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The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War

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The Vietnam War

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  1. The Vietnam War SWBAT: Homework: Finish the organizer. Do Now: Begin reading about the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

  2. Lets Review • France has controlled Indochina since 1887. • In the mid-20th century, the Vietnamese want to be independent. • Ho Chi Minh led communist troops. • The US backed the French, while the Chinese and Russians backed communist Vietnamese. • When it became clear the French were not in a position to win, the Geneva Conference was held. • What happened?

  3. 1954 Geneva Agreement

  4. 1954 Geneva Agreement • Cease-fire

  5. 1954 Geneva Agreement • 1) Cease-fire • 2) French troops to withdraw.

  6. 1954 Geneva Agreement • 1) Cease-fire • 2) French troops to withdraw. • 3) Vietnam divided into North and South Vietnam at the 17th Parallel (demilitarised zone between the two). The North wasCommunist (ledby Ho Chi Minh); the South democratic (ledbyNgoDinh Diem).

  7. 1954 Geneva Agreement • 1) Cease-fire • 2) French troops to withdraw. • 3) Vietnam divided into North and South Vietnam at the 17th Parallel (demilitarised zone between the two).

  8. 1954 Geneva Agreement • 1) Cease-fire • 2) French troops to withdraw. • 3) Vietnam divided into North and South Vietnam at the 17th Parallel (demilitarised zone between the two). • 4) Laos and Cambodia = independent states.

  9. 1954 Geneva Agreement Thisneverhappened. On 16th July 1956, Diem madetheannouncementnottocalltheelection. • 1) Cease-fire • 2) French troops to withdraw. • 3) Vietnam divided into North and South Vietnam at the 17th Parallel (demilitarised zone between the two). • 4) Laos and Cambodia = independent states. • 5) National elections to be held in two years (by July 1956) throughout Indochina

  10. 1954 Geneva Agreement • 1) Cease-fire • 2) French troops to withdraw. • 3) Vietnam divided into North and South Vietnam at the 17th Parallel (demilitarised zone between the two). • 4) Laos and Cambodia = independent states. • 5) National elections to be held in two years (by July 1956) throughout Indochina • 6) No foreign bases President Eisenhower didnotrespectthis as he sent American troops in toreplacethe French.

  11. 1954 Geneva Agreement • 1) Cease-fire • 2) French troops to withdraw. • 3) Vietnam divided into North and South Vietnam at the 17th Parallel (demilitarised zone between the two). • 4) Laos and Cambodia = independent states. • 5) National elections to be held in two years (by July 1956) throughout Indochina • 6) No foreign bases • 7) Freedom of movement between the North and South Vietnam for 300 days. Resulted in fluxes of refugees moving north and (mostly) south.

  12. What this means North Vietnam South Vietnam NgôDìnhDiệm Ho Chi Minh

  13. Problems with NgôDìnhDiệm • Canceled the election. • The US supported this since the Communist leader Minh more than likely would have won. • Headed a corrupt government. • Suppressed any kind of opposition. • Was a devout Catholic when most of the country was Buddhist.

  14. The Vietcong • Was supported by Ho Chi Minh. • Supplied troops via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. • Meant using Laos and Cambodia. • Used mostly guerilla tactics. • By 1957, they began attacking South Vietnam government officials. • Assassinated thousands of government employees. • Dinh did nothing to stop the attacks and South Vietnam grew more unstable.

  15. Diem makes things worse • In response to Vietcong attacks, Diem decides the best way to protect the South Vietnamese would be to move all the villagers to protected areas. • The villagers were not pleased. • Meant moving from a place they lived for generations and where their ancestors were buried. • Also intensified his attack on Buddhism. • Destroyed temples and imprisoned or killed Buddhists priests. • Led to protests that horrified the American public.

  16. Diem jeopardizes the stability of Vietnam • The US realizes that in order for South Vietnam’s own sake, Diem had to go. • The US backed coup overthrew Diem and against Kennedy’s wishes, Diem was assassinated. • Kennedy himself would be assassinated a few weeks later. • The fate of Vietnam was now in the hands of Lyndon Johnson. • Diem’s assassination led to more instability as a series of military leaders tried and failed to control the country.

  17. American tactics

  18. American tactics Complete the chart given to you. Your textbook does not give detail about the impact of the tactics so write what you think would be the consequences of using such tactics.

  19. OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER • The Americans attempted to force the Vietnamese to surrender through Operation Rolling Thunder. These were bombing raids on Vietnamese towns, intended to destroy morale.

  20. SEARCH & DESTROY • In the attempt to find the Viet Cong fighters, the US launched an operation called Search and Destroy : they searched Vietnamese villages for Viet Cong fighters and, if they suspected there were any there, destroyed the village.

