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Flashcards in Vietnam War Deck (20):
1

Explain why tactics used by the communists in Vietnam were effective (6)

1. Ho Chi Minh had seen success of guerrilla warfare tactics used by Chinese communists.
2. It was low tech and included booby traps, tunnels, mines designed to wear the enemy down. Tunnels had built in hospitals, storage places for food and had blockages from possible gas leeks. Other tactics used by the Vietcong was living amongst the civilians without uniform so could find out information about the Americans and south Vietnamese
3. In comparison, USA were spending more money and getting caught in traps, meaning success for the Vietcong. Vietcong were fighting for a cause they felt passionate about whereas American soldiers didn't have good morale.

2

The tactics of the USA were the main reason for its failure in Vietnam, how far do you agree? (10)

1. It is true as tactics were less effective in comparison to Vietcong's guerrilla warfare. Vietcong knew the territory they were fighting on well and made tunnels.
2. Search and destroy methods created hatred towards USA from Vietnamese peasants
3. Operation rolling thunder took a long time to be effective
4. Overall, more expensive and too destructive tactics so Vietcong were more successful and had better morale than USA soldiers
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5. The tactics were not the whole reason for failure as there was a big decrease of popularity in the American public due to footage/media reports of what was happening
6. Icons began war protests which were influential as they were looked up to/ were in the eye of the public
7. A growth of rebellion by the American soldiers, taking drugs and committing suicide for example.
8. There was low morale within the American soldiers and they were reluctant to fight and this might have had an effect- they wouldn't attack as much or would miss opportunities leading them to lose the war
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To conclude, I personally do not agree with the statement that tactics were the main reason for USAs failure- the media was. Technology was a relatively new thing so lots of people would have been aware of the trauma they were causing. If the people of USA were not happy then this would have had an effect on President Johnson's decisions as a representative of the American people, forcing him to withdraw. The tactics were a factor of the failure but not the main reason.

3

What was the 'domino theory'? (4)

1. The political belief of Eisenhower and others
2. that the USSR were spreading communism country, by country, by country, as if they were falling dominos
3. If one country was communist, others would follow
4. Examples of this in action were Poland, Czechoslovakia and Albania

4

Explain why the Vietnam war became unpopular in the USA (8)

1. Destructive methods and trauma was captured by cameras which was then seen by American citizens on the news on their televisions at home. This was shocking and was not liked, leading more people to not support the war.
2. Journalists would take secret and even more shocking images of the pain they were creating. Icons stood up against the Vietnam war and this was very influential to the public who looked up to these icons - an increase of unpopularity.
3. Additionally, American soldiers were young and fighting in a one year basis, so the soldiers themselves were inexperienced therefore even they didn't want to be fighting.

5

Describe the involvement of the USA in Vietnam before Johnson became president in 1963 (4)

1. When Eisenhower was president he was concerned for North Vietnam as the communists might win an election there and Eisenhower was against communism
2. Americans wanted containment, to stop the spread of communism, so made allies with South Vietnam
3. Diem's anti communist government of South Vietnam was corrupt and needed US support
4. Under Kennedy's leadership, American military support for South Vietnam increased

6

What involvement did America have in Vietnam between 1954 and 1962? (4)

1. Between 1954 and 1960 they sent equipment and military advisors and amount of advisors increased from 900 to 11000
2. In 1955 the USA helped Diem set up the Republic of South Vietnam
3. America prevented free elections to happen in 1954
4. This was to try and prevent the spread of communism- domino theory

7

Explain why USA involvement in Vietnam increased between 1954 and 1964(8)

1. Diem who was a non-communist leader was corrupt and needed USA support if it was to survive. USA wanted to ally South Vietnam because they had a containment policy and President Eisenhower feared 'the domino theory'. This referred to when there is a communist country and countries around are likely to fall to communism as well. North Vietnam was communist and was thriving in support. China had also become communist so it was spreading.
2. In August 1964 North Vietnamese patrol boats opened fire on US ships in the gulf of Tonkin. The U.S. Congress passed a resolution which gave power to Johnson to enter into full scale war. Therefore, USA could fight against North Vietnam.

8

Explain why USA became involved in Vietnam up to and including 1965 (6)

1. To stop the spread of communism like 'the domino theory', which they feared, and stick by American policy of containment by supporting anti communists throughout the world (South Vietnam)
2. South Vietnam was corrupt and needed help from USA if it was to survive which USA very much wanted as North Vietnam was communist and thriving
3. Also in 1964 things escalated quickly when North Vietnamese boats fired USA ships in the gulf of Tonkin. Johnson wanted to bomb North Vietnam naval bases because an election was imminent so he wanted to get tough on communism.

