Military History Chapter 21 Vietnam War - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Military History Chapter 21 Vietnam War PowerPoint presentation | free to view - id: 1e944-OWYzN


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Military History Chapter 21 Vietnam War


(In addition to Vietnam's civil war that soon followed) French involvement came in late 1850s: ... Weapons company attached: 60/82 mm mortars. 57/75mm ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:901
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 42
Provided by: camp4


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Military History Chapter 21 Vietnam War

Military HistoryChapter 21Vietnam War
Vietnam War- Strategic Overview
  • Vietnam was longest US combat deployment (so
  • US combat units fought hostile actions (1965-72)
  • SOF also involved before after that (1961-73)
  • Military advisor role started in 1959
  • But no fixed date of start of US involvement
  • No Lexington Concord or Pearl Harbor
  • or New York Trade Center Towers
  • US entered left incrementally
  • In series of incremental steps gt 1950s-1970s
  • Successive US Administrations actively
    participated in the War
  • From Truman to Nixon
  • All tried to save Vietnam from Communist
    take-over (as part of Containment Policy)
  • All would ultimately fail

Lay of the Land
Brief Historical Outline
  • Truman (May 1950)gt authorized Mil to aid
  • preserve post-WW2 French Indochina colonies
  • Ike continued US support, even following Dien
    Bien Phu
  • Aim build Vn Nation out of diverse political
  • After French defeat, US took control of bad
  • Deployed military advisors to build SVNs
  • Tasked CIA to conduct psychological war against
  • JFK tripled aid to SVN increased military
  • Early 61 secretly deployed 400 SF 30 Navy
  • Tasked to advise ARVN SVN Navy CI tactics
  • Covert direct action against North Vietnam (Oplan
    34A) VC in South
  • By Nov 63 16,300 advisors operate thru-out N/S

Johnsons War
  • After JFKs assassination, LBJ took over war
  • Determined not to lose Vietnam like Truman
    lost China
  • Embarked on a limited war strategy to convince
    NVN to cease infiltration of South Vietnam
  • After Tonkin Gulf incident its resolution in
    Aug 1964
  • LBJ secured Congress support (as equivalent of
  • Authorized by resolution to take all necessary
  • Following his 1964 re-election, LBJ did just that
  • Result US military commitment intensified
  • LBJ personally directed sustained bombing of
    targets in NVN
  • Mar 65gt Rolling Thunder begangt would last
    until 31Oct68
  • US also deployed first combat units (USMC) in
    March 1965
  • US took over war from 65-69 when force levels
    peak _at_ 543K

Statistics Vietnam Syndrome
  • Statistic totals 2.7M served in Vietnam gt 1.6
    in combat
  • 58K KIA 300,000 WIA, approx 2500 remain MIA
  • US spent between 140B to 175B on the war
  • American outlook deeply influenced by Vietnam
  • Future Presidential Foreign Policy decisions
    affected as result
  • Vietnam syndrome hovered always in background
    to present
  • Not since Civil War has a conflict divided US
    society so
  • Americas first war ever lost
  • Humiliating political defeat for USG institutions
  • Especially for the US military- long time to
  • VN vets came home as Nation tried to forget
    move on
  • VN Vets were ignored at best blamed for war at

Vietnams History of Peoples War
  • Vietnam has had a long tradition of war
    against outsiders
  • rebellion against China the Trung sisters
  • Later Trieu Au would lead another revolt in 248
  • 10th century defeated Chinas Fleet won
  • 13th century Vietnam repulsed Kublai Khan 3
  • In process became experts in employing GW gt
  • Stressed protracted war to wear a superior
    military power down
  • Raid ambush tactics on the enemys
    over-extended LOCs
  • Outlined in Daos Essential Summary of Military
  • Strategy drew enemy into protracted campaign to
    wear him down
  • (Also applied these techniques to 1st 2nd
    Indo-China wars)

Historical Experience with Outside Threats
  • Vietnams defeat of Mongols Chinesegt
  • Now key part of Vietnams martial tradition
  • i.e. struggle resistance against superior
    outside forces
  • All became part of Vietnams military heritage
  • (In addition to Vietnams civil war that soon
  • French involvement came in late 1850s
  • Vn persecuted Fr Euro missionaries their
  • Gradually (late 1800s) gt Fr establish expand
    their colonies
  • French then expanded throughout all of Indo-China
  • Also suppressed Vietnams civil war in process

