France. Korean War. Ho Chi Minh. China. Dien Bien Phu. Ngo Dinh Diem. Vietcong ... The USA and the Vietnam War review tasks

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1 The USA and Vietnam : background Match the key word to its description: France Korean War Ho Chi Minh China Dien Bien Phu Ngo Dinh Diem Vietcong A Leader of the Vietminh. A communist who desired independence for a united Vietnam. B An insurgency force in South Vietnam which was loyal to the communist Vietminh. C Became leader of South Vietnam with support from the US. Corrupt and misused US investment. D Rulers of the Indochina colony until the 1950s and enemies of the Vietminh. E War which further drew America into the fight to stop the spread of communism. F Overrun by the communist forces of Mao in 1949, and supporter of North Vietnam. G Huge battle between French and Vietminh forces which ended in defeat for the French. If finished: Explain why the US felt it had to get involved in the problems in SE Asia Page 1 of 11

2 The Geneva Accords: 1954 Label the map to show the outcomes of the 1954 Geneva Accords: If finished: Who gained the most from the Geneva Accords? Why? Page 2 of 11

3 The escalation of US involvement: August 1964 to February 1965 After taking over from JFK in November, Johnson continued a policy of aid and assistance in South Vietnam. However, the worsening situation and a series of key events drew the US into direct conflict with North Vietnam. In August 1964, US ships, the USS and USS Turner Joy, were reportedly attacked by North Vietnamese torpedoes. In retaliation to this, US congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin to promote the maintenance of international peace and security in South-East Asia. However, this resolution had been written in 1964, suggesting that the US had been planning to escalate the war for some time. After the passing of the resolution, Johnson went on to win a victory in the November 1964 Presidential Election, showing widespread public support for the escalation of the war. During this time the Ruling Council had taken control of South Vietnam, and the harsh treatment of South Vietnamese peasants simply led to more insurgency. In December 1964, the MRC leader stated that the US ambassador would no longer be welcome in South Vietnam. In February 1965, the US ensured the removal of Khanh who was then replaced by Air Marshal who was far more willing to work with the US. On 6 th February 1965 the air base in South Vietnam was attacked by the Vietcong, killing nine US service personnel and destroying five helicopters. The incident gave Johnson a reason to retaliate with a bombing campaign code named. On 10 th February 1965, there was a further attack against army quarters at Qui Nhon, where 23 US service personnel were killed. This led to even harsher bombing attacks and the start of the massive bombing campaign. Despite all of this, Johnson was still about initiating sustained bombing, but Johnson s advisors Rusk and McNamara believed that escalating the bombing would enable the US to negotiate with the North from a position of power. Use the words below to fill in the gaps: resolution Ky January Maddox cautious 1963 Pleiku Khanh Flaming Dart Military landslide Rolling Thunder Page 3 of 11

4 The collapse of the home front: changing public opinion in the US Complete the diagram using the correct captions for each year: Public support for the war drops dramatically. In November, the Democratic Party suffers a sharp loss in the mid-terms. Westmoreland complains the media makes the enemy the good guy. The war is fought in the media the first war to feature on TV. Some protests develop and cracks appear in congressional support. Coverage of the Tet Offensive a turning point. Walter Cronkite, a reporter and former supporter of the war, publicly turns against it, calling it a stalemate. Johnson s approval rate falls from 48 to 36%. This means a huge loss of confidence and leads to policy change. Public opinion supports the war. This is shown by Johnson s victory in the presidential elections. Opposition to the war grows, especially after a rise in taxes. Martin Luther King joins the protests because he feels blacks are disproportionately represented in Vietnam Public support for the war decreases over time Page 4 of 11

5 The crisis of the War : the USA 1964 presidential election The media College students Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement A Tried to avoid the draft by going to college or university (until students were no longer exempt) and actively involved in anti-war protests. B World War Two babies rebelled against society and this involved promoting Peace and Love. Used drugs and music to protest. C Replaced Johnson as the democrats candidate in His campaign involved bad-mouthing Richard Nixon and his lack of achievement. D A landslide victory for Johnson after retaliation for the Gulf of Tonkin incident this proves initial support for the war. Counter-culture (hippies) E A strong victory for Richard Nixon who claimed to have a secret solution for the Vietnam War and promised to sort out civil unrest. Robert McNamara F Charlie Company brutally slaughtered 504 innocent civilians. This was covered up for a year, and most soldiers got away with it. Hubert Humphrey 1968 presidential election My Lai massacre G Felt the involvement of black soldiers in the war was unfair as they were not equals back home, yet were dying for the USA. H Secretary of Defence who greatly supported conflict in Vietnam, but changed his mind and left government after Tet in Jan I Vietnam was the first televised war and was not censored. However, some question the impact the media had on opinion Page 5 of 11

