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VIETNAM, 1946-75 (the 10 000 Day War).

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Presentation on theme: "VIETNAM, 1946-75 (the 10 000 Day War)."— Presentation transcript:

1 VIETNAM, (the Day War)

2 Phase One – War of Independence
Vietnam - French colony under the name of French Indochina (along with Cambodia and Laos) Vietnam fights for independence from France during WW II Vietnamese revolutionary leader was Ho Chi Minh, a Communist wanted to be the leader of an independent, communist Vietnam; received support from both the USSR and “Red” China

3 French are defeated in 1954 at at Dien bien phu!
peace conference in Geneva, Switzerland (attended by France, Vietnam, the US, and the USSR) Vietnam divided at the 17th parallel. Communist north (Led by Ho) and democratic south (led by Ngo Dinh Diem Elections to be held in 1956 to end partition. U.S. sees Vietnam as a “Domino”. Determined to stop it falling according to the U.S. policy of “Containment”

4 Diem tortures and executes nearly 40,000 political prisoners
Estimated that 80% of Vietnamese would have voted for the communists –elections were never allowed to happen! Many ordinary Vietnamese viewed Diem as an “elite” who had cooperated with the French Diem tortures and executes nearly 40,000 political prisoners Southern resistance increases as communist support grows – creation of National Liberation Front (NLF)

5 These Southern “freedom fighters” were also known as Vietcong

6 1963 With U.S. approval, South Vietnamese Army kills Diem!
…and of course, Kennedy is killed…

phase originated with “Ike” and JFK but was intensified under Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident - 2 American destroyers “supposedly” fired upon by the North Vietnamese Congress passes Gulf of Tonkin Resolutions - Congress gave LBJ their support in sending American personnel and materiel


9 1965 – Operation Rolling Thunder
Sustained American bombing raids of North Vietnam 864,000 tons of bombs dropped on North Vietnam (503,000 tons in the Pacific theater during the Second World War) 4 Objectives: Boost the Morale of South Vietnam Persuade North Vietnam to stop supporting rebels in the South Destroy North Vietnamese industry and air defenses Cease the flow of men and material along the Ho Chi Minh Trail Operation runs for nearly four years! (none of the objectives are met…)

10 US ground forces sent to Vietnam – over 200,000 by the year’s end
Danang:     The first American combat troops, the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, arrive in Vietnam to defend the US airfield at Danang


12 La Drang Valley Heavy Fighting at Ia Drang Valley:     The first conventional battle of the Vietnam war takes place as American forces clash with North Vietnamese units in the Ia Drang Valley. - heavy casualties are reported on both sides.

13 Escalation! in spite of ongoing escalation (an increase in troop levels and $ spent on fighting the war) throughout the 1960s, the US experienced a lack of success against the Vietnamese forces in S. Vietnam (the Vietcong) as the US Army was unprepared for their tactics (Guerilla Warfare! ) and their revolutionary mentality

14 The US was never entirely
successful in shutting down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a supply line that ran between North and South Vietnam difficult jungle terrain, often underground and through neighboring nations like Cambodia and Laos


16 Ho Chi Minh Trail The U.S. tries to destroy the trail but the Vietnamese just go around it!

17 1968 – an awful year… In January, the Vietnamese launch the Tet Offensive, a surprise offensive on a major Vietnamese holiday that saw attacks all over the country, including in Saigon itself A Vietnamese defeat, but many in the U.S. now saw the war as unwinnable ongoing US casualties and led to an increase in antiwar sentiment on the American Home Front in large part because Vietnam was a TV War where American audiences saw the brutality of war firsthand




21 Americans witnessed the usage of weapons like napalm and Agent Orange, which devastated the people and environment of Vietnam

22 Between 350 and 500 raped, tortured and murdered
My Lai Who is the enemy? How do you “find and eliminate the enemy” if you can’t tell which side anyone is on? Between 350 and 500 raped, tortured and murdered "Who is my enemy? Anybody that was running from us, hiding from us, or appeared to be the enemy. If a man was running, shoot him, sometimes even if a woman with a rifle was running, shoot her.“ – Captain Ernest Medina

23 26 US soldiers initially charged with criminal offenses
I was … getting orders from my commander and I followed them- foolishly I guess 26 US soldiers initially charged with criminal offenses Only Second Lieutenant William Calley, a platoon leader was convicted. Found guilty of killing 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but only served three and a half years under house arrest.

24 Hippies! hippies inherited the values of the 1950s Beatniks, created their own communities, listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual revolution, and some used drugs such as cannabis, LSD and magic mushrooms to explore altered states of consciousness.

25 Protest increases at home!
Hippies led the Counterculture movement Protests became widespread and began to polarize the nation




29 Not just hippies!


31 250,000!




35 increasingly the American people came to perceive the “Credibility Gap”, i.e. they no longer
believed that LBJ was telling them the truth about events in the war in 1968, LBJ chose not to run for president, and Republican Richard M. Nixon was elected on a platform of “Peace with Honor”

36 Nixon wanted the South Vietnamese to play a greater role in the war, a policy he labeled Vietnamization in spite of that, he continues carpet bombing Hanoi and orders a secret invasion of Cambodia Seen as a further widening of the war! American’s feel deceived and protests erupt.

37 Kent State - May 1970 Kent State University (Ohio)
Students protest turns deadly when National Guard troops open fire on the students! 4 Students Dead Kent State - May 1970

38 Pentagon Papers Classified documents stolen from the Pentagon
Exposed Government knowledge that war would cost more lives than the public was being told Public told war was ending but escalation was happening Government censures the information but Supreme Court says NO! PUBLIC DISTRUST OF GOVERNMENT!

39 the US agrees to remove troops on Jan. 27, 1973

the NVA easily defeated the South by 1975 1975 – the US abandoned its embassy in Saigon, which was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in the newly unified and communist Vietnam

41 War Powers Act 1973 the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or in case of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces." The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war. The resolution was passed by two-thirds of Congress, overriding a presidential veto.

42 Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)


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