The War in Vietnam120809

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Transcript The War in Vietnam120809

The War in Vietnam
Presented by
June Papendick
NEED to Know
Will Learn
Terms to Remember
Ho Chi Minh
 Ngo Dinh Diem
 Viet Cong
 Gulf of Tonkin
 William Westmoreland
 Tet Offensive
 President Johnson
 Robert McNamara
 President Kennedy
 President Nixon
Historical Timeline
206 BC-Kingdom of Nam Viet
111 BC-Nam Viet annexed by the Han
dynasty (China).
939 AD-Establishment of Vietnam
1000 AD-Successful defense against Song dynasty invasion (China).
1258 AD-First Mongol Invasion
1268 AD-Second Mongol Invasion defeated
1287 AD-Third Mongol Invasion defeated
1407 AD-Ming dynasty occupies Vietnam
1428 AD-Chinese expulsed.
1600’s AD-Portuguese establish trade routes
1614 AD-Jesuits establish missions
1614-1682 AD-Portugal, the Netherlands, and France fight each other
over control of Southeast Asia (including Vietnam).
What does the history of Vietnam say about its
1886 France takes control of
French Indochina (Cambodia,
Laos, and Vietnam). The French
language becomes the primary language in the
1940 France occupied by the German Army,
Germany turns over control of French
Indochina to its ally Japan.
1941 Vietnamese nationalist, Ho
Chi Minh, creates the Viet
Minh to fight against the
Japanese. The Viet Minh also
wanted to end French colonial
control over Vietnam.
Remember the Cold War?
Red=Communists Blue=Democracies
1945 On August 25th Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnams
independence. He cites the US Declaration of Independence in
his speech.
1946 France decides to fight for control of Vietnam.
*More concerned with stopping the spread of communism,
President Truman does not get involved. President Truman
repeatedly turns down Ho Chi Minh’s request that the US
recognize the new country of Vietnam.
1949 The USSR and China recognize Ho Chi Minh’s Vietnam.
This made Washington, D.C. think Vietnam is more of a
communist threat than before. The U.S. starts to support the
French in their efforts to re-establish their colony.
Graphic Organizer
Born Nguyen Sinh Cung, and known as "Uncle Ho,“ led
the Democratic Republic of Vietnam from 1945-69. Ho
embraced communism while living abroad in England and France
in 1919, he petitioned the powers at the Versailles peace talks for equal
rights in Indochina. He later moved to Hong Kong, where he founded
the Indochinese Communist Party. After adopting the name Ho
Chi Minh, or "He Who Enlightens," he returned to Vietnam in 1941 and
declared the nation's independence from France. Ho led a nearly
continuous war against the French and, later, the Americans until his
death in 1969. ** Many Vietnamese joined the Communist
Party to fight colonization and imperialism in order to be a
sovereign nation (nationalism)
Graphic Organizer
North Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh
The Domino Theory
1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected
President. Eisenhower equates the
possible loss of Vietnam to the
communists as a domino effect in
which all of Southeast Asia would then
fall under communist control. This
becomes known as the “Domino
1954 The French are defeated at
the battle of Dien Bien Phu.
This event leads to the backing
out of France from French
Which will the US support?
The United Nations creates the countries of Cambodia, Laos, and two
Vietnams. North Vietnam is to be controlled by the communists (Ho
Chi Mihn) and South Vietnam by a democracy (Ngo Dinh Diem).
The plan is to have a national election in
two years at which time the two
halves will be united. The election
was never held.
Over time the leader of South
Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem becomes
undemocratic in his rule and very
unpopular with the South
Vietnamese. Yet, when he asks for
additional support from the U.S. to
combat “the ominous threat” of
communism in the north he gets it.
Diem's attempts to control the Viet
Cong grew more extreme and created
growing discontent in South Vietnam.
Several monks burned themselves to
death as part of public protests against
the Diem regime.
A group of Diem's generals turned
against him. On November 1, 1963,
they attacked the Presidential Palace,
believing they had or would have
American support. By the next day, the
government was overthrown and Diem
Passers-by stop to watch as flames envelope a young Buddhist monk,
was dead, murdered by his own
Saigon, October 5th, 1963.
The man sits impassively in the central market square, he has set
While the people of Saigon initially
responded with enthusiasm to Diem's
overthrow, the coup left the country
with no clear leader.
himself on fire performing a ritual suicide in protest against
governmental anti-Buddhist policies. Crowds gathered to protest in Hue
after the South Vietnamese government prohibited Buddhists from
carrying flags on Buddha's birthday. Government troops opened fire to
disperse the dissidents, killing nine people, Diems government blamed
the incident on the Vietcong and never admitted responsibility. The
Buddhist leadership quickly organized demonstrations that eventually
led to seven monks burning themselves to death.
