Vietnam

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What was vietnam part of before WW2?
The French Empire
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Who took over Vietnam during WW2?
Japan
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What was formed as a result of this?
The Vietminh
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What was the Vietminh?
The communist resistance movement led by Ho Chi Minh
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What went on after the defeat of Japan in 1945?
The Vietminh continued to fight against the French
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When and why did the French rule collapse?
1954 after its army was defeated at Dien Bien Phu
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What happened at the Geneva Conference 1954?
Vietnam was divided into 2 countries along the 17th parallel
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Which was which?(North and South)
North Vietnam was communist, South Vietnam was anti-communist
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Who did the USA begin to support?
The South as the US government wished to stop the spread of communism in Asia.
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What was the Domino Theory?
The fear that if one country turned communist, others would follow
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What aid was provided?
Economic and military
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How popular was the South government?
Not very
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What had happened by 1964?
US was committed to protecting South Vietnam from the Communist menace
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Who were the Vietcong?
The communists in the South who were devoted to making the South communist
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What was the basic aim of Geurilla Warfare?
Avoid a pitched battle with the enemy
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What was the Vietcong aim of Geurilla Warfare?
Attack US troops in small groups. then dissapear into surrounding countryside
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Why did the Vietcong use Guerilla Warfare?
As they could never hope to defeat the US in battle
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What did the success depend on?
The support of the locals to hide the vietcong as well as provide food and shelter
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What would happen eventually?
The gureillas would wear down the Americans and destroy their morale in fighting an enemy they couldn't see
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What would it allow the Vietcong to do?
Take control of the areas where the Americans were stronger- the towns and cities.
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Who were the Vietcong reqruited from?
Mainly men and some women who lived in South Vietnam others came from the North
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What did they do?
Live and work within the village communities and become part of the village
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What was the 'code of conduct'
A code that the americans had to follow to win support of the locals
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Who did the Vietcong persuade to join them?
Villagers
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Who did the Vietcong target?
Officials of the Southern Government such as tax collectors and police who were unpopualr and kidnapped and murdered them
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How did the Vietcong manage to get into US camps?
Doing simple tasks like washing and cleaning
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What were 'Hit and Run' tactics?
Ambush, Kill or capture, Booby traps and Plant bombs
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What was in the Vietcong tunnels?
Underground safety, live and hide, weapon stores, sleeping quarters, kitchens, hospitals, booby trapped entrances
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What was the Ho Chi Minh Trail?
Supply route that went through North Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam
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How long was it?
Over 600 Miles long, some places more than 50 miles wide
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What did it have?
Bridges to cross streams and bemankments to cut through hills and 'dummy routes' to confuse Americans
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Why did the US pour investment into South Vietnam?
To improve the conditions of the people who lived there
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How were peasants in the countryside helped?
Building roads, canals and villages
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What was built in the towns?
Schools and Clinics
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What was given to the Refugees?
Homes
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what was encouraged?
Local democracy- the election of local officers
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Why was all of this done?
To win over the hearts and minds of the people
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Where was it most effective?
The towns and cities of South Vietnam who tended to stay loval to the government and Americans
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Where was it less effective?
The rural areas dominated by the vietcong
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What did the US attempt?
To bomb the North into submission and to 'search and destroy' the vietcong in South Vietnam
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What was used to do this?
Chemical Weapons
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What did the 1964 American newspapers report?
That the US destroyer Maddox had been attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin by North Vietnamease Patrol Boats
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What was the gulf of tonkin?
A minor incident exaggerated by P.Johnson in order to take action against North Vietnam
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What did the USA do in response?
With congress apporval, they responded with a bombing raid that destoryed patrol boat bases
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What excuse was made?
For further US action
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What happened in 1965?
The vietcong attacked a US base at pleiku.
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What were the casualties?
9 US advisers were killes, almost 1000 were wounded and 10 aircraft were destroyed
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What was Operation rolling thunder?
