The Vietnam War

Who were the Viet Minh?
Formed in 1941 by Ho Chi Minh upon his return to Vietnam to resist the French and Japanese. Lead by Ho Chi Minh, a communist. North Vietnam. Were allied with the Viet Cong
Who were the Viet Cong? (Also known as the V.C or Charlie?)
Guerrilla fighters who were based in South Vietnam but who were fighting against the South. Wanted Vietnam to be united under the north. Allied with Viet Minh.
Who was the NVA?
“North Vietamese Army” or the “Peoples Army”
Regular troops who came from the northern provinces of Vietnam. Also communist allies of the Viet Cong.
Who was the ARVN?
The South Vietamese, allied with the United States
Who was allied with the United States?
The ARVN (South Vietamese) (Army of the Republic of Veitnam)
War of Attrition
A war based on wearing the other side down by constant attacks and heavy losses
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Search and Destroy
US troop tactic used to seek out secret Viet Cong hiding places and destroy the villages that they stayed in
Body Count
In Amerca’s ground war in Vietnam, success was measured by body count. If more enemies died than Amercan soldiers, the Amercans’ search and destroy mission was considered a success.
Hearts and Minds
winning over people (civilians) by convincing them you have their best interests at heart
Tet Offensive
Tet = Vietamese New Year. Huge holiday for both the north and south, a truce was formed on this day.
-More and more troops were sent to Veitnam, caused large amounts of anti war movments in the United States.
-Attack by VC and NVA. Some accidently started the attack on Jan 30th instead of 31st, ended up being a good thing.
-When full attack launched, 35 of 44 provincial capitals, ancient capital of Hue, 70 other cities, and the capital Saigon and the US Embassy all attacked by 80,000 VC and NVA
-Military succsess for US, massive failure for communists
– Years before NVA can go on offensive again, VC never recovers
12,000 VC and NVA attack and overwhelm South Vietamese troops
My Lai
1968, in which American troops had brutally massacred innocent women and children in the village of My Lai, also led to more opposition to the war.
Credibility Gap
A public distrust of statements made by the government. Between Johnson Administration and American public
program to win hearts and minds of South Vietnamese people, pacify opposition in countryside, involved construction projects, and relocation of villagers
Silent Majority
label nixon gave to middle-class americans who supported him, obeyed the laws, and wanted “peace with honor” in vietnam, he contrasted this group with students and civil rights activists who disrupted the country with protests in the late 1960s and early 1970s
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
1964 Congressional resolution that authorized President Johnson to commit US troops to south vietnam and fight a war against north Vietnam
Protest Movement
Mainly occurred on college campuses due to strong disapproval of the Vietnam War. Many of these kids of the age to be elligable for the draft
A law requiring people of a certain age to serve in the military
Draft Dodger
Americans who opposed the war and left the US rather than fight. Avoided the draft
Ho Chi Minh Trail
A network of paths used by North Vietnam to transport supplies to the Vietcong in South Vietnam
Americans who supported the Vietnam War.
Americans who did not support the Vietnam War.
Highly flammable chemical dropped from US planes in firebombing attacks during the Vietnam War.
Agent Orange
a herbicide used in the Vietnam War to defoliate forest areas
A practice, which erupted sporadically late in the Vietnam War, in which demoralized U.S. servicemen killed their own superior officers in order to avoid being sent on dangerous missions.
War Powers Act
1973. A resolution of Congress that stated the President can only send troops into action abroad by authorization of Congress or if America is already under attack or serious threat.
Pentagon Papers
revealed among other things that the government had drawn up plans for rentering the war even as President Johnson promised that he would not send American troops to Vietnam
Kent State
Ohio college where an anti-war protest got way out of hand, the Nat’l Guard was called in and killed 4 students (innocent & unarmed,wounded 9) in idiscriminate fire of M-1 rifles
Geneva Accords
A 1954 peace agreement that divided Vietnam into Communist-controlled North Vietnam and non-Communist South Vietnam until unification elections could be held in 1956
Paris Peace Talks
Peace talks that began in 1968 between North and South Vietnam that failed to produce any results until 1973, when they agreed on a peace settlement that essentially made the war a complete draw.
Domino Theory
If Veitman falls under the SE Asia will too
Dien Bein Phu
Attempt to draw Veit Minh out into open battle. Dien Bein Phu was a place, but it was a bad place. It was remote and hard to supply. The Veit Minh were superior at gureilla warefare, suprised french by hauling heavy artilary. French lost.
Main goal of the US in vietnam
To PREVENT communist NORTH Vietnam from taking over the republic of South Vietnam
Turned over fighting to the south Vietamese
Peacetreaty of 1973
-All fighting had to stop
-All POWs returned
-US leave within 60 days
-No new North Viet. army units sent south
-NVA units already in south can stay
Us is completely out by March 1973 (minus the few who stayed behind due to marriage.. ect.)
When comminists strike south again (Spring Offensive), Ford asks to take action, congress refuses