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Flashcards in Vietnam Deck (93):

Who was fighting for Vietnam after WW2?

France and the Vietminh lead by Ho Chi Minh.


What was the Vietminh fighting for?

Independence. They decleared the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.


Where was th Vietminh in control?

In the North of Vietnam. (French controlled the South. Fighting broke out between the 2 sides).


What was the impact of china becoming communist on Vietnam?

Became communist in 1949. China supported Vietminh in supplies, advisers and troops.


How did the USA support the French?

Gave French supplies, military advisers and soldiers. Soldiers wern't ordered to fight because USA was reluctant to get openly involved in war. By 1954 USA paid 80% of cost of France's war against Vietminh.


What were the impacts of Dien Bien Phu?

Fought battle in Dien Bien Phu in 1954. After 55 days of fighting, French surrendered to Vietminh. Defeat was significance in leading France out of Vietnam.


What happened in the Geneva conference in 1954?

Attempted to restore peace. Geneva accords divided Vietnam in 2 along 17th parallel, seperated by demilitarised zone.


Who were the 2 Vietnams led by?

Democratic Republic of Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh.
State of Vietnam: Bao Dai(until 1955)-backed by USA. After 1955 led by Ngo Dinh Diem.


What was Eisenhower's domino theory?

USA in fear of spread of communism. Worried if Vietnam became communist, others would. Set up Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) in September 1954-aimed to stop spread of communism in Southeast Asia. SEATO included UK France and 5 other countries-all agreed to stop spread of communism collectively.


What were the impacts of Diem's weak government?

Was corrupt, had little respect for rural population and Buddhists (main religion in South Vietnam). Different revelutionary groups developed in South to fight Diem's government. Collectively called Vietcong (or VC- Vietnamese Communists). North backed VC and was civil war. Eisenhower supported Diem by sending advisers to train South Vietnamese army (ARVN) to fight VC. Eisenhower didn't want to risk nuclear with China and USSR by sending US troops.


How did Kennedy impact the Vietnam was?

Became president in 1961-agreed with domino theory. Wanted to avoid direct military action in Vietnam. Recognised VC were gaining ground. Sent military advisors to South(around 16,000 by late 1963). Authorised use of chemical sprays e.g. Agent Orange, to kill crops and jungle areas VC were hiding in from 1961-operation Ranch Hand. Changed tactics to searching for VC, not just trying to draw them to battle. 1961 requested report on feasibility of sending US soldiers for active service in vietnam.


What were the US concerns leading to Diem's overthrow?

Kennedy believed VC being beaten, in January 1963, ARVN lost Battle of Ap Bac even though had US air support and 5 times as many soldiers as VC. US media reported battle as defeat, despite government attempt to present is positibely. Kennedy worried about negative publicity of Diem's leadership.


What happened on 6th May 1963?

Diem's troops fierd on Buddhist procession, killin 9, added to Diem's unpopularity among Vietnamese.


What happened on 11th May 1963?

Buddhist monk burnt himself to death in protest about Diem's government. Protest generated worldwide publicity.


What were te outcomes of the 6/11th May 1963?

Kennedy put pressure on Diem's government to make peace with Buddhists, Diem contined to persecute them. Kennedy didn't want publicly depose Diem, despite knowing he was unpopular, made obvious he had withdawn all support for his leadership. He know knew Diem's government would never be domocratic.


What happened in November 1963?

ARVN generals overthrew and assassinated Diem, USA didn't intervene to prevent this.


Why didn't Kennedy put more troops in Vietnam/

Was his duty to pretect South from communism. Wanted to build democratic country. Wanted new government to persuade population to support aims, rather than use repression.


What were teh strategic Hamlet Program in 1962?

Diem and USA built new villages to house local away from VC, so VC couldn't recruit them to fight. Aim to provide security for villagers and create support for government. Hamlets also sopposed to have schools nad medical centres.


What was the impact of the Strategic Hamlets?

ARVN forciably removed and relocated villagers .Were villagers who didn't want to leave ancestral homes. Not enough food or basic previsions in some Hamlets, many villagers starved tot death. Program made Diem and USA morec umpopular in South.


What were Johnson's aims of the Vietnam war?

Stop to spread communism, establish democratic government in South supported by people. Ensure situation didn't deteriorate into nuclear war.


