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'Explain why the United States withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973'

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Lucille McLay 0312 43309 St. Johns R.C 'Explain why the United States withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973' The US became involved in Vietnam War in 1954. The main reason for the involvement was the Domino Theory; the US was scared if one country fell or area in Asia were communist neighbouring places like Malaya or Thailand would fall too. The USA was one of the world's most powerful nations and it was unable to defeat a simple nation with black pyjamas. As a result of this war America had both its supremacy and involvement in International Affairs changelled. The US withdrew in 1973 after a bloody conflict that shocked both the US and the rest of the world. John F. Kennedy took over the presidential role in November 1960. He wanted to continue supporting Eisenhower's policy of supporting Ngo Dinh Diem. He believed the domino theory and said if communism wasn't stopped in Vietnam it would spread around the world. The US helped the French in Vietnam. At the Geneva peace conference there was an arrangement to temporarily divide Vietnam into the seventh parallel, then be reunited after the elections. ...read more.


The Vietcong also used the Ho Chi Minh trail. This was used to send weapons, food, guerrillas and equipment to the Vietcong in the south. It stretched 1,000 km with dummy paths and depots; the US air force usually got confused. In all it needed 40, 000 people to keep it working. The life on the trail wasn't pleasant. When the trail was see-able on a fine day the US and ARVN planes attacked. When it rained, especially in monsoon season, the packs the Vietcong had to carry were doubled in weight. A lot of the supplies travelling along the trail came from allies. The Soviet Union helped and supplied the aircrafts. China helped providing the fuel, food and handguns. The Vietcong often recycled old metals from weapons the US troops had left behind. The trail could be hidden by the rainforest, and the fact the troops were new to Vietnam and didn't know the layout very well. That, however, was all about to change due to an American weapon - Agent Orange. Vietnam had a lot of scenery, mountains and rain forests, this caused problems for the US troops. ...read more.


It made people aware what was being done in their name. There are some photos that were shown. The most 3 most famous are probably the picture of the burning monk, the execution of a Vietcong suspect in the street and the children from South Vietnam fleeing after a napalm attack in which they have burning skin. It was however a one sided-coverage. The media couldn't go out with the Vietcong and report all their war crimes. It was easier to follow Americans. The media didn't always report up-to-date. An example of this is the My Lai massacre, which the media reported on 18 months after it had happened. On Saturday 16 March 1968 3 platoons of American soldiers landed at the small village on My Lai. They were led by Lieutenant William Calley and on a search and destroy mission. If there was any Vietcong there, by the time the troops were in the village, they would of all been gone or hiding. In that 2 hours, many cold-blooded killings of unarmed Vietnamese men, women and children. Many soldiers got out of it by saying they were just following orders, but a man of ordinary sense would of understood it illegal. Most of the soldiers were killing as revenge for the friends that they lost. ...read more.

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