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The Beginning Of The Vietnam War

The Beginning of the Vietnam War Introduction Thankyou for deciding to continue to read. Here I am not trying to be a complete guide to the Vietnam War, but what I think about this hugely misunderstood war. If you want to know about the Vietnam war, I highly recomment the book “Nam, The Vietnam Experience 1965-75″It’s an excellent resource, and after a ling time I am still reading it myself, learning new things and understanding more. How it Started A lot is misunderstood by many people about the Vietnam War. There are a lot of politocs behind the war, but on the military side, the following is quite an accurate account of the immediate effects which started the war.

It started on the 8 August 1965 when American Troops stormed ashore at Da Nang, South of Vietnam, ready to fight the bloodiest war known to man. of Vietnam, ready to fight the bloodiest war known to man. The reason was simple: there was a communist threat and their [The US] job was to resist it. In 1960, President John F Kennedy saw that South East Asia was under imminent threat, so decided to increase aid to South Vietnam. This was received by Lyndon Johnson in November 1963.

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He declared that he would not let Vietnam fall the same way as China. The above lead to more corruption, instead of military success; so consequently the US became more and moe involved in politics in the South. In January 1964, plans were drawn up for operations against North Vietnam. These included sabotage and spying for the North, and bombing raids and Naval attacks for North Vietnam’s coast. There were attacks on US Naval vessels by the North Vietnamese (NV).

Torpedoes were launched but missed, and no American casualties were suffered. After this, Johnson decided to act. He sent out vessels. As the two destroyers approached the coast, a terrible storm broke out: They were convinced that and attack was imminent. Crusaders flew over from. They could see the vessels zig-zagging about: They were under attack.

Sonars detected 22 incoming torpedoa and they air craft pilots claimed to have hit three enemy craft. As soon as these reports got to Johnson, he ordered air strikes against coastal targets in the North, and appeared in television commercials announcing his positive reply. First Blood After that, it was all quiet fr the soldiers at Da Nang. They would go out all day, getting hot, sweaty and bored. Every now and then a monkey would set off the alarms, but no real action was happening, it was very frustrating. For a full five months after they had swept the beach, nothing had still happened, until now..

About about 0130 hours (1:30am), a Marine sentry a strange noise outside camp. He threw an illumation grenade into the direction of the sound, and as it exploded – so did half the airbase. A furious VC (Viet Cong) mortar barrage swept accross the field. A team of VC sappers charged through a hole they’d clipped in the fence and lobbed in explosions on the parked aircraft. As quickly they had come, they had gone..

The damaged caused was not too extensive, and one American was killed. This hardened the Marines, so they decided to “kill them, before they kill us”. They did not have to wait long, as in July there was a build up of VC near the Marines. There was another VC build up about 60 miles away at Chu Lai. The Marines went there.

On the the 15th August, a VC desertor (who turned up out of the blue) revealed that the 1st Viet Cong Regiment (a force of about 1500 men) had set up base only 12 miles from the Marines’ base at Da Nang. Up until now the Marines had not fully used the power of their weapons, so they took up the offer immediately. A Marine batallion was organised to be highly self sufficient – it could move at high speed and could have close air support withing minuetes if they ran into anything big. Their air support would be an HH-34 helicopter, loaded with heavy artillary. This was how the marines decided to take the VC on the Van Tuong peninsula.

For the operation to succeed, they had to move fast. Staff officers assembled and the Plan of Action (POA) was drawn up: The Marines were to surround the enemy before they could make a getaway. So they decided to launch the attack from three separare directions. One Marine company would move over land and dig in along side of the Tra Bong river to block any VC attempts to break out north, while a whole batallion of men would be put ashore on the southern side of the peninsula at An Cuong. The final part would be lifted in helicopeter.

With their backs to the sea, the VC would be trapped. Operation Starlite was set to go ahead on 18th August. A Wall Of Fire With the plan ready, they set out as planned. The giant 40 tonne vehicle clawed their way up the An Cuong beach. The Marines poured out their transport towards the huts of the nearby hamlet. Suddenly, the Marines up front walked into a wall of Viet Cong machine gun shooting and mortar sheels exploding fire.

The War Had Begun.


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