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Flashcards in Johnson's War (1965-1969) Deck (63)
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1
Q

What were the tactics used by the Vietcong (5)

A

(1) Guerilla Warfare
-non-uniform, civilian clothing
-tactics designed destroy the morale of the enemy, it was said that they were ‘hanging on the belts’ of the US soldiers (psychological warfare)
-frequent ambushes and close contact conflict. 51% of US casualties caused by ambushes.
(2) Tunnels
Complex system of tunnels that stretched 300km. Contained hospitals and kitchens to transport supplies and soldiers. They were carefully and ingeniously booby-trapped.
(3) Ho Chi Minh Trail
-15,000km long series of paths/tracks/roads as a supply route from N.Vietnamese government to keep vietcong supplied with weapons.
-Received 60 tonnes of supplies throughout the war
- Ran through Laos and Cambodia to make US reluctant to bomb.
-There were 10 alternate routes incase one was compromised or bombed
(4) Booby Traps
- 11% of all US casualties were from booby traps
-aimed to injure rather than kill so other soldiers had to carry/take care of
-Punji spikes, hidden, sometimes filled with human excrement to cause infection
-trip wire grenades
-bouncing betty, 3 prongs shoot up and explode into groin area when stepped
(5) Propaganda and Violence
-Posters, terror tactics
-Relied on the support and help from local villagers
-Between 1966-1971, Vietcong killed 27,000 civilians

2
Q

What were the tactics used by USA

A

(1) Operation Rolling Thunder
-supposed to last for 8 weeks but lasted 3 years
-Continuous bombing of N.Vietnam
-More bombs dropped on Vietnam that any other war in history
(2) Napalm & Agent Orange
-Napalm was a sticky gel made from petrol which spread and burn. This caused mass death and destruction as it was designed to destroy entire areas - killing and obliterating everything in its path
-Agent Orange was a pesticide (weed killer) which was dropped from planes to try and kill the forest so they could reveal enemy positions. However the side effects of them was cancer, parkinsons, etc.
(3) Search & Destroy
-US soldiers going from village to village looking for Vietnam soldiers, often led to mass destruction of towns and villages, and the killing of civilians who were suspected Vietcong.
(4) Zippo Raids
-When soldiers had rumours of the location of a Vietcong base, a zippo raid was organised which involved the killing everyone in the area and then burning the village down

3
Q

what was fragging

A

the deliberate killing of US officers by their own soldiers so they potentially didn’t have to fight

4
Q

How long did US soldiers drafted into the army spend in Vietnam

A

1 year

5
Q

When was the Tet offensive - an Vietcong attack launched into S.Vietnam

A

January 1968

6
Q

What were the events of the Tet Offensive

A

-On 30th Jan 1968, Vietcong launched a surprise attack on more than 100 cities, towns and military bases. 84,000 troops were involved
-The Vietcong hoped it would cause the people in S.Vietnam to rise up against their government and end the war
-September 1968 - The attacks were initially successful in a lot of cities and even attacked the capital of S.Vietnam, Saigon, and managed to take control of the US embassy
-US recaptured after 6 hours. But in other cities such as Hue the fighting lasted for 3 months. Eventually, the USA was able to win back all of the towns and cities and there was no uprising. 60,000 Vietcong were killed while only 10,000 US and ARVN death
-However, the attack was a major political and psychological victory for the Vietcong. It showed that despite the technology difference, the USA were still vulnerable. It was reported live on US TV screens in the first televised war which showed the carnage and destruction.
-General Westmoreland said the US was close to victory beforehand which fuelled the credibility gap between the government and the public.
-President Johnson announced on the 31st March 1968 that he would stand for re-election.
-The cost of the war mounted: $30 billion a year and 300 US deaths a week

7
Q

Why did the US army have such low morale (5)

A

(1) Fragging
-Some US soldiers killed their own officers when they felt their officers might put them in too much danger
-Most soldiers wanted to simply survive the year
(2) The draft
By 1967 most soldiers had been drafted into the army. Most weren’t committed and simply wanted to survive until the end of their service
(3) Cherries
New soldiers nicknamed this. Often not welcomed and often seen as dangerous as they might make a mistake that put the squad in danger
(4) Drugs
US soldiers often used drugs whilst on rest and recuperation: Marijuana, cocaine, heroin used
(5) Desertion
Between 1966 and 1973, there were 503,000 incidents of desertion. Including soldiers who did this more than once

