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The Vietnam War, 1954-1975

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The Vietnam War 1954 - 1975 Background to the War France controlled Indochina since the late 19th century Japan took control during World War II With U.S. aid ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Vietnam War, 1954-1975


1
The Vietnam War 1954 - 1975
2
Background to the War
  • France controlled Indochina since the late 19th
    century
  • Japan took control during World War II
  • With U.S. aid, France attempted re-colonization
    in the postwar period

3
Background to the War
  • The French lost control to Ho Chi Minhs Viet
    Minh forces in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu
  • He believed the best way to fight colonial
    imperialism was through a communist revolution
  • President Eisenhower offered aid to France as he
    believed if Vietnam fell to communism, all of SE
    Asia would fall as well
  • DOMINO THEORY!!!!

4
Background to the War
  • International Conference at Geneva
  • Vietnam was divided at 17th parallel
  • Ho Chi Minhs nationalist forces controlled the
    North
  • Ngo Dinh Diem, a French-educated, Roman Catholic
    claimed control of the South

5
Background to the War
  • July 1965 was the date set for democratic
    elections to reunify Vietnam
  • Diem backed out of the elections, leading to
    military conflict between North and South

6
U.S. Military Involvement Begins
  • Repressive dictatorial rule by Diem
  • Diems family holds all power
  • Wealth is hoarded by the elite
  • Buddhist majority persecuted
  • Torture, lack of political freedom prevail
  • The U.S. aided Diems government
  • Ike sent financial and military aid
  • 675 U.S. Army advisors sent by 1960.

7
Early Protests of Diems Government
Self-Immolation by a Buddhist Monk
8
U.S. Military Involvement Begins
  • Kennedy elected 1960
  • Increases military advisors to 16,000
  • 1963 JFK supports a Vietnamese military coup
    detat Diem and his brother are murdered (Nov.
    2)

9
Johnson Sends Ground Forces
  • Remembers Trumans loss of China ? Domino
    Theory revived

Im not going to be the president who saw
Southeast Asia go the way China went.
10
Johnson Sends Ground Forces
  • Tonkin Gulf Incident ? 1964(acc. to Johnson, the
    attacks were unprovoked)
  • US Naval ships reported torpedo attacks
  • No damage done
  • Johnson ordered air strikes against bases in the
    North
  • Tonkin Gulf Resolution August 7, 1964
  • The Blank Check
  • take all necessary measures to repel any armed
    attack against the forces of the US
  • Shifted power of war from Congress to president

11
U.S. Troop Deployments in Vietnam
12
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13
The Air War1965-1968
  • 1965 Sustained bombing of North Vietnam
  • Operation Rolling Thunder (March 2, 1965)
  • 1966-68 Ongoing bombing of Hanoi nonstop for 3
    years! Esp. targets the Ho Chi Minh Trail -
    network of paths, roads, and tunnels. Destroy
    war industries.
  • Downed Pilots P.O.W.s
  • Carpet Bombing napalm and Agent Orange

14
The Air WarA Napalm Attack
15
The Air WarAgent Orange Attack
Effects of Agent Orange
16
The Ground War 1965-1968
  • No territorial goals
  • Body counts on TV every night (first living
    room war)Viet Cong supplies over the Ho
    Chi Minh Trail

17
The Ground War 1965-1968
  • Vietcong proved difficult to defeat
  • Used effective guerrilla tactics and a knowledge
    of the land to make up for inferior weaponry
  • US tried to win Vietnamese support through
    pacification
  • Government troops guarded civilian areas
  • High US-caused civilian casualties lessened the
    change for support

18
Who Is the Enemy?
  • Vietcong
  • Farmers by day guerillas at night.
  • Very patient people willing to accept many
    casualties.
  • The US grossly underestimated their resolve and
    their resourcefulness.

The guerilla wins if he does not lose, the
conventional army loses if it does not win.
-- Mao Zedong
19
Who Is the Enemy?
20
The Ground War1965-1968
  • General Westmoreland, late 1967

We can see thelight at the end of the tunnel.
21
Doves vs. Hawks
  • Doves were people who called for the withdrawal
    of US troops
  • Sen. J William Fulbright believed that Johnson
    exaggerated the Communist threat in Vietnam ?
    wanted peace
  • Martin Luther King Jr., felt the war prevented
    the growth of social programs in the US but
    believed that communism threatened world peace
  • Hawks were those who supported the war and
    increased military spending

22
The Tet Offensive, January 1968
  • Tet Vietnamese New Year
  • Normally a cease-fire called so this came as a
    surprise
  • N. Vietnamese Army Viet Cong attack South
    simultaneously (67,000 attack 100 cities, bases,
    and the US embassy in Saigon)
  • Take every major southern city
  • U.S. and South Vietnamese army beat back the
    offensive
  • Viet Cong destroyed
  • N. Vietnamese army debilitated
  • BUTits seen as an American defeat by the media

23
The Tet Offensive, January 1968
24
Impact of the Tet Offensive
  • Domestic U.S. Reaction Disbelief, Anger,
    Distrust of Johnson Administration
  • Hey, Hey LBJ! How many kids did you kill
    today?