  21. SEARCH & DESTROY • This often led to deaths of innocent civilians including women and children. The missions made ordinary people hate the Americans: as one marine said of a search and destroy mission – “If they weren’t Viet Cong before we got there, they sure as hell were by the time we left”. The Viet Cong often helped the villager’s re-build their homes and bury their dead.

  22. AGENT ORANGE • The thick forest was a real problem for the Americans, because this was how the Viet Cong hid. Determined to find the Viet Cong bases and supply routes, the Americans sprayed a chemical called Agent Orange onto the forests from aeroplanes. It killed the trees, so that the Americans could find their enemy.

  23. AGENT ORANGE • But the chemical caused much more harm than this. It killed crops, causing people to go hungry. It also caused birth defects in children born to people who were exposed to the chemical.

  24. NAPALM • When the Americans suspected that they had found a Viet Cong base, they would drop Napalm on the site. Napalm was a very flammable fluid, that would burn through almost anything.

  25. NAPALM • It often hit civilians.

  26. Viet Cong tactics

  27. Giap • Giap developed a strategy for defeating superior opponents. • This was not to simply outmanoeuvre them in the field but to undermine their resolve by inflicting demoralizing political defeats through bold and unexpected tactics. • He was always prepared to take a gamble, irrespective of the cost in lives.

  28. BOOBY TRAPS • Booby traps are an example of a Viet Cong tactic. For example, the Viet Cong would place trip wires or dig holes filled with spikes, sometimes coated in human excrement, and then would cover the hole with leaves to deceive the enemy. Markers like broken sticks would be left on the path to warn fellow Viet Cong about the locations.

  29. TUNNELS • Tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. This frustrated Americans who could not locate the tunnels.

  30. THE HO CHI MINH TRAIL • The Ho Chi Minh Trail was a network of paths that served as hidden route through the jungle for Viet Cong soldiers and Vietnamese Civilians. The Viet Cong used it to move troops, weapons and other supplies into and around the country without being detected by the Americans. The Americans constantly tried to find the trail, but it was too well hidden and frequently changed. It was essential in allowing the north Vietnamese to beat the Americans.

  31. Other problems... • The main form of transportation for the Vietcong was either by foot or by bicycle. This made it impossible for the Americans to cut off supplies from Russia and China as the Vietcong could always find a way through regardless of how much the Ho Chi Minh trail was bombed.

  32. Other problems... • Helmet: very hot • Uniform: rots in heat • Backpack: 90lbs/41kg • Rifle: jams as soon as it contacts water

  33. Other problems... • “The Americans had created a vast military base from end to end of the country, with its own barbed-wire-encrusted towns and villages....wholly divorced from those of the Vietnamese people outside the perimeters.” • Max Hastings, British Journalist

  34. Other problems... • The average age of soldiers was 19. Many had been forced to join the war (or face a five-year prison sentence). Most did not understand why they were fighting the war and had no real desire to fight the Vietcong.

  35. Other problems... • Some soldiers even blew up their own officers when out on patrol. They would say that the officer had stepped on a booby trap. This was an excuse so they could return to base without having to fight.

  36. Other problems... VIETCONG OR FARMER OR BOTH???

  37. Why did the Vietnam War become increasingly unpopular?

  38. War in your living room

  39. War in your living room Vietnam was the first televised war. It was televised by TV networks who were allowed to film what they wished.

  40. War in your living room Vietnam was the first televised war. It was televised by TV networks who were allowed to film what they wished. For the American viewers, what they saw did not always match up to what their government told them.

  41. War in your living room Vietnam was the first televised war. It was televised by TV networks who were allowed to film what they wished. For the American viewers, what they saw did not always match up to what their government told them. They started to question whether they really were “the good guys”.

  42. What the people saw.. • 5 August 1965 • A GI sets fire to a peasant's home while the villagers stood by and begged for mercy.

  43. What the people saw...

  44. What people saw...

  45. What people were told... • At the beginning of 1968, the American people were told that the Viet Cong had been badly damaged by the aerial bombing and that they were on the brink of collapse…

  46. What people were told... • At the beginning of 1968, the American people were told that the Viet Cong had been badly damaged by the aerial bombing and that they were on the brink of collapse… • …then

  47. TET OFFENSIVE

  48. September 1967: the end is near! • Sep 1967: NLF launched attacks on American garrisons. • By the end of 1967, the NLF had lost 90,000 men. • Westmoreland told President Johnson that the end of the war was near: there would be no way that the Viet Cong could replace such numbers.

  49. September 1967: the end is near! • Sep 1967: NLF launched attacks on American garrisons. • By the end of 1967, the NLF had lost 90,000 men. • Westmoreland told President Johnson that the end of the war was near. Whywould he be so confident?

  50. September 1967: the end is near! • Sep 1967: NLF launched attacks on American garrisons. • By the end of 1967, the NLF had lost 90,000 men. • Westmoreland told President Johnson that the end of the war was near. There would be no way that the Viet Cong could replace such numbers.