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The Vietnam War…read more

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1954 Geneva peace conference. US were present, Vietnam was divided into North and
South until elections could be held. Ho Chi Minh rules the North, Diem the south
1955-63 US back Diem's corrupt regime and send $1.5 billion during the 1950s
1962-3 JFK increases military support ­ by the end of 1963 there were 23 000 American
military personnel in Vietnam.
November Diem assassinated in a coup, possibly known about/supported by the CIA. Kenney
1963 is assassinated a week or so later [karma]
August 1964 GULF OF TONKIN:
· North Vietnamese ships attack US military ship, USS Maddox, in the Gulf of
· Congress, now the Johnson administration, pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution,
effectively being able to send troops into Vietnam to ensure `international peace
and security' aka to stop the communists in the North.…read more

Slide 4

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Geneva peace conference Increases military Congress passes Gulf of
1954 splits Vietnam into personnel. By end Tonkin Resolution after
North and South until of 1963 = 23 000 the USS Maddox gets
elections can be held. American military in shot at by North
South Vietnam
Sends financial aid to the Vietnamese ships in, u
South and Diem's corrupt guessed it, the Gulf of
Diem gets
regime - $1.6bn during the Tonkin, and sends troops
assassinated just
1950s in
before him…read more

Slide 5

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why did the US get involved?
· To prevent communism spreading
· Many Americans at the time believed in the `domino theory, ' that if one
country became communist the others around it would too. The Truman
doctrine of 1947 made them want to prevent this, and they thought they
could do it militarily
· The south Vietnamese government were very weak
· After Diem's assassination in November 1963, the govenemetn was
very weak and could withstand communism, especially the Vietcong,
who were getting stronger, without the help of the Americans
· As a retaliation for the Gulf of Tonkin
· In the short term the `attack' on the USS Maddox made congress pass
the Gulf of Tonkin resolution 564:2, which meant that Johnson could
send troops to Vietnam…read more

Slide 6

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The Vietcong: (actually the National Liberation Front, NLF)
Located in South Vietnam
Set up 1960
Funded by China and the USSR
They used guerrilla tactics, irregular warfare often used by smaller groups
to avoid confronting their enemy, a larger and less mobile army, directly,
Ambushes and traps demoralised American soldiers and wasted their time
Treated rural Vietnamese well and were courteous and helped them in the fields.
They were seen by locals as the `good guys' and this helped them recruit more
Didn't wear a uniform so they were unable to be differentiated from normal
`Hanging on to the belt' of American soldiers meant that they stayed close so
Americans couldn't use air support to attack them for fear of harming their own men.
Ho Chi Minh trail brought supplies in from China through Laos and
These tactics wore down rather than confronting the better equipped US…read more

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