On Protracted War An Overview
  • Maos Guerilla War model
  • On Protracted War
  • Vietnam drew heavily on Maos model for war
  • Model instructed followers to proceed by 3
  • 1st - defensive stage
  • survive, establish base gain peoples support
  • conduct hit run raids ambush of soft targets
  • 2nd - equilibrium
  • gradually expand offensive campaigns gt
  • stage larger battles of a more conventional
  • 3rd - Counter-Offensive
  • Incorporate conventional military ops with
    guerilla warfare
  • Then ramp up to full scale conventional war
    (when ready)

First Indo-China War
  • WW2 Japan occupied controlled
    Vietnam since 1940
  • Vietnamese allied with China to fight Japanese
  • Following Japans defeat, Ho Chi Minh
    asserted his leadership
  • Led coalition of Communists Nationalists
  • Declared Vietnam independence on 2Sept45
  • Began talks with French
  • But both sides failed to agree on basic strategic
  • Nov46gt Viet Minh attacked French garrisons gt
  • 1st Indochina war began gt would last 8 yrs

Escalation to Major Battle
  • Jan48 Viet Minh begin 2nd stage
  • Expand military operations
  • Conduct bigger battles against French
  • Meanwhile (late 49)gt China became Communist
    state under Mao
  • Resultgt China provides Vietnam with economic
    political support
  • Also sanctuaries within Chinas sovereign
  • 1951 Vietnam launched stage 3 prematurely
  • Result suffers major conventional defeat
  • Temporary set back for Viet Minh
  • 1953 at Chinas insistence Vn lures French
    Commander (Navarre) into
  • Plain of Reeds gt near a place called (?)
  • ?_______ __________ ____________

Dien Bien Phu (Nov53-May54)
  • Gen Navarre established several strong French
    Firebases on surrounding hills near main base
  • All manned by paratroops Fr Foreign Legion
  • supplied thru airstrip by airlift
  • 1954 Chinese press Vietnamese to act decisively
  • Giap orders arty/ammo towed into surrounding mtns
  • Complete surprise (operational and tactical
  • Viet Minh bombard French outposts from mountain
  • Paratroops forced to abandon outposts 1 by 1 gt
  • 13Mar54 Beatrice falls within hours of attack
  • Gabrielle Anne Marie overrun during next 2 days
  • Impact denied French airfield- key to French
  • Reinforcement re-supply (also Fr arty

Dien Bien Phu (final assault)
  • Remaining outposts must be re-supplied by airdrop
  • Drops inaccurate (high altitude drops due to Vn
  • French situation now desperate
  • French government requests US help
  • Ike refuses to send US troops or tactical Nukes
  • Many French Foreign Legion troops desert
  • Hide in caves along Nam Yum scavenge for food
  • Paratroopers left to fight alone until the end
  • 7 May54 Last French position overrun
  • Fr survivors marched into captivity humiliation
  • At on going Peace talks in Geneva
  • French must now accept distasteful political
  • Unfavorable terms a direct result of French
    tactical defeat
  • US must now take up containment directly

Expanded US involvement
  • By 54 US paying close to 80 of Wars cost
  • French viewed as containing communism in Asia
  • Ike refused to sign Geneva Accords
  • Rejects VNs temporary 2 year partition at 17th
  • Wary of nation wide elections to determine fate
    in 1956
  • Well aware of who is most likely to win (who?)
  • Instead US used 2 yr time to back separate
    non-communist Government below 17th parallel
  • Government in South to be led by who?
  • ?________ ______ ________- a Catholic
  • What is the faith of Vietnam majority?
  • ?_________________
  • 1956 elections overwhelmingly
    favor Ho Chi Minh
  • Vote results ignored by US new RVN Gov

Second Indochina War
  • Following South Vietnam refusal to allow free
  • Ho Chi Minh began modernization of his forces
  • Prepares to deploy NVN advisors south
  • Begins armed struggle in South Vietnam (SVN)
  • Diem starts search to rout out Viet Minh south in
  • Included all viewed as opposed to his rule
  • i.e. All non-Catholics minorities alike
  • By 57 Viet Minh in South close
    to all but eliminated
  • Result Viet Minh launched major rebellion
    against Diems Government
  • Initiate guerilla warfare, intelligence ops,
  • Focus develop support base in rural villages
  • Diems harsh policies facilitate Viet Minh efforts

