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kennedy and diem

military solutions

  • 800 military advisers in SV
  • stepped up the financial aid to diem to enable him to increase his army
  • emphasised counter-insurgency - green berets co-operated with the ARVN in these efforts.

increased military involvement

  • military adivsers numbers rose
  • increasing quantities of american weaponry came into SV
  • increased involvement in SV kept secret from US public
  • US provided helicopters and pilot advisers
  • pilot advisers - transported troops, undertook reconnaissance missions and provided fire support for ARVN units.
  • authorised the use of defoliants, sprayed from helicopters which stripped the trees and enabled better aerial observation.
  • helicopters increased the mobility of diem's troops but soon lost their shock value.
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battle of ap back (january, 1963)

course of events

  • vc force was located in ap bac (not too far from saigon)
  • 2000 ARVN troops accompanied by 113 american personnel carriers, american-operated helicopters and bombers, and american advisers went to surround ap bac
  • they did not know that there was as many as 350 guerillas there.
  • the guerillas were keen to show that they could counter american firepower and they wanted a victory to boost morale
  • ARVN troops refused to attack the VC at ap bac.
  • 5 US helicopters and 3 pilots were lost and the ARVN troops refused to mount a rescue mission
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battle of ap back (january, 1963) - continued

reasons for US/ARVN failure

  • strengh and preparedness of vc had been unexpected
  • according to usa - the arvn's general cao was unwilling to fight
  • diem was unwilling to listen to american advice on the deployment of his troops : he feared losing too many men and preferred to use his best CIA trained soldiers to keep himself in power
  • americans had not helped in that they had delated the attack by a day to enable american helicopter polits to sleep off the excesses of new year's eve.

significance of ap bac

  • drew unprecedented attention in the US where the SV performance was unfavourably reviewed.
  • diem was probably militarily incapable of winning the war.
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