1961 1000 U.S. soldiers send to South Vietnam as
1963 over 16,000 U.S. advisors in South Vietnam.
November 1, 1963 Diem is assassinated by his own
November 22, 1963 Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas,
November Lyndon B. Johnson becomes President,
increases number of military advisors to Vietnam.
The North Vietnamese embarked on radical land
reforms, persecuting and imprisoning landowners and
aggravating a refugee crisis. By 1955, close to a million
people had fled south.
the communists in 1960 created the
National Liberation Front -- the
guerrilla organization also known as
the Viet Cong.
Graphic Organizer
North Vietnam
South Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh
Ngo Diem
United States
Within weeks of Diem's murder, President Kennedy was
Vice President Lyndon Johnson assumed office determined not
to lose Vietnam to the communists. He sent Defense Secretary
Robert McNamara to South Vietnam to pledge U.S. support.
In August 1964, the USS Maddox, an
American destroyer on patrol in the Gulf
of Tonkin, exchanged fire with North
Vietnamese torpedo boats. Two days later, the
ship's captain reported he was under attack again. Despite
conflicting evidence, the Pentagon insisted there had been a
second unprovoked attack. The incident prompted Johnson to
push the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution through Congress. The
measure allowed LBJ to wage war in Vietnam.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Johnson asks congress to give him the power to “take all
necessary measures” to defend any nation in Southeast Asia
threatened by Communist “aggression or subversion”.
The resolution passed through congress with only two votes
It gave Johnson the right to send
combat troops to Vietnam without an
official U.S. declaration of war.
1965 General William Westmoreland named
commander of U.S. Army, Vietnam.
Regular bombing of North Vietnam begins.
December nearly 200,000 U.S. troops in
1966 another 200,000 troops sent to Vietnam.
1967 total of over 500,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam.
Commanded US military operations in Vietnam
from 1964-68. His highly publicized, positive
assessments of US military prospects in Vietnam
were shattered by the 1968 Tet offensive, in which
Communist forces boldly attacked cities and towns
throughout South Vietnam. Westmoreland later
served as the Army's chief of staff.
Interactive Notebook Question
(Left Side)
 Who did the United States want to keep
out of Southeast Asia (Domino Theory)?
In March 1965, four months after Johnson was elected president by a
landslide, the first U.S. ground troops landed at Da Nang. Johnson was
convinced that, without the support of a massive U.S. force, South
Vietnam was doomed. In response to the U.S. troop buildup, North
Vietnam began to send thousands of soldiers to fight in South Vietnam. In
the Ia Drang valley in Vietnam's central highlands, the North Vietnamese
and U.S. armies met in the first major battle of the war. It was an
American victory -- but U.S. casualties were heavy. American GIs,
meanwhile, found themselves in a baffling war. They were unable to
distinguish friend from foe. American bombing and shelling drove tens of
thousands of Vietnamese from their villages. American television
networks kept a running tally of the U.S. "body count." Johnson attempted
to force the North Vietnamese to the negotiating table by bombing North
Vietnam -- including the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the primitive but highly
effective supply line that linked North Vietnam with its fighters and
supporters in the South. But the tactic failed.
Battle of Khe Sanh
National Security Advisor Walt W. Rostow
showing President Lyndon B. Johnson a model
of the Khe Sanh area, 15 February 1968.
The Battle of Khe Sanh took place between 21 January and 8 April 1968.
During the battle that lasted 77 days, Khe Sanh Combat Base (KSCB) and the hilltop
outposts around it were under constant North Vietnamese ground and artillery attacks.
The Americans feared another Dien Bien Phu in which the French were defeated and
eventually forced to leave Indochina. A massive effort was placed to defend the base
by air and ground forces.
In the end the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces were victorious however the battle
demonstrated the ability of the North Vietnamese and their commitment to take the
The growing scale and savagery of the war in Vietnam
created growing dissent back in the United
States. Johnson was politically weakened by
the anti-war movement.
Ho Chi Minh
Originally nothing
more than a jungle
path this trail will
become the main
supply line for
communist forces
(V.C.) fighting in
South Vietnam.
Despite daily attacks
by U.S. air power the
trail remained open
throughout the war.
“We are winning the war in
Vietnam…” US General, 1968
Tet Offensive
In 1968, communist forces launched wide-scale attacks
throughout South Vietnam to coincide with Tet, the Vietnamese
new year. The communists hoped to spark a general uprising
across the country, a mission that ultimately failed. But the
strength of the offensive came as a shock to the American public
and Johnson.
Tet Offensive
Notice the # of
coordinated attacks
throughout the
Battle of Hue
(Tet Offensive)
With the beginning of the Tet Offensive on January 30, 1968, the Vietnamese lunar New Year,
American forces had been committed to combat upon Vietnamese soil for almost three years.
