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GCSE: Vietnam 1954-1975
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forces, all of which will be dealt with in this essay. In the mid-1800s, Vietnam was colonized by French forces, which imposed dramatic political and cultural changes on to the country. And though they helped boost the country's economy, fuelled by exports, the French government often ignore calls for self-government and to improve human rights in Vietnam. The French continued their control of Vietnam, until shortly after World War 2, when Japanese forces invaded the country; using the natural resources in Vietnam to continue their wars against British forces in the colonies of Burma, Malay and India.
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The Tactics of the USA were the main reason for its failure in Vietnam. How far do you agree with this statement?
They moved as units, carrying equipment and wounded. These tactics had worked in every other war they had fought, but not in Vietnam. These tactics made them slow and vulnerable to the Vietcong hit and run attacks, further slowing units with more wounded soldiers. The US soldiers were taking heavy casualties because of the superior Vietcong tactics. The Vietcong also had the advantage in that they could easily hide in South Vietnamese villages from US soldiers, but the American Troops were so distinctive, they could be spotted anywhere by the Vietcong.
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Other brutalities transpired, women were gang raped and tortured, other civilians maimed with "C company" etched into their chests, others struck with rifle butts and bayonets and beaten to death. The total death toll was 504 and one platoon led by Lieutenant William Calley was responsible for over half the alleged deaths. One soldier who was at My Lai, Varnado Simpson, stated in December 1969: "Everyone who went into the village had in mind to kill. We had lost a lot of buddies and it was a VC stronghold.
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Vietnam war, representation work. In this essay I will evaluate the content, accuracy and objectivity of the representations, before I establish which is most reliable regarding the reaction of the American public to presence of US forces in Vietnam.
I personally think that Representation 2 is the best source for withdrawing information on the way in which people in the USA reacted in Vietnam. This source is built on solid facts and statistics and it was written in 1987 when the whole event and its aftermath could be analysed and taken into account. It is also unbiased and brings across a different range of perspectives with regards to the Vietnam - This differs to the other representations whose portrayals are widely negative and only give one perspective on the war.
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Question- study representatives 1 & 2. They are both representations of the way in which people in the USA reacted to the Vietnam War. How far do these representations differ?
Representation 2 seems like it was made merely to inform - an investigation into the protests against the Vietnam War. It explains and states statistics and facts but no emotion or justification is behind these. Similarities include the negative depictions of the American army's involvement in the Vietnam War - in representation 1 it is portrayed visually. In representation 2 it is depicted verbally "The American soldiers committed atrocities that are comparable to what has been committed by the Nazis".
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The attempt to halt the flow of communism that was spreading across the globe. This was America's Cold War aim and Vietnam was simply an extension of that aim. This is useful because it shows the public continuation of an existing policy. Containment was used as justification for going to war. Vietnam could have been any other country and America may have taken exactly the same steps to stop them becoming communist. This was all to maintain the US image.
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Due to the fear of communism, USA started to financially support Viet Minh and they gave 520 million dollars support to French government in 1949 every year. In 1954 French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu. In 1956 Vietnam was supposed to have elections to reunite the country; however in 1954 USA applied the rule to prevent the elections from taking place, because they knew that communists would win. Because of the Geneva agreement Vietnam was divided into Communist North Vietnam, lead by Ho Chi Minh (with support from China)
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At first (1956) there were 700 American advisers. In 1959 President John F. Kennedy increased the number to 16,000. In 1964 Lyndon Johnson replaced Kennedy. However, the North Vietnamese increased the strength of their forces to 35-40 battalions, 35,000 guerrillas and 80,000 irregulars. In Aug 1964 an American destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin was attacked. Although not harmed, the US. Congress passed virtually unanimously the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, allowing Johnson any military intervention. The US thought they could win the war at any time, but Johnson did not want to provoke Soviet entry into it.
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Also the poster is from one time during the war, the representation doesn't show different posters from different times, this significantly limits its coverage as people's reaction to the war changed as the war progressed. This representation is partly accurate, mainly due to it sharing the same concern and expressing the same views as many other anti-war posters, it is also similarly presented to them. The fact that this poster is similar to other anti-war posters corroborates the poster's accuracy.
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The US rapidly responded and fought them with ease. The Vietnam war was ordered by President Eisenhower, who later was replaced by Kennedy (assassinated in 1963), who was replaced by President Johnson. President Johnson vowed to get the "military" advisors out of the Vietnam incident. Rather, he sent in huge numbers of combat troops! The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution had given Johnson the opportunity to use the massive bombing tactic on North Vietnam, and Viet Cong tunnels. (Ho Chi Minh Trial). This operation was codenames Operation Rolling Thunder. Between March 2, 1965 and November 1, 1968, North Vietnam was continuously bombing by the US air force, the reasons fordoing
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They said they would not fight and kill other people of colour in the world who, like black people, are being victimized by the white racist government of America. Their campaign was huge throughout the black community in America- especially with the racial issues at that time. As the war went, there were more protests. When college students found out that they could be subscribed to the army due to the introduction of the lottery, they suddenly became a lot more anti-war.
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ever lost. II. Evidence The first reason that going to Vietnam was a good idea was that we needed to stop the spread of communism (Brownell 12). It was a growing threat, and needed to be stopped as quickly as possible (Brownell 87). We entered the war, and for the support of France and to stop communism in its steps (Welch 2). With little success in both areas at first, in the long run we were successful in our main goals (Welch 7).