Violence Escalates
  • Raids assassinations escalate between 1958 gt
  • 1958 700 gov. officials killed
  • 1960 2500 killed
  • By 1960 National
    Liberation Front (NLF) established
  • (Political arm of Viet Minh rebellion)
  • By Dec63 PAVN (NVA) escalated
    infiltration/support to Viet Minh
  • Ho Chi Minh Trail established
  • NVN sends men supplies south
  • By 1965 full blown insurgency was established in
  • US concludes Diems regime will fall without
    direct military support

NLFs War Aims Strategy
  • Political Aim
  • Unite South under NVN government of Ho Chi Minh
  • NLF Grand Strategy
  • Combine political military aspects of struggle
  • Undermine SVN political military positions
  • Rally people popular support for NLF cause
  • Political Tactics
  • Conduct Agitprop
  • Tactical focus village level
  • Establish a tight political military structure
  • By63 NLF was successful gt
  • Signed up 300K supporters in countryside

NLF Military Strategy Tactics
  • Tactics formulated to serve strategic political
  • 1st stage hit run raids just survive
  • Targets selected for maximum psychological impact
  • Assassination target most effective most
  • Mayors, village chiefs, teachers
  • Ambush ARVN troops government strategic Hamlets
  • Sabotage commercial transport infrastructure
  • Strategic Objective
  • Provoke government to react w/repressive actions
  • Aim alienate the very people government is
    suppose to protect
  • Demonstrate to people ineffectiveness of Gov

Chinese Tactical Model
  • By65 PAVN provided direct support to SVN
  • Employed Chinese model, tactics, techniques
  • Totaled 500K troops with 500K in reserve
  • Divisions comprised 10K Troops
  • Used 7.62 AK-47s w/3-5 grenades each member
  • 3 infantry regiments in South
  • Weapons company attached 60/82 mm mortars
  • 57/75mm recoilless rifles, RPGs Machine Guns
  • Train extensively in night ops effective
  • Small unit tactics employing stealth
  • Meticulous planning full scale rehearsals
  • Detailed withdrawal plans back-up contingencies
  • Preposition supplies ammo escape routes

Tactical Focus
  • Bottom line
  • a well respected opponent
  • NVA soldier was good, dedicated,
  • Well trained highly motivated troop
  • Extensive training battlefield prep
  • NVA tactics doctrines focus
  • Raid ambushgt (became experts at)
  • Small unit mobility to minimize US technology
  • Extreme close contact
  • (often at Danger Close ranges)
  • Concentrate on weak point, overwhelm encircle
  • Then quickly withdraw gt rarely held territory
  • Key Lesson Learned
  • Never follow a blood trail why?

US Counter Insurgency (CI) Limited War
  • US foreign policy (FP) focused on Containment
  • Halt communist expansion directed from Moscow
  • Main focus of US FP throughout Cold War (CW)
  • Vietnam War viewed as just another communist
    threat of attempted expansion
  • Specific attempt at communist expansion in SE
  • Ho Chi Minh NVN inspired by Moscow Beijing
  • During60sgt Vietnam became test
    case for JFKs CI doctrine
  • JFK campaigned to replace

    Ikes massive retaliationgt
  • Replacement National Security Strategy?

Result Flexible Response
  • JFK placed major emphasis on CI
  • To counter Maos guerilla warfare in SE Asia
  • Carried out by SOF advisors
  • 400 SF 30 SEALs May 1961
  • 16,300 military advisors by Nov 1963
  • Also JFK ordered covert actions against NVN
  • (OPLAN 34A) by SOG Teams
  • CI Strategy against NLF
  • Build-up of military support to ARVN
  • APCs, CV air support, Helos, TACAIR
  • SF advisors conducted training civic action
  • US Helo support to ARVN
  • Infiltration/extraction Medivac
  • Direct support, to include advising SVN SOF
    teams into enemy held areas

