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Welcome to Vietnam

Welcome to Vietnam. Ch 17 Sec 1/2. Thursday, May 24, 2012. Understand early American involvement in Vietnam, the Domino Theory and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Understand why napalm and Agent Orange were used. What sort of fighting did the Vietcong use?.

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Welcome to Vietnam

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  1. Welcome to Vietnam Ch 17 Sec 1/2

  2. Thursday, May 24, 2012 • Understand early American involvement in Vietnam, the Domino Theory and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. • Understand why napalm and Agent Orange were used. • What sort of fighting did the Vietcong use?

  3. French Indochina consisted of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

  4. During WWII France was defeated and occupied by Germany in 1940. Japan invaded the French colonies of Indochina where they ruled Vietnam through a puppet government. During the war the nationalist Communist leader Ho Chi Minh formed a resistance group, the Vietminh, that fought both the Japanese and Vichy French. After the U.S. entered WWII, the Office of Strategic Services (later the Central Intelligence Agency), sent U.S. agents into Vietnam. These men helped to train the Vietminh and they promised Ho Chi Minh that the United States would support his goal for Vietnamese independence after the war. Ho Chi Minh believed that after the war the United States would support independence for Vietnam but he could not foresee the Cold War.

  5. French Indochina War 1945-54 • Communists gain support • The French returned • The war began • U.S. provided support for France • France defeated at Dien Bien Phu

  6. After WWII Ho Chi Minh, leader of the Communist Vietnamese, believed that the U.S. would not allow France to reoccupy to its former colony, since the OSS promised that to Minh during the war. When French soldiers returned to reassert their authority and reclaim their colony a bitter nine year war began that ended in a French defeat that divided Vietnam into two halves. One, the north, became communist, while the south was under U.S. influence. FRENCH INDOCHINA HO CHI MINH

  7. In 1945 Ho Chi Minh and the communist Viet Minh gained the good will of many Vietnamese when they provided relief during a devastating famine killed almost 2 million. The famine was caused in large part by the Japanese who exported Vietnam’s rice to feed their troops.

  8. Eisenhower's Vietnam Policy • Geneva accords • SEATO formed • The Domino Theory • Eisenhower pledged U.S. support for South Vietnam & Ngo Dinh Diem • 1958 Communist forces in South Vietnam • National Liberation of Vietnam formed 1960

  9. The French returned to Vietnam to reclaim its former colony, 1945

  10. In May of 1950 President Truman authorized $15 million in economic and military aid to the French, who were fighting to retain control of French Indochina, including Vietnam. As part of the aid package, Truman also sent 35 military advisers.

  11. American Involvement in Vietnam • FDR/Truman-aided Vietminh against Japanese during WWII. • Eisenhower-Supported France’s return to Vietnam to get rid of Ho Chi Minh’s Communist regime. The US paid for 75% of France’s War cost, but the French ultimately lost. • Kennedy- Sent military advisors to support the South Vietnam’s independence.

  12. The Domino Theory Cold War theory based on the idea that if one nation was conquered by communists, neighboring nations were at risk, and therefore it was the United States’ obligation to prevent that from occurring. First proposed by President Eisenhower in 1954. It was the foundation for the war in Vietnam as well as other Cold War conflicts. Eisenhower’s speech on Vietnam

  13. Domino Theory • Eisenhower stressed that if Vietnam fell to Communism neighboring countries would soon follow like Dominoes. • Do you think one country’s change can influence a neighboring country?

  14. In July of 1954 the Geneva Accords were signed dividing Vietnam at the 17th parallel for two years until elections could be held to unify the nation. The north became communist while the south established an anti-communist regime that was tied to the U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (from left) greet south Vietnam's President Ngo Dinh Diem at Washington national airport, 05/08/1957

  15. From 1955-61 Eisenhower sent $200 million in aid and around 675 military advisers. Eisenhower’s policy on Vietnam did not involve troops, only monetary contributions and advisors.

  16. Kennedy's Vietnam Policy • JFK felt pressured • JFK sent combat forces & started • Corrupt government under Diem • Kennedy assassination • Strategic hamlets • Ap Bac

  17. President Kennedy, to avoid being accused of “losing south Vietnam” as President Truman was accused of “losing China”, increased the number of military advisors from 800 to 16,000 and formed the Green Berets special forces.

  18. The U.S. military set up schools and clinics in an attempt to win the “hearts and minds” of the South Vietnamese people.

  19. Tonkin Gulf Incident, August 1964 The official story was that North Vietnamese torpedo boats launched an "unprovoked attack" against a U.S. destroyer on "routine patrol" in the Tonkin Gulf on August 2, 1964, and that North Vietnamese PT boats followed up with a "deliberate attack" on a pair of U.S. ships two days later. Evidence uncovered since the event has proven that there was no attack that night, and some have suggested that this incident was an excuser to escalate U.S. involvement in the region. USS Maddox Target of a fictional North Vietnamese naval attack

  20. President Johnson signed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, August 7, 1964 The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorized President Lyndon Johnson to "take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression." The resolution passed unanimously in the House, and by a margin of 82-2 in the Senate. The Resolution allowed Johnson to wage all out war against North Vietnam without ever securing a formal Declaration of War from Congress. Senator Wayne Morse opposed the resolution

  21. Johnson's Vietnam Policy • Johnson’s advisers • Gulf of Tonkin • Military strategy • Operation Ranchhand • Election of 1964 • Operation Rolling Thunder • U.S. Troops engaged in combat 1965 • Geography of Vietnam • Operation Starlite • Infiltration detection • Operation Crimp • Communist tactics • Operation Birmingham, Hastings, Cedar Falls and Junction City • U.S. allies • Khe Sanh • Tet offensive • My Lai • Anti-war movement

  22. LBJ’s Foreign Policy Team (Left) Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense McGeorge Bundy (National Security Council) along with his brother William Bundy (Pentagon) were important advisors Dean Rusk, Secretary of State

  23. The election of 1964 Johnson won by a landslide and quickly escalated U.S. involvement in Vietnam

  24. LBJ stated in the 1964 presidential campaign that he was “not going to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” By early 1965 the communists were well on their way to victory and Johnson had to either increase U.S. involvement or see South Vietnam defeated.

  25. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution • Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing the president to “take all necessary measures,” which effectively began the Vietnam War.

  26. In Vietnam, the U.S. dropped three times the tonnage used in all of World War II, and 12 times the tonnage used in the Korean War. Neither LBJ nor the American people were willing to resort to the kind of all-out war the United States had fought against Japan and Germany. He thought we could win the war with massive bombing and limited U.S. ground troops.

  27. Arc light Operations Arc Light was the code name for the devastating aerial raids of B-52 Strato fortresses against enemy positions in Southeast Asia. The first B-52 Arc Light raid took place on June 18, 1965, on a suspected Vietcong base north of Saigon. In November 1965, B-52s directly supported American ground forces for the first time, and were used regularly for that purpose thereafter.

  28. B-52 bomber munitions load of over 70,000 pounds of ordnance including bombs, mines and missiles.

  29. LBJ announced in July 1965 that U.S. troops would engage in combat. By the end of 1965 there were 180,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam. This grew to 500,000 by the beginning of 1968.

  30. U.S. troop strength in Vietnam: 1960-1972

  31. A Bloody Stalemate • The North Vietnamese had inferior fire power and depended on using the Vietcong (VC) to fight a guerilla war. • Frustrated by the Vietcong’s ability to hide in the dense jungles, American forces began dropping napalm and Agent Orange to destroy the jungle.

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