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1 COLD WAR Vietnam War

2 France had controlled Vietnam since the 1860 s. It was known as French Indochina and included Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. During WWII, nationalism spread throughout Asia, however, France was not prepared to grant independence to its Asian colonies.

3 A man named Ho Chi Minh led Indochina. He was a communist who had been fighting for independence from France for25 years prior to the Vietnam War breaking out. He and his communist forces used guerilla tactics to defeat the French. In 1954, the main French forces were surrounded at Dienbien Phu and were forced to surrender.

4 Following this Vietnamese victory over the French, a victory peace conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland. The Agreement included: Vietnam was to be divide along the 17 th parallel Elections to unite the country would be held in 1956 the north would establish a communist state under Ho Chi Minh the south established a government under Ngo Dinh Diem, a puppet of U.S. democracy

5 The 1956 elections and unification never happened. The north communists realized that an invasion into the south would cause international intervention as it did in Korea. The communist in North Vietnam decided to take a different approach. They infiltrated into the south to support communist factions that existed there, known as the Viet Cong. By 1959, Viet Cong guerillas were launching attacks throughout the south.

6 The U.S. decided to stay out of the conflict at first, however, a number of events were taking place that were concerning to the U.S. such as, a communist victory in China, strength of communists in North Korea, and tensions with the USSR in Europe. The first initial U.S. involvement in Vietnam was in the order of financial support to France to fight the communists, but when the France left the area, the U.S. took responsibility for the war.

7 In 1960, the U.S. sent 800 military advisors to help the South Vietnamese army. Under the leadership of President Kennedy, this number rose to , however, efforts were still unsuccessful. On November 22, 1963 President Kennedy was shot and Lyndon Johnson took over as President. Johnson did not want to be viewed as soft on communism, as Kennedy sometimes was. Nor did he want to be the first U.S. president to lose a war.

8 In 1964 the U.S. navy was stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin was supposedly shot at by North Vietnamese communist forces. (recent documents suggest that the U.S. provoked the attack). Johnson would use this as his excuse for an all out war. There was not a formal declaration of war, but a full war was taking place by 1965 and 50, 000 troops were sent to Vietnam.

9 The U.S. was involved in the most complicated war in its history. The South Vietnam forces are weak and corrupt; the North Vietnamese were trained by the USSR and China. The Viet Cong (in the south) were backed by troops from North Vietnam civilians were killed in North Vietnam by U.S. bombing raids, but they could not stop the movement of troops and supplies from the north to the south along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

10 The Viet Cong lose troops in the Tet Offensive, but the North Vietnamese took the larger role in the fighting. In the end, the U.S. lost the Vietnam War. The reasons lie in the nature of the conflict. Ho Chi Minh and followers were fighting a traditional war of liberation. They had fought the Japanese, the French and now the Americans. They were fighting for their homeland. The U.S. on the other hand, was fighting for an abstract idea of stopping communist aggression. It was doomed to fail from the start.

11 Vietnam in pictures.

12 Vietnam in pictures.

13 Vietnam in pictures.

14 Vietnam in pictures.

15 Vietnam in pictures.

16 Vietnam in pictures.

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