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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

The Vietnam War

Dr. Kevin B. Witherspoon

Lander University

vietnam
Vietnam*
  • Chinese involvement
  • French colony
    • Conditions
    • Ho Chi Minh
  • World War II
  • Japan
    • May 1941, Vietminh
    • The August Revolution
vietnam3
Vietnam*
  • The Elephant and the Tiger
    • Vietminh strategy:
      • 1. Defensive
      • 2. Equilibrium
      • 3. Offensive
    • French failure
    • U.S. involvement
    • Domino theory
    • Dien Bien Phu
vietnam4
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
vietnam5
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
vietnam6
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?
vietnam7
Vietnam*
  • Three stages:
    • Infrastructure
    • Search and destroy
    • Vietnamization
  • Mistakes
  • Bombing in the South
  • Operation Ranch Hand
  • Morale
    • Hydration
    • Foot problems
    • Purpose
  • N. Vietnam objective
into the quagmire
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
vietnam9
Vietnam*
  • Body counts
    • Risky missions
    • Scoreboards
    • Counting bodies
    • Rules of combat
    • Desensitized
    • Falsified reports
  • Open Arms program
vietnam10
Vietnam*
  • Tet Offensive, 1968
      • Khe Sanh
      • Losing support
      • LBJ
  • Nixon
    • After Tet
    • “Vietnamization”
    • Phoenix program
    • Operation Wandering Soul
    • Propaganda
the home front
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
getting out
Getting out
  • Peace talks, and more war
  • 1972 Christmas bombings
  • 1973 Agreement
  • 1973 War Powers Resolution
vietnam war
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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