US involvement in vietnam

why did the cold war start??

The USA were scared of Russia's dominance and power, and really wanted to contain communism inside the iron curtain

The russians started to let communism spread, and slowly but surely they started to engulfe other countrys. This did not plese America, so they went and thought in 'proxy wars' to help fight of communism.

-Started after WWII

-Lasted for 44 years

-Consited of 74 proxy wars, all fought against communist and capitalist forces

- 10,800,000 to 25,000,000 people died in the cold war

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causes of the korean war

In 1950, North Korean forces charged into South Korea, pushing them back to the sea of Pusan. General Douglas McArthur, commander of the US army forces, made the daring decision to send thousands of US troops to the Inchon landing point. This worked and they pushed the communists out of South korea and up to the North. They then threatened to use nuclear weapons, but McArthur was sacked as this was to risky.

- The war was a proxy war

- china became involved in 1951

-2,469,287–3,272,955 lost there lives in the war.

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developments in the korean war

During the war, thousands of smaller conflicts took place across the penisula.In 1951 the main bulk of fighting finished with both countrys trying to gain land across the 38th parralel. In 1952 peace talks between the two sides started. neither country would compramise, as they both wanted to win. The idea of a DMZ (de-millitarised zone) was favored and the border was set up.

-hundreds of peole started to realise that this was a huge mistake.

-lots of people wanted the cold war to end

-some people were killed because of there views in korea

-hundreds of civillians were caught up in the crossfire

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End of the Korean war

In 1953, the DMZ had finally been set up, and US and Russian removed there troops from the korean penisula. No peace treaty was signed so the war is still technically going on today. The armisitce would make sure that no more fighting would happen, however they could atack at any time, so both countrys are on high alert.

-the war has been going on for over sixty years.

-there has been artillery in the North Korean mountains for years incase of a us attack.

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causes of the vietnam war

Vietnam had been independent until the first indochina war in 1946. They wanted vietnam because they wanted terrotry and more land so they could become a global superpower. In 1946 during negotiations, war broke out across vietnam. With French resistance fighters fighting the vietminh. it finished in 1954, with the removal of french troops, and it is partioned between north and south.

- geneva confrence took place in 1954 to settle their diffrences.

- never fully reunified.

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causes of increased US involvment

The US had now realised they had seen another country fall to communism, and new they must act fast. In 1955, US troops started to make their way into the south, and started to train up the south vietnamesse troops. In 1957, vietcong fighters started to move into south vietnam. strategic hamlets were another good way to keep communism contained, so the US goverment set up these hamlets all over Vietnam in the 1950's.

-the training of the south vietnamesse troops was called 'vietnamisation'

-hundreds of vietcong fighters raided the south in 1975

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the Gulf of Tonkin

In1964, 2 US destroyers were believed to have been shot at by vietcong torpedo boats. This lead to high tensions in the American goverment. on august 2nd the USS Maddox, was allegiddly shot at by torpedo boats, but came out unscaffed. the next day, another attack was reported, and there was even higher tensoins in both countrys.

-soon after, people learnt that the second attack had been faked and it never happened.

-after the second attack, people lost faith in the goverment.

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american tacitcs

-Zippo raids: these involved burning down communist colonys and villiages, using the classic american 'zippo' lighter.

-Napalm: this was petroleum jelly, but when the bomb was dropped it would release burning hot jelly, that would burn off clothes, and would cause severe burns.

-agent orange: this was a defoliant that the americans used to find the vietcong when they hid in the forests. It would kill the leaves and they could see were the vietcong were.

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vietcong tactics

-punji traps: these were large pits covered in sticks. They would put spikes underneath and cover them in bits of dead animal. This meant that when they hit he spikes, the dead animal would infect the wounds and they would die quicker.

-Ho Chi Minh trail: This large dirt track spanned from North vietnam, through Laos and Cambodia, right through to South Vietnam. This track allowed them to get supplys, weapons, and hide from the americans.

-Tunnels: The vietcong had long windy tunnels that they could hide in. The americans wouldnt be able to find they Vietcong, and if they did, the Vietcong had explosives and weaponery to fight them off.

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The tet offensive was a large scale attack during the lunar new year, being the day off the Vietnamesse new year, where the Vietcong went against a peace agreement, and attacked saigon. In the early mornings of january 30th 1968, a vietcong car stopped outside the radio station and they then went and raided it. They also raided the US embassy and held it for most of the day. Other attacks happened in Hue, and Khe Sanh.

- The Vietcong may have lost, but people saw it as a media win, with lots of people seeing how the americans were failing.

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my lai

This was a bloody massacre that killed over 400 civillians. In 1968, some american troops raided a village and killed women, children, men. They put them in pits and shot at them, or through hand-grenades in to kill them. Afterwards there was great controversey to why they did this.

-after these events, 14 US troops were court marshalled for there actions on that day.

- there was global outrage after this event. Americans started to get very angry and started to wander why they were still in this war.

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Media coverage (to do)

The Vietnam war was one of the first wars ever, to allow reporters to get let into the battlefields with there own forces. They famously filmed the Tet offensive and showed the american public what was really happening. Also they filmed the My Lai massacre which led to thousands of americans starting riots.

- Walter cronkite was a famous newsanchor. after one of his speeches, President Nixon said "If i've lost Cronkite, i've lost middle America."

-After the tet offfensive, there is a famous photo of a Vietcong fighter being shot in the head by US fighters. this caused massive outrage across america.

-famous riots include Kent State university, where demonstarters started to get a bit more violent. 60 shots were fired into this crowd with 4 people being killed.

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