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War Expands in Vietnam. 29-2. One American’s Story. Stan Goff sent to Vietnam Machine gunner Engaged Viet Cong Viet Cong to weak to face American firepower Guerilla warfare- surprise attacks by small bands of fighters Viet Cong were an elusive enemy. Direct Military Involvement Begins.

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War Expands in Vietnam

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One American’s Story

  • Stan Goff sent to Vietnam
  • Machine gunner
  • Engaged Viet Cong
  • Viet Cong to weak to face American firepower
  • Guerilla warfare- surprise attacks by small bands of fighters
  • Viet Cong were an elusive enemy

Direct Military Involvement Begins

  • South Vietnam was weak
  • Ineffective leadership
  • 1964- Viet Cong and the NVA forces controlled most of South Vietnamese countryside
  • United States subtle
  • General Minh- South Vietnamese Leader
  • General Nguyen Khanh- Leader in the NVA
  • General Khanh eventually overthrew General Minh

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

  • Johnson planned to bomb North Vietnam in 1964
  • Ho Chi Minh was negatively supporting North Vietnam
  • August 2, 1964- U.S. destroyer Maddox fired on by two North Vietnamese torpedo boats
  • Second possible attack reported
  • Johnson asked Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
  • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=47779540619101779#

Johnson Sends Troops

  • March 1965- Bombing of North Vietnam began
  • Number of troops sent increased from 75,000 to 184,000 in 6 months
  • Escalation- policy of increasing military involvement
  • General William Westmoreland- commander of U.S. forces in South Vietnam
  • 536,000 U.S. forces sent by 1968
  • Stiff domestic and international opposition provoked by American military efforts

A Different Kind of War

  • 3000119115.GIF
  • United States was overconfident
  • Landscape frustrated soldiers
  • Chinese forces threatened United States
  • Unfamiliarity with land proved to be a disadvantage
  • Assumptions that had dominated US foreign and military policy since 1945 were brought into question

U.S. Disadvantages

  • Young, inexperienced soldiers
  • Years of service required shortened
  • No frontline
  • Viet Cong and NVA blended with general population
  • Unpredictable attacks put in place
  • The entire nation became their enemy
  • http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Asia/Vietnam_War_US_Lost.html

Guerilla Warfare

  • Style of fighting differed
  • Sudden, unexpected attacks put the United States on the defensive side
  • Viet Cong had advantage because they were fighting on their own land
  • U.S. was yet to explore and learn about the land
  • Land and climate frustrated American soldiers
  • Soldiers not used to Vietnamese landscape
  • Viet Cong stayed dedicated
  • Vietnamese never gave up
  • “They see the war entirely as one of defense of their country against the invading Americans, who, in turn, are seen merely as successors to the French.”

~ Prisoner from Viet Cong


American Strategies

  • Offensive and defensive setups
  • Napalm- jellied gasoline that burns violently
  • Agent Orange- a chemical that kills plants and other greenery
  • Harmful chemicals destroyed Viet Cong hideouts and food supply
  • Villagers harmed
  • U.S. plan backfired
  • Agent Orange harms everyone who comes in contact with it
  • Search-and-destroy missions
  • Innocent villagers feared Americans and communists

Tet: A Turning Point

  • 1967-war at stalemate
  • General Westmoreland stayed positive
  • North Vietnam believed they could not sustain on the defensive side much longer
  • Victory was essential before the death of North Vietnamese communist leader, Ho Chi Minh

The Tet Surprise

  • January 30-31, 1968- Communists launch Tet offensive
  • Tet Offensive- surprise Communist attack on U.S. and North Vietnamese forces in 1968
  • 85,000 soldiers sent to bomb cities and towns
  • 100 towns and cities bombed by Viet Cong and NVA soldiers
  • Attack on Tet, Vietnamese celebration of Lunar New Year
  • http://www.encyclomedia.com/video-tet_offensive.html

The Tet Surprise (Contd.)

  • Soldiers dressed as citizens and bombed local places
  • Citizens and soldiers killed
  • Ended ineffective
  • No land gained
  • 45,00 soldiers lost
  • U.S. embassy in Saigon,

South Vietnam’s capital,


  • http://www.u-s-history.c



U.S. Doubts Grow

  • U.S. stunned by Tet offensive
  • Tet offensive pierced General Westmoreland
  • “Credibility Gap” present
  • Tet offensive made U.S. citizens question U.S. government’s wisdom in entering war
  • U.S. citizens started protests against continuation of war
  • Peace talks between U.S. and Vietnam began in 1968

Works Cited

"Gulf of Tonkin." Bodies of Water. Web. 4 Apr. 2010. <http://911review.com/precedent/century/imgs/tonkin.jpg>.

"Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (Britannica.com)." Google Videos. Web. 04 Apr. 2010. <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=47779540619101779#>.

"Powerpoint Templates." Office Online Home Page - Microsoft Office Online. Web. 04 Apr. 2010. <http://office.microsoft.com/en- us/templates/TC300011911033.aspx?AxInstalled=1&c=0>.

 "Tet Offensive." United States History. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. <http://www.u-s- history.com/pages/h1862.html>.

"Tet Offensive Video Clips, Free Online Videos – Encyclomedia." Free Video Clips - Streaming Online Videos - EncycloMedia. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. <http://www.encyclomedia.com/video- tet_offensive.html>.

"Tet Offensive." Vietnam War. Web. 4 Apr. 2010. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/51/Tet- Offensive-Map.jpg>.


Works Cited (Contd.)

"Vietnam." Asian Countries. Web. 4 Apr. 2010. <http://www.mon- photo.com/Asia/Vietnam_1/vietnam.gif>.

"Vietnam War." Military. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. <http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/vietnam.htm>.

"Vietnam War." The Vietnam War. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. <http://www.vietnampix.com/end.htm>.

"Vietnam War Videos, Photos, and Stories." Battles of War - War History Videos and Footage. Web. 05 Apr. 2010. <http://www.battlesofwar.com/Vietnam_War.php>.

"Vietnam War." Vietnam War. Web. 4 Apr. 2010. <http://www.cubanology.com/Vietnam/images/vietnamTrenc hes.jpg >.