I. Roots of Involvement • France ruled Vietnam from the late 1800’s until World War II.
I. Roots of Involvement • Japan occupied Vietnam during World War II.
I. Roots of Involvement • Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam independent in 1945. • Truman and Eisenhower support France’s war against the Vietminh.
E. French Withdrawal • The Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the French are defeated (go figure) by Gen. Vo Nguyen.
E. French Withdrawal 2. The Geneva Accords of 1954 temporarily divide Vietnam into North and South at the 17th parallel and formalized the end of Vietnam's war with France.
II. The United States Steps In. • South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem cancels unifying elections because Ho Chi Minh is sure to win.
II. The United States Steps In. • Diem restricts Buddhist’s practices. • North Vietnam was able to supply Vietcong troops in South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
II. The United States Steps In. • Corruption and repressive policies pervade Diem’s regime. Buddhist monks in protest set themselves on fire.
II. The United States Steps In. • In 1963, Pres. Kennedy backs plans to overthrow Diem.
Diem’s successors fail to curb the Vietcong’s influence in South Vietnam. • The United States' MAIN goal in Vietnam was the containment of communism. III. President Johnson Expands the Conflict
In July, prior to the presidential election, the USSMaddox was attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin by North Vietnamese PT boats. • The Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964 grants Pres. Johnson broad military powers in Vietnam.
In February 1965, Pres. Johnson escalates U.S. involvement in Vietnam. (1)Use air power against North Vietnam and (2) Increase the number of ground troops in South Vietnam • Operation Rolling Thunder – bombing of North Vietnam
ROLLING THUNDER U.S. Involvement and Escalation.
I. Decision to Escalate • Robert McNamara , as secretary of defense, supported a build-up of U.S. forces in Vietnam.
I. Decision to Escalate • Between 1965 and 1967, the number of U.S. troops in Vietnam reached 500,000 • Gen. William Westmoreland the commander of U.S. troops in Vietnam was
I. Decision to Escalate E. The MAIN purpose of introducing the "body count" was to persuade the Vietcong to surrender.
F. Early Victories • Battle of Ia Drang Valley Nov.14-18,1965 • The 1/7the Cavalry were flown in to the Ia Drang Valley. • They were surrounded by 1000’s of NVA and outnumbered.
F. Early Victories • The battle marked the first military engagement between US and North Vietnamese ground forces. • The US inflicted heavy casualties on the North Vietnamese (2500 dead) and lost 234 of its own soldiers.
2. Operation Starlite • Starlite was one of the most successful amphibious operations by the Marines . • In August 1965, three Marine Corps battalions overran the 1st Vietcong Regiment
II. War in the Jungle. • Vietcong military forces use tunnels, and hit and run tactics against U.S. forces. • The Vietcong destroyed the notion of the frontline.
II. War in the Jungle. • U.S. uses Agent Orange that harms the rural landscape and population. • Napalm was used to flush out the enemy.
II. War in the Jungle. E. The frustrations of guerilla combat, brutal jungle conditions and the war’s stalemate cause a decline in U.S. troop morale.
III. The Early War at Home • War costs begin to drain the U.S. economy and undercut domestic reform programs. • TV broadcasts of live combat cause public support for the war to wane
Draft policies favor young men from privileged backgrounds. In the early years of the war, a young man could be automatically deferred from the draft by enrolling in college. • Most American soldiers in Vietnam are minorities and lower-class whites. I. A Working Class War
I. A Working Class War • African-Americans make up as much as 20% or even more of Army personnel at the start of the Vietnam War. They volunteered for infantry and airborne units.
I. A Working Class War • Most American women in Vietnam serve as military nurses or volunteers
II. Roots of Opposition • The New Left movement including such activists groups as Students for a Democratic Society(SDS) and the Free Speech Movement(FSM), pushes for social and political change.
II. Roots of Opposition • SDS and FSM tactics spread to college campuses nationwide. • College students begin joining together to protest the Vietnam War.
Campus protests mount as more college students become eligible for the draft. • More young Americansresist the draft. • The American public becomes deeply divided into opponents and supporters of the war. III. The Protest Movement Emerges
Conscientious Objector: refused to go to war based on religious or moral objections
Colonel Bui Tin interviewed on August 3, 1995 in the Wall Street Journal . • Question: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory? III. The Protest Movement Emerges Col. Bui Tin
Answer: “ It was essential to our strategy. Support of the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable.Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement.” III. The Protest Movement Emerges
“…Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses.” III. The Protest Movement Emerges
I. The Tet Offensive • Early in 1968, North Vietnam and the Vietcong launch a surprise attack on Jan 31,1968.. • General Vo Nguyen Giap: Plans Tet offensive. By 1968, NVA morale was at it's lowest point ever. The plans for "Tet" '68 was their last desperate attempt to achieve a success, in an effort to boost the NVA morale.
C. KheSahn • The Marines could shell the trail from Khe Sahn. • The NVA and VC attack the Marine fire base at Khe Sahn. • Khe Sanh was relieved on April 6th.
D. Saigon • Five battalions of NVA/VC gradually infiltrated the city without notice. • The U.S. Embassywas stormed by VC.
D. Saigon • Fighting was over by Feb 21. • The US army drove the NVA and VC out of Saigon.
E. Hue • The main NVA VC goal was the Citadel. • Thousands of "enemies of the state" were rounded up and many were shot. • The fight for Hue ended by February 25th
E. Hue • In the villages outside Hue, the battle went on for another week • Giap's ambition to win a massive victory against the Americans was thwarted