6 Nixon s policy for Vietnam: Nixon wanted to end the war in Vietnam as it had become seemingly unwinnable, and there was a lack of support for the battle back home in America. Nixon wanted to achieve, ensuring that America left Thieu in charge of South Vietnam. Nixon began this through a process of, slowly withdrawing American troops and training the ARVN to take their place and defend the South. This tactic was followed by an escalation of the war as part of the that Nixon was prepared to do anything to end the war, in the hope that North Vietnam would be scared into negotiations. Nixon began the secret bombing of Cambodia in order to wipe out supposed communist sanctuaries and headquarters ( ). The communists were pushed north as a result of this and forced Nixon to launch the offensive in Laos, with ARVN troops and US. This battle showed the weaknesses of the ARVN, who lost half of their force in the fighting. Nixon feared that the ARVN would not be able to hold off the communists, and so turned to in the hope of getting his Peace with Honor. Negotiations with the North did not go well and by 1972 there was still conflict over the role of and the release of Prisoners of War. Instead, the US looked towards the Soviet Union and to put pressure on North Vietnam. The US offered potential trade and diplomatic links in return for assisting the end of the war, and this seemed to progress well as the Soviets and Chinese improved relations with the US. However, there was no change over, and the Chinese insisted that as long as the Americans supported South Vietnam, then they would help the North. Proof that diplomacy had not worked came in March 1972, when both the Soviet Union and China gave their full support to the PAVN offensive against the US. Use the words below to fill in the gaps: Peace with Honor diplomacy Lam Son COSVN Thieu Vietnamisation Easter Vietnam air power China linkage Madman Theory Page 6 of 11

7 US involvement in Vietnam: quiz Escalation of involvement in Vietnam: When was President Kennedy assassinated? 2. Who became US President after Kennedy? 3. What was the name of the council which took over South Vietnam after Diem's assassination? 4. What was the name of the ship which was attacked by the Vietnamese in August 1964? 5. What was the name of the resolution which granted President Johnson power to conduct military operations in Southeast Asia without declaring war? 6. Who was the US Secretary of Defence for most of the Vietnam War? Escalation of the US war effort: Where was the US Marine base which was attacked by the Vietnamese on 2 nd March 1965? 8. What was the name of the trail running through Laos and Cambodia which enabled the Vietnamese forces to keep supplying their armies with manpower and material? 9. What was the name of the main bombing campaign in Vietnam? 10. What type of warfare was used by the Vietcong and the People s Army of Vietnam (PAVN)? 11. What was the name of the first battle between US and PAVN forces? 12. What was the name of the surprise attack on military control centres in South Vietnam during a ceasefire for Lunar New Year? 13. What was the name of the massacre of Vietnamese civilians which prompted outrage across the world and a decrease of support for the war in the US? Nixon s policy for Vietnam: What was the name of the policy to withdraw American troops and train the ARVN to take their place? 15. What was the name of Nixon s National Security Adviser? 16. What was the name of the tactic of escalation of the war that Nixon hoped would scare North Vietnam into negotiations? Page 7 of 11

8 Answers The USA and Vietnam : background France Korean War Ho Chi Minh China Dien Bien Phu Ngo Dinh Diem Vietcong D E A F G C B The Geneva Accords: 1954 China Laos North Vietnam under control of Vietminh 17 th Parallel - DMZ Cambodia South Vietnam under control of French Page 8 of 11

9 The escalation of US involvement: August 1964 to February 1965 After taking over from JFK in November 1963, Johnson continued a policy of aid and assistance in South Vietnam. However, the worsening situation and a series of key events drew the US into direct conflict with North Vietnam. In August 1964, US ships, the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy, were reportedly attacked by North Vietnamese torpedoes. In retaliation to this, US congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to promote the maintenance of international peace and security in South-East Asia. However, this resolution had been written in January 1964, suggesting that the US had been planning to escalate the war for some time. After the passing of the resolution, Johnson went on to win a landslide victory in the November 1964 Presidential Election, showing widespread public support for the escalation of the war. During this time the Military Ruling Council had taken control of South Vietnam, and the harsh treatment of South Vietnamese peasants simply led to more insurgency. In December 1964, the MRC leader Khanh stated that the US ambassador would no longer be welcome in South Vietnam. In February 1965, the US ensured the removal of Khanh who was then replaced by Air Marshal Ky who was far more willing to work with the US. On 6 th February 1965 the Pleiku air base in South Vietnam was attacked by the Vietcong, killing nine US service personnel and destroying five helicopters. The incident gave Johnson a reason to retaliate with a bombing campaign code named Flaming Dart. On 10 th February 1965, there was a further attack against army quarters at Qui Nhon, where 23 US service personnel were killed. This led to even harsher bombing attacks and the start of the massive Rolling Thunder bombing campaign. Despite all of this, Johnson was still cautious about initiating sustained bombing, but Johnson s advisors Rusk and McNamara believed that escalating the bombing would enable the US to negotiate with the North from a position of power. The collapse of the home front: changing public opinion in the US 1964 Public opinion supports the war. This is shown by Johnson s victory in the presidential elections The war is fought in the media the first war to feature on TV. Some protests develop and cracks appear in congressional support Public support for the war drops dramatically. In November, the Democratic Party suffers a sharp loss in the mid-terms. Westmoreland complains the media makes the enemy the good guy Opposition to the war grows, especially after a rise in taxes. Martin Luther King joins the protests because he feels blacks are disproportionately represented in Vietnam Coverage of the Tet Offensive a turning point. Walter Cronkite, a reporter and former supporter of the war, publicly turns against it, calling it a stalemate. Johnson s approval rate falls from 48 to 36%. This means a huge loss of confidence and leads to policy change Page 9 of 11

