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Vietnam War PowerPoint Presentation
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Vietnam War

Vietnam War

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Vietnam War

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  1. Vietnam War

  2. Background

  3. Communism • Economic system • Government control of property and resources • Single political leader • No individual rights

  4. Domino Theory • American leaders believed that if the communists captured one country, nearby nations would also fall to communism, like dominoes falling

  5. Containment The idea that America should keep communism “contained” and not allow it to spread to any more areas in the world

  6. French Indochina • France had controlled Vietnam since 1858 • The colony became known as Indochina • Vietnamese fiercely resisted French control, demanding independence

  7. Indochina consisted of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia

  8. Dien Bien Phu • May 6, 1954 • French forces waited in the fortress of Dien Bien Phu • Vietnamese forces surrounded the compound and began raining artillery • Eventually the French surrendered (similar to the Alamo)

  9. Dien Bien Phu

  10. Geneva Accords • May, 1954 • After the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, world leaders met at Geneva, Switzerland • Agreed to divide Vietnam at the 17th parallel • Ho Chi Minh would be the president of the communist North

  11. Geneva Accords • Ngo Dinh Diem would be the president of the non-communist south. • Elections were to be held in 1956 on the issue of unification. • However, the South refused to hold elections, claiming that the communists would not play fair.

  12. North Vietnam • DRVN • Democratic Republic of Vietnam • Communist dominated • President - Ho Chi Minh • Capital city - Hanoi

  13. South Vietnam • RVN • Republic of Vietnam • Anti-communist • President - Ngo Dinh Diem • Capital city - Saigon • America backs South Vietnam to prevent a communist takeover

  14. Ho Chi Minh • Leader of the League for the Independence of Vietnam • He combined many of the goals of communism with his desire to end the exploitation of Vietnam by outside countries

  15. Ho Chi Minh

  16. Vietminh League for the Independence of Vietnam. Vietnamese who supported the liberation of Vietnam from French control and unification of Vietnam

  17. National Liberation Front • South Vietnamese rebels who organized to remove Diem from power and re-unite Vietnam as one nation • Carried out assassinations of Diem’s officers

  18. Flag of the National Liberation Front

  19. Vietcong (VC) • Our name for the Communist military wing of the National Liberation Front • A major difficulty throughout the war was to identify and eliminate Vietcong in South Vietnam

  20. Vietcong Prisoner 1966

  21. A Vietcong Prisoner

  22. Saigon police chief murders a VC in 1968

  23. American Intervention • President Eisenhower sends the first military advisors to Vietnam in the 1950s to provide on the ground intelligence to Washington D.C. • America also gives the French $25 million because they were our ally • Looks like the U.S. supports colonialism

  24. Dwight D. Eisenhower • 34th President • 1953 – 1961 • Republican • New York

  25. MAAG • Military Assistance Advisory Group • Advised U.S. leaders that it would be unwise to get involved in Vietnam for these reasons:

  26. MAAG • The conflict was more about nationalism than communism since 80% of the Vietminh were NOT communists • The Vietminh were extremely popular • U.S. soldiers were not trained for guerilla warfare in jungles

  27. Aerial view of the jungle canopy in Vietnam

  28. Vietnam

  29. Vietnam

  30. How many soldiers can you find hidden in the jungle?

  31. John Fitzgerald Kennedy

  32. John F. Kennedy • Elected President in 1960 • Increased spending on RVN’s efforts to repel the Vietminh • Increased U.S. military involvement in Vietnam • Wanted to prove to his critics in the U.S. that he was not weak on fighting the communists

  33. John F. Kennedy • But he was reluctant to become deeply involved in Vietnam • Top ranking military leaders advised him that the situation in Vietnam was growing worse daily - it was only a matter of time before the RVN fell to communist control

  34. Training Mission • Reluctantly, the U.S. military engaged in training RVN forces to be able to defend their own country against the communist forces

  35. RVN Trainees

  36. Ap Bac • January 2, 1963 • Ap Bac was a village 40 miles southwest of Saigon in the Mekong Delta • RVN (South Vietnam) forces outnumbered the Viet Cong 4:1 • The Viet Cong were well-supplied with captured American M-1 rifles and 30 caliber machine guns • RVN was poorly led and unprepared

  37. Ap Bac • 5 U.S. helicopters were shot down • 3 U.S. advisors were killed and 8 wounded • First major victory for Viet Cong • VC used the victory for propaganda purposes • VC began to plan for full scale war against the RVN • U.S. realized we would need to send additional support for the RVN

  38. Downed chopper at Ap Bac January 2, 1963

  39. Ap Bac January 2, 1963

  40. Downed choppers (flying bananas) January 2, 1963

  41. Ap Bac (January 2, 1963)

  42. Ap Bac Casualties

  43. Ngo Dinh Diem

  44. Ngo Dinh Diem • 1954 -appointed prime minister of RVN • He was seen as a U.S. puppetleader • This alienated many South Vietnamese • He refused some basic land reforms • He seized peasant land and gave it to friends/family • He was Catholic • He persecuted the Buddhists

  45. Ngo Dinh Diem • U.S. advisors stated that even the non-communists preferred Ho Chi Minh • By 1963, we learned that Diem had been secretly trying to create a coalition government that would include the communists • U.S. helped to arrange a coup (the overthrow of a government)

  46. Catholic-Buddhist Crisis • May 8, 1963 • On Buddha’s birthday, Diem banned the display of religious flags • Buddhists raised their prayer flags to celebrate anyway • Diem orders RVN troops to disperse the crowd

  47. Buddhist Prayer Flags