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The Vietnam War Essay

1657 words - 7 pages


The Vietnam War lasted through six presidents, 50,000 dead American Soldiers and 25 years of battle. In 1945 Vietnamese nationalist declared independence from France. In 1954 France surrenders 10,000. Vietnam splits, North and South. American’s thought that Vietnam was thought to be the gateway for China and Soviet Union. South Vietnam was thought to be vulnerable to attack from these countries. Ho Chi Minh wants to unify Vietnam. Eisenhower felt that South Vietnam was essential to western Security. John F. Kennedy wants to prevent South Vietnam from becoming communist. In 1962 Guerrilla control spreads across Vietnam. 25,000 American Advisors where sent over to show the South Vietnamese ...view middle of the document...

JFK was distraught. He was assassinated three weeks later. Lyndon Johnson took over as president. JFK had planned to remove troops in Vietnam, according to historians. Defense Attorney Robert McNamara supports a strong stand in Vietnam. North Vietnamese infiltrate the Ho Chi Minh trail. In 1964 Hanoi increased infiltration. Johnson sends Military chief to direct military policy. General Maxwell D. Taylor became Ambassador, he thought it was only for a year. August 4, 1964 two US Destroyers patrolled off the North Vietnam coast, in the Gulf of Tonkin. South Vietnamese have been attacking this coast for weeks. The destroyers came under attack. Johnson retaliates against the North Vietnam. On August 5, Johnson informs the public “We knew that the hostile actions against the US ship on the high seas of the Gulf of Tonkin, Have today required me to order the military forces of the US to take action and refire.” Bombers hit oil and supply depots. After Johnson asks congress for congressional approval to conduct war without declaring it. Congress approved overwhelmingly. Johnson feels this will end the war in six months. The North Vietnamese except sacrifice. Entire communities move underground. The North Vietnamese were supplied by Russia. The Communist respond by taking the war to South Vietnam’s cities. October 1964, US plans to increase bombing. Viet Cong attacks at air bases in South Vietnam. Johnson decides to send in ground combat troops. March 8, 1965 3,500 marines land in Denang. There objective was to defend the air bases. Congress processed a request for 90,000 troops to be sent over to South Vietnam. Approved, and 90,000 troops were sent with conventional weapons. North Vietnam declares a full war. The Viet Cong had complete immobilization of man power. All forces was used for survival in the North and Victory in the South. The Ho Chi Mahn is used for a life line for the North. The Ho Chi Mahn trail is seen by the US, as being a key to end the war, by shutting it down. The US relies on a war at a distance. Viet Cong defense is to strong for a ground strike. Bombing increases the cost to a billion dollars a year. America loses 500 planes over the trail. The American High Command claims success but Viet Cong infiltration increases. The trail was never shutdown. The trail was not one stationary trail, it consisted of many smaller trails, that lead to different places. The Prime Minister of South Vietnam was a great admirer of America. He receives seven billion dollars in aide from the US. The aide only reaches the black market, because of many political officials resented American influence. The troops had there own broadcasting station. The broadcasts consisted of daily updates on the weather back in the states. North Vietnam matches the number of troops, that we had. The tactic search and destroy arouses controversy. The US units, the AirForce units, and the South Vietnamese units would patrol in the jungle till they found the main force...

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