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Vietnam War

Vietnam
by

chelsea westerfield

on 30 April 2010

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Transcript of Vietnam War

Vietnam War Background For much of Vietnam's history, it has been ruled by foreign nations, primarily China. France started to take over and by the late 1800s, had succeeded in colonizing the regions around the Gulf of Tonkin. Later, during the 2nd World War a Japanese "Puppet Regime" was sent by their government. The French took control. They were eventually forced out in 1945 by the Vietnamese After WWII, France attempted to regain its power over Vietnam until their efforts collapsed in 1955. They were poorly organized and their military power was weak. At Dien Bien Phu the French had made a fortress that was considered to be very strong. Not long afterwards, the US became involved by giving financial support to the Vietnamese.This totalled to about three billion US dollars. This involvement was started with the involvement of President Truman. Despite this, the Vietnamese stormed the fortress, the battle lasted 55 days. Beginning of US Involvement America's first combat against the Vietcon was Operation Chopper. On January 12, 1962,Operation chopper was carried out by the US army. They carried 1,000 South Vietnamese soldiers The same year, Operation Ranchhand began. The goal of which was to clear plants from the side of highways so it would be difficult for enemy solders to conceal themselves. To achieve this, helicopters dusted forests with "Agent Orange" a herbicide which contains the harmful chemical Dioxin
On January 2nd, 1963 at Ap Bac, guerilla forces along with the Vietcong 514th Battalion ambushed the 7th divison of the South Vietnamese Army. This is the first time they stand against American machinery combined with South Vietnamese soldiers. The battle is outlined here: On the evening of July 30th, 1964 two small North Vietnamese Islands in the Gulf of Tonkin were attacked by the South Vietnamese. The US spy ship Maddox is ordered to simulate an air attack in order to lure North Vietnamese boats away from the South Vietnamese attack Days later, on August 4th of the same year, the captain of the Maddox has confirmed that the vessel has been fired on and an attack is expected. The captain claims that no attack occured, however a retaliation against the North Vietnamese is ordered by President Johnson. US forces bomb two naval bases and an oil facility. Two American planes are shot down in the process On August 7th, 1964 The Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution is passed by the US government, giving President Johnson the authority to use any means necessary to defend Southeast Asia President Johnson signing the Act The War Escalates In October- China, North Vietnam's ally, succesfully tests the atomic bomb In November of 1964, two days before the US presidential election, Vietcong mortars shell Bien Hua air base near Saigon. Four Americans are killed, 76 are wounded, Five bomber planes are destroyed, and 15 are damaged February 7th, 1965, American facilities, a helicopter base and an advisery compound (both in central highlands of South Vietnam) are attacked by enemy forces. Over 70 Americans are wounded and nine are killed
February 10th, 1965-In a hotel in Qui Nonh, a bomb is planted by Vietcong forces. The resulting explosion killed 23 Americans February 13th, 1965- Operation Rolling Thunder is authorized by President Johnson. The details of the operation entailed a long lasting carpet-bombing, the goal was to discourage North Vietnam from supporting Vietcong guerilla forces in the South. Operation Thunder could be considered a turning point in the war After a number of setbacks, the first flight of Rolling Thunder is put into effect on March 2nd, 1965. A month later, a campaign against the North Vietnamese transport system is put into play. US Navy and Airport planes hit various transportation outlets including: train junctions, bridges and truck parks Days later, on April 7th 1965, the US offers aid in North Vietnamese economics in exchange for peace. The offer is rejected and as a result, President Johnson raises our military strength in Southeast Asia to over 60,000 troops. Allied forces from both Korea and Australia come into the war. 2.5 thousand Vietcong soldiers attack a South Korean provincial capital, Song Be. After two days of heated combat the Vietcong surrender the battle. Operation Starlight is launched on August 7th, 1965. This leads to the first major battle of the Vietnam war. It results in a US victory. 700 or more Vietcong soldiers were left dead
January 8th, 1966
