View stunning SlideShares in full-screen with the new iOS app!Introducing SlideShare for AndroidExplore all your favorite topics in the SlideShare appGet the SlideShare app to Save for Later — even offline
View stunning SlideShares in full-screen with the new Android app!View stunning SlideShares in full-screen with the new iOS app!
In 1954, after a massive Viet Minh victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu, peace talks were held in Geneva and Vietnam was divided at the 38th parallel. Elections were planned for 1956 but the South Vietnamese leader, Ngo Dinh Diem, refused to hold these.
The USA was worried about the spread of Communist power in Asia and Ho Chi Minh was a member of the French Communist Party.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution of Aug. 7, 1964: gave President Johnson essentially a free hand to deploy American military forces to Vietnam without Congress' authorization (although it was Congress who passed this resoultion obviously). In essence this was an unofficial declaration of war against North Vietnam and the Vietcong
NVA or North Vietnamese Army: the military of North Vietnam which was trying to conquer the South
Vietcong: Communist-sympathizers in South Vietnam who often performed guerilla/sabotage/spy operations against American and South Vietnamese forces
Tet Offensive: During the Buddhist holiday of Tet beginning in late January, 1968, it was assumed that there would be little to no military action taken until the VC, along with elements of the NVA, attacked virtually every city in South Vietnam along with several major American military installations. Though a tactical failure, the reaction by the US media was so depressing and gloomy, that nationwide morale and desire to continue the war sank considerably. This is considered one of the turning points of the war.
My Lai Massacre: a massacre of South Vietnamese civilians by US troops due to faulty intelligence and a long series of bad choices made by the US commanding officers involved. This was another huge setback for the war back in the US as it happened in the same year as the Tet Offensive, even though it was not revealed for almost two years.
Between 300-500 civilians were shot dead by American troops because they believed they were working with the VietCong. The resulting coverup also helped tarnish American reputation in Vietnam and in the world.
Ho Chi Minh (Trail): Ho Chi Minh was the communist dictator of the North and it was the trail named after him (Ho Chi Minh Trail) which was the primary supply line for NVA and VietCong units operating in the South. Many parts of the trail were hidden by dense jungle, crossed into neighboring Cambodia, or were at times even underground. Nevertheless the US Air Force bombarded the Trail fiercly throughout the war and President Nixon even ordered an invasion of Cambodia specifically to attack the Trail in Cambodian territory.