Overview • Pretest • Timeline • BIO’S: Ho Chi Minh & Ngo Dinh Diem • The Language of War • The First Vietnam War • Reasons for US Involvement • Exploring The Four Stages • Why did America lose? • Pictures • Works Cited
Pre-Test Let’s see how much you know before we start!!! Write down your answers to the following 10 questions and find out how you did during the presentation.
1.Which country fought a war in Vietnam just before the United States? • England • Germany • Japan • France
2. Which of the following countries IS NOT located in Southeast Asia? • Cambodia • China • Laos • Vietnam
3.Who was the Vietnamese nationalist that became the leader of North Vietnam and the Vietcong during the Vietnam War? • Mao Tse-Tung • Tu Thong • Ho Chi Minh • Ngo Dinh Diem
4. Who was president in 1955 when the US began acting as an advisor to the government and military of South Vietnam? • Harry S. Truman • Dwight D. Eisenhower • John F. Kennedy • Richard M. Nixon
5. The 1954 Geneva Conference ended the first Vietnam war and temporarily divided Vietnam at what location? • The 17th parallel • The 38th parallel • The Yalu River • The Gulf of Tonkin
6. What Cold War theory was used by leaders of the US government to justify our involvement in Vietnam? • Red Menace Theory • Iron Curtain Theory • House of Cards Theory • Domino Theory
7. What type of warfare did the Vietcong use against US forces during the Vietnam War? • Germ • Chemical • Guerilla • Tank
8. How best would you describe the climate and geography of Vietnam? • Cold, dry and flat • Dry, barren and desert like • Wet, humid and mountainous
9. Which part of Vietnam was controlled by the US and used as its military base of operations? • North Vietnam • East Vietnam • West Vietnam • South Vietnam
10. The US reached its peak troop strength in the spring of 1968. How many troops do you think were in Vietnam at this high point? • 543,400 • 385, 600 • 687,500 • 290,900
1946 The first Vietnam War begins France attempts to reassert its imperial control over Vietnam Vietnamese nationalists led by Ho Chi Minh 1955-1960 STAGE 1 US begins advisory role in Vietnam Thousands of US military advisors sent to train South Vietnamese army Vietcong Guerilla attacks begin in south 1965-1968STAGE 3 US begins combat role in Vietnam First official combat troops arrive leading to dramatic escalation of the war January 30, 1968 “Tet Offensive” March 16, 1968 “My Lai Massacre” 1954 Geneva Conference Ends first Vietnam war and “temporarily” divides the country at the 17th parallel North Vietnam controlled by Ho Chi Minh and communist supporters South Vietnam controlled by Ngo Kinh Diem and democratic supporters (US) 1961-1964 STAGE 2 US begins counterinsurgency role in Vietnam Green Berets sent in and secrete military operations begin November 1, 1963 Diem assassinated in US supported military coup November 22, 1963 JFK assassinated August, 1964 Gulf of Tonkin 1968-1975 STAGE 4 Vietnamization US troop strength decreases slowly Bombing raids stepped up secretely (cambodia % Laos) Anti war protests increase Woodstock Kent State TIMELINE
Southeast Asia’s Colonial History • France gained control of Vietnam by 1883 despite fierce resistance from the Vietnamese. • The French combined Vietnam with Laos and Cambodia to form French Indochina. • Ho Chi Minh led a growing nationalist movement in Vietnam. • During World War II, the Japanese army occupied French Indochina. • A group called the League for the Independence of Vietnam, or the Vietminh, fought the Japanese. • After World War II, the Vietminh declared independence, but the French quickly moved in to reclaim Vietnam.
Born Nguyen Sinh Cung, and known as "Uncle Ho," he led the Democratic Republic of Vietnam from 1945-69. Ho embraced communism while living abroad in England and France from 1915-23; in 1919, he petitioned the powers at the Versailles peace talks for equal rights in Indochina. He later moved to Hong Kong, where he founded the Indochinese Communist Party. After adopting the name Ho Chi Minh, or "He Who Enlightens," he returned to Vietnam in 1941 and declared the nation's independence from France. Ho led a nearly continuous war against the French and, later, the Americans until his death in 1969.