Operation Crimp is put into action by US forces, deploying over 8,000 troops. It is the largest American operation in the Vietnam war. The goal is to capture the Vietcong headquarters in Saigon. American's fail to locate any major base April-May 1966, Operation Birmingham begins, launching huge fleets of US forces, including 5,000 soldiers as well as several helicopters and armed vehicles across Saigon in hopes of engaging battle with the Vietcong September 14th, 1966- Operation Attleboro begins. The US 196th brigade along with 22,000 South Vietnamese soldiers engage in a serach and destroy mission across the Tay Ninh province.Approximately 1,000 Vietcong, and 150 Americans are killed after 6 weeks of the Operation. By the end of 1966, the number of US troops in Vietnam reaches 385,000 men with an additional 60,000 stationed offshore. Over 6,000 Americans have been killed, 30,000 have been wounded. The Vietcong has 280,000 troops, and a total casualty count of 61,000 On January 8th, 1967 Operation Cedar Falls is put into action by American forces. It was intended to drive out Vietcong forces from the "Iron Triangle" The 60 sq mile area between Route 13 and the Saigon rver. Between the US and South Vietnamese soldiers, there is a total of 30,000 troops sent into the Iron Triangle. The Operation lasts 19 days. On March 22, 1968 an unexpected attack by the North Vietnamese hits Khe Sanh. 1,000 rounds hit the base with about 100 every hour. American forces retaliate via aggressive bombing April 9th, 1968 Operation Pegasus takes back Route 9, putting a stop to the destruction at Khe Sanh, which had been a 77 day battle. It was the largest battle of the Vietnam War up to date. June 1968, Gen. Westmoreland approves the demolition of Khe Sanh After 3 years, Operation Rolling Thunder comes to an end in November of 1968, with 182,000 Vietnam civilians left dead and at a cost of over 900 American aircrafts. Changes Begin January 1969, President Nixon takes office with the promise to "Achieve Peace with Honor." in Vietnam Operation Menu is authorized by Nixon. Over the next 4 years more than a half million ton of bombs will be dropped on Cambodia On June 8, 1969 President Nixon meets with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu on Midway Island. It is agreed that 25,000 American troops will be withdrawn immediately
On December 13th, 1972 peace talks between the Americans and North Vietnamese begin to break down January 8th, 1973- Peace talks are to resume in Paris War Coming To A Close January 27th, 1973, all sides at war in Vietnam come to a ceasefire August 9th, 1974 President Nixon Resigns April 30th, 1975. The war ends. Key Players American Presidents: Dwight Eisenhower Eisenhower was against American troops entering the war. In later years, he gave some reconsideration to the subject and although he sent no American troops, he allowed financial aid to France he helped anti-communist leader Ngo Dinh Diem consolidate power in Saigon JFK JFK followed the example of his predecesor, Eisenhower, and used limited military power as a means of combat. He installed policies that would prove to aid the South Vietnamese government politically, economicaly, and militaristically LBD LBD took a much different approach to the war, he implimented the military more heavily than the two presidents preceding him in the war. He believed that for his containment policy to work, serious effort would need to be put forth. Until 1968 he downsized the war, giving very few speeches and making few mentions of it. He did however, privately curse it whilst speaking to Robert McNamara. Richard Nixon Nixon was left to clean up the mess LBD had made, with 300 soldiers dying per week, Nixon sought a way to reduce the number of drafted troops. Nixon went to South Vietnam where he met with military leaders and president Nguyen Van Thieu. Nixon made several attempts to curb the war, but also approved a number of bombings Gerald Ford Ford's involvement in the Vietnam war was limited, as during his presidency it was coming to a close. This was not to say his involvement was insignificant, it was perhaps one of the biggest struggles of his career. His roll was mostly that of tying up loose ends in the war South Vietnam Leaders: Nguyen Van Thieu Ngo Dinh Diem North Vietnam Leaders: Ho Chi Minh Ton Duc Thang American Military Leaders: General Creighton Abrams Paul Harkins American Diplomatic Leaders Henry A. Kissinger Nixon War Powers Act The War Powers Act was passed by congress in 1973. It prohibited the president from military action for more than 60 days without the official declaration of war. Citations http://cwx.prenhall.com/bookbind/pubbooks/dye4/medialib/docs/warpower.htm http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/timeline/index4.html http://library.thinkquest.org/10927/leadv.htm http://vietnam.vassar.edu/overview.html http://www.vietnampix.com/intro2.htm
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