Strategic Hamlet Program
  • Another attempt to protect people from insurgents
    by isolating them
  • Theory serve as instrument of social reform
  • Attract the people to SVN gov programs
  • Convince peasant SVN gov better than NLF
  • Objective relegate insurgents to outlaw status
  • Lose support of masses gt force revised NLF aims
  • Return insurgent to Survival mode (stage 1)
  • Reality program failed in both concept
  • Dislocated peasants from village bred resentment
  • SVN Government (not NLF) viewed as bad guy
  • Poor security gt vulnerable villages easy to

Factors in Failure
  • Result opposite of desired government objective
  • Peoples discontent rose while security safety
  • Atrocious execution by Nhu alienated peasants
  • Another factor conventional military mindset
  • Conventional US Army leaders resisted CI
  • Did not support CI concept
  • Conflict in philosophies of war Clausewitz vs.
    Sun Tzu
  • Conventional military preferred conventional
  • Bigger better mindset employing modern weapons
  • Even though jungle warfare very tough environment
  • Conventional infantry armor profile ineffective
  • Tactical surprise unlikely operational surprise

Battle of Ap Bac (2 Jan 1963)
  • LTC John Paul Vann
  • Pressed IV Corps tactical zone Cmdr MG Cao, Col
    Dam, Cmdr of 7th ARVN, to attack 3
    VC radio companies (350 men)
    near hamlet of Ap Bac
  • Located 65 KM southwest of Saigon in the Mekong
  • Plan 3 pronged pincer attack from different
    directions by 3 Battalions of 7th Infantry,
  • Supported by regional units, 13 APCs
    (3500 men), ABN US Helos (CH-21s UH-1s)
  • Objective Surprise overwhelm enemy with numbers

  • Execution badly flawed
  • ARVN commander delayed attack too long
  • Allowed enemy to discover Cmdrs intent
  • Time to prepare defense to receive attack
  • No tactical surprise gt
  • First sign of resistance ARVN froze
  • 1 prong of offense refused to even attack
  • Remaining units purposely failed to block enemys
  • Result numerous ARVN casualties (friendly fire)
  • 61 KIA 100 WIA
  • Viet Cong slip away undetected (3 KIA)
  • Victory claimed anyway (why?)
  • Rationale conventionally- held ground
  • ARVN performance does not bold well for future

Tonkin Gulf Incident
  • SVN maritime sea commandos advisors
  • Conduct sea-borne raids on NVN radar
  • Raids conducted in/around Tonkin gulf op area
  • Objective
  • Force NVN to light off radars ELINT
  • Permit US DDs w/special ELINT collection
  • NVN Response
  • Torpedo boats attack SVN commandos
  • SOF insertion craft (NASTIES) in vicinity
  • NVN craft see US DD Maddox
  • Result 3 enemy PT sunk or damaged
  • 2 days later- NVN PT appear to fire on US DDs
  • USS Maddox Turner Joy call for CV air CAS
  • Who find nothing

Tonkin Gulf Resolution
  • Capt of USS Maddox not sure second
    NVN attack actually occurred, but...
  • Files report to CINCPAC via chain of command
  • LBJ sees opportunity to exploit NVN attack
  • Applies much political pressure to confirm attack
  • Meanwhilegt Admin prepared draft resolution for
  • Resolved for President to take all action
  • Protect US forces its allies
  • While Navy still try to figure out what really
  • LBJ exploits incident Tonkin Gulf Resolution
  • Passed unanimously by House all but 2 in Senate
  • (Just as administration drafted it) gt
  • Future impact on US involvement?

NLF Threat Grows
  • By 1965 gt NLF secured Mekong Delta (Map) gt
  • Appeared to have gained both
    momentum initiative, especially in the Delta
  • Appeared to US that SVN Gov
    about to fail
  • US concluded it must send massive assistance to
    prevent its collapse
  • Specially configured armored
    landing craft were deployed

Operation Rolling Thunder (Mar65- Nov68)
  • Mar 65 (after LBJ safely re-elected)gt US
  • Launched massive strategic bombing of North
  • Longest sustained air bombing campaign in US
  • Targets primarily along northern areas of DMZ
  • Included bridges, railheads, logistic supply
  • Also re-supply routes along Ho Chi Minh Trail

Major US Ground Combat Introduced
  • LBJ also deployed USMC to DaNang in late July65
  • Two Battalion Landing Teams waded
  • Prepare to conduct active forward defense
    search destroy ops
  • From then on, US begins to take direct control
    of war gt
  • Major ground combat key battles conducted by US
  • More US combat units deploy
  • ARVN relegated primarily to garrison defense
    duties as the US directly takes over the War