Ho Chi Minh Real name is Nguyen That Thanh; Ho Chi Minh means “He Who Enlightens.” Participated in tax revolts against the French. Joined the French Communist Party. Believed that a Communist revolution was a way Vietnam could be free of foreign rulers. World War II Japan occupied French Indochina. Ho Chi Minh organized the Vietminh to fight the Japanese. Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945, and the Vietminh declared Vietnam to be independent. Ho Chi Minh hoped for U.S. support of their independence. The French reclaimed Vietnam after World War II. Colonial Vietnam
The First Vietnam War (1946-1954) • Also known as the First French-Indochina War • Since the 1860’s Vietnam had been considered a colony of France • During WW II Vietnam was invaded by Japan • During this time Ho Chi Minh was actually an ally of the US • After WW II Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnamese independence (Sept 2, 1945 • At this time France made plans to reestablish its imperial control. • The US, needing France’s help in fighting the Cold War in Europe, agreed to ally itself (financially) with France, along with Great Britain and China, in Vietnam
What policies did Presidents Truman and Eisenhower pursue in Vietnam after WW II? • Saw Vietnam in terms of the Cold War struggle against communism • Supported France; unwilling to back the Vietminh because many were Communists Truman • Communists seized China in 1949. • Communist North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950. • Communist-led revolts in Indonesia, Malaya, and the Philippines Events • Believed in the domino theory • Sent arms, ammunition, supplies, and money to the French forces in Vietnam. Eisenhower
The Domino Theory Domino theory—the belief that communism would spread to neighboring countries if Vietnam fell to communism To avoid this, the United States supported the French during the Vietnam War. By 1954 the United States was paying more than 75 percent of the cost of the war. The French continued to lose battle after battle. Vietminh used guerrilla tactics effectively. France Defeated French soldiers made a last stand at Dien Bien Phu. French forces hoped for a U.S. rescue, but Eisenhower did not want to send U.S. soldiers to Asia so soon after Korea. The French surrendered on May 7, 1954. After eight years of fighting, the two sides had lost nearly 300,000 soldiers. The Vietminh had learned how to fight a guerilla war against an enemy with superior weapons and technology. Vietnam after World War II
The Geneva Peace Accords • The Geneva Peace Accords, signed by France and Vietnam in the summer of 1954, provided for the temporary partition of Vietnam at the 17th parallel, with national elections in 1956 to reunify the country. • In the North, a communist regime, supported by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, set up its headquarters in Hanoi under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh.
Opposition to Geneva Accords • The United States prevented the elections that were promised under the Geneva conference because it knew that the Communists would win. • Secretary of State John Foster Dulles thought the Geneva Accords granted too much power to the Communist Party of Vietnam. • He and President Dwight D. Eisenhower supported the creation of a counter-revolutionary alternative south of the 17th parallel. • This was accomplished through formation of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
After refusing Ho Chi Minh's invitation to join the Communist movement, Ngo Dinh Diem led South Vietnam from 1954 to 1963, when he was killed by his generals in a coup. His autocratic rule, exemplified by the imprisonment and execution of hundreds of Buddhists, and his refusal to institute land reforms probably contributed to increasing popular support for Ho Chi Minh. • (OBVIOUS & IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES!!) A rich, Catholic landowning president in a predominantly poor, peasant, Buddhist country who ruled like a dictator and refused to give land to the peasants (who were promised land by “Uncle Ho” – who looked and acted like a peasant and promised economic equality.)
