KEY EVENTS• L-Zone X-Ray: the first major combatoperation in Vietnam involving almostexclusively American troops against NVAunits. Watch "We Were Soldiers" for moreinformation and a pretty good movie.• My Lai Massacre: a massacre of SouthVietnamese civilians by US troops due tofaulty intelligence and a long series of badchoices made by the US commandingofficers involved. This was another hugesetback for the war back in the US as ithappened in the same year as the TetOffensive, even though it was not revealedfor almost two years. Between 300-500civilians were shot dead by Americantroops because they believed they wereworking with the Viet Cong. The resultingcover up also helped tarnish Americanreputation in Vietnam and in the world.
KEY EVENTS/TERMS• Tet Offensive: During the Buddhistholiday of Tet beginning in lateJanuary, 1968, it was assumed thatthere would be little to no militaryaction taken until the VC, along withelements of the NVA, attacked virtuallyevery city in South Vietnam along withseveral major American militaryinstallations. Though a tactical failure,the reaction by the US media was sodepressing and gloomy, thatnationwide morale and desire tocontinue the war sank considerably.This is considered one of the turningpoints of the war.• Gulf of Tonkin Resolution of Aug. 7,1964: gave President Johnsonessentially a free hand to deployAmerican military forces to Vietnamwithout Congress authorizationViet Cong:Communist-sympathizersin SouthVietnam whooftenperformedguerrilla/sabotage/spyoperationsagainstAmericanand SouthVietnameseforces
HOW IT HAPPENED• Vietnam was a colony ofFrance till 1954o Vietnam divided intoCommunist North andDemocratic South causingthe French to lose controlof Vietnam.• The US feared that the entireSoutheast of Asia would belost to the Communist block,so the U.S. went in trying tostop the Communism fromspreading to other countries.
KEY PLAYERS• Ho Chi Minh (1890 - 1969)Vietnamese Communist andrevolutionary leader• Vo Nguyen Giap (1912-)Vietnamese militarycommander most revered forhis role in liberating Vietnamfrom French colonial rule• Bao Dai (1913 - 1997) was thereigning emperor of Vietnamfrom 1926 to 1945• Dwight D. Eisenhower(1890-1969) Republican, wasthe popular 34th President ofthe United States
KEY PLAYERS• United States• North Vietnam• South Vietnam• USSR• China
U.S. POLICIES REGARDINGVIETNAM WARContainment• Purpose: to prevent the spread of communism bylimiting and containing it geographically• All of the presidents leading up to and during the warfollowed the containment policy, but each adopteddifferent strategies to achieve the goal of containment ofcommunism.• President Kennedy was determined to "draw a line inthe sand" and prevent a communist victory in Vietnam.He sent US military advisors to try to help the Republicof Vietnam defeat communist insurgents which wereknown as the Viet Cong.
U.S. POLICIES REGARDINGVIETNAM WAREscalation• Under Johnson there was a great expansion of the Vietnam War. In1964 Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, whichallowed the President to send a full military force to fight thecommunists in Vietnam without a formal declaration of war.Vietnamization• Facing increased opposition to the Vietnam war at home, andrecognizing that the military escalation pursued by Johnson wasnot successful, President Nixon adopted a new policy calledVietnamization, which aimed to wind down the US militaryinvolvement in the war• The purpose of this policy was to “expand, equip, and train SouthVietnam’s forces and assign to them an ever-increasing combatrole, at the same time steadily reducing the number of U. S.combat troops.”
WHY IT HAPPEN• The Vietnam War started because the U.S. PresidentEisenhower did not want communism to spreadthroughout America.• Communism was seeking to expand in Vietnam muchthe way it had attempted to expand in Korea• When Chinese communists won the civil war in China,the U.S. feared all of Southeast Asian countries to fallinto communism.
WHY WAS THIS A SIGNIFICANTCOLD WAR EVENT?Proxy war: awar that resultswhen opposingpowers usethird powers assubstitutes forfighting eachother directly
WHY WAS THIS A SIGNIFICANTCOLD WAR EVENT?•North being aidedby the Sovietsand the south bythe U.S. minusthe Viet Cong. Itwas the first warthe the U.S. "lost"because theNorth still endedup becomingcommunist.
OUTCOMES OF THE WAR• North Vietnam was victoriousover South Vietnam and alliedforce• War officially ended whenParis Peace Accords wassigned to establish peace andan end U.S. militaryinvolvement
OUTCOMES OF THE WAR• Veterans from the warformed an organizationknow Vietnam VeteransAgainst the War (VVAW)• VVAW promotes peace,justice, and rights of allUnited States militaryveterans
WHAT THIS EVENT TELLS US ABOUTTHE CONFLICT BETWEEN THESUPERPOWERS• Even though there was a "Cold War" between theSuperpowers, which meant no direct military action betweenthem, it resulted in several proxy wars in poorer, less powerfulnations, resulting in many deaths.• While over 58,000 U.S. troops died in the Vietnam War, it isestimated that between 250,000-500,000 Vietnamese soldiersand civilians died during the war.• Therefore Cold War was sometimes more damaging andcostly to third countries caught up in the conflict betweenthe Superpowers.
HOW DID THIS CONTRIBUTE TOTHE COLD WAR TENSIONS?• It relates to the Vietnam War because communistswanted to take over South Vietnam, and since the UShad made opposing communism one of its goals the USis of course going to help South Vietnam fightcommunism.• Domino theory: If it fell to communism then surroundingcountries would as well. The US was trying to halt thespread of communism which the Soviets were trying tospread.
BIBLIOGRAPHYWebsites:• Burkett, B.G., Glenna Whitley, Verity Press, Inc., Dallas, TX, and1998. Book review. "Facts of the Vietnam war.."VietnamHelicopter Crew Member Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr.2013. <http://www.vhcma.org/fact.html>.• "VNW Facts Archive - The Vietnam War."The Vietnam War -Vietnam War History, Timelines, Pictures, Facts & Questions.N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. <http://thevietnamwar.info/vietnam-war-facts/>.• https://www.boundless.com/history/sixties-1960-1969/john-f-kennedy-administration/growing-war-in-vietnam/• http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/bios/laird.htmBooks:• Fincher, Ernest Barksdale. The Vietnam War. New York: Watts,1980. Print.• Lewy, Guenter. America in Vietnam. New York: Oxford UniversityPress, 1978. Print.
BIBLIOGRAPHY (CONT)Books:• Murray, Stuart. Vietnam War. New York: DK Publishing, 2005.Print.• Thayer, Thomas C. War Without Fronts: The American Experiencein Vietnam. Boulder: Westview Press, 1985. Print.Primary:• "Excerpts from the Paris Accords, January 27, 1973 - The Warsfor Viet Nam - Vassar College." Home - Vassar College. N.p., n.d.Web. 22 Apr. 2013. <http://vietnam.vassar.edu/overview/doc