dien Bien Phu - Geneva Accords U.S. combat troops arrive in Vietnam The war has been going on for approx. 10 yrs U.S. troops join in 1965 Between : 220,000 Vietnamese killed via U.S. air-bombing Still showed NO signs of weakening/backing down By 1966: 6,700 U.S. troops dead Suddenly U.S. soldiers begin to question how soon/if we will win People back home are now questioning America’s involvement in the war

9 Vietnam Divides Our Nation
Back in the states, Americans began to widely resist our involvement in Vietnam WHY?!?! At first, people were in support of going over BUT the war dragged on & U.S. men were dying by the thousands with little/no progress Speculation began to grow – people wanted to know what troops were still doing over there

10 The First “Television War”
Will Westmoreland [U.S. commander in S. Vietnam] continually reported the enemy was weakening BUT footage ran nightly on the news of what was going on Families saw troops suffering/dying This soon developed a credibility gap: it was hard to believe what LBJ was saying about the war

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