The Us reaction to the vietcong attack.
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Why did'nt they bomb any major cities in North Vietnam?
To avoid possible intervention by the USSR on the North Vietnameme side
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What was the main reason for the attack?
The USA hoped that North Vietnam would back down once it has experienced the military power if the USA
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Did they back down?
No the bombing campeign intensified.
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What happened instead of 'surgical' bombing?
'saturation' or 'blanket' bombing took place across North Vietnam including the cities
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What weapons were used?
B2 bombers each carrying 28 2-tonne bombs, battereing communist territory.
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What did the bombing cause?
Devistation to North Vietnam, but it didn't force North Vietnam to surrender
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What was search and destroy?
Helicopters from babes carried small numbers of troops to surprise attack on vietcong-controlled villages
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What did the use of fast helicopters give the Vietcong?
Little warning of an attack.
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What could the US do?
Land near to a suspected village which gave the vietcong in the village little chance toget away or to organise resistance.
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What happened to every home?
It was searched and if any sign of vietcong prescence was found, the village was completely destroyed
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What happened to vietcong suspects?
They were interrogated to find out what they knew and to get them to inform on any other vietcong in the village
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What was interrogation like?
Usually bruital and often ended with the death of the vietcong
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What happened for years on afterwards?
Many americans suffered panic attacks and nightmares from their memories of the raids.
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What was agent orange?
One of the 'rainbow herbicides' developed in the USA in the 1960s so called as they were all named after colours
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Why was it used?
to destroy the leaves and undergrowth of the rainforest, leaving only bare tress and polluted air, soil and rivers
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What did it do?
It was dangerous to humans with contamination causing side effects including cancer.
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What was Napalm?
first used in 1965 to attack enemy positions, Human contact with Napalm brought severe burning of the skin.
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When did chemical warfare use continue till?
1970. It made little difference to the fighting
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What was human cost like in Vietnam?
Immense. it is estimated that over half a million vietnamese children have since been born with birth defecrs that can be linked directly to chemical poisoning.
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What was the date of the My Lai Massacre?
16th March 1968
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How did the massacre come about?
9 us helicopter gunships carrying 3 platoons of troops landed near the small village of My Lai on a search and destroy mission.
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How many people livedin My Lai?
700
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Who las lt. William Calley
The leader of the Charlie Company. He claimed that the village gave shelter to the vietcong & ordered that the village and those in it should be destroyed/
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How did the villagers respond?
No resistance. Eye witness accounts reported that there seemed to be no males in the village apart from old men and boys
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What happened within the next 2 hours?
Around 500 unarmed men, women and children were killed.
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What did the civillians think?
That they would suffer the same fate as the villagers of My lai. It was just soldiers doing their duty
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What did Lt. Calley suggest?
At his trial he said that the incident was "no big deal"
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What did it sum up?
Theproblems the US forces had in fighting the vietcong and in trying to defeat guerilla warfare
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When did the news break in America?
The news broke in 1969, 18 months after the event
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What did one of the soldiers do?
He gave an account of the events on American tv.
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What then happened?
An investiagtion was held, statements from the troops involved were taken and photos were released to the media.
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What was the American opinion?
Shock. Some couldn't believe it or thought it was a vietcong plot. others were prepared to accept the killings, and to them Lt. Calley was a hero. The majority were horrified.
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Why were the majoritry horrified?
Because of the inhumane behaviour of US troops which made them no better than the enemy- or the Nazis to whom they were compared.
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What happened to Lt.Calley?
He was the only soldier to face charges for My Lai. In 1970, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. He was released in 1974.
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What had Vietnam been called in the terms of the media?
'First media war' and 'The first war fought on TV' as the media reported on the war as they saw it
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What was the media like in previous wars?
It had been censored and provided information or 'spin' on the situation the government wanted
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Was coverage always in favour of the US?
No, the media exposed the My Lai Massacre over a year after it had taken place
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What was media coverage like?
