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GCSE: Vietnam 1954-1975
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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.
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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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John Keegan, a modern military historian suggests that Haig was an efficient and highly skilled soldier who did much to lead Britain to victory in the First World War. Is their sufficient evidence in sources A to H to support this interpretation? Us
Also, Haig mentions about the Germans being practically beaten men and were ready to surrender also expecting defeat and once again this comment is biased because there are no facts supporting this statement also Germany battled strongly until the end of the First World War 1918 Source B is a poster of Haig pointing to himself saying 'your country needs me' this is very sarcastic then underneath it says 'like a hole in the head which is what most of you are going to get' this is very critical of Haig's leadership as it is saying we are all going
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Is there sufficient evidence in sources A to F to explain why there was an anti-war movement in the United States during the late 1960s and 1970s?
This would have made most people against the war and protest for an anti-war movement. This source merely shows destruction. It only shows how the US army were tormenting the Vietnamese and not the other side of the story. This source is a limited piece of evidence because photographs only shoot one place at one time. Even though it is a powerful source, it does not give a specific date to when it was published and it does not show who it is for or who produced it.
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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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Armed forces were fighting the war in Vietnam and the momentum issue of helping them out also contributed to Johnson's decision to help South Vietnam. USA backed up the South Vietnam government. This action was intended to bring in a US government into South of Vietnam. This meant that President Johnson had very little choice of backing away from the war in Vietnam. President Johnson also had to show the world that the United States was prepared to help countries that faced invasion by communism. This is strongly mentioned in President Johnson's speech that America is committed to its 'word'.
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Study Source A. Do you agree with this interpretation of the problems faced by United States soldiers in Vietnam? Use the source and knowledge from your studies to explain your answer.
Bilton produced a video about My Lai that was aired in 1988. In the video he interviewed a number of US soldiers who commented on their experiences in Vietnam and the events at My Lai. If this extract is based on the information from those sources, this may make the extract more reliable with regard to problems faced by US soldiers at My Lai because a lot of information about the incident was not made available at the time of the original inquiries into My Lai.
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John Keegan, a modern military historian, suggests that Haig was an efficient and highly skilled soldier who did much to lead Britain to victory in the First World War. Is there sufficient evidence in Sources A to H to support his interpret
It doesn't say how involved Haig was in the battle or talk about his efficiency or skill so it does not support that part of Keegan's view. Haig is writing an opinion rather than facts and is possibly biased so this is not a very reliable source. Source B is a poster titled 'your country needs me' from 'General Haig's Private war'. It is not known when the poster was produced or who produced it or why it was produced.
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According to Michael Arlen in 1965, it was called "living room war" as the media start to play an important role reporting the biggest story television news to the U.S. people. People can just feel like they were in the situation just in their living room. Even though radios and newspaper can give people the same information, still television was what people found more interested in. The U.S. used the advantage from television to handle many problems with the anti-war organizations.
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This didn't go down well with the Vietnamese, who now saw the returning French soldiers as a threat to their much-celebrated republic, which had been declared by Ho Chi Minh in September 1945. In October 1945, British troops landed in southern Vietnam and established a provisional administration, liberating French captives from the Japanese imprisonment during the war - this then returned the authority of the area to the French. After establishing negotiations with the PRC (which later became Communist on October 1, 1949 under Mao)
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How useful are the sources A to G for explaining why there was an anti-war movement in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s?
The U.S. soldiers who had been interviewed for this process - a T.V. documentary had been produced prior to the publication of the book, in the late 1980s - may have been asked the questions quite a few years after their involvement in the war, but this bears not much significance on what they say - the vivid memories they would hold of that event would not leave for a long time and so, by and large, would be true to an extent beyond doubt. The source itself mentions that the "increasing" number of recruits scored "so low" on intelligence rankings that they wouldn't normally have been given a place in the regular U.S.
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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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I know from my background knowledge that such tactics posed serious problems for the Americans. The aim of guerrilla tactics was to wear down the enemy and destroy their morale. The guerrillas worked in very small groups and with very few weapons. However, they were hard to tell apart from the peasants in the fields because they did not wear uniform. The US soldiers lived in constant fear of ambushes and booby traps. This was a poster produced by the North Vietnamese; and was aimed at persuading the South Vietnamese that guerrilla tactics were effective.
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How useful are sources A to C to explain why the United States became involved in the war in Vietnam?
This is apparent when Johnson begins to talk about `the freedom of the people of South Vietnam`. However, there is evidence to suggest that this was not the real reason for going to war. In 1954 the USA prevented free elections from taking place in Vietnam because it feared that the Communists would win. If the freedom of the Vietnamese was a priority for America, they would have allowed those elections to take place and the elected government, be it communist or democratic, would have come to power.
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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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The role of world's policeman also link back to the promises made in the Truman Doctrine and the formation of SEATO. Thirdly the source states that if America wasn't involved in Vietnam the battle "would be renewed in one country and then another." This makes large reference to the vast amount of countries becoming communist in Asia, also known as the domino theory. The domino theory is the fear that as one country falls to communism another country nearby will follow.
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How was the opposition to the Vietnam war protrayed in contemporary literature, film and popular song?
This he who they referred to is a priest a Chaplin, giving them their last rites as the soldiers take their first steps into war. They are obviously frightened and for some, this is their first time going into war and leaving their loved ones behind. I can tell that the Chaplin in some way shape or form has experienced war for it says in the song "He smiles at the young soldiers, tells them it's all right. He knows of their fear in the forthcoming fight" I think that this part of the song it is talking about a speech which the Chaplin is making to try to inspire the young soldiers.
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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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As such, the source clearly disagrees with the theory presented to us in Source M, instead attributing North Vietnamese victory to superior military tactics and experience. The next source, Source E, has become an infamous representation of the conflict in Vietnam. It depicts Phan Thi Kim Phuc, a Vietnamese girl aged about nine at the time, and another child burnt badly by napalm as they run away from their village home of Trang Bang screaming in pain. Behind her is a congregation of American military personnel walking down the same path and making no effort whatsoever to assist the two children.
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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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This source can be seen as very biased due to it being a North Vietnamese poster which is advertising/showing the American citizens the troops in North Vietnamese as if they don't have an idea on what exactly they are suppose to be doing and that the fact they don't even know they are being watched. Therefore this source is irrelevant. Source G is a primary aftermath source of the My Lai massacre of 1968 which shows the response in 1968 of an American soldier after having just been notified about the massacre of 347 unarmed civilians.
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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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Following the "domino theory" they believed they had to "contain communism" no matter what the cost. This eventually failed and so the only thing left to do was to go into a war with North Vietnam. The conditions in Vietnam for the American soldiers were terrible, they never knew when of whether they would be soon attacked by the Vietcong. The fighting took place in forests and jungles which made it easy for the Vietcong to use the guerilla tactics. The Vietcong were ordinary people that were fighting for their independence, they had never been trained to fight like the Americans had but they did what they could in order to help their country and follow in what they believed in.
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