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An NDM Production Origins of the Vietnam War Indo-China was originally a French colony It consisted of what are now three separate countries: Cambodia,

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Presentation on theme: "An NDM Production Origins of the Vietnam War Indo-China was originally a French colony It consisted of what are now three separate countries: Cambodia,"— Presentation transcript:


2 An NDM Production Origins of the Vietnam War

3 Indo-China was originally a French colony It consisted of what are now three separate countries: Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. In 1940 French Indo-China was occupied by the Japanese during the Second World War.

4 Ho Chi Minh Opposition to French and then Japanese rule in Vietnam was led by Ho Chi Minh. He was a nationalist who opposed the Japanese control of his country. He was also a Communist. Ho Chi Minh’s guerrilla force played a useful role in tying down and helping to defeat Japanese forces during the war

5 The French War in Vietnam, 1946-54 Predictably war broke out in 1946 between the French, who wanted Vietnam back, and the Vietnamese, led by Ho Chi Minh, who wanted to rule it themselves as an independent country.

6 What happened at battle of Dien Bien Phu? French heavily defeated Marked the end of the French war in Vietnam French could not cope with the guerrilla tactics of the Vietnamese army It is argued that the Americans failed to learn the lessons taught here when they fought the Vietnamese army later.

7 Tasks A.Read and highlight information on pgs 1&2 B.Plan a 5 minute lesson on the background to the Vietnam war (pgs 1 &2) Jaws will choose the lucky person to deliver the lesson. You have 10 minutes!

8 For each section of the picture discuss with the person next to you what you think is happening






14 What did the US do? The USA supported Ngo Diem - the leader of South Vietnam. They sent money, supplies and military equipment 1959 Communist government in North Vietnam ordered the Vietminh to begin a terror campaign against Diem’s government.

15 Diem had a poor record on human rights but his rule was in the era of the "Domino Theory" anybody who was anticommunist in the Far East was likely to receive American backing - regardless of their unsavory background. Ngo ruled as a dictator along with his brother - Nhu. Their government was corrupt and brutal but nevertheless, it was backed by America.

16 Vietnam was a country 9000 miles away from the United States. Why did US get involved there? One explanation lies in the fear caused by the spread of communism at that time. The following incidents led many Americans to fear that the communists were taking over the world and must be stopped. The communist take-over of China (1949) The Korean War (1950-53) Communist victory over the French in Vietnam (1954) The US government believed that by helping the South Vietnamese government resist the attacks of the communist North they were helping to prevent the spread of communism around the world.

17 Diem's unpopularity was so great that in November 1963, the South Vietnamese Army overthrew and killed him. This alarmed the new American president Lyndon Johnson (JFK was also assassinated in Nov. 1963), who had asked his military chiefs to make plans should a full-scale war break out. The one proviso the chiefs-of-staff had was that America had to be seen as the victim rather than the aggressor.

18 Cold War American presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1933-1945 Harry S. Truman 1945-1953 Dwight David Eisenhower 1953-1961 John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1961-1963 Lyndon Baines Johnson 1963-1969 Richard Milhous Nixon 1969-1974 Gerald Rudolph Ford 1974-1977 Jimmy Carter 1977-1981 Ronald Wilson Reagan 1981-1989


20 ‘ Domino Theory’ President Eisenhower outlines the Domino Theory: "You have a row of dominoes set up. You knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly."

21 Tasks 1 & 2 on page 4


23 Escalation Until 1964 US help to South Vietnam was on a ‘no combat’ basis. They were there to help (fly troops in helicopters / train south viet troops / supply weapons etc.) Many American citizens were not aware that US was ‘at war’. War was never declared.

24 Johnson wanted a more aggressive war against the communists.He didn’t think the South Vietnamese government would be able to keep the North Vietnamese out of the South. 1964 The US military prepared plans for the bombing of North Vietnam.

25 Escalation of War The Gulf of Tonkin Incident – July 1964 The Tonkin Incident occurred when two American ships were supposedly attacked by North Vietnamese gunboats while they were in international waters.

26 Results of Tonkin incident In response to the incident, the American Senate gave Johnson the power to give armed support to assist any country requesting help in defence of its freedom. In March 1965, the first American ground troops landed in South Vietnam and by December 1965, there were 150,000 stationed in the country. The bombing of North Vietnam had already started in February 1965. This bombing was given the name ‘Operation Rolling Thunder’.

27 The Tactics of the Viet Cong Guerrilla warfare- Used by groups who are inferior in numbers and weapons

28 Copy this: Why did the Vietcong employ Guerilla warfare? 1.They were outnumbered 2.Their weapons were much less sophisticated 3.They were good at it (practiced against French) 4.They could not hope to win in face to face battles with US soldiers 5.They could make the US troops think they were totally surrounded by enemy

29 Create the following diagram as you watch this presentation: Vietcong tactics Add information

30 Recycled dud bombs dropped by US army

31 Booby Traps

32 Guerrilla tactics Ambush Tricks Traps Underground tunnels to live and work in undetected Key point The Vietcong lived in the villages Farmer by day guerrilla by night. The Americans did not know friend from foe

33 One Viet Cong leader said: “ The people are the water. Our armies are the fish” What do you think he meant by this statement?





38 Ho Chi Minh Trail Trail used to take supplies from the Communist North to be used in the South. 40,000 people worked to keep the trail open.

39 Now do the same for the US tactics US tactics Add information

40 The American Tactics The Vietcong were very effective and so the Americans had to reassess how they deployed their men and equipment

41 Search and Destroy The US countered with ‘Search and Destroy’ tactics. In areas where the VC were thought to be operating troops went in, checked for weapons and if found, rounded up the villagers and burned the villages down. This often alienated the peasants from the US cause.

42 A marine said of a search and destroy mission – “If the villagers were not members of the Vietcong before we got there, they sure as hell were by the time we left”.

43 Helicopters Use of helicopters enabled Search and Destroy missions and troops to be dropped close to battle. Wounded could also be easily removed.

44 Agent Orange and Napalm The Vietcong used the jungles as cover and so the US decided to remove that obstacle. Agent Orange (a weed killer) - 96 million liters were dropped which destroyed vegetation and polluted rivers Napalm- sticks to the skin and burns through to the bone These had little effect on the Guerilla tactics of the Vietcong


46 Carpet Bombing The Americans dropped more bombs on Vietnam than were dropped in the whole of Europe during the Second World War.

47 Tasks Watch the rest of the video and add to your diagrams with any extra information Using handout, add detail to your diagrams about the different types of weapons used in Vietnam. Questions 1,2 and 3 on page 359 of handout Questions 1 and 2 on pg 9 of booklet

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