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The Vietnam War

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Michelle Schnell

on 14 November 2012

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Transcript of The Vietnam War

The Viet Cong were a North Vietnam fighting group in favor of uniting Vietnam under Communism. They are often known for their booby traps and tunnel systems. The War in Vietnam What was the Vietnam War? The Vietnam War was the prolonged struggle between the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) of North Vietnam attempting to unify the country of Vietnam under a communist government and the United States (and South Vietnamese) attempting to prevent the spread of communism. Engaged in a war that many viewed as having no way to win, U.S. leaders lost the American public's support for the war. Since the end of the war, the Vietnam War has become a benchmark for what NOT to do in all future U.S. foreign conflicts. Dates of the Vietnam War:

1959-April 30,1975 Also known as:
American War in Vietnam
Vietnam Conflict
Second Indochina War
War Against the Americans to Save the Nation The French Colony of Vietnam In 1887 Vietnam became part of the French colony of Indo-China. Fall of Saigon The Tet Offensive The French built roads, bridges and a railroad from Saigon to Hanoi. Ho Chi Minh The Fall of Saigon was the capturing of South
Vietnam's capital, Saigon, by the North Vietnam Army. The attack occurred on April 30, 1975, when Senior General Van Tien Dung led his army
to the capital where they dropped heavy artillery. This point in history marked the end of the Vietnam War and started the formal reunification of Vietnam becoming a communist state. The Gulf of Tonkin The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was declared a nation hours after the surrender of the Japanese during World War II on September 2, 1945. Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh entered Hanoi and declared independence, creating the Republic. January 30, 1968
Agreement for a 2-day cease fire for Vietnamese new year, Tet Lunar
The Viet Cong broke the agreement by launching an attack in the morning of January 30. Leader of North Vietnam- Communist

Prime Minister (1945-1955) and President (1945-1969) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

He spent time in the US, England, France, the USSR, and China.

In the US, he spent time with Korean nationalists, at which time it is believed he developed his political outlook. Born in 1890, Died in 1969 of heart failure The Viet Minh (or Viet Cong) also known as the "League for the Independence of Vietnam," was a communist national independence coalition formed in 1941 to seek independence for Vietnam from the French Empire.

When the Japanese occupation of Vietnam began, in 1940, the Viet Minh (Viet Cong) opposed Japan with support from the United States and China.

After WWII the Viet Minh opposed re-occupation of Vietnam by France in the First Indo-China War and later opposed South Vietnam and the United States in the Vietnam War. My Lai Massacre North Vietnamese torpedo boats were alleged to have attacked U.S. destroyers without provocation on August 2, 1964. The Viet Cong He was a hero to the anti-colonial movement in Vietnam

His embalmed body is on display in a mausoleum in Hanoi.

He is glorified to school children Interesting facts: “In a guerrilla war, the line between legitimate and illegitimate killing is blurred. The policies of free-fire zones, in which a soldier is permitted to shoot at any human target, armed or unarmed, further confuse the fighting man’s moral senses.” After his death, Saigon, the capital of S. Vietnam during the war, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City "Crack the sky, shake the Earth" Happened at Tan Son Nhurt Airport Interesting Fact of the His face is on all Vietnamese currency On February 16,1945, Ho Chi Minh wrote a letter to President Truman asking for American assistance in gaining Vietnamese freedom. The letter closed with the remarks:

We ask what has been graciously granted to the Philippines. Like the Philippines our goal is full independence and full cooperation with the UNITED STATES. We will do our best to make this independence and cooperation profitable to the whole world.

I am dear Mr. PRESIDENT,

Respectfully Yours,

Ho Chi Minh

The letter was not declassified until 1972. U.S. Headquarters Nha Trang was first to be hit
Vietcong followed same pattern with all attacks
rocket attacks followed by ground assaults
Approximately 84,000 communists troops took part in the attacks while thousands of others stood by as blocks or reinforcements. The French fought the Viet Minh for eight years before finally surrendering in 1954
after their defeat in Dien Bien Phu. Both sides met at the Geneva Conference to end the war. They agreed to divide Vietnam at the 17th parallel and hold elections on July 20, 1956. "You kill ten of our men for every one we kill of yours. But even at those odds you will lose and we will win." -Ho Chi Minh Unfortunately the elections were never held because of violations on both sides and the division became permanent. The Viet Cong *Against his wishes Operation Frequent Wind is history's largest helicopter evacuation. Literally means "Bringer of Light" Statue Of Ho Chi Minh Ho Chi Minh on Vietnamese currency Picture of Ho Chi Minh The Incident Statue of Ho Chi Minh The Resolution Congress passed the resolution on August 7, 1964
It gave President Johnson authorization, without formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of military force in Southeast Asia.
It also authorized him to do whatever necessary in order to assist South Vietnam. It transported 6,000 Vietnam refugees and 1,000 Americans offshore. The Johnson administration relied on the resolution to begin the rapid escalation of U.S. military involvement in South Vietnam and open warfare between North Vietnam and the U.S. The Viet Cong tunnel systems were called the cu chi tunnels His followers referred to Ho Chi Minh as "Uncle Ho" in response to his grandfatherly appearance. The Viet Cong stood toe-to-toe with America in a "military" conflict for a decade, from which the Viet Cong eventually prevailed. Russia backed the Vietnamese communists fiercely against the Americans, which unsettled people everywhere with concern for a possible WWIII. The resolution was eventually repealed in 1971 due to the mounting public opinion against the war.
The War Powers Resolution was made because they wanted to put limits back on to the presidential authority so he couldn't put U.S. forces back into Vietnam without the formal declaration of war. The Viet Cong used Guerrilla tactics. Ho Chi Minh in layman's terms is Vietnam's answer to George Washington. Ho Chi Minh died on September 2, 1969, twenty-five years after declaring Vietnam's independence from the French. Nearly six years later, the Democratic Republic fell as his forces succeeded in reuniting the entirety of Vietnam under communism. After Saigon fell to the communists in 1975, is was named Ho Chi Minh city to honor him and the republic he had created. Who were the Viet Cong? The name "Viet Cong" originally came from the words Viet Nam Cong San, which translates to "Vietnamese Communists".

