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Why did America become involved in Vietnam?

  • To support the French who were struggling to regain control
    -They first gave France $3billion of financial aid from 1949-54
    -The French had been driven out after it was one oftheir colonies by the Japanese
    -Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam an independant republic - 2nd Septemer 1945
    March, 1945 the French army was destroyed by the VietMinh at Dien Bien Phu
    -France wanted to reimpose the colonial rule from before WW2
    -They gave France economic support until '54
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Why did America become involved in Vietnam?

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Why did America become involved in Vietnam?

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Why did America become involved in Vietnam?

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Guerrilla Warfare

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Guerrilla tactics- winning support

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Guerrilla tactics- Hit and Run

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Guerrilla tactics- Remaining safe and supplies

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USA tactics - Hearts and Minds

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USA tactics- Operation Rolling Thunder

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USA tactic- Search and Destroy


Helicopters from the US bases carried a small number of troops for surprise attacks on VCong controlled villages

Fast helicopters gave no time for them to escape or offer resistance

Every home in the village was searched and if there was any sign of a resistance the village was completely destroyed

VCong suspects were interrigated which was brutal and ended in death

American troops used extreme violence and would torture and murder cilvilians for revenge


A complete failure

Americans who were involved sometimes suffered from panic attacks and nightmares

VCong retaliated with 'find and kill' and American

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USA tactics- Chemical Warfare


Agent Orange - 'a rainbow herbicide' developed in the US in the 1960s used from 1966 to destroy leaves and undergrowth from the rainforest leaving bare trees, polluted air, soil and rivers in order to locate the VCong

However when the chemical polluted the water supply it caused cancer and mutations in children

Napalm - first used in 1965 against enemy positions where the chemical would burn through skin. It burnt through to the bone and continued until 1970


it made little difference to any fighting and the human cost was half a million and vietnamese children have been born with defects

Human horrors became apparent around the world and was a major reason for the anti-war movement

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Success of Guerrilla tactics

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The My Lai Massacre 1968 16 march

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Anti-War - TV and media

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Anti-War - protests

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Anti-War - Kent State, 1970

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Anti-War - The Fulbright Hearings, 1971

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Lead up to the end - Media, Cost and Draft

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Lead up to the end - protests, morale and defeatis

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Tet offensive, 1968

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Who won the Tet Offensive?

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1968 - New American Government and US pressure

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Vietnamisation and effects of withdrawal

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