8
Q

What were the events of the My Lai Massacre

A

-My Lai area had about 200 vietcong in it
-On March 16th 1968, 80 US soldiers from Charlie Company sent on a search and destroy mission to the village of My Lai
-They landed by helicopter and immediately began firing, they killed an estimated 500 people including women and children, some were tortured and raped
-Only 3 weapons were found in the village
-When the soldiers returned back to base they reported that 22 had been killed by accident and the rest were vietcong. The attack was praised by army and US media and nothing was heard about it for a few months

9
Q

What was the aftermath and Consequences of the My Lai Massacre

A

-1 year after the event, Ron Ridenhour wrote a letter describing ‘something dark and bloody’ happened, he sent it to 30 politicians and military leaders
-There were 2 investigations into the massacre. The government interviewed 398 witnesses. The final report concluded that Charlie company had massacred between 347 to 504 unarmed civilians. It said action should be taken on the soldiers involved
-In 1970, 14 officers went on trial for covering the truth, none were found guilty
-Only one was, Lieutenant Calley who admitted killing some. He was originally sentenced to life but in 1974, president Nixon released him

-The US public were shocked
-Many believed they were following orders and the mistrust of the army increased. Many questioned the futility of the war
-In late 1969, 700,000 people protested in Washington against the war
-fuelled the credibility gap

10
Q

How did the opposition to war increase and how did people protest

A

-My Lai: 700,000 protested in Washington in response
-By 1961, 93% of US homes has TV’s. Meaning many could see the destruction caused by the USA
-The cost of war was increasing: By 1967, it was costing $30 billion a year. 40,000 were being called up each month.
-MLK: joined anti-war movement in 1967, highlighted the fact that there was a disproportionate amount of black to white soldiers
-Tet Offensive: Due to the fact that Gen. Westmoreland lied, the credibility gap was fuelled
-Morley Safer Zippo Raid report (1965) : Portrayed US soldiers as the bad, destructive ones
-The draft: Men aged 18-26 had to register, if refused they were imprisoned. The system was unfair to make it so that the working class and ethic minorities were more likely to be selected
-Walter Cronkite statement: Very trusted US newsreader who said the war was a stalemate and the USA had to negotiate peace
-Muhammed Ali: Refused to join the war when called up, received a 3 year ban from boxing and sentenced to prison
-Great Society: Johnson promised a ‘great society’ but the cost of war presented this

-draft dodging: public burning of draft cards, fleeing to Canada and other countries. In New York (1965), 5 men burnt their draft cards in front of 1500 people.
-student protest: In 1969, student protests increased. There were over 100 demonstrations in the first months of 1968 involving over 40,000 students. Some chanted ‘Hey hey LBJ! How many kids did you kill today’
-mass protest: (1967) - 100,000 at Lincoln memorial in Washington, violence from police. This increased after My Lai and Tet Offensive. (Nov 1969) - 700,000 at Washington.
Veteran Protest: (1967) - Vietnam veterans against the war was formed. Made of ex-soldiers, many injured. Threw away medals and had a big impact on the US public.

11
Q

What was Guerilla warfare

A

fighting non-uniform (in civilian clothing) designed to destroy the morale of the enemy as they didn’t know who was who. It also meany frequent ambushes

12
Q

what percentage of US casualties were caused by ambushes

A

51%

13
Q

how long did the Vietcong’s complex system of tunnels stetch

A

300km

14
Q

How long did the Ho Chi Minh Trail stretch

A

15,000km

15
Q

How many tonnes of supplies were sent from North to South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh trail

A

60 tonnes

16
Q

How many alternate routes were there in case one was compromised or bombed

A

10

17
Q

What percentage of all US casualties were from booby traps

A

11%

18
Q

What were punji spikes

A

hidden spikes, sometimes filled with excrement, designed to injure the enemy instead of killing so other soldiers had to carry

19
Q

What were bouncing bettys

A

3 prong grenade which would shoot up and explode into the groin area when stepped on

20
Q

between 1966-1971, how many civilians did Vietcong kill

A

27,000

21
Q

What was Operation Rolling Thunder

A

Continuous bombing of Vietnam, more bombs were dropped on Vietnam that any way in history

22
Q

What was Napalm

A

A stick gel made from petrol which spreads and burns. It caused mass death and destruction as it was designed to obliterate entire areas.

