Vietnam War FINAL 123

Report
Where is Vietnam?
War
Duration
Players
First Indochina War
1945-1954
France vs Vietnam
Second Indochina War
1954-1973
North Vietnam, USSR,
China vs South Vietnam
and US
Third Indochina War
1973-1975
North Vietnam vs South
Vietnam, Laos and
Cambodia
US Presidents





Truman
Eisenhower
Kennedy
Johnson
Nixon
1945 - 1953
1953 - 1961
1961 - 1963
1963 - 1969
1969 - 1974
USSR Leaders




Stalin
Malenkov
Khruschev
Brezhnev
1922 - 1953
1953 - 1955
1955 - 1964
1964 - 1982
•Vietnam =
French Colony
•During WWII,
Japanese
occupies
Indochina
•Post WWII,
Japanese
retreated &
people of
Vietnam
established gov’t
•France holds this
area for 50 days
• Surprise attack by
Vietnam
TURNING POINT 
France pulls out
Importance to the Cold War
-Jan 1950  China and USSR recognizes Ho
Chi Minh’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam
and China sends weapons
-Feb 1950  USA sends $15 million in aid for
French and recognizes Bao Dai’s French
controlled govt
What CAUSED the Second
Indochina War (1954-1973)?
GENEVA ACCORDS



Signed b/w France
& Vietnam
Vietnam divided
near the 17th
parallel
TEMPORARY
DIVISION until
national elections
to reunify the
country
• He set up a
communist regime,
supported by the
Soviet Union and
China, in Hanoi
(Northern Vietnam)
• The United States prevented the elections that were promised
under the Geneva conference b/c they knew that the
Communists would win.
• If Communists won elections, Vietnam would be unified as a
COMMUNIST COUNTRY
• President Eisenhower
supported the creation of
South Vietnam
North Vietnam – HO CHI
MINH  supported by
USSR AND CHINA
South Vietnam – looking
for a leader  supported by
USA
• Placed into office by the
United States
•Claimed S. Vietnam was
under attack by the
Communists in the North
Southeast Asia Treaty
Organization (SEATO)
 Collective security organization, meant to prevent
spread of communism beyond North Vietnam
 Main justification for USA to join the war b/c they
were part of SEATO
 With the help of American military & CIA, Diem
(SOUTH) identified his opposition and
arrested/executed them
HO CHI MINH
NGO DIHN DIEM
Leader of NORTH
 Lots of people looked
up to him for
leadership
 Considered a hero
  broke up large
estates
  redistributed land


Leader of SOUTH
 “placed” into office by
U.S.A.
 Unsuccessful b/c of
corrupt gov’t
 Offered no land
distribution to
peasants
 Catholic vs.
Buddhism
Diem’s Government
“This is a hostile
act of
aggression by
North Vietnam
against peaceloving and
democratic
South Vietnam”
- Ngo Dinh
Diem
 South
Vietnam did not like Diem as their
leader
 North
Vietnam created NLF (1960)
Helped mobilize southerners
Brought together Communists (North) and
non- Communists (South) together
RECALL:
• USA opposed Communism
•Johnson feared losing Vietnam
 The situation in South Vietnam was
critical b/c it was an area of increasing
communist control, an unpopular
government and an army suffering from low
morale
•Believed the NLF
was a way for
North Vietnam to
spread their
ideologies to the
South
Johnson
decided to
escalate the scope
of US
intervention
• USA needed to increase
aid:
1) Military
2) Economic
3) Technological
• Stabilize Diem regime
• Crush NLF
USA Enters The War- The Domino Theory
1) President Truman’s policy of containment- Americans were
fearful of communist expansion and needed it to be contained
2) President Eisenhower’s domino theory – If one power were
to fall to communism then surrounding countries would also
be susceptible
3) The loss of Vietnam it was
feared would trigger an
“domino effect” in Southeast
Asia
What was the STYLE OF WAR ?
HO CHI MINH Trail 1959




Went through neutral
Laos and Cambodia so
that those travelling
would go undetected
Instrumental to
movement of people
and weaponry
Later became target for
bombing campaign
Also used to transport
military supplies from
North to Viet Cong
GULF OF TONKIN (1964)
THE GULF OF TONKIN RESOLUTION
Congress agreed to take any necessary
measures against attack from opposition
Gave US Pres far-reaching powers in
Indochina, including power to send
troops
Operation Rolling Thunder (1965)
Johnson ordered bombing missions over North
Vietnam
 massive aerial bombing campaign that targeted
Ho Chi Minh Trail,Viet Cong areas in south &
industrial & military areas in north

Napalm Bombs
inflammable
petroleum jelly
placed in bombs
used by US
 caused burns to
thousands of
innocent civilians

Agent Orange


chemical defoliant spray designed to remove
leaves from trees in jungle to deprive Viet Cong
(N. Vietnam) of cover
chemical contains dioxin which got in the food
chain, causing chromosome damage to humans
Technology & Weaponry (con’t)
 HELICOPTERS
became the
most useful b/c
they would drop
bombs in the
jungle and clear
everything out
North Vietnam Tactics
USA Tactics
“Search and Destroy”

In areas where they
thought the NLF were
operating, US troops
went in and checked
for weapons, and if
they found it, they
would burn the villages
down and round up
the villagers
China’s Role
stationed troops near their border with
N.Vietnam
 provided anti-aircraft defence systems to
counter Operation
Rolling Thunder
 sent technicians so
that NV army could be
free to engage in
military operations

 NV decided to launch all-out military assault on USA and S. Vietnam
on Vietnamese holiday of Tet, which had been a day of ceasefire for
whole nation
 US didn’t win but they needed to send 200,000 more troops 
eroded much of US public support
What were the NEGOTIATIONS and
SETTLEMENTS ?

SOUTH Vietnam would
increasingly take
leadership role in war and
USA would gradually
withdraw, while training
S. Vietnam troops and
preparing them to take
complete political and
military control over
North Vietnam
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
Jan 27 1973 – ceasefire (until settlement was
in effect)
US troops would withdraw
SV people would decide their political future
All POWs were to be released
NV infiltration of men and supplies through
Laos and Cambodia into SV were to cease
GOAL: Reunification of Vietnam through peaceful
means
 Agreement
was a
joke because
neither side had
any intention of
obeying it
 By
1973 all US
troops were
removed from
Vietnam

continue to support non-communist movments
abroad w/ economic or military aid but wouldn’t
commit its troops to fight on foreign soil
 US’s longest war was a failure
because Third Indochina War (197375) resulted in S. Viet falling under
communist control of the North
 Led to re-evaluation of their foreign
policies
Relation to Cold War
Domino Theory Policy of Containment
ii. USSR and China supplied North Vietnam
with weapons, troops and aid WHILE U.S.A
sent troops, weapons and aid to South
Vietnam
iii. USSR proposed dual nation solution – North
and South would be recognized as separate
nations but US rejected this because they
hoped to gain control over entire country
i.
WORKS CITED AND CONSULTED
http://history.howstuffworks.com/asian-history/history-of-vietnam.htm
http://www.scribd.com/doc/44252622/IB-History-The-Vietnam-War
http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/political-science/17-40-american-foreignpolicy-past-present-future-fall-2010/lecturenotes/MIT17_40F10_VIETNAM.pdf
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/causes_vietnam_war.htm
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/vietnam/timeline.htm
http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/vietnam/index-1961.html
20th Century World History IB Textbook
History for the IB Diploma – The Cold War

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