What were Johnson's problems/

Communists in Vietnwm were getting stronger and horder to defeat. Government of South was very weak and unpopular. USSR was superpower with nuclear capability..


What was The Gulf of Tonkin incident of 1964?

In August 1964, 2 US naval ships reported attacks by North torpedo boats off North coast.


What were the causes of the Gulf of Tonkin?

Incerased build-up of US advisers in south under Johnson. Regular US patrols by ships e.g. Maddox and C. Turner Joy in Gulf of Tonkin. US involvement in ARVN raids on North.


What were the consequences of the Gulfof Tonkin?

Johnosn ordered air strikes against North. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, allowing Johnson to use armed force to defend South and US troops already stationed there. In response, North expanded their involvement in South.


What were the increasing threats of the VC?

Became more organised and effective and numbers increased. Some of VC's ideas were popular among ordinary Vietnamese, who smpathised with their view of Americans as imperialists wanting control of Vietnam for their own ends. Many South were angry with government for its daling s with USA and policies e.g. Stragetic Hamlet Program. Recieved support from North, sent supplies and weapons. Many rural South supported VC. Increased civilian VC support made VC threat larger.


What was teh Ho Chi Minh Trail?

North Vietnamese with China's help supported VC in South by sending troops weapons via Ho Chi Minh trail. Trail was network of paths and smaller trails, connected North and South (passed through Laos and Cambodia). Took about a month to get from 1 end to other. Over time paths on trail becam wider and easier to use to send more support. By 1974 some parts of trail properly paved and dotted along route that were underground hospitals and fueland weapons stores.


What were the VC's range of methods?

Planned ambushes, set simple, but deadly traps, didn't wear military uniform so intergrated with rural peasants, stayed close to US deployments of soldiers so couldn't be bombed easily, sabotaged roads and bridges to make it difficult for enemy to move around, avoided open battle, blended in with local population so was hard for members to be identified could be male, female, young or old.


What caused operation rolling thunder in early 1965?

Were still no US soldiers in Vietnam. Johnson wanted to force North to negotiate a settlemes.


What happened in operatin rolling thunder in 1965?

Feburary 1965, USA started bombing campaign in North called Operation Rolling Thunder. Johnson resisted calls from military to bomb extensively. So Rolling Thunder began gradually, near South.


Where did operatin rolling thunder target, and why?

Targeted Ho Chi Minh Trail to stop suplies being taken South, and North's small industrial base.


Where did operation rolling thunder avoid and why?

Hanoi and port of Haiphong and border with China to avoid war escalating and China and USSR becoming envolved.


What was the US tactic serch and destroy?

Small groups of VC tracked down VC camps then called helicopters to spray chemicals/bombs on them, VC often left traps on ground to kill/injure US soldiers.


How did the VC use tactics against search and destroy?

If any VC in area, used 'hit and run' attacls on US troops instead of fighting and battles.


How did the Americans use tactics to ensure search and destroy was a success?

US troops destroyed VC tunnels, weapons and supplies they found. After US troops left area, VC returned-sent out message that US search and destroy was failing. Use of chemical sprays, and bombing of crops and homes made US umpopular with locals.


Who led the Tet Offensive in 1968 and when?

By North and VC in January-Febuary 1968. Over 100 cities and US bases in South were attacked.


What was the start of the Tet Offensive?

Initially North and VC drew US and ARVN troops away from cities and military bases by attacking demilitarised zone. North also suggested negatiated settlement, made US think communists were losing.


What were some individual attacksin the Tet Offensive?

On 30th January, North troops and VC attacked high-profile places in saigon, e.g. US embassy, airport and radio statoin. Attack in Saigon was defeated, but US citizens were shocked by events.


What were the outcomes of the Tet Offensive?

Eventually, US and ARVN troops recaptured cities and bases that were attacked and communists suffered very heaby losses (VC nearly wiped out). However, American public saw Tet Offensive as terrible faliure.


What was the Nixon doctrine?

On 25th July 1969 Nixon put forward his ideas about Vietnam, southeast Asia and USA-Nixon Doctrine. USA would follow thorugh on any existing support it had promised its allies and help them against nuclear attacks. However, from now on US would only provide financial help and training against threats from countries that didn't have nuclear capacity-wouldn't provide soldiers.


What was Vietnamisation?

Putting ideas behind Nixon Doctrine into practice.


