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GCSE: Vietnam 1954-1975
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In 1968, a tactic was introduced called 'Operation Phoenix'. Tens of thousands of Vietcong (VC) were sought out and interrogated. The VC were tortured and killed. Another tactic was to move peasants away from their homes and villages and burn them down. This was to deter them from talking to the V.C; however, this created more opposition for the US and did nothing to help win the hearts and minds of the people, something the communists worked hard to do. American forces alienated civilians and caused just as much destruction to innocent Vietnamese people as the V.C , for example, Agent Orange, used to kill crops not only cut off the food supply for the V.C , but also that of the civilians.
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David Steinberg identifies the superiority of North Vietnamese military thought as the paramount factor in contributing towards a communist victory. The communist victory can be attributed to several factors, both political and social, that the United States failed to comprehend and address. The Vietnamese Communist Party won the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people and was preferred to the democratic model that the US backed South Vietnamese model tried to impress upon the country. Traditional Vietnamese culture and communism had several basic similarities which made communism easily accepted by the Vietnamese peasants.
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The Viet Cong knew that the were no match for the Americans in open battle, shown by the battle in the La Dreng Valley, where the US killed 2000 Viet Cong troops for the loss of just 300 troops. As well as killing troops, the guerrilla tactics of the Viet Cong had another use. They would wreck the moral of the US troops, as the soldiers lived in constant fear of an enemy ambush or booby trap. It also led to bad public opinion in the USA, as troops would be shown killing peasants, as that is the people suspected of being Viet Cong fighters, which looked extremely bad on television.
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anybody who was even suspected to sympathise with a communist party could instantly loose their job. People believed in the same policies as the US government, that the spread of communism had to be stopped (even though it was falsely accused of spreading as China, the biggest 'domino', had become communist and hardly affected its neighbouring countries) and for patriotic reasons, it was a good thing to go fight. Through different events in the war, the media started to change its mind on whether to support it. The American public soon followed. The first turning point came on Wednesday 31st January 1968 with the Tet Offensive.
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How Useful Are Sources A to C To Explain Why The United States Became Involved In The War In Vietnam?
Truman Doctrine was a promise they were fighting for "promised to help when there are any threats of communism". So Johnson decided he wanted to do the same thing, so he signed and agreed once president. In the year of 1954, President Eisenhower and JFK started transporting "advisers" as the first president Kennedy would have wanted. From the tone of Johnson's words in the speech, you can tell he jus maybe talking in a religious manner and might even be a religious person within the speech. President Lyndon Johnson wants to reassure every single American citizen about the "Domino Theory".
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Explain why the United States became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam between 1954 and 1965
They were afraid it would spread though out Asia like domino one after another the countries would turn communist they Americans called it the Domino theory. In 1954 general Navre wanted to tempt the Vietminh out of hiding into open combat, the French had lost 74,000 troops since 1946 so they wanted to gain a big victory over the Vietminh to gain the French public support. But they lost the battle and soon after they lose they decide to leave.
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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 effectively to defeat a smaller less advanced enemy Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation?
In total 58,000 American soldiers were killed thought out the war in Vietnam. A main part of the army were black because rich people could delay there draft to go to university. But just because the Americans had a lot of men doesn't mean they were going to win because most of were poorly trained for jungle fighting, 11% of men were killed by booby traps. Soldiers on patrol didn't just have enemy ambush to worry about there were booby traps as well. They were cheap, easy to make and very effective against clumsy inexperienced soldiers.
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The technique of guerrilla warfare can be shown in the following quote by Mao Zedong ''The enemy attack, we Retreat. The enemy Camps, we Raid. The enemy tires, we Attack. The enemy retreats, we Pursue'', the determination of the opposing Vietnamese forces, were an issue in why their tactics proves so effective against the minds and ability of the Americans. In order for the Vietnamese to use their tactics effectively, they needed to gain support from local villages and communities.