9

Who were the Vietcong (4)

1. A large group of communist guerrillas from North Vietnam
2. Based in South Vietnam
3. They were South Vietnamese opponents of the government
4. They wanted to overthrow Diem and received supplies from North Vietnam

10

Explain why the communists used guerrilla tactics in the Vietnam war (6)

1. Ho Chi Minh had seen it used successfully in China where they were used by Mao to achieve communist victory
2. Guerrilla tactics would wear down the enemy soldiers physically and mentally as the tactics included surprise attacks like mines that could go off at any point
3. They knew the territory so underground tunnels and supplies which were very effective. They did not wear uniform so would blend in with the Vietnamese peasants and this would make them more successful than USA

11

What tactics did USA use in the Vietnam war (4)

1. Strategic bombing of villages (high levels of technology)
2. Search and destroy method of planes dropping bombs which eventually turned peasants against USA
3. napalm very destructive which burned villages and jungles
4. Agent orange which caused leaves to fall off trees, damaged the jungle and could cause cancer

12

Explain why the Vietcong were an effective fighting force (6)

1. Not expensive as they used low tech guerrilla warfare. The use of guerrilla warfare also weared down USA troops physically and mentally
2. They developed a Ho Chi Minh trails to retreat to underground because they knew the terrain well. These had supplies, hospitals and protection from any gas leaks so these were very effective.
3. They kept the local population on their side and conducted a campaign of terror against employees of the South Vietnamese so they manipulated people to their advantage which helped

13

What was the tet offensive? (4)

1. The Vietcong's attempt at a revolution in South Vietnam
2. The American embassy in Saigon was attacked and so was major South Vietnamese towns
3. It happened during the tet new year celebrations
4. It was a turning point in the war and up to 60,000 communist troops had been killed

14

The main reason for American withdrawal from Vietnam was the Tet Offensive of 1968. How far do you agree with this statement ? (10)

1. Yes because it was such a major attack. Many Vietnamese civilians were killed and the ancient city of Hue was destroyed. The Americans had to question why they were still causing this level of trauma to innocent people in Vietnam if they weren't even winning
2. The cost of the war for America was highlighted at the tet offensive. In life magazine in 1967 it was worked out that it cost America $400,000 for every Vietcong guerrilla killed. This considered and the fact that the Vietcong were able to attack as massively in the tet offensive, USA had to withdraw.
3. The idea of winning in Vietnam deteriorated massively as the tet offensive made it clear that it would take many more troops to win and American troops were inexperienced already
4. They were overall not expecting such a coordinated and effective response from the Vietcong
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5. however, in America the involvement of the Vietnam war became very unpopular as footage and traumatic images from the war, such as My Lai, was portrayed by the media. People did not like this and made many protests in America
6. Famous Icons protested about the Vietnam war which was very influential to the people. The American people would openly critisize president Johnson
7. The warfare policies of America like search and destroy had failed so this made Johnson change his policies as he realised he could not win the war militarily. He did not immediately withdraw after the tet offensive so it may not have been the main reason why USA withdrew
8. Soldiers fighting were rebelling and had been for a while during in the war. Dead bodies were found to have had been taking drugs and many soldiers committed suicide
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Overall, I do partially agree with the statement but I feel that the tet offensive was a factor of USAs withdrawal, not the main reason, so I don't agree very far. There were many other reasons for example the media which had a massive and significant impact.

15

Explain why the methods used by the Americans to try and defeat the Vietcong were unsuccessful (6)

1. The American warfare was very expensive high technology whereas the Vietcong warfare was low tech and cheaper. It was very destructive and search and destroy methods made the villagers feel against the USA
2. Guerrilla warfare was generally more effective than American warfare. they could wear down the americans by keeping them on edge with mines and booby traps. they knew the terrain so built tunnels underground which had hospitals, storage places for food and had blockages from possible gas leeks.
3. Other tactics used by the Vietcong was living amongst the civilians without uniform so could find out information about the Americans and south Vietnamese which Americans weren't aware of

16

Explain why the Vietnam war became unpopular in the USA (6)

1. There was lots of footage/media reports of what was happening as undercover cameramen and journalists went to Vietnam. People found the images traumatic such as the amount of deaths at the my Lai massacre
2. People also found the methods of attack and the types of weapons used horrifying such as napalm
3. Icons began war protests which were influential as they were looked up to/ were in the eye of the public
4. The economic cost of the war was very high for America and this was exposed by the media also. Life magazine in 1967 worked out it would cost $400,000 to kill one Vietcong guerrilla

17

The most important reason for American withdrawal from Vietnam was military failure. How far do you agree with this ? (10)