What were the key ideas of Vietnamisation?

Nixon wanted US troops to withdraw from vietnam, while also giving appearance USA hadn't lost war. South army (ARVN) was to take over more of actual fighting, thus reducing number of US military deaths. US government's focus was now to ssend money and advisers, not soldiers. US government's aim was to ensure South remained independent non-communist. In this way USA wouln't lose face over outcomes in Vietnam.


Why were most Americans supporting brining troops to the US/

Troops began to be withdrawn form 1968 onwards. Once sodiers knew would be leaving, desire to fight was severely reduced. Many tried to avoid battle and some killed their officers to stop them leading them into situations where their lives were at risk. Drug use also rocketed among US troops.


What were the attacks on CAmbodia in 1970?

In 1970 despite creating public hostility Nixon sent US troops to Cambodia to stop North from helping Cambodia's communists to power. Congress was outraged and canceled Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Congress also reduced money for war and demanded faster troop reductions from Vietnam.


What were the attacks on Laos in 1971?

In 1971, USA gave air support for South invasion of Laos, to stop spreadof communism. Was bloody fighting between North and South(Vietnamese)in Laos. South Vietnamese didn't fight well, increasing douts about their ability to hold back communism in South after US troops went home.


What were the bombing of North in 1972?

In April 1972, USA bombed North in heavy air raids to weaken it. All areas were targeted and mines dropped into Haipong harbour to stop supplies from China and USSR coming by sea. RAdio and communications were destroyed. North war industry was severely damaged. Bombing led to calls from USSR and China for North to sign peace deal.


What and who was involved in the student movement?

Initial approval of war declined as US involvememt escalated over time. Period saw growth in student anit-war organisations. Many young pepole rejected attitudes of previous generations and wanted social change. New 'counter culture' was emerging and students were a centrel part of it. Many stuedents opposed to draft. Students increased to 8.5 million in 1970 from about 6 million 5 years earlier.


What was different about the Vietnam war with the press?

Unlike earlier wars, Vietnam was first conglict where reporters were able to trabel with the troops into the war zone and report back on what they saw.


What was the impact on the press in Vietnam?

Brought Vietnam War into people's homes via tlevision, war described as 'media conflict' because media coverage was so important to public perceptions of the conflict. Media also reported on large-scale anti-war protests that were spreading across USA.


What was the impact of media images and footage on opinion at home?

Many Americans started to believe TV reporters were being more honest than politions about Vietnam. News reports inspired American public to get involved in understanding and debating issues. Was growing feeling that government couldn't be trusted to keep public properly informed about what was happening. Many Anericans also felt government was misrepresenting how was was progressing.


Who was liable for the draft?

Draft forced men aged 18-25 to serve in ilitary forces. Men who were chosen for military service were sent draft cards telling them where to report for duty.


Whio and why did the US chose from 1966?

First men chosen on grounds that US authorities viewed them as 'deliquent'. Finally men aged 18-25 chosen


What was the lottery system?

1969 lottery system implimented. Men born from 1944-1950 issued number and called up at random. Of 2.6 million US soldiers who served, 650,000 were draftees.


What was the impact of the drft?

Led to widespread public criticism about unfairness, especially as poorest were hardest hit. Some men burned their draft cards or refused to join-was criminal offence, so 'draft dodgers' had to go into hiding to avoid arrest. Some fled to Canada. Men from wealthier families avoided or postponed being called up by going to college or by studing abroad.


What was the My Lai Massacre of 16th March 1968?

US trops were sent to village of My Lai in South, told would come under VC fire. Found only women, children and old men. Killed everyone theyfound at least 347 possibly over 500, as well as their animals, stopped to eat lunch, then returned to base.


Who took photos of the My lai Massacre?

Sergent Ron Haeberberle accompanied by a soldier.


What was the public reaction to the My Lai Massacre?

People in USA not sure what to believe about what taken place. Government accused of withholding information. Photos of massacre released to CBS news in December and public saw this as evidence of serious cover-up. US public horrified.


How was Lt Calley related to the My Lai Massacre?

Lt Calley led military action at My Lai on day of massacre. Claimed thathad been acting on direct orders from his seniors when massacre carried out.


What was the trial of Lt Calley?

Peers Enquiry later found that Calley was indeed following orders and that high-level army officials, including generals, involved in cover-up.