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This made the Americans afraid as countries such as North Korea, North Vietnam and china could knock down the South Vietnamese domino turning it into a Communist country. It also gives some of Johnson's reasons for going entering Vietnam. It would vaguely help us answer why America entered Vietnam and there reasons for doing so. Though it can vaguely tell us why America entered the war we still can not full know this by studying this source as more then anything else it is President Johnson's opinion and his attempt to get the people on his side.
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Apparently he is expressing the "diversity of man", but for a lot of people, it can be interpreted as a ridicule of the war in Vietnam. Private Joker is not a part of a combat squad in this movie, his job is as a military journalist, and so for him to be wearing a peace symbol, and a helmet with the slogan "born to kill" on it, is rather irrelevant, and perhaps describes the way Stanley Kubrick felt about the War, that nobody was on top of anything, and that the troops did not know what to think of their situation, on whether it was right to kill or not.
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In the USA, at the time, people strongly believed in the Domino theory where if Vietnam were to fall to communism then neighboring countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma would also fall to communism like a row of dominoes. China, the original communist country in Asia, would be able to influence and conspire with countries across the globe. The Americans were afraid of this for security reasons as eventually the communist countries might declare war on them for being a democratic state.
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How Useful Are Sources A to C To Explain Why The United States Became Involved In The War In Vietnam?
President Johnson wants people and to reassure all Americans about the 'Domino Theory'. The domino theory was a mid-20th century foreign policy theory. If one country fell to communism then all the other countries around it shall follow and become communism and he didn't want this. This is why Lyndon Johnson is trying to make people go and fight in the Vietnam War. Trying to justify himself to all Americans. I would say this source is biased. I find it's biased because it's only Johnson's opinion and he his telling the American society and the people what they want to hear and nothing else.
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Vietnam at this time was a French colony, which was occupied by the Japanese during World War Two. The Vietminh, which was an anti-Japanese resistance lead by Ho Chi Minh, defeated the Japanese in 1945 and took over North Vietnam changing it into a communist state. This led to the return of the French at the end of World War Two and they tried to take Vietnam back. With China, who had just become communist, supporting the Vietminh, the USA felt they had to intervene and decided to support France with Financial aid in order to enforce the containment theory and the Truman Doctrine.
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These cells worked together but carried little knowledge of each other to avoid too much information being given away in case any were captured and tortured by opposing forces. The Vietcong knew where to hide and tactically picked the places where they would battle against the US. The Vietcong believed that if they were to win the war against the US, then they would have to follow Mao's belief of having the support of the peasants. Mao believed that, "without the constant and active support of the peasants, failure is inevitable", and this was true in the case of the Vietcong.
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Explain why there were such different reactions in the USA to the country's involvement in the conflict in Vietnam in the 1960's?
Opposition to the war slowly began to increase as the war progressed, mainly within the younger generation. After World War Two, a record number of babies were born due to the men coming home from war, leading to the term 'baby boomers'. This new generation were more affluent and rebellious than the previous, and began to question the beliefs of their parents in their taste of music, morals, politics and attitudes to war. Many became members of the 'Counterculture' and expressed their opposition to American politics, the Cold War and the Vietnam War through music, drug taking and casual s*x.
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Since 1945 most leaders of America offered to support Vietnam. At this time Eisner Hower was a successful war general, just before he became president. They had an objective which they hoped to aim: 'the independence of South and the freedom of the people of South Vietnam to guide their own country in their own way'. President Kennedy was the first president to send 'advisors' to Vietnam. And Johnson was his vice president at the time. Now that Johnson is president, he wants to follow in Kennedy's footsteps. Johnson also says that this is what Kennedy would have wanted.
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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 source does have its limitations also, because it is only a snapshot of one moment. Also, it was possible the US soldiers did give help medically. This was seen by U.S. public, who were horrified & didn't want to be part of the US. This source is quite biased because it only shows U.S. attack victims and also there's no sign of communist atrocities. Source F, is the American view of the difficulties of fighting guerrillas. It was written by an American journalist, Richard Hamer in 1970. The intended audience was the U.S. public. This source is anti-war; 'The end justifies the means', this is saying it doesn't matter how you win the war, spraying napalm is not the way to win 'hearts & minds'.