23
Q

What was agent orange

A

a pesticide (weed-killer) which was air-dropped to remove the forest in an attempt to reveal enemy positions, however the side effects included cancer and parkinsons

24
Q

What was the name of the US tactic of going from village to village looking for Vietcong soldiers

A

search and destroy

25
Q

What day did the tet offensive begin

A

30th Jan 1968

26
Q

how many cities did the tet offensive include

A

more than 100

27
Q

how many soldiers were involved in the tet offensive

A

84,000

28
Q

When did the Vietcong attack Saigon and managed to take control of the US embassy

A

September 1968

29
Q

By 1961, What percentage of US homes had television

A

93%

30
Q

Who was the US general who said US were close to victory shortly before Tet Offensive

A

General Westmoreland

31
Q

What was the credibility gap

A

The gap of truth between the US public and the US government. Worsened specifically by the Tet offensive and My Lai massacre

32
Q

by 1967, how much money did the war cost a year

A

$30 billion

33
Q

by 1968, how many US soldiers died a week

A

300

34
Q

What was fragging

A

US soldiers deliberately killing their own officers when they felt their officers were putting them in danger

35
Q

How long was a US soldiers’ service after they had been drafted

A

1 year

36
Q

What were cherries

A

New soldiers. Often not welcomed and seen as dangerous as they could put the whole group in danger

37
Q

What drugs did some US soldiers take

A

Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin (often while on rest and recuperation)

38
Q

Between 1966 and 1973, how many incidents of desertion, including repeated individuals, were there

A

503,000 incidents

39
Q

How many Vietcong did the area of My Lai have in it

A

200

40
Q

When was the My Lai Massacre

A

16th March 1968

41
Q

How many soldiers from what company were on the search and destroy mission to my lai

A

80, charlie company

42
Q

How many men, women and children did the US soldiers slaughter in the My Lai massacre

A

500

43
Q

how many weapons were found in my lai village

A

3

44
Q

when charlie returned to base, how many did they report were on accident

A

22

45
Q

who wrote a letter describing ‘something dark and bloody’ a year after the my lai massacre, exposing the truth

A

Ron Ridenhour

46
Q

how many politicians and military leaders did Ron Ridenhour send his letter to

A

30

47
Q

How many witnesses were interviewed by the government after my lai was exposed

A

398

48
Q

How many unarmed civilians did the final report say charlie company massacred

A

347 to 504

49
Q

how many officers went on trail for the my lai massacre in 1970

A

14 officers

50
Q

Who was the lieutenant who was sentenced to life for my lai. (later released by Nixon)

A

Lieutenant Calley

51
Q

how many people protested in Washington in 1969

A

700,000

52
Q

When did MLK join the anti war movement

A

1967

53
Q

When was the Morley Safer Zippo Raid

A

1965

54
Q

What age bracket did US men have to register

A

18-26

55
Q

Which very trusted US newsreader stated that the war was a stalemate and USA needed to negotiate peace with Vietnam

A

Walter Cronkite

56
Q

How many years was Muhammed Ali banned from boxing after he refused the draft

A

3 years

57
Q

What was the great society

A

The idea of a perfect society presented by Johnson but the cost of war prevented this becoming a reality

58
Q

What was draft dodging

A

public burning of draft cards. Fleeing to Canada and other countries.

59
Q

how many men publicly burnt their draft cards in 1965 in New Yorkqq

A

5 men in front of 1500

60
Q

how many student demonstrations were there in the first months of 1968 and how many students were involved

A

over 100, 40,000 involved

61
Q

What did some of the students chant

A

‘Hey hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today’

62
Q

how many people protested at Lincoln Memorial, Washington in 1967

A

100,000

63
Q

What was Vietnam Veterans against the war

A

injured Veterans publicly throwing away medals. This had a big impact on the public