U.S. Involvement begins Vietminh: freedom fighters who fought the Japanese and worked with the U.S. during World War II. They wanted independence. Led by Ho Chi Minh. After World War II France wants to reclaim Vietnam as a colony. U.S. supports France in exchange for French participation in NATO. Ho turns to China and Russia for assistance. We help France By end of the first Indo-China War the U.S. will have given $2.6 billion in aid to France-to help them keep their colony AND stop communism.
Ho Chi Minh defeated the French in 1954 and Vietnam was temporarily divided into North and South pending elections. By wars end, Ho was getting help from Russia and China and we were paying for 90% of France’s war. • The U.S. knew Ho Chi Minh would win and instead of elections, set up a separate government in South Vietnam. • The Vietnam War is a war for national reunification for the North. • The Vietnam War is a war to stop spreading communism for the U.S.
Diem was an autocratic and repressive leader. Many South Vietnamese opposed U.S. backed Diem. • Diem was Catholic and considered by many to be a puppet of the French and U.S.
Vietcong were South Vietnamese guerrillas who were backed by the North and fought against the South’s government
E. President John F. Kennedy believed in the Domino Theory, the idea that if one Southeast Asian country fell to communism, the rest would also, like a row of dominos. F. In 1961, he sent military advisors to help Diem fight the Vietcong
G. 1963- Lyndon Johnson became President and sent more aid to South Vietnam H. 1964- Gulf of Tonkin Resolution- after a U.S. ship is attacked, Congress passed this which allowed President Johnson to take “all necessary measures” to prevent another attack I. Thus, the war escalated and by 1968 there were over 500,000 troops fighting in the Vietnam War.
J. American soldiers faced many hardships fighting a “guerilla war” in unfamiliar territory, against an insurgency.
Who is the enemy? A Viet Cong prisoner awaits interrogation at a Special Forces detachment.
Troops of the 1st Air Cavalry Division check houses. The mission was designed to clear out a mountain range where two battalions of North Vietnamese were believed to be preparing for an attack on an airstrip.
In Long Khanh province, soldiers await the helicopter that will airlift their dead comrade, 1966
Swampy Terrain Soldiers carry a wounded comrade to safety, 1969
Search-and-clear operation- Who is who? A Marine from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, moves a Viet Cong suspect to the rear during a search-and-clear operation
Traversing the jungle: leeches and immersion foot During Operation Hastings, Marines of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment take to the water as they move to join other elements of their battalion in Dong Ha, Vietnam, July 1966
Burning camp: destroy the enemies ability by burning the villages of the people we’re saving from communism
TET OFFENSIVE- January 1968 Tet was a major North Vietnamese Army (NVA) offensive launched on the New Year’s Holiday. Though a costly defeat, images of Tet on television convinced many Americans that we were losing the war.
November 1968- Richard Nixon is elected President- promises to end the war
Anti-War Movement 1965 25,000 protestors march on Washington 1969 250,000 march on Washington “Elite” universities-Harvard, Madison, Berkeley, Columbia lead protests Massive unrest after Kent State shootings-California Gov. Reagan shuts down entire university system
Ohio Lyrics » Neil Young • Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,We're finally on our own.This summer I hear the drumming,Four dead in Ohio.Gotta get down to itSoldiers are cutting us downShould have been done long ago.What if you knew herAnd found her dead on the groundHow can you run when you know?Gotta get down to itSoldiers are cutting us downShould have been done long ago.What if you knew herAnd found her dead on the groundHow can you run when you know?Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,We're finally on our own.This summer I hear the drumming,Four dead in Ohio.
1973- Cease-fire is reached • 1974- Last U.S. troops leave Vietnam • 1975- South Vietnam falls to North Vietnamese communist forces
Costs of the War Divided country-100,000 flee to avoid serving 50,000 troops desert 58,000 Americans killed, 303K wounded, 1.5 million Vietnamese killed 3.4 million served, about 40% in South Vietnam combat areas, average age 19 V.A. estimates 830,000 vets with PTSD Cost of war from JFK-Nixon: $176 billion
Effects of the War Loss of confidence in government-”credibility gap” Split and weakened Democratic party 18 year olds got the right to vote Divided the nation-was it a “good war”? Could we have won? All-volunteer army Created reluctance to get involved in foreign affairs-”another Vietnam”