The Language of War: Important terms to keep in mind!! • RVN: Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) • ARVN: Army of the Republic of Vietnam (Army of South Vietnam) • VIETCONG: Communist forces fighting the South Vietnamese government • VIETMINH: Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi, or the Vietnamese Independence League • CHARLIE, CHARLES, CHUCK: Vietcong--short for the phonetic representation Victor Charlie • SEARCH AND DESTROY: offensive operations designed to find and destroy enemy forces rather than establish permanent government control; also, called "Zippo missions" • FRIENDLY FIRE: euphemism used during the war in Vietnam to describe air, artillery, or small-arms fire from American forces mistakenly directed at American positions • FRAGGING: assassination of an officer by his own troops, usually by means of a grenade
Opposition to Diem • The outcry against Diem's harsh and oppressive actions was immediate. • Buddhist monks and nuns were joined by students, business people, intellectuals, and peasants in opposition to Diem’s corrupt rule. • The more these forces attacked Diem's troops and secret police, the more Diem complained that the Communists were trying to take South Vietnam by force. This was "a hostile act of aggression by North Vietnam against peace-loving and democratic South Vietnam."
The National Liberation Front • The Communists supported the creation of a broad-based united front to help mobilize southerners in opposition to the government in South Vietnam. • On December 20, 1960, the National Liberation Front (NLF) was born. • It brought together Communists and non-Communists in an umbrella organization that had limited, but important goals • Anyone could join as long as they opposed Ngo Dinh Diem and wanted to unify Vietnam.
December 1961 White Paper • In 1961, President Kennedy sent a team to Vietnam to report on conditions in the South and to assess future American aid requirements. • The report, known as the "December 1961 White Paper," argued for: • An increase in military, technical, and economic aid • The introduction of large-scale American "advisers" to help stabilize the Diem regime and crush the NLF.
Washington White Papers • In a series of government "White Papers," Washington insiders denounced the NLF, claiming that it was merely a puppet of Hanoi. They called it the "Viet Cong," a derogatory and slang term meaning Vietnamese Communist. • The NLF, on the other hand, argued that it was autonomous and independent of the Communists in Hanoi and that it was made up mostly of non-Communists. Many anti-war activists supported the NLF's claims.
The Kennedy Response • As Kennedy weighed the merits of these recommendations, some of his other advisers urged the president to withdraw from Vietnam altogether. • In typical Kennedy fashion, the president chose a middle route. • Instead of a large-scale military buildup or a negotiated settlement, the United States would increase the level of its military involvement in South Vietnam through more machinery and advisers, but no military troops.
Vietnam’s Leaders Ngo Dinh Diem became the president of South Vietnam in 1954. Diem’s government was corrupt, brutal, and unpopular from the start. He favored Catholics and the wealthy. Diem cancelled the 1956 election that would unify Vietnam under one government. Ho Chi Minh’s leadership in North Vietnam was totalitarian and repressive. He gave land to peasants, which made him popular. A Civil War Diem’s opponents in South Vietnam began to revolt. North Vietnam supplied weapons to Vietminh rebels in South Vietnam. The Vietminh in South Vietnam formed the National Liberation Front and called their military forces the Vietcong. The Vietcong assassinated many South Vietnamese leaders and soon controlled much of the countryside. In 1960 Ho Chi Minh sent the North Vietnamese Army into the country to fight with the Vietcong. Growing Conflict in Vietnam
Escalation of the Conflict • At the time of the Kennedy and Diem assassinations, there were 16,000 military advisers in Vietnam. • The Kennedy administration had managed to run the war from Washington without the large-scale introduction of American combat troops. • The continuing political problems in Saigon, however, convinced the new president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, that more aggressive action was needed. • After a dubious North Vietnamese raid on two U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin, the Johnson administration argued for expansive war powers for the president.
Attack on American Ships • In August 1964, in response to American and South Vietnamese espionage along its coast, North Vietnam launched an attack against the C. Turner Joy and the U.S.S. Maddox, two American ships on call in the Gulf of Tonkin. • The first attack occurred on August 2, 1964. • A second attack was supposed to have taken place on August 4, but authorities have recently concluded that no second attack ever took place.