The Viet Cong fought against both the government of South Vietnam and the armed forces of the United States between 1959 and 1975.

The Viet Cong were also known as people's liberation Armed forces (PLAF) and also known as the National Liberation front (NLF) but most popularly known as VC (Viet Cong). Though, most of the victories were won by the NVA, the Viet Cong were more prominent during the TET Offensive in 1968. Together they were called the People's Army of Vietnam or PAVN. Weapons Used by the Viet Cong The Guerrilla fighters of North Vietnam. less than 4% of PAVN were Viet Cong guerrilla soldiers The Viet Cong used a number of weapons from a number of places. They had very modern weapons, supplied by Russia and China, they also had weapons left that America gave them when the Vietnamese people helped America fight the Japanese in World War II . When the offense started US tried to get as many citizens out of the city as possible
Americans did not use heavy artillery right away because of historical and cultural significance
Americans and ARVN were defeated
North Vietnamese
2,500-5,000 killed
216 marines killed, 1609 wounded
421 killed, 2,123 wounded, and 31 missing

Days later when US took back the city they found several mass graves of South Vietnamese civilians, victims were found shot or clubbed to death or buried alive.
A captured Viet Cong document stated that the communists had "eliminated 1,892 administrative personnel, 38 policemen, and 790 tyrants."
all together more than 5,800 civilians died and another 116,000 were homeless out of the original population of 140,000. Containment was a foreign policy strategy followed by the United States during the cold war.

"to support free people who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure" Truman's Doctrine effectively changed the American foreign policy from then on it became focused on containing communism. Communist Containment The Viet Cong dressed as everyday people. American soldiers came to believe that there really was no defense against their type of guerrilla warfare because the Viet Cong would carry out their missions and simply blend into the landscape afterwords. They were also known for launching hit and run attacks on southern government installations. The domino theory was that if one country fell to communism, then each surrounding country would fall as well If communism was not contained in North Vietnam then South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand would inevitably become communist as well 1971: Calley guilty of My Lai massacre
Lieutenant William Calley was found guilty of mass murder at a court martial for his part in the My Lai massacre which claimed the lives of 500 South Vietnamese civilians.
The 27-year-old commander received the death penalty after the massacre which saw US soldiers open fire on civilians in My Lai and neighbouring villages in central Vietnam in March 1968.

Lieutenant Calley was in charge of Charlie Company, a unit of the American Division's 11th Infantry Brigade, who were on a mission to root out the communist 48th Viet Cong Battalion fighters.

The Viet Cong were not in the village and instead more than 500 unarmed civilians were brutally killed in an attack by US troops.

It was a sad day for America, as the ugly truth of that day was revealed.

The jury of six army officers spent 13 days weighing up evidence from a four month trial.

Lieutenant Calley faced four charges:

the murder of at least 30 "oriental human beings" at a junction of two trails
killing 70 others in a ditch
shooting a man who approached him with his hands raised begging for mercy
killing a child running from the ditch where the 70 died.
He was found guilty on the first three charges, although the number of the first was slashed from 30 to one because of conflicting evidence, and the death toll in the second charge was reduced to 20.

The final charge was reduced to assault with intent to kill a child of which he was found guilty.

Three of Lieutenant Calley's senior officers will be tried on charges arising from the massacre, two men junior to him have already been tried and acquitted and charges against 19 others were dropped. . Pictures of American soldiers executing Viet Cong soldiers played a big role in the American brutality rumor. The My Lai Massacre
On March 16, 1968 a terrible massacre occurred at a village called My Lai. President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to retaliate with immediate air attacks on North Vietnam. The Second Tonkin Incident was claimed to have occurred on August 4, 1964, but may have involved "Tonkin Ghosts"(false radar images) and not actual NVN torpedo boats. Initial reports of the so-called battle at My Lai claimed that 128 Viet Cong and 22 civilians were killed. General Westmoreland congratulated Charlie Company for their work, and the Stars and Stripes magazine lauded the attack. Several months later, though, soldiers who had been at My Lai but refused to take part in the killings began to fess to the true nature and scale of that night. Privates Tom Glen and Ron Ridenhour sent letters to their commanding officers, the State Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and President Nixon exposing Charlie Company's deeds. In November of 1969, the news media got wind of the My Lai story In November 1970, the US Army began court-martial proceedings against 14 officers charged with participating in or covering up the My Lai Massacre. Below is General. William R Peers. appointed for a thorough investigation into the My Lai incident to discover the truth. This famous photo shows a South Vietnamese police captain executing a Viet Cong guerrilla fighter. When Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnamese Independence, and conflict between the French and the Vietnamese people officially began.

The Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam starts:

"All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; among these are Liberty, Life and the pursuit of Happiness."

This immortal statement appeared in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776. In a broader sense, it means: all the peoples on the earth are equal from birth, all the peoples have a right to live and to be happy and free.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, made at the time of the French Revolution, in 1791, also states: "All men are born free and with equal rights, and must always remain free and have equal rights."

Those are undeniable truths.

Nevertheless, for more than eighty years, the French imperialists, abusing the standard of liberty, Equality and Fraternity, have violated our Fatherland and oppressed our fellow-citizens. They have acted contrary to the ideals of humanity and justice.

Politically: they have deprived our people of every democratic liberty…
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