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Slide 1 VIETNAM, 1946-75 (the 10 000 Day War) Scott Masters Crestwood College.

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Presentation on theme: "Slide 1 VIETNAM, 1946-75 (the 10 000 Day War) Scott Masters Crestwood College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slide 1 VIETNAM, (the Day War) Scott Masters Crestwood College

2 Slide 2 PHASE 1 - A WAR OF PHASE 1 - A WAR OF COLONIAL INDEPENDENCE AGAINST THE FRENCH Vietnam had been a French Vietnam had been a French colony under the name of French Indochina (along with Cambodia and Laos) Vietnam began to fight for its independence from France during WW II ( when France was preoccupied with European conflict) Vietnam began to fight for its independence from France during WW II ( when France was preoccupied with European conflict) the Vietnamese revolutionary leader was Ho Chi Minh, a Communist the Vietnamese revolutionary leader was Ho Chi Minh, a Communist wanted to be the leader of wanted to be the leader of an independent, communist Vietnam; Ho received support from both the USSR and Red China

3 Slide 3 this colonial war raged from , culminating in the French defeat at Dienbienphu this colonial war raged from , culminating in the French defeat at Dienbienphu Fr. decided it wanted out and called a peace conference in Geneva, Switzerland (attended by France, Vietnam, the US, and the USSR) Fr. decided it wanted out and called a peace conference in Geneva, Switzerland (attended by France, Vietnam, the US, and the USSR) the decision of the conference was to partition Vietnam into a communist North led by Ho and a democratic South Vietnam led by Ngo Dinh Diem the decision of the conference was to partition Vietnam into a communist North led by Ho and a democratic South Vietnam led by Ngo Dinh Diem the settlement was an outgrowth of basic Cold War tensions between the Americans and Soviets and clearly reflected the US policy of containment with respect to Soviet communist expansionism the settlement was an outgrowth of basic Cold War tensions between the Americans and Soviets and clearly reflected the US policy of containment with respect to Soviet communist expansionism the US had come to see South Vietnam as a domino that they couldnt afford to lose the US had come to see South Vietnam as a domino that they couldnt afford to lose

4 Slide 4 PHASE 2 – AMERICAN ESCALATION AND MILITARY INVOLVEMENT this phase originated with this phase originated with Ike and JFK but was intensified under Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ), who assumed the presidency afterJFKs assassination afterJFKs assassination The U.S. never formally The U.S. never formally issued a declaration of war, but after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, where 2 American destroyers were apparently fired upon by the North Vietnamese, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolutions (August 1964) - here Congress gave LBJ their support in sending American personnel and materiel

5 Slide 5 in spite of ongoing escalation in spite of ongoing escalation throughout the 1960s, the US experienced a lack of success against the Vietnamese guerrilla forces in S. Vietnam (the Vietcong) as the US Army was unprepared for their tactics and mentality their tactics and mentality The US was also never entirely The US was also never entirely successful in shutting down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a supply line that ran between supply line that ran between North and South Vietnam via North and South Vietnam via difficult jungle terrain, difficult jungle terrain, often underground and through neighbouring nations like Cambodia like Cambodia

6 Slide 6 the war definitely turned against the US in 1968, when the NVAs General Giap began the Tet the war definitely turned against the US in 1968, when the NVAs General Giap began the Tet Offensive, a surprise offensive on a major Vietnamese holiday that saw attacks all over the country, including in Saigon itself ongoing US casualties and losses saw an increase in antiwar sentiment on the American Home Front, ongoing US casualties and losses saw 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

7 Slide 7 this included American atrocities at My Lai (Lieutenant Calley) this included American atrocities at My Lai (Lieutenant Calley) they also witnessed the usage of weapons like napalm and Agent Orange, which devastated the environment they also witnessed the usage of weapons like napalm and Agent Orange, which devastated the environment

8 Slide 8 as the Counterculture gathered momentum (Hippies, Flower Children, etc.), protests became widespread and began to polarize the nation as the Counterculture gathered momentum (Hippies, Flower Children, etc.), protests became widespread and began to polarize the nation this was intensified after the Kent State Massacre this was intensified after the Kent State Massacre –National Guardsmen opened fire on student protestors in Ohio, killing four, and by Senator William Fulbrights (Chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee) admission that the war was a mess

9 Slide 9 increasingly the American people came to perceive theCredibility Gap, i.e. they no longer increasingly the American people came to perceive theCredibility 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 ofPeace with Honour in 1968, LBJ chose not to run for president, and Republican Richard M. Nixon was elected on a platform ofPeace with Honour

10 Slide 10 Nixon wanted the South Vietnamese to play a greater role in the war, a policy he labeled Vietnamization 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 in spite of that, he continues carpet bombing Hanoi and orders a secret invasion of Cambodia He relied on the diplomacy of Henry Kissinger to achieve peace and/or an American withdrawal He relied on the diplomacy of Henry Kissinger to achieve peace and/or an American withdrawal the US does manage to extricate itself by Jan. 27, 1973 the US does manage to extricate itself by Jan. 27, 1973

11 Slide 11 PHASE 3 – VIETNAMESE CIVIL WAR, the NVA easily defeated the South by 1975; the South had appealed to Nixon for aid, which had been promised, but by 1975 Nixon was embroiled in the domestic Watergate Crisis, and he was in essence a lame duck the NVA easily defeated the South by 1975; the South had appealed to Nixon for aid, which had been promised, but by 1975 Nixon was embroiled in the domestic Watergate Crisis, and he was in essence a lame duck 1975 – the US abandoned its embassy in Saigon, which was renamed 1975 – the US abandoned its embassy in Saigon, which was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in the newly unified and communist Vietnam


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