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  • Created on: 14-02-16 19:36
Who had ruled Vietnam since the late nineteenth century?
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How was French power affected in 1940?
France was defeated in the Second World War by Germany. This was a first major blow to French power.
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What was the name of the resistance movement and who led it?
Viet Minh (an anti-Japanese resistance movement) led by a Communist named Ho Chi Minh.
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Which part of the country did the Viet Minh control?
They controlled the North of Vietnam.
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After the French return to Vietnam in 1945, what takes place in 1946?
War broke out between the French and the Viet Minh.
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Why were countries such as the USA sympathetic to Ho Chi Minh?
Ho kept quiet about wanting a Communist Vietnam so the struggle was seen as a fight against the colonial rule of France.
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Why does the picture change in 1949?
The Communists took over in China and began to give help to Ho Chi Minh.
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This worries the Americans-why?
The Americans saw the Viet Minh as the puppets of Mao Tse-Tung and the Chinese Communists. They feared a Communist plan to dominate all of South-East Asia.
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How does the USA assist France?
USA poured $500 million a year into the French war effort and helped France to set up a non-Communist government in the south of Vietnam.
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What increased support for the Viet Minh?
The French raids against peasant villages.
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What were two of the consequences of the defeat of French paratroopers at Dien Bien Phu in 1954?
The French lost 3000 dead in the battle and 8000 more died in captivity . The Viet Minh forces had defeated the French in open battle with the help of modern weapons from the USSR and China.
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What were two more of the consequences of the defeat of French paratroopers at Dien Bien Phu in 1954?
A small Asian state had defeated a rich European state through: effective leadership, the right tactics and sheer determination. In 1954, a peace conference in Geneva decided to divide Vietnam into North and South until elections could be held.
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In 1954, the Americans prevented elections from taking place in Vietnam - why?
They feared that the Communists would win.
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What was the Domino Theory?
USA convince China & USSR planned to spread Communism through Asia. If Vietnam fell to Communism then Laos, Cambodia and Thailand could fall. USA determined to resist spread of Communism & saw Vietnam as the first domino in the row.
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Ngo Dinh Diem set up the Republic of South Vietnam in 1955 with the help of the Americans. Who was he and what kind of regime did he run?
He was bitterly Communist & prepared to imprison/exile Communists. He belonged to the landlord class & treated Vietnamese peasants with contempt. He was Christian & showed little respect to Buddists. He refused to hold elections & his regime corrupt.
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What effects did these anti-Communist governments have?
They increased the support among the ordinary peasants for the Communist-led National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam, set up in Dec 1960. Also referred to as the Viet Cong.
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What methods did the Viet Cong use?
Began a guerrila war against South Vietnamese government. Used Ho Chi Minh trail to send reinforcement supplies to the South. Guerrila fighters attacked US air forces and supply bases and government buildings.
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How did President Kennedy gradually increase American presence?
1962- Kennedy sent in military personnel to fight the Viet Cong. 1963 to 1964 - tension increased between North and South and US troops increased to 23 000. Kennedy determined that the Us wouldn't blunder into war with unclear aims or how to get out.
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How did Lyndon B Johnson differ from Kennedy?
He was prepared to commit the USA to a full-scale conflict in Vietnam to prevent the spread of Communism. Kennedy was more wary and didn't want to blunder into war.
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What happened in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964?
North Vietnamese patrol boats opened fire on US ships.
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What were the results of this event?
US Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, allowing Johnson the power to 'take all necessary measures to prevent further agression & achieve peace & security'. 8th March 1965, 3500 US marines came ashore at Da Nang. US was at war with Vietnam.
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In 1965, why were the Viet Cong at a disadvantage?
They were heavily outnumbered and outgunned with about 170 000 soldiers and supplied by China and the USSR. The Communist forces were no match for the US and South Vietnamese forces in open warfare.
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What were the principles of guerilla tactics that Ho Chi Minh believed would achieve a Communist victory?
Retreat when the enemy attacks; raid when the enemy camps; attack when the enemy tires; pursue when the enemy retreats.
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Why was guerilla warfare a nightmare for the US army?
Guerillas didn't wear uniform and they had no base or headquarters. They worked in small groups with limited weapons. They were hard to tell apart from the villagers. They attacked then disappeared into the jungle or their tunnels.
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What were the aims of guerilla attacks?
To wear down the enemy soldiers and wreck their morale.
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How were some peasants treated differently than others by the Viet Cong?
Some were courteous and respectful to peasants to maintain support but some were prepared to kill peasants who opposed them or who co-operated with their enemies.
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What was the greatest strength of the Viet Cong fighters?
They refused to give in.
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When was Operation Rolling Thunder launched and what did it involve?
7th February 1965 - extensive bombing raids on military and industrial targets in North Vietnam.
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What else became targets?
