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

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

Extracts from this document...


Explain why the US withdrew its forces from the Vietnam War in 1973. In the early 1960s, the American president, John F. Kennedy pledged financial and military aid to the struggling South Vietnam. As political unrest grew the support from a war in North Vietnam grew and 1963, and with John Kennedy's assassination in 1963, President Johnson felt that, to keep in with the U.S. foreign policy of containment, he would have to send a vast amount of young soldiers into Vietnam to help fight the rising influence of the Viet Cong. For over ten years, the U.S. pledged thousands of young troops and billions in financial aid until public opinion and guerilla tactics forced the U.S. to withdrawal from Vietnam, claiming that they hadn't been defeated but that they had left in their own right. But in reality, a tiny, lesser economically developed country had successfully defeated a new super power. This was due to many reasons, both short and long-term, such as the political unrest in the U.S., fighting conditions, military tactics and lack of trained unity within the U.S. forces, all of which will be dealt with in this essay. ...read more.


Both sides had seen the conflict has a symbolic reference to the two political idealogies and China and Russia were desperate to fight off the US's forces, and to weaken the general public beliefs in containment. Another issue the US had in Vietnam was that they didn't know who they could trust; they could search entire villages for Viet Cong, find none, and 'you could go throught that village later and get shot at by a sniper'. In Vietnam, the majority of the population lived in tiny villages scattered around the jungle, and because of the US's continuous napalm attacks on their vegetation, these villagers tended to side with the Viet Cong forces. The NLF had managed to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people, in both the North and the South, whereas the Americans seemed like a threat to their culture and their land, dropping napalm with no warning to the public. And napalm did not only kill off vegetation, it also caused death by aphixiation, which means to slowly suffocate to death from lack of oxygen. During these attacks, you could not choose who was effected by the napalm, and the areas were bombs were dropped held just as many innocent civillians as they did Viet Cong, innocent civillains died during these attacks, which only helped to increase the resentment seen towards the Americans. ...read more.


From Colonel Oran K. They proceeded to cordon off the village and systematically kill every Vietnamese person within the hamlet, this included women and children. This event proved to be a turning point in the war and helped to start the American Peace movement, this movement included students, teachers, journalists and regular citizens. In August 1974, after the repetitive embarssment of the Watergate scandals, Richard Nixon was forced to resign as President of the United States of America, leaving his Vice-President Gerlad Ford to suceed him. Fords reluctance to continue supporting Vietnam lead to him stop all financial aid to Vietnam in December of the same year. This lack of financial and public support quickly lead to the Fall of Saigon and a hasty tactical retreat of the US troops. On April 30 1974, American helicopters evacuated South Vietnamese, U.S., and foreign nationals from various parts of the city and from the U.S. embassy compound, Operation Frequent Wind is arguably the biggest helicopter rescue in history, as Viet Cong troops stormed through the city towards the Presidential Palace in Saigon, eager to raise the flag and signal the end of the war. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jenny Stalker ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a very well written and detailed response that demonstrates excellent understanding of the key reasons for US withdrawal, with clear links to the question throughout. At times, the counterargument could have been considered more thoroughly and lengthily narrative could have been cut to make the response more concise. The lack of a conclusion is a significant weakness. 4 out of stars.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 21/04/2012

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. The Vietnam War - why the USA became involved and how the media covered ...

    Vietnam since the 1950's, it could be seen as simply maintaining the sphere of influence, albeit stepping it up to the next level by sending in ground troops. Overall, each of the three sources contributes to the reasoning behind the war but there are differences in them which indicate their usefulness.

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

    When among the Vietnamese people the US soldiers were unable to distinguish the Vietcong from innocent villagers. This again benefited the Vietcong as it meant there was less risk in one of their men being caught and tortured. If you look at the poster you can see that the Vietcong

  1. Why did America lose the Vietnam War?

    As well as destroying forests, it also burnt through the skin to the bone, and killed many civilians. This photograph in particular became one of the most enduring images of the war. Similar disturbing images would have been beamed back to America, where they would have been seen on television.

  2. How effective were the US tactics of search and destroy and defoliation in the ...

    If you were exposed to it, it could cause cancer and genetic problems which meant many children born were also severely affected. Napalm was the other main chemical weapon used by the US. Each container of napalm held 130 gallons of gasoline with on six percent of napalm in it.

  1. The US lost the Vietnam War because its tactics and military strategy were wrong. ...

    In 198March 1st , the American killed many innocent people. The slaughter at the innocent, it was seen by the work it was not the communist being wicked. But in My Lai it was the Americans being wicked.

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

    The Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred in 1964, fairly early on in the war, and it led to America?s ?open entry? into the Vietnam War and led to the escalation of US involvement in the war. On the 2nd of August 1964, the Maddox, the American destroyer, was attacked by three North Vietnamese torpedo boats.

  1. Why did America lose the War in Vietnam?

    The Americans found it very difficult to fight in Vietnam as despite the fact that they outnumbered the Vietnamese (both the Vietcong and NVA) by at least 3:1, they did not know who they were fighting against as there was no way to distinguish between a civilian and a soldier.

  2. Why Did America Lose The Vietnam War

    You can't please everyone, but it helps. Kept going that long with the support of China, Russia & the U.S. allies. + the draft was ended c. 1970 that made the war more tolerable; then war crimes & napalm tuned off the rest.

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