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Other interesting lyrics are; "Be the first one on your block To have your boy come home in a box" This is, again, cynically sung, and it disagrees with the war, it also is trying to influence people not to go and fight, as it basically says "don't get involved, for you'll enter a pointless bloodbath". This is a catchy song which would have reached out to the white students of the east and may have shaped some of their opinions and encouraged them to oppose the war.
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How useful are sources A, B, C in explaining why the U.S.A. involved in Vietnam?Source A is a quote from the U.S. President Johnson to the American public in 1965.
'Our objective is the independence of South Vietnam and the freedom of their people'. The President is telling the American people that he intends to help the Vietnamese and give them their freedom he is giving the impression that America is being heroic and fulfilling its duty to the international community by being the good guys and coming to the aid to endangered countries. He also talks about how America has a duty to stay in South Vietnam and underlines the idea that America must prevent communism, and that democracy must be strengthened. In the speech the President makes links with the Vietnam war and fighting the tyranny of Hitler; he then concludes it
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Often the Vietcong were extremely close to American Outposts, bases, patrols. This was known as clinging to the enemies' belt. Therefore the VC had an advantage over the Americans because they knew exactly where they were. Another thing that made fighting the war difficult for the Americans was the uniform that the Vietcong wore. Their uniforms consisted of black pyjamas and shirts, with straw hats. This led to a great lack of trust among the Vietnamese and the Americans, as they were unable to distinguish between real Vietnamese civilians and Vietcong soldiers in disguise.
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Evaluate the tactics and strategies employed by the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army, and the USand Australian armed forces.
The guerillas employed the tactics of small scale harassment, ambush, terror and sabotage against key enemy positions as opposed to large scale confrontations. The Viet Cong also had no uniform other than their loose fitting 'black pyjamas' which made them indistinguishable from the ordinary peasant. US frustrations grew as they lacked a readily identifiable enemy. As captain EJ Bank remembers: "You never knew who was the enemy and who was the friend. They all looked alike...They were all Vietnamese. Some were the Viet Cong...
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Comparative Essay: José de San Martín vs. Simón Bolívar - two of the primary causes of independence of countries from colonial powers in Latin America
After being chased out of Venezuela three more times, while using terror tactics the Spanish had once used against Creoles such as suffocation, while gaining the support of the British and a bond with Haiti, and while declaring that he would abolish slavery as his first official act (if in power), he decided to build a guerilla warfare army in 1817. After defeating the Spanish in New Granada (which consisted of present-day Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Panama) using guerilla tactics and the help of thousands of mercenaries from Britain and Germany, he met with San Mart�n and desired to take
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This had already happened in Eastern Europe as countries freed from n**i control by the Russians such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland became communist countries influenced by Russia. This made the Domino Theory important to America. In March 1947, President Truman made a speech stating that the US would take the lead to try to contain communism. This was called the 'Truman Doctrine'. Truman believed that the countries of Eastern Europe had been forced into communism by Russia and that if the US did not attempt to contain the spread of communism in the world it would be viewed as a sign of weakness.
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Between 1950-53 USA had lost 142,000 soldiers by trying to stop a Communist take over of Korea. The biggest concern that USA had was the 'Domino Theory'. This meant that if one country turned Communist that others round it would also, acting like a row of dominos. This is the reason why the U.S joined. In June 1954 the USA sent a group of 'military advisers' over to Saigon to prevent the Communist North Vietnamese Government taking over the South.
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Vietnam.There were many reasons for the USA's loss in the Vietnam War. There is no singular reason for the USA's loss; instead there are many, and each of these contributes to the end result.
The USA's army was a professional army and had little to no experience with Guerrilla tactics. They relied heavily on bombing, this made the Vietnamese only more determined to win. Also the US was used to conventional wars fought on open land. Their superior technology and training was of little use to them as the VC and NVLF used guerrilla tactics. This meant that the VC and NVLF had an advantage as they had experience with guerrilla tactics and so could effectively "nibble at the enemy" - Source E. Many of the troops in the US army had more experience than the officers, this meant that the chain-of-command was not referred to as US marines preferred to take orders from more experienced soldiers.
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