What was Lt Calley's sentence?

Foun guilt of 22 murders, sentenced to life in prision, sentence later reduced to 3 years. Controversially, even though 18 further officers had chrges brought against them, nosoldier faced trial.


What was the significance of the Kent state shootings?

Photos of shooting of students were published across USA and worls. Public shocked and outraged in USA and worldwide by what happened after. White middle-class were unarmed and 2 of dead students had been simply bystanders, not even involved in protests.


How did the fear of communism help support for the Vietnam war?

Cold War made Amerians paranoid about 'communist threat'. By 1954 fear of communism spreading to other countries was still very strong although domestically fear lessened. Eisenhower first used phroase 'falling domino' at news conference in 1954 to express concerns about spread of communism. Kennedy in his inaugral speach as president, argued US security would be undermined as result of domino effect.


How did patriotism help the support for teh war?

Many Americans concerned to keep USA's standing in world as high as possible. Didn't want defeat in Vietnam to lead country 'losing lose'. Some Amricans were very patriotic and saw it as their utmost duty to accept authority of government and to do their part in supporting country, whatever cost. Believed fighting communism in Vietnam was patriotic obligation. Many working-class people broadly supported aims of war.


Who were the hard hat rioters?

Construction workers actively supported Vietnam war. At protest in May 1970, group hearing hard hats beat up anti-war protestors. Police made little attempt to protect anti-war demonstators.


Who were the silent majority according to Nixon?

In telelvised speech on 3rd November 1969, Nixon argued that 'the great silent majority' of Amerians supported his Vietnam policy. Was right. Survey showed 77% of Americans backed his plans for Vietnam war.


What did the support for Nixon's plans mean?

Congress passed resolution approving Nixon's approach in Vietnam. Nixon show North that he had strong support, helping him to persuade the mto reach a settlement. Nixon could hold out for and exit from V ietnam that, in theory, allowed USA to withdraw with 'honour'.


What were the USA's reasons for peace negotiations in 1972?

Victory in Vietnam no longer seemed possible, especially after Tet. Growing opposition to war, congress was reluctant to finance constinuation of war. Nion was keen to appear the peacemaker in Vietnam for political gain at home.


What were the shared reasons for peace in vietnam?

High numbers of dead and wounded, cost of war, war could drag on for years to come.


What what were the North's reasons for peace?

China and USSR wanted North to make peace and might withdraw help. North was being bombed heavily.


What were the featrues of the negiotiations in 1973?

After negotiaions had broken down in 1972 further ta;ks began in Paris on 8th January 1973. All parts of peace agreement were to be international body, USA would pay for reconstruction.


What were the key arguments for peace?

All countries would accept Vietnam as a single country through independent negotiation (only national negotiations). Would be immediate ceasefire. US troops, equitment and advisers would be withdrawn and military bases removed. Would be no US government intervention in Vietnameses politics or military. Government of new unified Vietnam would be chosen in fair and independent elections.


What were the Paris Peace Agreement of 1973?

Paris Peace Agreement, signed in USA, North and South Vietnam and Provisional Revelutionary Govenment of Vietnam on 27th January 1973 brought end to war.


How was the Paris Peace Agreement significant?

Agreement gave USA oppertunaty to withdraw form Vietnam. Yet in long run failed to secure future of independent non-communist South. South's economy crashed due to bad harvests and large reduction in US aid and investment. Contributed to unpopularity of new south government, and VC soon popular in cillafe communities once again.


What was the North's vision after the Paris Peace Agreement?

Continued to seek united, communist Vietnam and became impatient with refusal of Presidet of South President Thieu, to talk. Resumed combat with South in late 1974. ARVN couldn't fend off attacks but congress wouldn't approve funds for USA to intervene. South capital, Saigon fell in April 1975.


What werethe economic cost of the war for the USA?

War cost US economy $167 billion. Expense led to cutbacks in federal spending on domestic isssues and caused economic problems.


What were the human costs of the war for the USA?

58,000 US soldiers died, 75,000 left in serious permanent disability; 850,000 suffered severe metal health problems, including post-traumatic stress. High rate of suicide among veterans.


What were the strengths of the North?

