• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


Explain why the United States withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973 Alex Macleod There are many factors that eventually caused the United States to withdraw their forces from Vietnam in 1973. United States involvement in Vietnam only actually started in 1949. At this time, the Viet Minh, lead by Ho Chi Minh, controlled half of Vietnam, after capturing it from the French colonists in 1945. The United States however were oblivious to this as Ho Chi Minh cleverly kept quiet about his communist intentions, which led the United States to be sympathetic, if anything. Nevertheless, once the communist's took over China, and started to help Ho Chi Minh, the United States feared a communist plan to take over a large portion of Asia, the quickly reacted, pouring over $500 million a year to aid France in the war against the communist revolution. The French army failed due to many reasons, which led the Americans themselves to get involved with the war. There were many reasons for America to get involved in the war. Firstly, many Americans believed in the 'Domino Theory' which basically said that if the United States allowed one country to fall to communist, the rest would fall aswell, ending up with the Communists ruling south east Asia. Due to this fear of communist revolution, America prevented elections being held in Vietnam, due to fear of the communists winning. ...read more.


All of these reasons as to why the US tactics were infact so poor only lead to more casualties, and this then indirectly affected public opinion of the war, who hated seeing their own people die. Nevertheless, one of the biggest reasons explaining why the US troops were withdrawn from Vietnam would be Morale. The communist forces opposing the US army were much more committed to their cause and they fought with a much greater desire to win. The allies of the American army, the South Vietnamese were not able to match the Viet Cong in either fighting ability or determination. Although the Americans could arguably compete with the Viet Cong's fighting ability, they definitely did not have any commitment and had no belief in their cause. Many of the US troops had abused the easily available hard drugs from neighbouring Laos and Cambodia. A later estimate put use of heroin at 30% between US soldiers, which again lead to depression and inferior fighting abilities. News of the growing opposition to the war from US citizens would have reached the soldier and only lowered their morale. As the old saying goes, it is not the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog, and the Viet Cong certainly had more fight, irrelevant of the fact they were warring against arguably the greatest military power in the world. ...read more.


The main reason they came to war was the public support of America to prevent the spread of communism, and when the public support diminished surely the will to keep on fighting would have gone. In my eyes, the United States should have withdrawn far before when they actually did. The only viable reason I can see why they stayed would be that they believed they could salvage something from the war; otherwise all of the effort put in previously would have been wasted. But what did the United States achieve in the war against Vietnam? They went in wishing to stop the spread of communism, but infact the communist spread got bigger, as south Vietnam fell 2 years after the end of the war. Who is to say that the spread of communism wouldn't have stopped as it did at South Vietnam, without all the death's and casualties. Personally I believe that the only reason that the United States pulled out was for their own pride. If they pulled out in 1973, they could still say that they didn't lose to the communists, without further damaging their reputation as the world greatest power, and also without further damaging the negative reaction to the war occurring within America itself. In my eyes, it was only America's arrogance and their wish to keep their famed military prowess which was the reason why they didn't withdraw their troops earlier which ultimately cause more lives. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explain why the US withdrew its forces from the Vietnam War in 1973

    4 star(s)

    In 1941, the Japanese government lost control of the colony of Vietnam and a communist and nationalist liberation movement emerged under Ho Chi Minh, who set up a provisional government in Hanoi, desperate for Vietnam to finally be an independent nation.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    What were the major problems facing US forces when fighting the war in Vietnam?

    4 star(s)

    Another thing that made fighting the war difficult for the Americans was the uniform that the Vietcong wore. Their uniforms consisted of black pyjamas and shirts, with straw hats. This led to a great lack of trust among the Vietnamese and the Americans, as they were unable to distinguish between real Vietnamese civilians and Vietcong soldiers in disguise.

  1. Did the power of television force the US to leave Vietnam?

    It is highly flammable and if it touches the body it sticks to the body and burn through the human flesh. It was used by the Americans over Vietnamese villages. Napalm was also used by the American in the war to clear landing zones for helicopters.

  2. Why did America withdraw from Vietnam in 1973?

    they would fight in small platoons or in groups of two or three men, so if they came under attack and were taken captive by the Americans then the Americans would only have a few men which would not be a severe loss to the Vietcong.

  1. How useful are sources A to C in helping to explain why the United ...

    The US government responded to this by bombing North Vietnamese naval bases and oil refineries. May 1964 to August 1964. In four months the President had resolved to Starting Operation Rolling Thunder. This seems very suspicious because at first he didn't know what to do and then four months later he decides to attack Vietnam.

  2. Free essay

    Did The United States Lose On The Vietnam War Home front Or Battlefield?

    The Home front at this point were worried about their troop's tactics and abilities. Many member of the public were angry at the fact the the American troops let this happen and that they didn't expect it.

  1. Why are there different views about the influence of media on the course of ...

    the most respected studies were those conducted b Daniel Hallin and Clarence Wyatt who after analyzing the effect of so-called negative media images of the war on the American people found virtually no evidence to support any casual relationship between editorial tone and bias in the media with loss of public support for the war.'

  2. How coverage of Vietnam in the USA led to demands for peace

    People especially felt the war was wrong due to the protests of the war veterans, which showed that not even the ones who fought were in favour of the war, which was probably the first time in American history that soldiers were not proud to have fought for their country.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work