Towns and cities in North and South Vietnam as well as the Ho Chi Minh trail.
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How was the bombing effective?
Damaged North Vietnam's war effort and disrupted supply routes. Enabled the USA to strike at Communist forces when it was reducing US ground forces in Vietnam after 1969.
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How else was the bombing effective?
Bombing campaigns against Hanoi (the capital of North Vietnam) in 1970-72 and the port of Haiphong forced the North Vietamese to the negotiating table.
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Why could the bombing be seen as unsuccessful?
US air power could only slow the Communists down but not defeat them. The cost of the war was horrendous. Even after major raids on North Vietnam in 1972, the Communists could still launch a major assault on the South.
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What was Agent Orange?
A highly toxic 'weed killer'.
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What was it used for?
To destory the jungle where the Viet Cong hid.
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What other chemical weapons was used to clear jungle?
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Why was napalm a severe weapon?
It burned through skin to the bone and many civillians and soldiers were killed by this chemical weapon.
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What did 'search and destory' consist of?
The US descended on a village and destroyed any Viet Cong forces they found. Soldiers had to send back reports of body counts.
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What problems existed with this method?
Raids often based on inadequate information. Inexperienced US troops walked into traps. Innocent villages mistaken for Viet Cong strongholds. Civillian casualties extremely high-most were innocent. The tactics made the South and the US unpopular.
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What was the Tet Offensive?
The Communists launched a major offensive in 1968.
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Why could the Offensive be seen as a disaster for the Communists?
The people of South Vietnam didn't rise up and join them and the Viet Cong losta round 10 000 experienced fighters and were badly weakened by it.
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What issues did this turning point raise for the Americans?
There were nearly 500 000 troops in Vietnam and the USA were spending $20 billion a year on the war yet the Communists had launched a major offensive, taking the US by surprise. Enormous amounts of artillery & air power used. Many civillians killed.
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How was the Vietnam War a media war?
Television, radio, newspaper reporters and photographers sent reports of the fighting to the USA and Europe. Execution of prisoners was shown on TV. Women watching their houses burn and crying children burnt by the US napalm bombs were also shown.
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What did Vietnam become a symbol of instead of a crusade against Communism?
It became a symbol of defeat and confusion.
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What was 'draft dodging'?
Men refusing to serve in Vietnam when they were called up.
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What happened at the most infamous of the hundreds of university demonstrations?
At Kent State University in Ohio, the National Guard broke up the non-violent demonstration, killing four students.
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What were Charlie Company doing in the Quang Nai region of South Vietnam and what information were they given?
Started a 'search and destory' mission. They'd been told there was Viet Cong headquarters in My Lai and 200 guerrilas. They'd been told to destroy all houses, dwellings and livestock and to kill everyone in the village.
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Who was killed?
Between 300-400 women, children and old men.
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What did the commanding officer report?
20 non-combatants had been killed by accident in the attack but the rest of the dead were Viet Cong.
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Who asked Congress to investigate My Lai?
Ronald Ridenhour
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Who did the army place full responsibilty on for 109 murders?
Lieutenant William Calley
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How was he punished?
He was sentenced to 20 years of hard labour but he was released after 3 years.
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How did the public feel in 1969, a year after the massacre?
The American public were shocked. In November 1969, almost 700 000 anti-war protesters demonstrated in Washington DC. It was the largest politcal protest in American history.
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What action was taken after the Tet Offensive?
Johnson reduced bombing campaign against North Vietnam. March 1968- peace conference in Paris. Johnson said he wouldn't be seeking re-election as President. Nixon elected in 1968. Republican & democratic candidates campaigned to end US involvement.
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Why did the presidential candidates after Johnson campaign to end the Vietnam War?
The anti-war feeling was so strong that if they had supported continuing the war they would have had no chance of being elected anyway.
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What strategies did Nixon and Kissinger use to end US involvement in Vietnam without 'handing it' to the Communists?
Peace negotiations with North Vietnam. 'Vietnamisation' of the war effort (withdrawing US troops). Bombing increased to show strength. Pressure on USSR & China to improve relations (SALT).
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When was a peace agreement reached?
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Why did Congress refuse to allow the financial aid and support Nixon wanted to provide Vietnam with?
They didn't want to waste American money. The South Vietnamese regime was corrupt & lacked the support of the majority of the population. Nixon was in big political trouble with the Watergate Scandal.
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When did South Vietnam fall to the Communists?
April 1975
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Card 2


How was French power affected in 1940?


France was defeated in the Second World War by Germany. This was a first major blow to French power.

Card 3


What was the name of the resistance movement and who led it?


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Card 4


Which part of the country did the Viet Minh control?


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Card 5


After the French return to Vietnam in 1945, what takes place in 1946?


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