10 The crisis of the War : the USA 1964 presidential election D The media I College students A Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement G Counter-culture (hippies) B Robert McNamara H Hubert Humphrey C 1968 presidential election E My Lai massacre F Nixon s policy for Vietnam: The USA and the Vietnam War review tasks Nixon wanted to end the war in Vietnam as it had become seemingly unwinnable, and there was a lack of support for the battle back home in America. Nixon wanted to achieve Peace with Honor, ensuring that America left Thieu in charge of South Vietnam. Nixon began this through a process of Vietnamisation, slowly withdrawing American troops and training the ARVN to take their place and defend the South. This tactic was followed by an escalation of the war as part of the Madman Theory that Nixon was prepared to do anything to end the war, in the hope that North Vietnam would be scared into negotiations. Nixon began the secret bombing of Cambodia in order to wipe out supposed communist sanctuaries and headquarters (COSVN). The communists were pushed north as a result of this and forced Nixon to launch the Lam Son offensive in Laos, with ARVN troops and US air power. This battle showed the weaknesses of the ARVN, who lost half of their force in the fighting. Nixon feared that the ARVN would not be able to hold off the communists, and so turned to diplomacy in the hope of getting his Peace with Honor. Negotiations with the North did not go well and by 1972 there was still conflict over the role of Thieu and the release of Prisoners of War. Instead, the US looked towards the Soviet Union and China to put pressure on North Vietnam. The US offered linkage potential trade and diplomatic links in return for assisting the end of the war, and this seemed to progress well as the Soviets and Chinese improved relations with the US. However, there was no change over Vietnam, and the Chinese insisted that as long as the Americans supported South Vietnam, then they would help the North. Proof that diplomacy had not worked came in March 1972, when both the Soviet Union and China gave their full support to the PAVN Easter offensive against the US. US involvement in Vietnam: quiz Escalation of involvement in Vietnam: When was President Kennedy assassinated? 22 nd November Who became US President after Kennedy? Lyndon B. Johnson 3. What was the name of the council which took over South Vietnam after Diem's assassination? Military Ruling Council Page 10 of 11

11 4. What was the name of the ship which was attacked by the Vietnamese in August 1964? USS Maddox 5. What was the name of the resolution which granted President Johnson power to conduct military operations in Southeast Asia without declaring war? The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution 6. Who was the US Secretary of Defence for most of the Vietnam War? Robert McNamara Escalation of the US war effort: Where was the US Marine base which was attacked by the Vietnamese on 2 nd March 1965? Pleiku 8. What was the name of the trail running through Laos and Cambodia which enabled the Vietnamese forces to keep supplying their armies with manpower and material? Ho Chi Minh trail 9. What was the name of the main bombing campaign in Vietnam? Operation Rolling Thunder 10. What type of warfare was used by the Vietcong and the People s Army of Vietnam (PAVN)? Guerilla warfare 11. What was the name of the first battle between US and PAVN forces? Battle of la Drang 12. What was the name of the surprise attack on military control centres in South Vietnam during a cease fire for Lunar New Year? Tet Offensive 13. What was the name of the massacre of Vietnamese civilians which prompted outrage across the world and a decrease of support for the war in the US? My Lai Nixon s policy for Vietnam: What was the name of the policy to withdraw American troops and train the ARVN to take their place? Vietnamisation 15. What was the name of Nixon s National Security Adviser? Henry Kissinger 16. What was the name of the tactic of escalation of the war that Nixon hoped would scare North Vietnam into negotiations? Madman Theory Page 11 of 11

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