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    1. MARINE CORPS HISTORY 5, VIETNAM | Instructor: Staff Sergeant Gilreath |

    2. Terminal learning objective • Terminal Learning Objectives • (1) Without the aid of the reference, given a list of alternatives, identify significant events in Marine Corps history, in accordance with the reference. (MCCS.02.02)

    3. Enabling learning objectives • (1) Without the aid of the reference, given a list of alternatives, select significant events from the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, in accordance with the reference. (MCCS.02.02z) • (2) Without the aid of the reference, given a list of alternatives, select significant events from Da Nang, in accordance with the reference. (MCCS.02.02aa) • (3) Without the aid of the reference, given a list of alternatives, select significant strategies in the beginning of offensive operations, in accordance with the reference. (MCCS.02.02ab) • (4) Without the aid of the reference, given a list of alternatives, select significant events from Operation Starlite, in accordance with the reference. (MCCS.02.02ac)

    4. Enabling learning objectives (2) • (5) Without the aid of the reference, given a list of alternatives, select significant events from Khe Sanh, in accordance with the reference. (MCCS.02.02ad) • (6) Without the aid of the reference, given a list of alternatives, select significant events from the Tet Offensive, in accordance with the reference. (MCCS.02.02ae) • (7) Without the aid of the reference, given a list of alternatives, select significant events from the post Vietnam era, in accordance with the reference. (MCCS.02.02af)

    5. A force in readiness • Following the Korean War, the Marine Corps' reputation as a "force in readiness" made them the quick-response agency for the United States. The Corps has been involved in many actions and conducted many operations, in both combat and non-combat roles. • With the cease-fire in Korea, the Marine Corps focused on further developing the Fleet Marine Force as the force-in-readiness sanctioned by the passage of the Douglas-Mansfield Act/Public Law 416. The vertical assault doctrine was improved and the Navy began building ships capable of carrying Marines, landing craft, and helicopters to distant shores.

    6. Operations prior to vietnam • In the time period between the Korean armistice in July 1953 and the Marines' landing at Da Nang, South Vietnam in March 1965, Marines' faced a series of crises around the world. • Protection of American citizens in Guatemala. • Disaster relief in numerous countries • Evacuation operations in China. • Marines landed in Lebanon on 15 July 1958. • Marines deployed to the Dominican Republic in April of 1965.

    7. PRE-1965 U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN VIETNAM • American military advisors were deployed to South Vietnam as part of the Military Assistance Advisory Group. • 1954: VietMinh capture 8,000 French troops after 8-week siege in Dien Bien Phu. • The Geneva Accords ended the war, splitting the country along the 17th Parallel and France withdraws forces.

    8. THE VIETNAM WAR • Gulf of Tonkin Incident • 1962: Marine helicopter squadron was ordered into Vietnam with the mission to support the Vietnamese in their struggle against the Viet Cong. • 1964 there were approximately 16,000 Americans in Vietnam, in both advisory and support positions. • North Vietnamese PT boats fired upon the destroyer USS Maddox on 2 August 1964. • Two days later, North Vietnamese forces attack another American war ship, the USS Turner Joy. This became known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. • USS Maddox • USS Turner Joy

    9. Gulf of tonkin resolution • Passed by Congress in August 1964, authorized the President to "take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression."

    10. THE VIETNAM WAR • First tactical Marine units went into Vietnam in March 1965 as the 3rd Battalion 9th Marines landed unopposed on the beach north of Da Nang. • 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade follows • Mission was to provide security to the Da Nang Airbase and the Marine squadrons operating from the base. • By mid-June, they had taken over 200 casualties. More than 51,000 Americans, including 16,500 Marines, were in Vietnam. • The policy of advising and securing coastal bases fails to halt VC attacks, and U.S. forces were ordered to go into the jungle to root them out. • Marine and Army tactics change.

    11. Beginning of offensive operations • Army Policy: Search and Destroy. Units patrolling the countryside destroyed and burned any structures, occasionally entire villages, that appeared to be used by the Viet Cong. • Marine Policy: Clear and Hold: Relied on clearing coastal enclaves, such as Da Nang, of enemy presence and then gradually moving out into the countryside to "clear and hold" villages one by one. • Neither of these strategies met particular success • The Marines then tried a new approach: "win the hearts and minds" of the Vietnamese and defuse the emotional attraction of Communism.

