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Why Did The Vietnam War Start?

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Before the Vietnam War The Southeast Asian country of Vietnam had been under French control since the 1800’s and went through French rule. Later during World War 2 the Japanese invaded Vietnam and around the same time the Vietnamese political leader by the name of Ho Chi Minh created the “Viet Minh” or the “League of Independence of Vietnam.” The Viet Minh was heavily influenced by Chinese and Soviet Communism and wished to fight the Japanese army as well as the French colonial leadership. After Japan’s loss in WW2 to America they left Vietnam giving the opportunity for the Viet Minh to overthrow the French leadership in their country.

The Viet Minh forces took over the large city Hanoi in Northern Vietnam and placed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh in power. The French disliked this and in order to regain their colonial control of the region subsequently started the “First Indochina War” or the “French Indochina War.” This war between the French forces and the Viet Minh spanned 1946 to 1954. The majority of the war took place in Northern Vietnam the city Tonkin in particularly but the conflict affected the whole country including neighboring countries as well.

For the first few years in the war rural guerrilla tactics were only used in the conflict but in 1949 the war escalated into full-scale conventional warfare. This is mainly because the Chinese and the Soviets started heavily supporting the Viet Minh with weapons while the United States did the same for the French forces. The Vietnamese use of anti-air guns to stop air supply effective guerrilla warfare tactics convoy ambushes and the use of Soviet battle tactics are some of the reasons the Viet Minh managed to defeat the French in the First Indochina War and in the decisive last battle of the war “Battle of Dien Bien Phu”.

At the peace talks held in Geneva it was decided Vietnam would be split in two – Communist North Vietnam and pro-Western Southern Vietnam. The agreements in Geneva were not really upheld and the North Vietnamese powers did not agree with the splitting of the country. The Vietnamese are a fiercely independent people and did not accept a foreign country in or in power in their homeland. These disagreements eventually escalated into the “Second IndoChina War” or the Vietnam War that we know so well in America.

America entering NickCommunism was spreading in Vietnam and the United States were afraid that if they did not step in then communism would spread to all of the country. So in February of 1965 Operation Rolling thunder began. This operation was a nickname for a bombing campaign by the US on parts of North Vietnam. Then on March 8 1965 200 000 volunteer American Combat troops arrive in South Vietnam this was the first time american troops entered Vietnam. The decision to enter the war was highly criticized by many and major Anti-War Movements broke out. The draft was one of the main reasons that many were upset with the war because of how it threatened the lower and middle class people.

Since the volunteers would not be enough to survive the entire war they needed more men so the Conducted a draft. In the beginning of the war names of all American men of draft-age were collected by the Selective Service System. When someone’s name was called he had to report to their local draft board which was made up of various community members so that they could begin to evaluate his draft status. By this manner local draft boards had an enormous power to decide who had to go and who would stay.

The reason many people criticize and protested the draft was because most of U.S. soldiers drafted during the Vietnam War were men from poor and working-class families the protesters believed the draft to be corrupt since American forces in Vietnam included twenty-five percent poor fifty-five percent working-class twenty percent middle-class men and very minimal people came from upper-classes families.

By 1966 US troop numbers in Vietnam rose to 400 000 and then to 500 000 by 1967.NathanThe war began when the North Communists began attacking southern vietnamese by unleashing guerrilla warfare known as the Viet Cong and had begun to battle the South Vietnamese government. Supporting the southern government the U.S. sent in 2 000 military advisors which would eventually grow to over 16 000 by 1963. In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson would escalate the war even more by commencing air strikes and ground forces in North Vietnam.

At the end of 1967 there were 540 000 American troops in Vietnam and the military draft was to call up 302 000 young men in the coming year an increase of 72 000 over 1967. Financial costs had risen to $30 billion a year. But the war news was hopeful. The South Vietnamese Army was showing improvement winning 37 of their last 45 major engagements. American troops had won every major battle they fought and General Nguyen Van Thieu had come to power in South Vietnam in September; he would remain in office until 1975 bringing a new measure of stability to the government though he could not end its endemic corruption.

The 1968 Tet Offensive was a large series of attacks executed by the Viet Cong on Southern rebellion forces in large southern cities. The attack was also meant to draw the United States out of the Vietnamese conflict. The high death count created by the Tet Offensive made American troops less willing to continue to fight.. ChristianThe vietnam war had two major endings as the first attempt did not end the conflict.

The first attempt to create peace in vietnam was when the Peace Accords were set in place in January 1973 This agreement between North South Vietnam and The United States of america created a temporary peace period between the sides of war during this time period of peace all US troops were to leave and withdraw from the Vietnam war space and a final peace treaty was to be created to fully create peace between North and South vietnam. By the time America pulled out of the fighting in vietnam an estimated 1 353 000 people died in the fighting and a estimated $168 billion went into the war effort. Back in america more problems arose as thousands of veterans returned home and the economy was hurt from the war costs.

The war also had a huge mental cost on the government since it was US’s first defeat in a major war. This war lead to the government to be more cautious with the wars they join because of the toll they take on the country. The second ending of the vietnam war which ended it all came when the People’s Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam took over the south vietnam’s capital Saigon. During the final evasion of saigon the US army evacuated all of the final remaining US marines and Officials in the embassy and president Gerald Ford declared that the Vietnam war was ended and they would not continue their aid. Saigon was taken over by the north vietnam army and in the following year the two countries combined and formed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

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