The Vietnam War

Report
VIETNAM
THE LEAD UP TO THE WAR
Establishment of a French Colony
The First Indochina War
The Second Indochina War -American War in Vietnam War Against the Americans to Save the Nation
FRENCH MISSION IN ASIA
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A French Jesuit, Alexandre de Rhodes,
went to Vietnam in 1620 to spread
Catholicism. It was his mission.
While he helped Vietnam develop their
own writing system based on Latin, we
was forced to leave in 1630 when
Vietnam’s leader decided that the
Catholic faith was dangerous.
The danger was that it was quickly taking
hold, and after returning to Europe in
1650 he organized a push back into
Vietnam, and a lot of Asia.
French Catholics started sending
bishops and missionaries into Asian
regions like Vietnam to spread their faith
again.
MISIONARIES AND TRADERS
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The vessels of the French East India company
started dropping off missionaries every time they
brought goods and trade to the region
The leaders supported the French being around as
they brought trade, gave gifts and helped militarily,
but in 1825 an Emperor came into power that
decided to try and ban Catholicism and make
things tense with the French.
“The Westerner's perverse religion confuses the
hearts of men. For a long time, many Western ships
have come to trade with us and to introduce
Catholic missionaries into our country. These
missionaries make the people's hearts crooked,
thus destroying our beautiful customs. Truly this is
a great disaster for our land. Our purpose being to
prevent our people from abandoning our orthodox
way, we must accordingly completely eliminate
these abuses.“
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—Minh Mạng 1825 Edict against Christianity.[13]
You, with the croissant,
did we bring a
missionary?
Oui
A FRENCH COLONY
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In order to protect the Catholics
working there and increase their
influence, France started sending more
and more troops, traders and
missionaries.
With a number of French in the regions
that we know as Vietnam today,
eventually the French decided to take
over, saying that it was because they
wanted to protect their missionaries. A
bishop was being held and about to be
killed, so while their military was in the
region to help Britain invade China, they
decided to start basing themselves in
the territories of Vietnam as well.
All your base are
belong to us, noobs!
THE FIRST INDOCHINA WAR
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A group called the Viet Minh formed in 1941
during the destabilization of the Second
World War, seeking Vietnam’s
independence from the French Empire who
had been defeated by the Germans and
their allies the Japanese.
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Japanese forces had effectively taken over
the region, with the French still running
things but on their orders. The Viet Minh
fought the Japanese, getting support and
military supplies from both the US and
China.
When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the Viet Minh, led by Ho
Chi Minh, turned their strengthened forces towards fighting the
French re-occupation and push them out. Ho had travelled the world
and decided to push for independence and install communism, his
goal from the start. 10 years of war followed that became known as
the First Indochina War.
NORTH AND SOUTH VIETNAM
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Half way through the first Indochina war, the
US decided to support the French, even
though the Viet Minh had tried to get
Americas help pushing them out by offering
up intelligence about the Japanese during
World War Two.
After the French decided to leave at the end
of the first Indochina War a conference in
Geneva sought peace and a way for the
French to withdraw, that resulted in the
country being split in two.
Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Viet Minh,
became leader in the communist North,
supported by Russia and China.
The democratically elected leader turned
out to be so bad in South Vietnam though,
that communist sympathizers, known as the
Viet Cong (or National Liberation Front),
started a guerrilla war with other South
Vietnamese to unify the country as a
communist one.
President
Ngo Dinh
Diem
This
President
totally sucks
Stress less.
We’ve got
this. We’re
going red.
AMERICA AND DIEM
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As fighting took place between the Viet Cong and the South
Vietnamese, the US kept sending advisors in to ensure that
the country didn’t fall to communism (starting the dreaded
Domino Effect). There were US advisors at every level of
government.
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The United States got involved in order to keep a promise
made by former president Harry Truman to help countries in
threat of becoming communist. The Truman Doctrine was
instituted to control the spread of communism.
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In 1963 the US decided that they also didn’t like President
Diem and that they needed to replace him, mostly because
his brothers were causing trouble. One was a Catholic bishop
who was trying to ensure his church had more standing in
South Vietnam than Buddhists, and the other was the chief
of the secret police, who sent troops in to burn down
Buddhist pagodas. Buddhists had started to set themselves
on fire in public in protest, drawing worldwide attention to
their cause.
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Unfortunately, when the US advisors started talking to
generals about removing Diem and his brothers, South
Vietnamese staged a coup and ended up assassinating
Diem and his younger brother, the chief of the secret police.