Constant, every night, news bulletins and TV footage brought details of the war and fighting into peoples homes. Newspapers and magazines gave full coverage of the war, including photographs
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What was the result of media coverage?
To turn the American oublic against the war. Much less was reported on the autrocities committed by the enemy
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How did the North Vietnamese control the media?
They kept what was exposed very tightly under control
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Why did some Americans support the war?
Out of patritoic duty and also from a genuine fear of communism
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What did media coverage lead to?
The greater questioning of the war in some parts of American Society
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What was the draft?
The conscription of young men into the armed forces. It added to the opposition largely because many didn't want to fight.
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Who seemed able to avoid the draft?
Richer, middle-class Americans
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What were these people known as?
Draft dodgers. They went back to college, obtained medical disability certificates or even left the USA
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What was the demonstration in Aug 1968 for?
1000 demonstrators went into chicagoto the democratic party convention to protest against the war. The police used voilence against them
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What demonstration happened in Nov 1968?
35000 people protested outside the white house
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What was formed in 1967?
The Vietnam Veterans Against War
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How many people took part in the Vetnam Veterans march of 1971?
300000
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What happened to many of the demonstrators?
They had been severely injured. Many wore medals recieved in the war.
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What were the protestors like in the late 60s and early 70s?
They were young Americans who 'dropped out' of society. They developed a culture of extravogant clothing, punk rock and drug abuse.
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What did they protest against?
'Establishment' & the government as well as American materialism and in favour of civil rights
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What was one of their main areas of protest?
Vietnam partly because that age group was mostly affected by the draft
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What was a key slogan?
Make love not war
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Where were many of the protests found?
American universities
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What were the sudents like?
Well organised. They organised the demonstrations, usually on their campuses, but also in towns and cities near to the universities
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What were these protests like? Give an example of why they got out of hand?
Mostly peaceful. Some got our of control, especially when they coincided with important events in Vietnam like increased American bombing in North Vietnam
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What happened in these cases?
Clashes with the police and the National Guard- Part time soldiers called out by the state.
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What were other ways of protests?
Students went on strike in their universities and refused to attend lectures. They burned their draft papers and had sit-ins at draft offices to disrupt the work. They blocked and barricaded transport routes that were used to move troops and supplies
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What did they do to attract media attention?
They helped to focus American peopl'es attention on the vietnam war. The protest that brought the most attention and outcry happened at Kent state university in 1970
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When was the kent state university protest?
2nd May 1970
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How many demonstrators were there?
Over 1000 students demonstrated on campus causing damage to the buildings. on the 4th May more demonstations took place with an increased number of students.
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What did the national guard do?
Fired tear gas canisters at the demonstrators and fired at the demonstators causing 4 students to be shot dead
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What did the governor call the demonstators and what evidence was found later.
Communists and those 4 students who were shot were uninvolved in the demonstration.
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Why was kent state so important?
It shocked the USA and went against the right to protest. Images were broadcast on TV in the US and across the world which led to further protests and condemnation of the USA throughout the world.
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What did the US government realise?
Victory in Vietnam could never be achieved with so much opposition to the war within the USA
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How were the students seen?
As unpatriotic and the ones expected to fight were against war
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Who was William Fulbright?
The chair of the senate foreign affairs committee. A powerful body in the government of the USA
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What did the committee do?
Considered proposals and advice to end the war in Vietnam
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How many people gave evidence/ hearings?
22. Some were senators and other politicians, some represented groups that supported the war, but others included representatives from groups that opposed war.
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Who was John Kerry?
Representative of the Vietnam veterand Against War. The most damming statements came from him
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What were his statements about?
He gave details of the Winter soldier investigation carried out by the veterans. His investigation revealed information about autrocities and war crimes committed in Vietnam with the full knowledge and approval of officers.
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What did the investigation intend to prove?
