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The Vietnam War. Dr. Kevin B. Witherspoon Lander University. Vietnam*. Chinese involvement French colony Conditions Ho Chi Minh World War II Japan May 1941, Vietminh The August Revolution. Vietnam*. The Elephant and the Tiger Vietminh strategy: 1. Defensive 2. Equilibrium

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The vietnam war l.jpg

The Vietnam War

Dr. Kevin B. Witherspoon

Lander University


Vietnam l.jpg
Vietnam*

  • Chinese involvement

  • French colony

    • Conditions

    • Ho Chi Minh

  • World War II

  • Japan

    • May 1941, Vietminh

    • The August Revolution


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Vietnam*

  • The Elephant and the Tiger

    • Vietminh strategy:

      • 1. Defensive

      • 2. Equilibrium

      • 3. Offensive

    • French failure

    • U.S. involvement

    • Domino theory

    • Dien Bien Phu


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Vietnam*

  • Geneva Accords

    • Cease-fire

    • Temporary division

    • 1956 elections

  • N = Ho Chi Minh

  • S = Ngo Dinh Diem

  • 1960 National Liberation Front (Vietcong)

  • Kennedy

    • “Flexible response”

    • “Strategic Hamlet”

    • Advisors from 900 to 16,000


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Vietnam*

  • Johnson

    • Bombings

    • Ho Chi Minh Trail

    • Gulf of Tonkin

    • “Operation Rolling Thunder”

      • Break supply lines

      • Cut off troops

      • Destroy morale

    • Ground troops

      • 1965: 184,000

      • 1966: 389,000

      • 1967: 463,000

      • 1968: 495,000

      • 1969: 541,000


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Vietnam*

  • Search and destroy

  • Problems

    • The enemy

    • U.S. discipline

    • Locate the enemy

    • Tunnels

    • Conditions

    • Frustration

    • Morale on the home front

    • How aggressive?

    • No political victory

    • Fail to identify objective

    • Political objectives

    • Measure success?


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Vietnam*

  • Three stages:

    • Infrastructure

    • Search and destroy

    • Vietnamization

  • Mistakes

  • Bombing in the South

  • Operation Ranch Hand

  • Morale

    • Hydration

    • Foot problems

    • Purpose

  • N. Vietnam objective


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Into the quagmire

  • Home front, opposition

  • “Credibility gap”

  • Discouraging news

  • POWs

  • Technowar:

    • Loud

    • Helicopters

    • Radio traffic

    • Weapons for the enemy

    • “free-fire” zones

    • Pacification efforts


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Vietnam*

  • Body counts

    • Risky missions

    • Scoreboards

    • Counting bodies

    • Rules of combat

    • Desensitized

    • Falsified reports

  • Open Arms program


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Vietnam*

  • Tet Offensive, 1968

    • Khe Sanh

    • Losing support

    • LBJ

  • Nixon

    • After Tet

    • “Vietnamization”

    • Phoenix program

    • Operation Wandering Soul

    • Propaganda


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    The Home Front

    • Anti-war movement

      • Tet

      • VVAW - Vietnam Veterans Against the War

      • 1969 March on Washington

      • My Lai

      • 1970 Kent State massacre

      • 1971 Pentagon Papers


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    Getting out

    • Peace talks, and more war

    • 1972 Christmas bombings

    • 1973 Agreement

    • 1973 War Powers Resolution


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    Vietnam War

    • Costs of the war:

      • 2 million Vietnamese dead

      • 58,000 U.S. dead

      • U.S. reputation

    • Why did U.S. fail?

      • On their “home turf”

      • Guerilla warfare

      • Land war in Asia

      • Not enough support from S Vietnam

      • Protest on the home front

    • Legacies of the War


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