Vietnam“No event in American history is moremisunderstood than the Vietnam War. Itwas misreported then, and it ismisremembered now.” –Richard.Nixon,1985
The Battle Begins• http://www.history.com/videos/battle-of-dien-bien
Dien Bien Phu• 13 March - 8 May 1954 French defeat during First Indochina War.• French are loosing, ask for aid from US• French withdraw troops and loose imperial power in Vietnam• Vietnam is divided between North and South
• Ho Chi Minh Young Man when first tries to unite country and liberate from France• Asked the US for support• Became president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 1955 after the defeat of France• Communist• Agreed to hold election in 1956 in order to unite Vietnam under on government. It was estimated that Minh might have received 80% of the vote.
Ngo Dinh Diem• Democratic president of South Vietnam• Supported by the US, (lesser of 2 evils)• Cruel dictator-like actions, (Buddhist Monks)• Weak and corrupt• Refused to participate in the election of 1956, claiming the elections would not be “free”• Devout catholic and anti-communist• Overthrown by a coup, (supported by the US), 1963
Gulf of Tonkin• Mystery shots heard two nights in a row by US ship off the coast. August 1964• Prompted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution• Recently released information stated that the Maddox fired warning shots and on the second night there was no enemy shots fired
Operation Rolling Thunder• blast the Viet Cong “back to the Stone Age”• 1965-1968 (supposed to last only 8 weeks)• Enacted months after LBJ took presidency• Military Tactic to bomb North Vietnam and force surrender.• Air strikes followed by Napalm• Unsuccessful
Operation Ranch Hand• Agent Orange• Attempt to destroy forests to force guerrilla tactics to end• Long term affects cause chromosomal disorders in humans• Agent blue sprayed on crops to destroy agriculture
Cu Chi• US forces not only had to fight guerrilla war above ground, but below as well.• Tunnel cities with traps
Tet Offensive• 1968• During the Tet holiday when US troops thought the Viet Cong would be least likely to attack• At Home the US thought that The Viet Cong were ready to surrender and were weak• Changed perspective in the US• Dropped US troop morale• War of psychology• US troops actually defeated the Viet Cong during this Offensive
Fall of Saigon• 1975- last of US troops leave Vietnam• Led to the reunification of Vietnam under communist rule, 1976
Bay of Pigs• Where: Cuba, 1961• Who were the leaders involved: President Kennedy, USA; Soviet Premiere Khrushchev; Communist Premiere Castro• What started the conflict: Fidel Castro took over Cuba, became a communist sympathizer, and an ally of USSR. The USA was trying to prevent the spread of Communism and Cuba is 90 miles away from USA• How did the conflict end: USA tried a surprise attack on Fidel Castro in Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, Castro found out and the plot failed. 90 died and over 1000 taken hostage. Increase tensions between USA, Cuba and USSR
Korean War• Where: Korean Peninsula, 1950-1953• Who were the leaders involved: President Truman, USA; Soviet Premiere Stalin• What started the conflict: North Korea, supported by communist China and USSR, invades the southern part of the Peninsula to turn the entire country communist• How did the conflict end: Fighting lasted 3 years. No major gains made. Tug-o-war between the North and the South. Ended in a cease fire and the country remained divided at the 38 th parallel
Vietnam War• Where: Vietnam, 1954-1975• Who were the leaders involved: Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon USA; Ho Chi Minh, North Vietnam; Diem, South Vietnam• What started the conflict: North Vietnam, lead by communist Ho Chi Minh and supported by China, invaded the southern part of the country to turn the entire country communist and rid the country of the French rule• How did the conflict end: Fighting lasted 21 years. Over 60,000 American casualties. US troops withdrew in 1975 and the Viet-Cong took over South Vietnam capital, Saigon, uniting the country under communism
Berlin Wall• Where: Berlin, Germany 1961-1989• Who were the leaders involved: President Kennedy-Reagan, USA; Soviet Premiere Khrushchev-Gorbachev• What started the conflict: Built to keep unhappy East Berliners from escaping to democratic West Berlin controlled by USA• Economy in East was terrible, Economy in West, thanks to Marshall Plan, was booming, Wall became symbol of Cold War and the division between democracy and Communism Stalin tried to block Berlin in the 50’s, Khrushchev built the wall Average height of wall: about 11 feet, Length, approximately 96miles• How did the conflict end: Russia could not financially run it’s country, needed aid;• War with Afghanistan and money spent on Space and Weapons destroyed the strength of the USSR• 1989, Gorbachev negotiated with Ronal Reagan and allowed for the wall to come down “Mr. Gorbachev, TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!” Berlin finally unified after 28 years
Communist China• Where: China, 1934-1949,(1949 was when China was made Communist)• Who were the leaders involved: Jiang Jieshi (Democratic leader) v. Mao Zedong (Communist leader)• What started the conflict: Civil War in China against the Democratic leader, Jieshi, who wanted to unite China under democracy, and slaughtered the communists, which lead to 22 years of fighting• How did the conflict end: Mao Zedong eventually lead China to a communist victory in 1949. Lead the “Long March” retreat from Jieshi, where thousands of Communist died marching home, BUT gave Communists hope, and the “Great Leap Forward” a plan to rapidly industrialize China. Mao lead China until his death in the 1976.
Cuban Missile Crisis• Where: Cuba, 1962• Who were the leaders involved: Nikita Khrushchev, USSR; President Kennedy, USA; (Fidel Castro, Cuba)• What started the conflict: Castro was afraid of another US invasion after the Bay of Pigs, so the Soviets placed missiles in Cuba to prevent another invasion. US discovered the missiles and asked for their removal immediately• How did the conflict end: This was the closest the world has ever come to Nuclear war. There was an intense stand- off between Khrushchev and Kennedy for 13 days waiting for either the removal of the missiles or an attack. The missiles were removed and there is now a hot line placed in the White House as a direct line. Cold War tensions died down after that.