    12. Marine pacification • One of the most effective tactics the Marines also called the Combined Action Program (CAP). • The concept created companies of"Marines and Vietnamese, known as Combined Action Companies. • Each platoon held three squads of local Vietnamese militiamen, and a U.S. Marine rifle squad with a medical corpsman. • CAPs lived in the villages and gained confidence of locals.

    13. Operation starlite, 18 aug 1965 • 1st Viet Cong Regiment, some 2,000 strong, had concentrated its forces on a narrow peninsula just 15 miles from the large city of Chu Lai • Regimental Landing Team 7 launched a three-pronged attack with one battalion on foot from the north, another battalion conducted a heli-borne assault from the west, and a third conducting an amphibious assault from the southeast. • RLT-7 trapped the 1st Viet Cong Regiment and for six days, mauled them. Almost 1,000 Viet Cong were killed.

    14. KheSanh, April - May 1967 • The Marines built an airstrip on the plateau and established a firebase at Khe Sanh. • The NVA could not control the province without destroying the base. • In late April 1967, a North Vietnamese Army regiment seized three hills overlooking the base. • From the hills they began pouring rocket and artillery fire into the valley below. Another NVA regiment then surrounded and attacked the base. • The battle that followed is called “The Hill Fights."

    15. KheSanh, April - May 1967 • 3rd Marine Regiment airlifted into Khe Sanh and drove the NVA off the high ground in a series of brutal, hand-to-hand night battles during the Hill Fights. The 3rd Marines took over 600 casualties. • The Hill Fights cost the NVA 940 well trained troops. • During the rest of 1967, the III MAF squared-off against four NVA divisions along the DMZ. The war developed into a stalemate.

    16. The Tet Offensive January - February 1968. • General Giap, commander of the North Vietnamese armies, and Ho Chi Minh sought a means of turning the tide of the war. • They needed a stirring victory; one that would destroy ARVN and American morale the way Dien Bien Phu shattered the French stomach for battle. • Large-scale operation which coincide with the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration - called Tet.

    17. The Siege of KheSanh21 January - 6 April 1968 • The Marines were tasked with preventing NVA forces from infiltrating south and destroying those enemy forces already in I Corps. The Khe Sanh Combat Base secured the left flank of these Marine units. • For 77 days enemy artillery pounded the base. • At the height of the siege, over 1,200 rounds struck inside the Marine perimeter each day. • In the first week of April, the NVA quietly melted into the mountains.

    18. Hue City 21 January - 14 February 1968 • The NVA easily seized the city, and began systematically slaughtering its civilian inhabitants. • Marines fought house-to-house for the first time since the Korean War. • By 14 February, the last NVA were driven from the old city. Marines counted over 1,000 enemy bodies in the rubble.

    19. Vietnamization • 1969: President Nixon announced his plan for "Vietnamization" of the war. • He intended to gradually phase U.S. troops out of the country as the war effort was turned over to the South Vietnamese government. • 1969: III MAF began its withdrawal from Vietnam. • By the end of June 1971, the last Marine combat troops left Vietnam.

    20. The post-vietnam marine corps • Operation Eagle Pull: Communist forces fighting for control of Laos and Cambodia. • In April of 1975, Communist forces in Cambodia moved on the capital of Phnom Penh. • Two companies from 2nd Battalion 4th Marines were helo-lifted into Phnom Penh. • In two hours, the Marines evacuated several hundred civilians and left Phnom Penh to the oncoming Communists.

    21. The post-vietnam marine corps • Operation Frequent Wind: March of 1975, the North Vietnamese Army began their final offensive of the war. As NVA artillery landed around the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Forces launched Operation Frequent Wind, the final evacuation of Saigon. • Marine helicopters flew 530 sorties, evacuating almost 7,000 people from Saigon. Helicopters were pushed off the flight decks of Navy ships in order to make room so more could land. • Four Marines lost their lives in the operation. They were the last Marines to die in Vietnam.

    22. The post-vietnam marine corps • Marine Scout Sniper Program • Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, a Marine sniper with 93 confirmed kills, gained notoriety for his outstanding marksmanship. • He once recorded a kill from 2,250 meters (1.47 miles) using an M2 .50 caliber machinegun. North Vietnam even put a bounty of $30,000 on his life. • He and other Marines clearly demonstrated the worth of snipers as a cost efficient and highly effective tool in combat. As a result, sniper training became a permanent part of the United States Marine Corps.

    23. credits • GMS 1044-1 • Photos • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •