GCSE History Revision Notes - Vietnam

My revision notes for the Vietnam Topic. Hope they are useful to you!

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  • Created by: Bradley
  • Created on: 09-06-12 10:17
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Bradley Cox
History Revision ­ Vietnam
The Two Sides
Why did the US get involved in Vietnam?
The USA wanted to stop communism spreading as they did not
want the domino theory to happen so they adopted a policy of
Containment meant stopping the advance of communism,
wherever it looked like they were gaining ground.
The USA supported the French in Vietnam, because they
wanted to keep the support of France against communism in
Domino Theory
The belief that if Vietnam fell to communism then the whole
of South East Asia would follow suit.
The Americans thought that Vietnam was the first domino.
Eisenhower and J.F.Dulles were convinced that China and the
USSR were planning the spread of communism.

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US Politics
The elections were coming up and so the best way to get votes was
to get involved in preventing/acting against communism. They
chose Vietnam as the country to get involved with.
Big businessmen and generals actually wanted a war, because it
would make them money.
Why were the USA foolish to enter war in Vietnam?
They thought that the war would be EASY.
They thought that they would win because they had MODERN
TECHNOLOGY.…read more

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American Tactics
Tactic Effect (Successful/Unsuccessful)
Bombing (Operation Rolling UNSUCCESSFUL:
Thunder) Disrupted supply routes. Only
Slowed them down. Immense
Chemicals Weapons (Agent UNSUCCESSFUL: Killed many
Orange and Napalm) children and civilians. Destroyed
forests and homes.
Search and Destroy Missions UNSUCCESSFUL: Raids were
based on Inadequate
information. Innocent Villages
were mistaken for Vietcong
strongholds.…read more

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Agent Orange Pesticide used to spray the jungle and destroy the hide outs of the enemy
Bouncing Betty Land mine which would bounce when triggered and then explode in the a
China Communist country which supported the Vietcong and sent supplies dow
the Ho Chi Minh trail.
Containment US policy to stop Communism spreading
The Draft Conscription in America to fight in Vietnam
Draft Dodgers Men who tried to avoid being drafted to fight.…read more

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Reasons why the USA failed in Vietnam (Problems They Faced)
Inexperienced soldiers
Not used to the terrain
Didn't always know who the enemy were
Didn't know where the enemy were
Soldiers had low moral
Public opinion did not encourage them
Many soldiers deserted the army or turned to drugs.
Vietcong tactics were difficult to respond to
USA had bad tactics
They were unable to use air power effectively as the soldiers
were so close together and they killed lots of their own troops.…read more

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Bradley Cox
They saw the action from the front lines and the My Lai massacre due
to the media.
They also saw Vietnam as symbol of defeat and moral corruption
rather than US action against communism. The protests included
taunting the president, draft dodging, burning the American flag,
setting off bombs and going on strike.…read more

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Fell to communism after 2 years without the help of the USA.
They were left with a corrupt government.
They now had a weakened South Vietnamese army.
The domino theory never happened.…read more


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