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GCSE: Vietnam 1954-1975
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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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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 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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* 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.
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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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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So, what caused the defeat of the USA? There were many reasons for why USA lost the war and one of them was due to tactics. USA fought a hi-tech war using bombs (which were unnecessary and did a lot of damage which they then had to repair), artillery, helicopters, napalm and defoliants (Agent Orange) which killed many innocent civilians and failed to stop the Vietcong fighters - therefore ineffective and redundant. On the other hand the Vietcong fought a guerrilla war - where they ambushed US patrols, set up booby traps, landmines, and planted bombs in towns.
- Word count: 679
Study source A. do you agree with this interpretation of the importance of the battle of the Somme? Use the source and knowledge from your studies to explain your answer
Source A looks like it is just Haig's views and opinions there is no evidence this shows that source A not evidence based it is based on a opinion so it can be biased. In the source it says that 'the German solders are now practically beaten men and that they are 'ready to surrender....thoroughly tired of war and expecting defeat.'
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Do you agree with the interpretation of the problems faced by the United States soldiers in Vietnam? Use the source and knowledge from your studies to explain your answer
From my own knowledge I know that the average age of a soldier from the US army had been 19, this implies that most soldiers were too young and therefore must have been inexperienced. I know that after the official trained US army had arrived in Vietnam, the US was forced to conscript. If you were not well educated, you stood a greater chance of being recruited. Therefore, a lot of new recruits in Vietnam were not very intelligent. However, the source has some limitations in its interpretation.
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Governmental pressures, what president would take the next move? Economic build up because the cost of the war was so great. Also guerrilla warfare tactics used by the southern Vietnamese to oppress the US being there. In this essay I will aim to state the evidence I have in why the US withdrew its forces from Vietnam. Vietnam is a small country that is part of Indochina in South East Asia. For centuries European colonists and China fought over their country after their neighbours of the north, the Chinese, conquered their homeland long ago.
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But before this Vietnam had been part of Frances colonies and they wanted it back. So the French went into Vietnam with a plan to once again take what was once theirs. At the same time the Cold war between USA and Russia was going on. The democratically run America wanted all the countries to become democratically run while on the other hand Russia wanted all the countries to become communist. USA feared that communism was spreading across the world and they had to act now to stop it. This was called a "domino theory", if one country falls the countries around it will follow.
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This was emphasised when the media broadcast the My Lai massacre, when marines attcked a village on a destroying mission, and killed 400 eldery, women, and children, to then discover it wasnt a Vietcong village. All of this gave a lot of negative images and had a very bad effect on public opinion, and Americans grew to hate the war. Another effect was the human cost of the war. There was rising concern about the numbers on young soldiers being killed.
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Study source K. use the sources to explain whether or not you agree with this assessment of the role of the media in influencing American attitudes to the war
Fundamentalists accept the miracles just as they are described in the bible. Literalists approach. They are fundamentalists who believe the bible is literal, or historically true Most Christians agree about the main points. These differences in interpretation may influence what they feel in the nature of discipleship. Together us as Christians most agree on the characteristics of a good disciple of Christ. Definition of discipleship One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another. Discipleship means being prepared to follow Jesus. This can involve suffering, rejection and death. The word follower means disciple.
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On the other hand, JFK must take some responsibility because during his time in office, military advisers in Vietnam were increased from 500 to 16,000. Also the American government had some involvement in getting rid of Diem, therefore increasing commitment to Vietnam and LBJ had the same foreign policy advisers as Kennedy, so they possibly brought Kennedy's ideas back into the White House. The Gulf of Tonkin incident is when a US Navy ship was allegedly attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats.
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The US feared Eisenhower's "Domino Theory" so they offered their support to South Vietnam. Sources A - C all explain reasons why America got involved in the Vietnam War. Source A is useful for explaining why the USA got entered the war because it gives us information from the time it happened. Source A is a speech by President Johnson in April, 1965, one month after operation rolling thunder when America started bombing North Vietnam to aid the south. Seeing as though the speech is so close to the start of the bombing means that he is trying to win the people over to he's ideas.
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During this time, France was at war with Vietnam over France wanting to regain control of Vietnam. This is when America became involved when they supported France with money to help them succeed. The French war continued until 1954. In 1954, The Geneva Peace Agreement ended the war and the French left with North Vietnam becoming a communist state. When the war ended, the Americans only worry was that the Viet Minh had defeated a European power with the help from communist countries. In 1955 the Americans were in their third phase of their increasing involvement in the Vietnam War.
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and how strict were their instructor. Stanley used a good example of a soldier mistreated was (Leonard 'Private Pyle' Pratt acted by Vincent D'Onofrio) and another good example of their instructor who was acted by Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. In first Stanley Kubrick was trying to show his viewers how the soldiers were trained and how they were treated by their leaders. He showed the instructor training the soldiers harshly and treating them like animals. Stanley showed that just because to tell his audience about lives of soldiers in boot camp and how stonehearted and careless the harsh training made them so they could fight their enemy without any fear and prepared them mentally so they could do anything during the war.
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Do sources B & C support the evidence of source A about the reasons for US involvement in South Vietnam?
It also says that Vietnam's political liberty is important and inspires others thus independence of Vietnam is crucial to the Free World. Source B supports the evidence in source A. It claims that Communist North Vietnamese government was trying to take over the South it aimed to spread its influence over a democratic neighbour just like Communist North Korea which attacked democratic South Korea in 1950. A statement from the US State Department said that the communist attack was not a local, spontaneous rebellion at all but a deliberate planned attack by the communist North on the South.
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After the end of the Second World War, the Allies wished for France to be a major world power. The immediate reason for USA switching sides therefore was to re-establish French influence in its former colony as a means of containing communism in the region. This policy ran into problems following the declaration of Vietnamese Independence by Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Viet Minh in September 1945. The reimposition of French rule in Vietnam was bound to lead to conflict with the Viet Minh and France soon became embroiled in a guerrilla war.
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History Coursework - Vietnam - Explain why the United states became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam
The red scare had taken hold of America and Truman even went as far to say that he would support any communist threatened country. The fighting the French faced was much like the fighting America would later face as guerrilla tactics were key to the eventual success of Viet Minh in 1954. America's plan to contain communism known as 'containment' would need a different approach if Vietnam was to be saved from communism. After the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu Vietnam gained independence but decisions made at the Geneva conference led to Vietnam being split into north and south, the north under Ho Chi Minh and the south under Ngo Dinh Diem.
- Word count: 787
Is their sufficient evidence in sources A-F to explain why there was an anti-war movement in the United States during the late 1960's and early 1970's?
This is a very strong picture and it sparked outrage in America as it shows two children suffering from the effects of American napalm. This picture lead Americans who supported the war to question what the army were doing in Vietnam and to ask whether the reasons behind the war justified the suffering of innocent Vietnamese citizens. This source does go some way to showing why there was an anti-war movement in the USA as it became one of the most well known images of the Vietnam War.
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1991 was the end of the cold war, and the cold war was heading to South East Asia. Do sources B and C support the evidence of Source A about US involvement in Vietnam? I don't think that Sources B and C do support the evidence of A because in Source C we don't know why the Buddhist monk set himself on fire and it doesn't show if he definitely did set himself on fire. Source B is part of a speech made by President Johnson in 1964 and often with speeches that people in politics make they don't even mean anything that they say, they say other things to make an impact on the country and get them worried over the subject.
- Word count: 698