The burital incidents like My Lai were not official American war policy. He also questioned why the USA was fighting in Veitnam
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What did the Fulbright Hearings provide?
A further protest against the Vietnam War. The protests were 'official', part of the US public record of Vietnam. IT was even more apparent than the USA wouldhave to seek peace and end the Vietnam War.
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How many troops were in Vietnam?
Half a million
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Which army was in control of the cities?
The South Vietnamese army (ARVN)
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Why was the countryside quiet?
Over 100000 Vietcong were dead in 1967
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What had North Vietnam been experiencing?
Blanket Bombing by US air force.
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What was happening on 31st January 1968?
The TET festival celebrating the new year.
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What happened on that day?
The NVA and the Vietcong launched attacks throughout South Vietnam without warning. Cities and US bases were attacked in a carefully thought out plan which was a new communitst tactic to directly attack the stronger enemy.
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What was the risk involved?
The communsits were looking to end the war as quickly as possible and hoped to gain the support of South Vietnam and overthrow the government and force the Americans out.
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How many places were attacked?
over 100 including towns like Hue and Danang
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Where was the most significant attack?
In Saigon the capital of south Vietnam
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What was captured and what was occupied?
The US embassy was captured and the radio occupied.
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Who did it take by surprise?
The ARVN and US forces but the offensive was ended after 48 hours
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What didn't the pople of Saigon do?
Rise in support which was important for the communists. The communists suffered heavy losses for little gain
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What did the USA see the attack as?
A victory
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What were the consiquences of the attack?
It had failed, It had killed over 30,000 people, The Vietcong never recovered from losses, the North Vietnamese army took 4 years to recover, North Vietnam accepted defeat & agreed to take part in peace talks
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What was the view of the American people?
They had watched the Tv footage, especially fighting in Saigon and were shocked. Seemed as of whole of Saigon was destroyed. They read the press reports on the fighting and the results of it.
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How many casualties?
Thousands of civillian casualties, hundreds of thousands of refugees. The public view was also shared by politicians
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What did congress refuse?
G. Westmorelands request of 200,000 troops to 'finish off the job'
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What did president Johnson decide not to do?
seek re-election in 1968 which left the way open for Nixon to be elected.
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What did Nixon promise during his campeign?
The American people that he would end the war.
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What did his opponent Humphrey promise?
Only to reduce America's involvement in the war.
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When did the peace talks begin?
In Paris in 1968 between the USA and North Vietnam while Johnson had been president.
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What did North Vietnam agree?
To come if the US stopped the bombing
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How long did Nixon continue the talks?
lasted on and off for 6 years.
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What did the USA want?
South Vietnam to be independent and free from 'foregin (communist) interfearance'
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What did North Vietnam want?
South Vietnam ro be free from 'foreign'(American) influence. If it happened, North vietnam felt that the whole of vietnam could be reunited.
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What did the USA demand?
That South Vietnam should attend as it was an independent state
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What did North Vietnam refuse?
To recognise South Vietnam as an independent state and wouldn't accept it should be represented in Paris
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What was the USA's additional problem?
The growing opposition to the war from within the USA
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Why didn't the communists have this problem?
Because it could always show a united front towards the war.
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How did the US put pressure on North vietnam?
By continuing the war and bombings
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What did Nixon hope this would achieve?
To force the NV to take the peace talks seriously
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What was NV still doing?
Supplying the Vietcong with weapons and supplies along the Ho ChiMinh Trail through Cambodia and Laos
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What did Nixon order in 1970?
An invasion of Cambodia with the 'limited' objective of destroying the trail. This was unpopular in the USA as it was a reason for the kent state protest and failed to close the supply route to the vietcong.
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What did the NVA try to take advantage of in 1972?
The reduction of US troops and invaded the South .
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What were they armed with?
Soviet tanks and artillery
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What did Nixon order in May 1972?
A massive air attack by B52 bombers on the North- operation Linebacker
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What damaage was done?