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An example of this would be the picture of Kim Phuc. This picture has become a symbolic representation of the Vietnam over time leading to many people coming to believe that it was a turning point in the war. However I know this to mostly untrue as the picture was taken in 1972 when of course the decision to pull out had already been made prior to this therefore proving that it had no impact on the course of the war.
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The Vietminh, a guerrilla force set up against the Japanese invaders were supplied with weapons by the Americans and Chinese, because they hoped it would weaken Japanese influence. By the summer of 1945 with the Japanese unconditionally surrendering to the allies, creating a power vacuum because the French had been interned and the Japanese army had laid down its weapons. Despite Viet Minh's desire for an independent Vietnam, it was decided by the major victors that power should be returned to the French and the British would occupy the south and the Chinese the North.
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This statement suggests that television was an important reason why the United States lost the war in Vietnam. Is there sufficient evidence in sources D to L to support this interpretation? Use the sources and knowledge from your studies to explain your a
Source D is a propaganda poster showing the Guerrilla warfare. It shows the Americans looking for the Vietnamese in the dense rainforest. The fighting conditions weren't conditions the American soldiers were used to. The rainforests were hot and humid and the extreme climate difference compared to the USA was a huge struggle for soldiers to adjust to. Source D also shows the Vietcong hiding in the rainforest as the American soldiers try to search for them. The Vietcong were very skilled at hiding and blending into their surroundings.
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* USA gave the French nearly $3 million to help them to oppose it. US involvement increases: 1961 ~ President J. F. Kennedy became president and sent more advisors into Vietnam to help the situation. 1964 ~ North Vietnamese attacked the US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin ~ President Johnson was given the excuse he wanted to attach. Congress passed a law to ensure that the army could fight. Effects of the conflict: Vietcong tactics US tactics Booby trapped their tunnels which ran for 320kn (200 miles)
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Communism mostly threatened rich people as this meant they would loose their prosperity. America was ruled by the rich and they made the selfish decision to protect their wealth and this meant stopping communism. The communist conquest of China in 1949, the Korean War and the communist triumph over France at Dien Bien Phu led to anxiety and America was determined to stop any other country turning communist as they felt this endangered their capitalist society and if communism spreads it was seen as an increasing influence of their greatest enemy the USSR.
Another tactic the Americans tried to use was to try and re-educate the South Vietnamese people. The main purpose of this re-education was to stop the South Vietnamese from helping the Vietcong forces in such ways as a hiding place or giving them food supplies. Although this method was effective, it did not manage to for fill its main idea. So for a quick to their problems, they used the Strategic Hamlets Policy, which forced the South Vietnamese to be moved, and South Vietnamese leader Diem also demanded that they had to pay for their movement.
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In fact the Gallup poll showed that the public viewed Vietnam as the most important problem facing the country from 1965 to 1968. The war had cost her one billion dollars a day at its peak and she had dropped 7 million tons of bombs - more than the entire total of all participants in World War Two. The cost of the war in 1968 alone was $88 billion while the combined spending on education, health and housing in that year was $24 billion.
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The USA should have been successful in Vietnam because of its technological and military supremacy. However the USA failed to use this supremacy efficiently to defeat a smaller less advanced enemy? Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation?
This source is one sided towards the Americans because it has no information about the amount of Dead US or Vietcong troops, nor does it show the amount of Vietcong in comparison to amount of US, that could show to us that the US was losing to a smaller, less advanced army, but because it doesn't show them in the chart, thus making it useless in the case of 'Is America Superior?'. Another point to prove that this source is not that useful is that it doesn't show the quality of the Vietcong nor their US counterparts, whereas the US
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Agent Orange was a chemical used to strip the trees of all their leaves and green so that the Americans could see where the Vietcong or any persons using the ho chi minh trail. This was extremely useful for finding the Vietcong alone their way to coming into the south or Vietnam but the only problem was that when they found the route they were using the North Vietnam Vietcong would just move the trail which was very easy considering they were all on bikes.
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From my own knowledge, I know that the average age of a soldier going into battle would have been nineteen years old, this means that the majority of the soldiers which Bilton describes will have been at approximately that age and the soldier's age with the description in the extract. The author also writes about how the tour duty of one soldier should last for one year, however, many soldiers unfortunately lost their lives during the first month mainly due to lack of intelligence and experience.
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USA feared communism and were concerned of communism spreading to Vietnam. This became part of the 'Domino Theory' they believed in (put forward by John Foster Dulles). They believed that if one country fell to communism, then this would cause other countries to fall from the communism spreading to them. The 'dominoes' represented communism spreading to other countries as basic dominoes would fall and affect the next domino; therefore the domino represents communism spreading to the next country. At this point, America were scared, they did not want Vietnam to be the next domino on the list.
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One of the sources that support the question is source E. This source is a picture that shows children running down a Vietnamese road. Two particular children in this image create a huge impact which would go on to trigger and stir-up anti war movements in America. In the background of the picture there are American soldiers filming these two particular children, a boy and a girl, and the soldiers are laughing and not helping this small boy who is running with terror on his face and a small girl who is sprinting with no clothes on.
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How useful are Sources A to C to explain why the United States became involved in the war in Vietnam?
Source A is useful because it tells us what the President thought was the reason the United States became involved in the Vietnam War, its tells us that 'Ever since 1954 every American President has offered support to the people of South Vietnam' they offered support to stop the spread of communism, and the domino theory taking place. The domino theory suggested that communitss would spread across the world if it was not stopped. The U.S saw Vietnam as the place to stop the spread of communism.
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