1. It is true as tactics were less effective in comparison to Vietcong's guerrilla warfare. Vietcong knew the territory they were fighting on well and made tunnels and booby traps to keep USA on edge
2. Search and destroy methods created hatred towards USA from Vietnamese peasants and they were so destructive. Footage of these methods was shown and it made the Vietnam war unpopular with American people
3. Operation rolling thunder took a long time to be effective and was very expensive (whereas guerrilla warfare was cheap and very effective)
4. Vietcong guerrillas had better morale than USA soldiers as they felt more passionately about what they were fighting for and were winning for the majority of the war
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5. The tactics were not the most important reason for failure as there was a big decrease of popularity in the American public due to footage/media reports of what was happening. Icons began war protests which were influential as they were looked up to
6. There was a growth of rebellion by the American soldiers, taking drugs and committing suicide for example. they wouldn't attack as much or would miss opportunities
7. The tet offensive was the main reason as this shocked the USA and this was a turning point because they realised that Vietcong were more prepared than they had anticipated
8. The economic cost of the war was very high for America and this was exposed by the media also. Life magazine in 1967 worked out it would cost $400,000 to kill one Vietcong guerrilla
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To conclude, I personally do not agree with the statement very far as I think the media was the most important reason for USAs withdrawal. Technology was a relatively new thing so lots of people would have been aware of the trauma they were causing. If the people of USA were not happy then this would have had an effect on President Johnson's decisions as a representative of the American people, forcing him to withdraw. The tactics were a factor of the failure but not the main reason.

18

Media coverage was more important than protest movements in causing America to withdraw from Vietnam. How far do you agree with this statement ?(10)

1. I agree because the destructive methods and trauma was captured by undercover cameramen and journalists so it was direct footage, and actual information. It was not exaggerated or moulded by someone's opinion which protests are based on
2. The fact that the images were viewed by the American public in their own homes made it more shocking. Technology was a relatively new thing at the time (TV replaced newspapers) so it would have made a big impact on a big scale
3. Not only did the media portray damage to Vietnam but also the American troops having many casualties which was a big factor of American people feeling against the Vietnam war
4. Well respected reporters commented that the Vietnam war was un-winnable such as Walter Cronkite, which was based on media coverage
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5. However, the early media reports of the war did not critisize USA involvement and the TV coverage was limited. The American people were already weary of war
6. the protests were just a result of the media coverage, so one was not more important that the other as they interlinked
7. The protests were very important and widespread for example 4 students in Kent state university were shot and killed by nervous guardsmen. Also 700,000 anti war protests demonstrated in Washington, D.C.
8. American and British icons like Muhammad Ali protested about the Vietnam war which was very influential to the public who looked up to them
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Overall, I think the protests were more important than the media coverage so I do not agree with the statement very far at all. Although the footage would be important to fuel the fire of the protestors, I think the level that the protests happened was massive and would have shocked the government. The government would have made decisions about withdrawal from the war to represent how the American public felt

19

The following were equally important reasons for America withdrawing from Vietnam: public opinion/ guerrilla warfare. How far do you agree with this ?(10)

1. They were important as public opinion and this lead to protests
2. Search and destroy m
created hatred towards USA from Vietnamese peasants
3. Operation rolling thunder took a long time to be effective
4. Overall, tacticst so Vietcong more and had better morale than USA soldiers
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5. However it was not equal as
6.
7. A growth of by the American , suicide example.
8. There the and they were reluctant to and
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To conclude, I personally do not agree with the statement that tactics were the main reason for USAs failure- the media was. Technology was a relatively new thing so lots of people would have been aware of the trauma they were causing. If the people of USA were not happy then this would have had an effect on President Johnson's decisions as a representative of the American people, forcing him to withdraw. The tactics were a factor of the failure but not the main reason.

20

American public opinion was more important than military failure in causing the USA to withdraw from Vietnam. How far do you agree with this ?(10)

1. Yes, The tactics were not the whole reason for failure as there was a big decrease of popularity in the American public due to footage/media reports of what was happening. TV replaced newspaper at the time and people were viewing the trauma in their own homes so it was very influential
2. Icons began war protests which were influential as they were looked up to/ were in the eye of the public. 700,000 anti war protestors demonstrated in Washington, D.C. In 1969
3. A growth of rebellion by the American soldiers, taking drugs and committing suicide for example.
4. There was low morale within the American soldiers and they were reluctant to fight and this might have had an effect- they wouldn't attack as much or would miss opportunities leading them to lose the war
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5. However, I disagree because tactics were very much less effective in comparison to Vietcong's guerrilla warfare. Vietcong knew the territory they were fighting on well and made tunnels.
6. Search and destroy methods created hatred towards USA from Vietnamese peasants
7. Operation rolling thunder took a long time to be effective
8. Overall, more expensive and too destructive tactics so Vietcong were more successful and had better morale than USA soldiers
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To conclude, I personally do not agree with the statement very far because that tactics did contribute but was not the main reason for USAs withdrawal. Although the media coverage was important, the amount of protests overruled because they were so big and would have shocked the government of the failure but not the main reason.