Great destruction was caused to strategic targets throughout North Vietnam such as roads, railways, parts and stroage depots.
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What happened at christmas 1972?
Massive bombing campeign lasting 11 days dropping over 200,000 bombs hit the cities of North Vietnam, including Hanoi and the port of Haiphong
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What was 'madman theory'?
Let it be known that Nixon was mentally unstable and that, it the war continued for much longer, he could use nuclear weapons against North Vietnam
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What were the bombing campeigns intended for?
To attack and weaken the enemy as well as to show NV that the USA wouldn't abandon South Vietnam.
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What eventually continued in 1973?
Peace Talks
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What did Nixon promise to bring home?
US troops as part of the general promise to end the Vietnam War as he didn't want to lose the war and felt pressure to begin the process immediatley
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What started happening from 1969?
Nixon ordered a gradual withdrawal of US forces to be replaced by the ARVN
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How would the ARVN be formed?
Through conscription of all men in south vietnam between the ages of 17 and 43 which was unrealistic and impossible to organise in a country as disrupted as south vietnam
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How would the ARVN cope?
They would be trained and equpiied by the USA
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How much did the ARVN expand?
25,000 in 1969, 150,000 in 1970 and 400,000 by 1971
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How many American troops were left?
150,000 compared to over half a million
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Who was the decision unpopular with?
The commanders who thought they could still win the war.
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What did Nixon also know?
That vietnamisation would not end the war by bringing victory to south vietnam and that defeat for the USA was a likely outcome. IT would reduce US losses and deaths in combat
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How much communist activity was there from 1968-72?
Very little
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Why was there little opposition?
Because the vietcong was recovering from the setback of the Tet offensive.
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When did the calm end?
In 1972 when the NVA armed with soviet tanks invaded the south.
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What was the advance a result of?
Largely as a result of increased bombing attacks on North Vietnam throughout 1972
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What did both sides begin to realise?
That the war couldn't be won outright, This opened way for peace negotiations to restart in Paris
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What happened in Jan 1933?
a ceasefire and peace agreement was reached. Signed by USA and North Vietnam but not South Vietnam
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What were the Agreements?
The US troops were to withdraw completely from vietnam. US prisoners of war were to be released by North Vietnam.
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What did north vietnam recongnise?
The government of south vietnam but the NVA could remain in areas of south vietnam that they controlled before the ceasefire
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why would elections be held in the future?
To decide if vietnam should be united
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Who achieved more for north vietnam than Kissinger did for the USA?
Le Duc Tho
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What were the advantages of the ceasefire?
Gave the NVA time to build up strength and prepare for an attack on the south. This would allow the north government to take over south vietnam at same time in future
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What had the war become?
unwinnable
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Was the war over for the people of Vietnam?
No
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What had happened by April 1973?
All troops were out of vietnam and north vietnam released 600 prisoners
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What began to happen in 1974?
The fighting began again but no help was given to the south from USA. Congress passed laws to prevent the bombing by the USA of targets in vietnam and cambodia
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What support was limited? What did NV take advantage of?
Financial support. Almost complete US withdrawal
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How long did North Vietnam continue its offensive for?
Into 1975
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What happened during the attack?
They attacked cambodia and Laos in a 3-ponged attack which divided South vietnam and split the ARVN forces.
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Which cities turned communsit?
Major ones like Hue and Danang with little resistance. Refugees fled from North to South towards Saigon
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What was the 'convoy of tears'?
It further demoralised the South Vietnamese.
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What had happened by the end of April 1975?
The communists took over the Capital
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How did people escape?
By road, moving further into the south, by air (lucky&rich) or by sea if they could
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What happened to the remaining US officials?
They were airlifted by helicopter from the roof of the US embassy to awaiting warships
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Who took over Vietnam during WW2?

Back

Japan

Card 3

Front

What was formed as a result of this?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What was the Vietminh?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What went on after the defeat of Japan in 1945?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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