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The Up To 1969

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FC: The War To 1969

1: Ho Chi Minh was a Communist leader born in 1890 to a poor scholar named Nguyen Sinh Huy. Chi Minh was a very well educated man. He joined the French Communist Party. He was sent to prison after being captured. After escaping from prison he formed, he and his lieutenants formed the Vietminh army which eventually would be in great position to rule over Vietnam. Bao Dai, the emperor of Vietnam, turns down his throne announcing that Ho is to be the new leader of Vietnam. On September 2, 1945, before an enormous crowd, Ho declares Vietnam an independent nation.

2: The assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem was conducted by General Dng Vn Minh in November 1963. Rebels arrested Dinh Diem and his brother after protest of about his aggressive rule. The assassinations caused a split within the leadership of the junta and repulsed American and world opinion. The killings damaged the public belief that the new regime would be an improvement over the military junta, turning the initial harmony among the generals into discord. The criticism of the killings caused the officers to distrust and battle one another for positions in the new government. n expressed his abhorrence at the assassinations by caustically remarking that he had organized the armoured car in an effort to protect Dim and Nhu.

3: Americans protested against the Vietnam War during the time that it went on. Some, described as "hawks," argued that the United States should use maximum military force to gain a quick victory. Others, called "doves," argued that the conflict in Vietnam was essentially a civil war in which the United States had no right to interfere.

4: A Buddhist monk sat in the main intersection in downtown Saigon. Two of his fellow monks poured gasoline over him, and he set himself on fire and died. He was protest the rule Ngo Dinh Diem, who ruled over South Vietnam. Back in America this monk was seen as someone who had died for a worthy cause, and therefore other Americans should support the overthrow of an autocratic Catholic government that had been supported by President Kennedy.

5: On August 2, 1964, the USS Maddox, fired at three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats of the 135th Torpedo Squadron.There was war on the sea. The Maddox shot over two hundred and eighty 3-inch and 5-inch shells. One US aircraft was damaged. Three North Vietnamese torpedo boats were damaged, and four North Vietnamese sailors were killed and six were wounded; there were no U.S. casualties.[

6: Operation Rolling Thunder was a frequently interrupted bombing campaign that began on 24 February 1965 and lasted until the end of October 1968. During this period U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft engaged in a bombing campaign designed to force Ho Chi Minh to abandon his ambition to take over South Vietnam. When Rolling Thunder failed to weaken the enemy's will after the first several weeks, the purpose of the campaign began to change. By the end of 1965, the Johnson administration still used air power as an attempt to change North Vietnamese policy, but bombing tended to be directed against the flow of men and supplies from the North

7: The Tet Offensive was militarily a defeat for the Communists. The Tet Offensive made the brutality of the war very visible to Americans. The US Air Force had been bombing South Vietnamese villages for years; during Tet the Air Force was bombing South Vietnamese cities. Tet, although militarily it was a clear American victory, had not been a cheap victory. The total number of US soldiers reported killed in Vietnam during the year 1968 was about 14,000, the highest number for any year of the war.

8: On March 16, 1968 the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai. According to eyewitness reports offered after the event, several old men were bayoneted, praying women and children were shot in the back of the head, and at least one girl was raped and then killed.s the gruesome details of My Lai reached the American public, serious questions arose concerning the conduct of American soldiers in Vietnam.

9: The USS Henrico, Union, and Vancouver, carrying the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade under Brig. Gen. Frederick J. Karch, take up stations 4,000 yards off Red Beach Two, north of Da Nang. The 3,500 Marines were deployed to secure the U.S. airbase, freeing South Vietnamese troops up for combat. Three days later, a formal request was submitted by the U.S. Embassy, asking the South Vietnamese government to "invite" the United States to send the Marines. Thieu approved, but, like Westmoreland, asked that the Marines be "brought ashore in the most inconspicuous way feasible." These wishes were ignored and the Marines were given a hearty, conspicuous welcome when they arrived.

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