25
Johnsons popularity dropped in 1968 from 48 to
36.
26
Impact of the Vietnam War
Johnson announces (March, 1968)
  • I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the
    nomination of my party for another term as your
    President.

27
Election of 1968
  • Democrats
  • Sen. Robert F. Kennedy
  • US should do everything to negotiate a peaceful
    end to the war
  • Believed in civil rights and assistance to the
    poor
  • VP Hubert Humphrey
  • Disliked by voters due to his stance on the war
  • 6/5/68 RFK is assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan
  • Guaranteed Humphrey the nomination
  • Republicans
  • Former VP Richard Nixon
  • Claimed to have a secret plan for ending the
    war
  • Spoke to the Silent Majority blue collar
    workers, European ethnics, Catholics, etc
  • Humphrey 42.7
  • Nixon 43.4 WINNER!!!
  • Wallace (independent) 13.5

28
Nixon on Vietnam
  • Nixons 1968 Campaign promised an end to the war
    Peace with Honor
  • Vietnamization gradually turn over all of the
    fighting to the South Vietnamese army
  • Continue to train and supply after US left
  • Expansion of the conflict ? The Secret War
  • Cambodia Khmer Rouge (the communist army)
    increased its attacks
  • Nixon sends in troops to protect its pro-US
    government

29
Anti-War Demonstrations
Columbia University1967
30
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31
Hell no, we wont go!
32
Anti-War Demonstrations
Student Protestors at Univ. of CA in Berkeley,
1968
Democratic Convention in Chicago, 1968
33
Hanoi Jane
Jane Fonda Traitor?
34
The Kent StateShooting
  • May 4, 1970
  • Students attacked a military training building in
    protest
  • National Guard brought in to restore order
  • Soldiers tried to break up protest w/ tear gas,
    students threw rocks at soldiers, soldiers opened
    fire
  • 4 students shot dead.
  • 14 students wounded

Kent State University
35
(No Transcript)
36
Pentagon Papers, 1971
  • Former defense analyst Daniel Ellsbergleaked
    govt documents regarding war efforts during
    Johnsons administration to the New York Times.
  • Docs.? Govt. misled Congress American people
    regarding its intentions in Vietnam during
    mid-1960s.
  • Primary reason for fighting not to eliminate
    communism, but to avoid humiliating defeat.
  • New York Times v. United States (1971)
  • Nixon revised strategy, ended war in Cambodia

37
The Ceasefire, 1973
  • Peace is at hand ? Kissinger, 1972
  • North Vietnam attacks South
  • Most Massive U.S. bombing commences
  • 1973 Ceasefire signed between
  • U.S., South Vietnam, North Vietnam
  • Peace with honor (President Nixon)

38
Peace Negotiations
  • US Vietnamese argue for 5 months over the
    size of theconferencetable!

Dr. Henry Kissinger Le Duc Tho
39
Paris Peace Accords 1973
  • Conditions
  • U.S. to remove all troops
  • North Vietnam could leave troops already in S.V.
  • Demilitarized buffer zone separating the two
    sides
  • North Vietnam would resume war
  • No provision for POWs or MIAs
  • Last American troops left South Vietnam on March
    29, 1973
  • 1975 North Vietnam defeats South Vietnam
  • Saigon renamed Ho Chi Minh City

40
The Fall of Saigon
South Vietnamese Attempt to Flee the Country
41
The Fall of Saigon
April 30, 1975
America Abandons Its Embassy
42
The Fall of Saigon
North Vietnamese at the Presidential Palace
43
A United Vietnam
Formerly Saigon
44
The Costs
  • 3,000,000 Vietnamese killed
  • 58,000 Americans killed 300,000 wounded
  • Under-funding of Great Society programs
  • 150,000,000,000 in U.S. spending
  • U.S. morale, self-confidence, trust of
    government, decimated

45
The Impact
  • 26th Amendment 18-year-olds vote
  • Nixon abolished the draft? all-volunteer army
  • War Powers Act, 1973 ?
  • President must notify Congress within 48 hours of
    deploying military force
  • President must withdraw forces unless he gains
    Congressional approval within 90 days
  • Disregard for Veterans ? seen as baby killers
  • POW/MIA issue lingered

46
Some American POWs Returned from the Hanoi
Hilton
Senator John McCain(R-AZ)
47
2,583 American POWs / MIAs still unaccounted
for today.
48
Andin the End.
Ho Chi Minh
  • If we have to
    fight, we will fight. You will kill
    ten of our men and we will kill one of
    yours, and in the end it will be you who tires of
    it.

49
Lessons for FutureAmerican Presidents
  1. Wars must be of short duration.
  2. Wars must yield few American casualties.
  3. Restrict media access to battlefields.
  4. Develop and maintain Congressional and public
    support.
  5. Set clear, winnable goals.
  6. Set deadline for troop withdrawals.

50
The Vietnam Memorial, Washington, D.C.
51
Memorial to US Servicemen in Vietnam
52
Memorial to US Nurses in Vietnam
53
58,000
54
President Clinton formally recognized Vietnam on
July 11, 1995
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