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Why Did Australia Fight In The Vietnam War? Why did we send 47,000 men and women to Vietnam?

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Presentation on theme: "Why Did Australia Fight In The Vietnam War? Why did we send 47,000 men and women to Vietnam?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Did Australia Fight In The Vietnam War? Why did we send 47,000 men and women to Vietnam?

2 Fear of communism There was a growing fear of communism The invasion of the North Korean communists into democratic South Korea was seen as a threat to democracy Sending troops to Vietnam was a move to support democracy

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4 Situation in Vietnam Vietnam was once a colony of France After WW2 the Vietnamese fought a war against the French and became an independent country The leader of this fight was Ho Chi Minh He was a communist leader in Vietnam Vietnam split in two at the 17th parallel in 1954 –The north was communist –The south was democratic The presence of communists in Vietnam worried countries like Australia and USA

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6 The Domino Theory Australian and American politicians felt that if Vietnam fell to communism then other countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia would also fall to the communists

7 The Domino Theory

8 Previous examples Australias involvement in the Korean War –Communist North Korea was fighting democratic South Korea The Malayan Emergency 1955 –Communists were becoming influential and fighting a guerilla war in Malaya

9 Previous examples Australias involvement in the Korean War –Communist North Korea was fighting democratic South Korea The Malayan Emergency 1955 –Communists were becoming influential and fighting a guerilla war in Malaya

10 PM Menzies… We have decidedand this has been after close consultation with the Government of the United States to provide an infantry battalion for service in South Vietnam There can be no doubt of the gravity of the situation in South Vietnam. The takeover of South Vietnam would be a direct military threat to Australia and all the countries of South and South- East Asia. It must be seen as part of a thrust by Communist China between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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12 Alliances ANZUS The ANZUS agreement of Australia, New Zealand and the United States agree to come to each others aid in the event of an attack

13 Alliance SEATO The SEATO Treaty of This treaty set out that action would be taken if the following countries were attacked: USA, Great Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand or Pakistan. South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were also guaranteed protection

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15 Australia sends troops to Vietnam The Australian government felt that the best way to deal with communist threats was to send troops to the threat In 1962 Australia sent 30 military advisers to assist US forces in South Vietnam

16 Countries that went to war in Vietnam Eight countries supported South Vietnam in its struggle with North Vietnam –United States of America –Australia –New Zealand –South Korea –The Philippines –Thailand –Spain –Taiwan

17 Open conflict escalates In 1964 the USA claimed that the North Vietnamese had bombed its ships in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam The USA began bombing raids on Vietnam

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19 Open conflict escalates Australia sent its First Infantry Batallion and HMAS Sydney to Vietnam in 1965 Then, in 1966, Australia increased its military commitment in Vietnam by a factor of three Total war decsended on Vietnam

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