The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution • The Johnson administration used the August 4 attack to obtain a Congressional resolution, now known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, that gave the president broad war powers. • The Resolution was followed by limited reprisal air attacks against North Vietnam.
Reasons for US Involvement • There were both public and private reasons for US involvement in Vietnam. • PUBLIC REASON • The establishment of the 'Iron Curtain' in Europe after the second World War, the communist take-over of China, the Korean War and the communist victory over the French in Vietnam - all led many Americans to fear that the communists were taking over the world and must be stopped. Many people believed in the 'Domino Theory', suggesting that if one Asian country fell to the Communists the others would quickly follow.(REASON)The US government believed that by helping the South Vietnamese government resist the attacks of the communist North they were helping to prevent the spread of communism throughout the world.
Reasons for US Involvement • PRIVATE REASONS: Privately, there were several reasons to support war: • It was believed that communist control of all of Southeast Asia would seriously jeopardize US security interests in this area • A communist victory would make it extremely difficult to prevent Japans eventual fall to communism because of its dependence on rice from this area • Southeast Asia was (and is) immensely wealthy in raw materials desirable to the US (rice, rubber, coal, iron ore, tin, & petroleum)
GOALS: Make the ARVN (South Vietnamese Army) a model of our military Stabilize the Diem government and gain support in south Combat increasing guerrilla attacks against Diem and his supporters IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS: Ho seen by US as an international leader of communism(Soviet ally) 1956: Free elections denied by Diem (decision supported by US) 1957-58: The first Vietcong(VC) guerrilla attacks begin in South Vietnam About 2,000 so called “military advisors” are sent to Vietnam (although “officially” only 675) 1960: US drops first bombs of war on VC strongholds in South STAGE 1: Advisory Role (1955-1960)
GOALS: JFK takes office and vows to continue Eisenhower’s Vietnam policies Fix the Diem “problem” as his autocratic rule leads to increased demonstrations and opposition in the South Use covert operations in North Vietnam to engage in sabotage and light harassment of NVA IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS: VC widen their attacks against ARVN soldiers and raid villages sympathetic to Diem and the US GUERRILLA TACTICS:http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/guerrilla/index.html The # of “military advisors” (now including Green Beret’s) increases dramatically to over 16,000. Although there officially to advise and train the ARVN, many participate in combat missions with the ARVN. Military aid increases, including American-piloted armed helicopters, to combat VC attacks STAGE 2: Counterinsurgency Role (1961-1964)
STAGE 2: Counterinsurgency Role (1961-1964) • IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS: • Spring, 1963: Buddhist monks demonstrate opposition to Diem by self-immolation (ignoring US demands, he burned their temples and imprisoned those who opposed his rule) • Nov 1, 1963: Diem, after losing confidence of Americans and his own people, is assassinated by his own military (supported by US) • 11 days later JFK is assassinated in Dallas and LBJ is sworn in as president (NEWS CLIPS …… .http://www.authentichistory.com/audio/1960s/1960s_news_01.html • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6772585564431596301&q=JFK+assassination
Gulf of Tonkin • August 7, 1964: After N.Vietnam gunboats attacked American warships in the Gulf of Tonkin, Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving the president broad war making powers in Vietnam (a so called “blank check” to escalate the war)
Change in Strategy • Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara and American commander in South Vietnam General William Westmoreland advised Johnson to step up American presence • Wanted American troops to do most of fighting • March 8. 1965- first U.S. Marines deployed in South Vietnam
GOALS: Continually bomb North Vietnam to pressure VC to stop attacks N.Vietnam (Ho) adopts new “protracted war strategy” intended to bog down and frustrate US military, intended to force a negotiated peace IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS: August, 1965: After the VC attacked two US Army bases LBJ orders the start of Operation Rolling Thunder (lasts 3 yrs.) March 8, 1965: The first official US combat troops arrive- Marines As a result, VC target American civilian and military personnel March-April: The first NVA combat troops arrive in the south & play limited role helping VC “Americanization” of the War