Highway One passed through Hué creating an important supply line from the coastal city of Da Nang
to the DMZ for the Allied forces. Hué was also a base for United States Navy supply boats. The city,
considering its value and its distance from the DMZ (only 50 miles), should have been welldefended, fortified, and prepared for the Communist offensive.
However, it was actually poorly defended and unprepared because the Allied forces expected that the
North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong would respect the Tet truce. During the Tet, which is an
important holiday celebrated in Vietnam, the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army launched a
massive assault on South Vietnam, attacking hundreds of military targets and population centers
across the country, among them the city of Hué. The Tet Offensive began on January 31, 1968.
Interactive Notebook Question
How did the Tet Offensive shock the
American public?
President Johnson offered to begin peace talks with the
North Vietnamese -- and announced he would not run
for another term in office.
In May 1968, peace talks began in Paris but soon
deadlocked. Richard Nixon, who had begun his
campaign for the presidency, called for an "honorable"
end to U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. But his
campaign aides were secretly urging South Vietnamese
officials to not strike a peace deal until after the election.
The war was to last another four years, costing thousands
more lives.
The End
America's involvement in
Vietnam came to an end on
30 April 1975 when the last
marines were evacuated
from the embassy roof and
the incoming North
Vietnamese Army smashed
through the gates of the
Independence Palace.
After the War
After the US pulled out, North Vietnam conquered
the south. In 1976, Vietnam was reunited under
a communist government. Vietnam had been
devastated by the war. Millions of Vietnamese had
been killed or wounded. Homes, farms, factories,
and forests had been destroyed, bombs had torn
cities apart. Fields were covered with land mines,
or hidden explosives and the Vietnamese people
were worn out. Still ahead was the huge effort of
Interactive Notebook Question
(Left Side)
 What form of government does Vietnam
have today?
 What type of economy does Vietnam
have today?
“The Wall"
The National Vietnam
Veterans Memorial
in Washington, D.C.
Total US Military Personnel in Vietnam
Total Personnel
31 December 1960
31 December 1961
31 December 1962
31 December 1963
31 December 1964
31 December 1965
31 December 1966
31 December 1967
31 December 1968
31 December 1969
31 December 1970
9 June 1971
US Forces
47,378 1
304,704 2
2,338 3
766 4
South Korea
New Zealand
26,000 5
Note 1: there were an additional 10,824 non-hostile deaths for a total of 58,202
Note 2: of the 304,704 WIA, 153,329 required hospitalization
Note 3: this number decreases as remains are recovered and identified
Note 4: 114 died in captivity
Note 5: Does not include 101,511 Hoi Chanh
Legend: KIA = Killed In Action WIA = Wounded In Action MIA = Missing In Action CIA = Captured In Action
Vietnam was the
first war to see
extensive use of
helicopters for
transport and
attack. This is
the Bell UH1
referred to by the
troops as a
The U.S. main rifle became the
M-16. Its light weight and smaller
bullet made it easier to carry in a
jungle setting.
The Vietcong and North
Vietnamese Army choose the AK47. The rifle is world renowned
for its dependability.
Jet Fighter
The F-4 Phantom was used by the USAF, USMC, and USN
in order to reduce cost for separate aircraft for each. The F-4
held air superiority over the skies of South Vietnam yet had
to deal with the MIG-15 and S.A.M.’s over North Vietnam.
Culmination Assignment
(1st-5th periods)
On your own paper, make sure your heading is in the corner, to be turned
in for a grade.
Write a 5 paragraph essay describing
the war in Vietnam and why the
United States was involved in the
Culmination Project (6
On your own paper; chose only one! Make sure to include information about the Cold
War, the Domino Theory, and politics in Vietnam.
Write a 5 paragraph essay describing the
war in Vietnam and why the United States
was involved in the war.
Write a 5 paragraph letter to Ho Chi Minh as
the President of the United States detailing
his mistakes in leading Vietnam and how to
fix them.
Write a 5 paragraph letter as Ho Chi Minh to
the United Nations explaining your decisions
as the leader of Communist North Vietnam.
Write a 5 paragraph letter as a Vietnamese
Peasant to the United Nations explaining
your life under the rule of Ho Chi Minh and
the affect of the Vietnam War on your family.
Movies on the Vietnam War
**Many of these are R rated, get your parents permission
before viewing!!**
84 Charlie
BAT 21
Apocalypse Now
Born on the 4th of July
Flight of the Intruder
Good Morning Vietnam
Hamburger Hill
We Were Soldiers
The Green Berets
Cold War. CNN Interactive.
Can be found at
Traditional Vietnam
Can be found at