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Vietnam The Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular war in which Americans ever fought. And there is no reckoning the cost. The toll in suffering, sorrow, in rancorous national turmoil can never be tabulated. No one wants ever to see America so divided again. And for many of the more than two million American veterans of the war, the wounds of Vietnam will never heal.

Fifty-eight thousand Americans lost their lives. The losses to the Vietnamese people were appalling. The financial cost to the United States comes to something over $150 billion dollars. Direct American involvement began in 1955 with the arrival of the first advisors. The first combat troops arrived in 1965 and we fought the war until the cease-fire of January 1973.

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To a whole new generation of young Americans today, it seems a story from the olden times. In 1983, the unfolding of the Vietnam tragedy was the focus of an extraordinary documentary series broadcast on public television. When first aired, the series was recognized immediately as a landmark. It had taken six years to make. Researchers had combed film archives in eleven countries and the result was a stunning record of the conflict as it happened.

Program Notes Roots of a War The end of World War II opened the way for the return of French rule to Indochina. Despite the ties he had forged within the American Intelligence community, and his professed respect for democratic ideals, Ho Chi Minh was unable to convince Washington to recognize the legitimacy of his independence movement against the French. French generals and their American advisors expected Ho’s rag-tag Vietminh guerrillas to be defeated easily. But after eight years of fighting and $2.5 billion in U.S. aid, the French lost a crucial battle at Dienbienphu – and with it, their Asian empire. America’s Mandarin With a goal of stopping the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, America replaced France in South Vietnam – supporting autocratic President Ngo Dinh Diem until his own generals turned against him in a coup that brought political chaos to Saigon.

LBJ Goes to War With Ho Chi Minh determined to reunite Vietnam, Lyndon Baines Johnson determined to prevent it, and South Vietnam on the verge of collapse, the stage was set for massive escalation of the undeclared Vietnam War. America Takes Charge In two years, the Johnson Administration’s troop build-up dispatched 1.5 million Americans to Vietnam to fight a war they found baffling, tedious, exciting, deadly and unforgettable. America’s Enemy The Vietnam War as seen from different perspectives by Vietcong guerrillas and sympathizers, by North Vietnamese leaders and rank and file, and by Americans held prisoner in Hanoi. Tet, 1968 The massive enemy offensive at the lunar new year decimated the Vietcong and failed to topple the Saigon government but led to the beginning of America’s military withdrawal from Vietnam. Vietnamizing the War Richard Nixon’s program of troop pull-outs, stepped-up bombing and huge arms shipments to Saigon changed the war and left GIs wondering which of them would be the last to die in Vietnam. Cambodia and Laos Despite technical neutrality, both of Vietnam’s smaller neighbors were drawn into the war, suffered massive bombings, and, in the case of Cambodia, endured a post-war holocaust of nightmarish proportions.

Peace Is at Hand While American and Vietnamese soldiers continued to clash in battle, diplomats in Paris argued about making peace. After more than four years, they reached an accord that proved to be a preface to further bloodshed. Homefront USA. Through troubled years of controversy and violence, US casualties mounted, victory remained elusive, and American opinion moved from general approval to general dissatisfaction with the Vietnam War. The End of the Tunnel South Vietnamese leaders believed that America would never let them go down to defeat – a belief that died as North Vietnamese tanks smashed into Saigon on April 30, 1975, and the long war ended with South Vietnam’s surrender. Political Issues.


Vietnam The Vietnam War was a brutal war that affected millions of people in many different countries. All wars start because there is a difference in peoples opinions, and the Vietnam War was no different. It started because France and a Vietnam leader, Ho Chi Minh, had a difference in opinion about the type of government Vietnam should have. To find out why the war broke out you will have to go back to the 1750s. This is where the French started their so-called protectorate state of Vietnam.

For many years the people of Vietnam protested but could not organize into a force powerful enough to resist the French. Then in 1946 a communist educated individual called Ho Chi Minh organized the people of North Vietnam and drove out the French rulers in a war that took eight years. During peace settlements in Geneva they allowed North and South Vietnam to become separate nations, divided on the 17th parallel. This was only to last for two years. After two years the two countries would then vote on a common leader and reunite the two countries once more. This never happened. South Vietnam was afraid that a Communist leader would be chosen and the nation would be in ruins.

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Communist guerrillas in South Vietnam opposing the canceled election began attacks on Southern Vietnam and remaining French officials to gain control of South Vietnam. If North Vietnam was to begin their invasion of South Vietnam the Communist ruler Ho Chi Minh was sure to have complete control over the nation and spread his ideas of communism to neighboring countries. The United States thought that this should not happen so in 1965 the president ordered the bombing of North Vietnam and the landing of US troops in South Vietnam. This then caused North Vietnam to send regular units to the South. That therefore, cause more US troops to become involved. All of this kept building and building until it was a full-scale war.

The main cause that lead the Vietnam War to brake out was that the old imperial France thought they could keep a so called protectorate state without giving them any freedom. Then a communist leader came along that united the people and took over in the name of freedom. The U.S. thought that if Vietnam became communist then neighboring countries would soon follow. They did not want communism to spread so they tried to stop it but it did not work out like they thought it would.

The United States hatred for communism was what pulled them into the war. Another mishappening that pulled the United States deeper in to the war happened in the first week of August 1964, when North Vietnamese torpedo boats were reported to have attacked two U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. As a result of this attack, former President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered jets to South Vietnam and the retaliatory bombing of military targets in North Vietnam. Later on, this information was found out to be false.

The Vietnam War was a very unique war. There has been many different thing said about the Vietnam War. Some say the war was a waste of time because it as not our battle. There are many reasons that caused us to enter into the war. This war was very unique because the U.S.

didnt win but did win most of the battles. The U.S. was greatly affected by the war and so was Vietnam.


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