• 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 their forces from Vietnam in 1973.

Extracts from this document...


Explain why the United States withdrew their forces from Vietnam in 1973 In order to answer the question; Explain why the United States withdrew their forces from Vietnam in 1973, I will need to cover the following points; how America became involved, the development of the war under Lyndon B Johnson, tactics of both sides, effect of war on people and the country, how America pulled out and how the war ended. Up until August 1945, the end of World War Two, Japan controlled Vietnam. Between 1945-54 Communist Guerrilla fighters led by the leader of Korea, Ho Chi Minh wanted and fought independence from France. France were defeated by them and left. In 1954 Vietnam was divided into two parts, the North which was Communist and the South who were led by President Diem. The country should have had an election but it was called off. Cambodia and Laos were independent and the Vietcong begin fighting the South. Between 1954-59 the Vietcong guerrilla's had moved into South Vietnam and by 1959 they controlled a third of the country. The USA was very much against Communism and were worried that Communism would take over the whole of the South East Asia region. ...read more.


This decision was approved by Congress by a massive majority and was known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Johnson ordered a major campaign at the beginning of 1965. This campaign was called Operation Rolling Thunder and it was the bombing against North Vietnam. The plan was to destroy the North's economy and force the guerrillas to surrender. It was only supposed to last eight weeks but it ended up lasting for three years and involved the dropping of 1 million tons of bombs on North Vietnam. The first regular troops from America arrived in Vietnam in March 1965. At this time 80% of Americans were in favour of the war. Both sides had very different tactics as they had fought in completely different terrains. The NLF or Vietcong forces were not like ordinary soldiers. They used guerrilla methods. They organised themselves into groups between three and ten called cells. This was so that if they got captured then only a tiny part of the operation would be revealed. The Vietcong's first aim was to get the support of the peasants of South Vietnam. They did this by following strict code behaviour when they entered the village. These instructions were; not to damage crops or houses, not to insist on buying or borrowing what the villages did not want to lend, never break a promise, be respectful to the peasants and help with daily work. ...read more.


Nixon even visited China and Russia to ease the tension. But the Vietnamese were not happy and sensed that their powerful friends were losing interest. On 30th March 1972 the North began to attack again. The North swarmed all over the Demilitarised Zone and out from their bases in Cambodia. The attack began well for them but Nixon ordered massive air attacks, the Navy blockaded the country, mines were laid in Haiphong harbour. Finally the South organised a massive army counter attack, which was successful. The North lost 100,000 men. This ended the conflict. The reason why the United States withdrew their forces from Vietnam was because the Vietcong had widespread support among ordinary peasants who had genuine reasons for hating the government. The Americans could not deal with the guerrilla tactics that the Vietcong used and they could not even distinguish them from normal peasants, as they had no uniform. They could not stop supplies and reinforcements from moving down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Vietcong received important help from North Vietnam in the way of troops and China and Russia supplied the arms. The North had already successfully defeated Japan and France and the Americans were appalled at the brutality they saw. Those are some of the many reasons why America withdrew their forces. ...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)

    The U.S. foreign policy, at the time, was dominated by a fear of communism and a need to contain it from spreading throughout the world. The witch hunts and warmongering caused by McCarthyism, an intense way of anticommunist behavior seen throughout the U.S.

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    During the war, there were many attempts by the United States Air Force to bomb the trail, in order to stop the supply of men and materials, but they all proved unsuccessful. Yet another problem faced by the Americans was counting the success or failure of their operations.

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

    Australia became involved in the Vietnam War and Australian troops were sent in to Vietnam to help the Americans. The Australians were good in jungle warfare and they knew the terrain. This source was produced to get the Australian publics views on weather Troops should return or carry on fighting the Vietnam war.

  2. American reactions to the vietnam war

    However it is partly unobjective due to it only exploring the anti-war movement and lacks any mentioning of pro-war groups or events. Overall this representation gives a fascinating insight into how a range of different groups including pacifists, liberalists and students reacted to the war.

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

    in the conversation is highly regarded as personal thoughts and feelings and these words were probably not supposed to be heard by anybody else. It is obvious that President Johnson did not know that he was being taped otherwise he would have not revealed him true feelings towards the situation in Vietnam.

  2. History Controlled Assesment- Success' of USA military

    Miller), by a national guardsman, beside him is a kneeling female, 14 years of age (Mary Ann Vecchio), grieving about his death. This picture is significant because the corpse does not look like a soldier; he looks like a civilian, even at a first glance and the harmless impression.

  1. How useful are the sources A to G for explaining why there was an ...

    seems almost like a paradox - the righteousness of that word compared with the conditions that were faced on the ground in Vietnam. As it focuses towards these aspects more than the other possible reasons for the anti-war movement, it may be seen as not that useful; however, I would strongly discourage any sort of thinking along that line.

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

    The media portrayed the government as the only people who wanted the war to occur. Music was a major part of the Peace Movement and was one of the most used non violent methods of protest during the time of the peace movement.

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