President Kennedy was apparently dismayed when they did
this.
YOU HAD ONE JOB, SOUTH
VIETNAM!!
THE GULF OF TONKIN AND THE START OF THE
VIETNAM WAR
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Supposedly, in August of 1964, a US ship fired
upon torpedo boats that had been stalking it
while it ran recon near Vietnam on more than
one occasion, and in response North Vietnam
called an air strike on two US ships in
international waters, known as the Gulf of
Tonkin Incident.
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The US was not pleased. President Lyndon
Johnson, who had replaced Kennedy after his
assassination, had initially not considered
Vietnam a priority. In response to Tonkin,
however, he ordered the first troops into
Vietnam in March of 1965, intending to help
South Vietnam stabilize itself.
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It was later revealed that the Gulf of Tonkin
Incident had never happened.
At this precise location, right
here, where I’m pointing, is
where a shipload of nothing
happened.
BOMBING CAMPAIGN
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The National Security Agency (NSA) in the States,
recommended a three stage bombing campaign.
Operation Flaming Dart, Operation Rolling Thunder
and Operation Arc Light were initiated on the 2nd
March, 1965.
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For three years, the US bombed North Vietnam and
parts of Laos and Cambodia where Ho Chi Minh’s
influence and troops had spread, intending to
destroy their air force and industrial infrastructure.
The bombing was also a means of raising the morale
of a struggling South Vietnam.
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The Chief of the United States Air Force at the time
wrote that he supported bombing communists “back
into the Stone Age”.
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Operation Rolling Thunder, between 1965 and 1968,
dropped a million tons of rockets, missiles and
bombs on North Vietnam.
YEEEE-HAAAAAAW!!
THE GROUND WAR
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While bombing took place, marines were
initially tasked with protecting air force
bases, but before long were moving through
South Vietnam clearing it of the destabilizing
Viet Cong, and the infiltrating communist
elements.
The US troops fought a jungle war against an
enemy that would set up booby traps, attack
in ambushes and disappear into a network
of tunnels. Even finding the enemy proved
extremely difficult.
Since the Viet Cong regularly disappeared
into the dense jungle, the US forces used
Agent Orange and napalm to burn every leaf
off the trees so they had nowhere to hide.
Sometimes they missed, in this case hitting
a civilian village (PLEASE NOTE:
DISTRESSING FOOTAGE)
DISILLUSIONMENT AND THE TET OFFENSIVE
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In every village troops had trouble
identifying who the enemy was, if anyone,
since women and children were also
capable of building bombs and helping the
Viet Cong.
American soldiers and their allies
increasingly lost faith in the war they were
fighting. Morale was low and many troops
became angry or turned to drugs in
response to what they’d seen or the
conditions they were fighting in.
On January 30, 1968, the North
Vietnamese organized a coordinated
assault with the Viet Cong. Attacking about
a hundred towns throughout South Vietnam
in a push called the Tet Offensive. They
were eventually repelled, but the assault
surprised the US. The enemy was stronger
and more organized than they had believed.
NO SUPPORT AT HOME
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In the States, Johnson found himself faced
with an angry public that no longer believed
in the war, as well as news that the situation
in Vietnam was going from bad to worse.
Plans had been for escalation, but these
were shelved.
He was replaced in 1969 by Richard Nixon,
who proposed Vietnamization. His plan was
to slowly withdraw from Vietnam, and hand
the fighting over to the South Vietnamese.
He did decide, however, to first take the
fighting into Laos and Cambodia, to try and
end the conflict faster since that’s where
North Vietnamese forces could also be found.
This move resulted in thousands of protests.
At the same time, new peace talks had
started in Paris, which were trying to bring an
end to the war.
THE EASTER OFFENSIVE AND THE PARIS PEACE
ACCORDS
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As US Troops started to withdraw, the North
Vietnamese took the opportunity to stage another
massive assault, called the Easter Offensive, in
1972.
North Vietnamese crossed the demilitarized zone
(DMZ) set up years ago in Geneva as the border,
and invaded South Vietnam. Remaining forces
fought back.
In January 1973, the peace talks in Paris finally
managed to obtain a ceasefire agreement.
The last US troops left in March 1973, knowing
they were leaving a weakened South Vietnam,
which could not defend itself.
Fighting nevertheless continued until 1975, when
the South Vietnamese government toppled and
surrendered to the North on April 30. On June
2nd, 1976, the country was reunited as the
Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

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