Vietnam War

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  • Created by: debbz123
  • Created on: 27-05-15 11:01
Fighting the Japanese
Before WW2 French but during the war Vietname was captured by Japan, a strong anti-Japanese movement called the Viet Minh, lead by Communist Ho Chi Minh, By the end of WW2 they controlled the North of the country and in 1945 they declared Independece
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Fighting the French
In 1945 they wanted to rule Vietnam, A nine year war between the Veit Minh and the French emerged. After China became Communist in 1949 the USA poured $500 million a year but France pulled out in 1954
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Ngo Dinh Diem
In 1954 the USA stopped elections taking place. In 1955 they set up the Republic of South Vietnam, Diem was bitterly anti-communist, he was corrupt, Supported by $1.6 billion. Overthrown by army in November 1963
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Viet Cong
National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam was set up December 1960, Started a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese Government, by 1962 USA was sending 'advisers', 23,000 troops by 1964
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Tonkin Gulf Resolution
Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Lyndon Johnson was more prepared to go to war. August 1964 North Vietnamese patrol boat opened fire on US ships, Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution saying Johnson could go to war.
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Start of War
8 March 1963 3,500 troops came ashore at Da Nang
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Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam
Containment, Domino Theory, American Politics, Military-Industrial Complex
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Stopping Communism where it looked like they were gaining ground, supported France because they saw Vietnam as allied to Communist China
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Domino Theory
Linked to Containment, Eisenhower though China and the USSR were planning to spread Communism throughout Asia, if Vietnam fell so too might Laos, Cambodia etc
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American Politics
Americans elect a President every 4 years and talking tough about Communism was seen to be a vote winner
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Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army
In early 1965 they had 170,000 soldiers and were supplied with weapons and equipment from China and the USSR but were outnumbered
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Guerrilla Warfare
Was a nightmare for the US troops, they did not have a base camp or wear uniform, they attacked and disappeared, the aim was to wear down the enemy soldiers and wreck morale.
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Viet Cong Tactics
Booby traps caused 11% of casualties, The Viet Cong feared the US air support and so 'hung onto their belts' and used close quarter fighting, this cause 51% of the casualties, Helped the peasants but between 1966 and 1971 they killed 27,000 civilians
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US Tactics
Bombing, Chemical Weapons, Search and Destroy
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Operation Rolling Thunder
On 7 February 1965 the Bombing started, It lasted until 1972, It damaged North Vietnam's war effort, allowed USA to reduce ground forces but Only slowed them down, 14,000 aircraft were shot down and it cost $400,000 to kill one Viet Cong fighter
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Agent Orange
Was a chemical weapon, destroyed the forest, used 82 million litres, Napalm was also used, it burnt forest but also skin and bone, 20,000 tons of napalm dropped, affected more than 1.3 million people, destroyed four million acres of forest
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Search and Destroy
Bombing could not stop a guerrilla army, US and South Vietnamese forces would descend onto a village and kill Viet Cong soldiers, raids were based on little info, often walked into traps, for every weapon there were 6 killed, made them unpopular
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What Problems did the Americans Face in Vietnam
Low Morale, Inexperience, Vietnam's neighbours, 'Hearts and Minds'
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Low Morale and Inexperience
In the early stages most troops were professionals but after 1967 many were drafted, average age 19, 60% killed were aged 17-21, Soldiers wanted to go home - Viet Cong cared, Turned to drugs, 18% deaths not from combat, 500,000 deserted, 1 year term
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Vietnam's Neighbours
Neighbouring countries were sympathetic to Viet Cong, USA could not send forced into Laos or Cambodia but Viet Cong could
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'Hearts and Minds'
Johnson spoke of the importance of winning the 'hearts and minds' of the Vietnamese people, between 1964 and 1968 mentioned in 24 speeches but many civilian causalities, lost their support
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My Lai Massacre
March 1968 the Charlie Company started a search-and-destroy mission in Quang Ngai, told that 200 Viet Cong Guerrillas were there, ordered to destroy houses. 16 March they killed between 300 and 400 civilians No Viet Cong and only 3 weapons were found
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Ronald Ridenhour
The army treated it as a success, said 20 non-combatants had been killed but that the rest were Viet Cong, all soldiers knew. 12 months later Ronald wrote a letter to 30 politicians detailing what had had happened
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My Lai Investigation
in September 1969 Lieutenant William Calley was charged with the murder of 109 people, ten other people were also charged. The army blamed Calley, in March 1971 he was found guilty of 22 civilians, August 10 years hard labour, November 1974 released
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Media - Early Stages of the War
They followed the official line, some disagreements, even when US forces became involved the relation was pretty good, between 1964 and 1968 only 3 were removed, no one would publish the My Lai story
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Media - 1967-1968
Television was taking over from newspapers and which was much more shocking, in Tet Offensive people saw a Viet Cong suspect being shot - shocked people. Doubts were intensifying. Less than 25% showed dead/wounded, only 76 out of 2300 showed fighting
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Civil Rights Campaigners
Johnson promised to create a 'Great Society', could not as the war was too expensive. War highlighted racial inequality, 30% if African Americans compared to 19% of white. 22% of casualties were black even though they were only 11% of the force
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Did not want to be drafted, Vietnam was a symbol of defeat, in the first half of 1968 100 demonstrations with 40,000 students, 1970 Ohio troops opened fire and 4 students died, 2 million went on strike in protest
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Tet Offensive
During Tet New Year Viet Cong attacked over 100 cities, around 4,500 Cong died, was a disaster. USA was sending $20 billion a year so why didn't they know, Government lost Media support, Civilians were killed
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Ending the War in Vietnam
From 1969 to 1973 Nixon tried to end the involvement, in Paris January 1973 they signed a peace treaty, By 29 March 1973 all troops had left
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Pressure on China and USSR
In 1969 USSR and China fell out, In 1970 USA and USSR began talks and Nixon asked them to pressure North Vietnam, 1972 same with China
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Meant building up the South Vietnamese army and withdrawing US troops, between April 1969 and the end of 1971 400,000 troops left
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Nixon increased bombing campaign so as not to appear weak. Invaded Cambodia
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Fall of South Vietnam
Congress wouldn't allow money to support South Vietnam, December 1974 Viet Cong started a military offensive, April 1975 Saigon fell and Vietnam was Communist
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Fighting the French


In 1945 they wanted to rule Vietnam, A nine year war between the Veit Minh and the French emerged. After China became Communist in 1949 the USA poured $500 million a year but France pulled out in 1954

Card 3


Ngo Dinh Diem


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Viet Cong


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Tonkin Gulf Resolution


Preview of the front of card 5
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