Theory Practice of Limited War
  • Flexible Response (review)
  • Tailored action required only to meet political
  • Avoids dilemma of massive retaliation as only
  • Result military instruments limited to minimum
    needed to send the enemy a message
  • Target hit to modify enemys behavior (political
  • Limited War theories civilian theorists
  • Flexible Response provided basis of limited war
  • Ltd War Theories provide set of broad guidelines
  • Focused on attaining US political objectives
  • Military considerations not taken into account
  • Craft military response to send clear signal to
  • Convey political intent to attain desired enemy

Theory vs. Reality
  • Result in practice
  • Political considerations dominated military
  • Military responses limited to minimum required
  • Civilian leadership prevalent thru-out all
  • LBJ selected many of the bomb targets personally
  • Limited geographic battle areas of operations
  • BDA unimportant gtonly political message sent is
  • Theorys Flaw?
  • Reality of war - military factors do count
  • Assumption regarding enemys response
    frictions role?
  • Precision of message sent how it is received
  • How the enemy will respond remains uncertain
  • Gradual escalation in attempt to get desired
    response flawed

Modern Hi-tech Military Advances
  • Flexible Response strategy gt conventional forces
  • SECDEF McNamara modernized US forces
  • Established Brush War capability (for Vietnam)
  • USAF USN build-up
  • WWII BBs refitted updated
  • CV/CVN on Yankee Station in Tokin Gulf launch
    F-4/A-4 strikes
  • B-52 (Guam) F105/F-4 (Thailand) Rolling Thunder

Weapons Technology Advances
  • High Tech Equipment
  • Radar units small portable developed
  • Sniffers attached to skids of UH-1s to detect
    infiltrators odors
  • Sensors passive transmitters alert SF teams
  • IBM computers predict enemy movements
  • Puff (AC-47 gunships)
  • AFSOC AC-130 Specter Gunships
  • provide devastating fire support

Troops, Weapons, Equipment
  • Troops best ever trained equipped to date
  • 1 Million men combat ready divisions expand11
    to 16
  • Airlift equipment stockpiles expanded
  • Army reorganization
  • Task oriented for specific jobs
  • Direct ground support weapons equipment
  • Armor Personnel Carriers
  • Weapon advances (M-60, M-16, Stoner LMG, M-79)
  • Helo its role UH-1, Cobra, CH-47, 1st Air

Next Military History Chapter 21b
Vietnam War (to be continued)
Back-up Slides
US Combat Units Direct Ground Operations
  • US also deployed first full combat units in March
  • 3500 USMCs land on DaNang beaches for combat ops
  • Key US threshold passed
  • (Many to follow incrementally)
  • From then until April 1969, US commitment
    gradually increased
  • US ground troop levels combat units grew
  • US combat actions rose incrementally for next 4
  • Operation Starlite was typical
  • From 65-69 US took over most fighting from ARVN
  • US troop levels peaked at 543,400 troops by early

Conflicting post-War Analysis
  • Several hard lessons were learned as a result of
  • For somegt we simply backed the wrong horse
  • US Military power support never be enough
  • Military pwr couldnt prop up RVNs corrupt
    failed regime
  • Local revolutionary war fought for nationalistic
    political aims
  • Therefore US caught in middle of bitter civil war
  • For others war too hard to win under political
  • War considered integral part of global Cold War
  • Key political concern for LBJ administration
    avoid escalation
  • Both in intensity of fighting geographic region
  • Result US attempted to fight limited
    conventional war
  • Without a coherent realistic operational
  • While applying separate poorly chosen tactics to
    support it

Serious Strategic Disconnect
  • US approach to war appeared to have serious
  • Political Aims were unrealistic given military
  • Operational Strategy poorly matched to those
    strategic aims
  • Tactics employed served a failing strategy
  • Result Tactical success served poor operational
  • Which in turn attempted to achieve Unrealistic
    strategic aims gt
  • Which ultimately resulted in political failure at
    the end of the day
  • Political decisions makers failed to realize
    until too late
  • That superior American military power cant make
    up for what?
  • American peoples lack of political will to
    continue war indefinitely!
  • These failures would affect many in different
  • Including foreign policy decisions taken
    following the Cold War