Vietnam War Essay, Research Paper
From the 1880s until World War II, France governed Vietnam as portion of Gallic
Indochina, which besides included Cambodia and Laos. The state was under the control of
an emperor, Bao Dai. In 1940 Nipponese military personnels invaded and occupied Gallic Indochina. In
December of that twelvemonth, Vietnamese patriots established the League for the
Independence of Vietnam, or Viet Minh, seeing the convulsion of the war as an chance
for opposition to French colonial regulation. The United States demanded that Japan leave
Indochina, warning of military action. The Viet Minh began guerrilla warfare against Japan
and entered an effectual confederation with the United States.
When the Nipponeses signed their formal resignation on September 2, 1945, Ho Chi
Minh used the juncture to declare the independency of Vietnam, which he called the
Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Emperor Bao Dai abdicated the throne. The Gallic,
nevertheless, refused to admit Vietnam? s independency, and subsequently that twelvemonth drove the
Viet Minh into the North of the state.
Ho Chi Minh wrote eight letters to U.S. president Harry Truman, beging him to
acknowledge Vietnam? s independency. But, the foreign policy of the United States during the
Cold War was driven by a fright of the spread of Communism. Eastern Europe had fallen
under the domination of the Communist USSR, and China was ruled by Communists.
United States policymakers felt they could non afford to lose Southeast Asia every bit good to the
Communists. The United States hence condemned Ho Chi Minh as an agent of
international Communism and offered to help the Gallic in recapturing Vietnam.
In May 1954, the Viet Minh mounted a monolithic assault on the Gallic fortress at
? ien Bi? N, in northwesterly Vietnam. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu resulted in possibly the
most demeaning licking in Gallic military history. Already tired of the war, the Gallic
public forced their authorities to make a peace understanding at the Geneva Conference.
France asked the other universe powers to assist pull up a program for Gallic backdown
from the part and for the hereafter of Vietnam. Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from May
8 to July 21, 1954, diplomats from France, Great Britain, the USSR, China, and the
United States, every bit good as representatives from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, drafted a set
of understandings called the Geneva Accords. These understandings provided for the backdown
of Gallic military personnels to the South of Vietnam until they could be safely removed from the
state. Viet Minh forces moved into the North. Vietnam was temporarily divided at the
17th analogue to let for a cooling-off period and for warring cabals among the
Vietnamese to return to their native parts. Ho Chi Minh maintained control of North
Vietnam, while Emperor Bao Dai remained caput of South Vietnam.
Besides in 1955, the United States picked Ngo Dinh Diem to replace Bao Dai as caput
of the anti-Communist government in South Vietnam. With U.S. encouragement, Diem refused
to take part in the planned national elections, which Ho Chi Minh and the Lao Dong, or
Workers? Party, were favored to win. Alternatively, Diem held elections merely in South Vietnam,
an action that violated the Geneva Accords. This led to the start of the war.
The United States became involved in Vietnam because it believed that if all of
the state fell under a Communist authorities, Communism would distribute throughout
Southeast Asia and beyond. This belief was known as the? Domino theory. ? The U.S.
authorities, hence, supported the South Vietnamese authorities.
When some of the soldiers of the U.S. 9th Marine Regiment landed in? ? Nang in
March 1965, their orders were to protect the U.S. air base, but the mission was rapidly
escalated to include search-and-destroy patrols of the country around the base. This
corresponded in illumination to the larger scheme of General William Westmoreland.
Westmoreland, who took over the Military Assistance Command in Vietnam in 1964,
advocated set uping a big American force and so unleashing it in large expanses. His
scheme was that of abrasion? extinguishing or have oning down the enemy by bring downing the
highest decease toll possible. There were 80,000 U.S. military personnels in Vietnam by the terminal of 1965 ;
by 1969 a extremum of 543,000 military personnels would be reached.
In 1967 North Vietnam and the NLF decided the clip had come to mount an
full-scale offense aimed at bring downing serious losingss on both the ARVN and U.S. forces.
They planned the Tet Offensive with the hope that this would significantly impact the populace
temper in the United States. In December 1967 North Vietnamese military personnels attacked and
surrounded the U.S. Marine base at Khe Sanh, puting it under besieging. Westmoreland
ordered the outpost held at all costs. To forestall the Communists from infesting the
base, approximately 50,000 U.S. Marines and Army military personnels were called into the country, therefore
weakening places further south.
This concentration of American military personnels in one topographic point was precisely what North
Vietnam strategians had hoped would go on. The chief push of the Tet Offensive so
began on January 31, 1968, at the start of Tet, or the Vietnamese lunar new twelvemonth
jubilation, when a letup in contending traditionally took topographic point. Most ARVN military personnels had gone
place on leave, and U.S. military personnels were on stand-down in many countries. Over 85,000 NLF
soldiers at the same time struck at about every major metropolis and provincial capital across
South Vietnam, directing their guardians staggering. The U.S. Embassy in Saigon, antecedently
thought to be invulnerable, was taken over by the NLF, and held for eight hours before
U.S. forces could recapture the composite.
The Tet Offensive as a whole lasted into the autumn of 1968, and when it was over the
North Vietnamese and the NLF had suffered acute losingss. The U.S. Department of
Defense estimated that a sum of 45,000 North Vietnamese and NLF soldiers had been
killed, most of them NLF combatants.
Having no religion that the Paris pact would be implemented, the North
Vietnamese set 1975 as the twelvemonth to mount their concluding offense. They believed it would
take at least two old ages ; the rapid prostration of the ARVN was hence a surprise even to
them. After the initial onslaught by the North Vietnamese in the Central Highlands nor’-east
of Saigon on January 7, the ARVN instantly began to fall apart. On March 25 the
ancient imperial metropolis of Hue fell ; so on March 29, Da Nang, the former U.S. Marine
central offices, was overtaken. On April 20 Thieu resigned, impeaching the United States of
treachery. His replacement was Duong Van Minh, who had been among those who
overthrew Diem in 1963. On April 30 Minh issued his unconditioned resignation to the
PRG. Almost 30 old ages after Ho Chi Minh? s declaration of independency, Vietnam was
In 1965 the United States sent in military personnels to forestall the South Vietnamese
authorities from fall ining. Ultimately, the United States failed to accomplish its end, and
in 1975 Vietnam was reunified under Communist control ; in 1976 it officially became
the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. During the struggle, about 3 to 4 million
Vietnamese on both sides were killed, in add-on to another 1.5 to 2 million Laotians
and Cambodians who were drawn into the war. More than 58,000 Americans lost their