Vietnam was 1 country, North had good geographical and cultural understanding of South. Many in North/South wanted to be reunited. North had good knowledge of natural environment in South. Shared language. North expected full commitment of war form young to old. Children trained in military and given roles. Believed fighting and dying for country was matter of honour. Opposing aim of war wasn't option in North. Open political opinon not allowed.


How did the Soviets support the North?

Fromn 1965, after US military escalation took hold, USSR became North's main source of economic aid.


How did China aid the North?

From start of war against French, China gace technical military and financial help to North. After 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, marked turning pint for US involvement in Vietnam, Chinese dramatically increased support for North and VC in South. Between 1965-1971 over 320,000 Chineses troops were sent to North.


What were the Vietcong's tactics?

Gurelilia tactics of North allies, VC, were difficult ot undermint. VC were used to fighting in jungle conditions and were well organised an dequipped dor guerrila-style warfare.


How was teh VC's commitment important?

Strong commitment of VC in North troops was also difficult to challange, as had clear ideology about why needed to win war and reasons why fight. In comparison ARVN recieved poor training and didn't have same levels of belief in what were fighting for.


How did the Ho Chi Minh Trail help North Vietnam win the war?

Laos and Cambodia allowed Ho Chi Minh Trail to operate in their countries. Was vital supply route for North to reach VC in South. Military caused USA al lot of difficulty. Thousands of Vietnamese were involved in keeping route open and workable. Ameruicans used biological weapons to deforest jungle and expose trial, yet despite this route kept going throughout war.


How did lack of knowledge and awarness affect the US army?

Vietnam was very 'alien' to most Americans who didn't understand anything about country were at war with. US soldiers found war more difficult as result. Many Americans underestimated enemy and held ignorant and racist views about their inferiority as an opponent. US military leaders and strategists didn't try to understand conflict from viewpoint of Vietnamese people and this put them at real disadvantage.


How did the war make the US army become more politically and economically weak?

For 1st time, USA fought war wherer noclear public agreement about whether is justified. 1st time in US history war veterens wanted war to stop and handed in medals in protest. Lot of media critisism about war aims and methods used. US government ignored public opposition to war but ultimately had to listen to anti-war movement, as presidents and members of congress relied on public support to be elected. When congress restricted funding of war after 1971, were shortages of equpment for US troops.


What did the US army have that the VC didn't?

US army benefited from superior military technology, including helicopters and advanced weaponry.


How were the US tactics a failiure?

Failied inits tactics, mistakenly believing that victory could be won by developing more troops and ordering more bombing of North. Over-estimated itss sucesses, basing calculation on how many villages that destroyed or VC thay killed rather than how much territory they controlled.


How did the US government become popular in the South?

Propaganda claimed USA wanted ddemocracy for South, South saw USA as simply foreign power interfering in their country. So US backed Sout government was unpopular. Also hated its ties to French colonial intrests of past that were seen as anti-Vietnamese.


How did the USA fail to win the hearts and mind of the Vietnamese?

Many local in South had far more sympathy with ideas and values of VC and North than with government imposed on them by USA.


What was the impact of the war opposition for government and armed forces?

War led to growing guild between public previously trusted istitutions, e.g. government and armed forces


How was the public divided on veterens?

Returning soldiersoften met with real hostility. As anti-war movement grew, veterans could be targeted as 'baby killers'. Sometimes were verbally orphysically attacked. Some veterans found it difficult to find work.


What was the impact of the war on soldiers after the war?

High suicide rate among returning soldiers. After ww2, veterans were treated as heroes, yet men returning from Vietnam were sometimes outcasts who felt that US society had let them down. They had been made to fight a war that US society as a whole didn't support, and they carried responsibility and guilt for this.


What was thefinancila impact of teh war?

As well as war expenditure, US socity was affected by lack of resources to address problems had domestically. E.g. Johnson's 'Great Society' agenda, which aimed to reduce inequality and racial divisions, lost money that was spent on war instead.


What pressure was on US government of anti-war movement?

Reputation of USA was diminished as result of war in Vietnam. US government was concerned that involvement abroad should not lead to similar problems to those encountered in Vietnam.


What pressure was on US government of anti-war movement after 1975?

By end of 1975, whole of Vietnam was under communist government, so war seemed to have neen pointless. In 1950s, American public had respect for its government but 20 years later general feeling was that people should be more questioning of power of, and decisions made by, government. War played big part in shift in attitude towards government.