Recent Event Highlights: Last American Troops leave Vietnam, Operation Linebacker II, Operation Linebacker I, Gulf of Tonkin Incident, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Troops In Vietnam By Year, and 17 more...
Created by 13pratznert on Dec 21, 2010
Last updated: 12/23/10 at 05:12 AM
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On March 29, 1973, two months after signing the Vietnam peace agreement, the last U.S. troops leave South Vietnam when Hanoi freed the remaining American prisoners of war. Seven thousand U.S. Department of Defense employees remained in South Vietnam to help aid in the ongoing battle with North Vietnam.
A cease-fire, which occurs during times of war, may involve a partial or temporary cessation of hostilities. A cease-fire can also involve a general armistice, or a total cessation of all hostilities. It went into effect, although both sides violated it. It was a signed peace agreement.
U.S. bombing campaign over North Vietnam. On December 13, 1972 the Paris negotiations, which had resumed in early November, broke down. President Richard Nixon issued an ultimatum to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) to return to the conference table within 72 hours "or else," which Hanoi rejected. Nixon proved better than his word when he turned to airpower to enforce his ultimatum. The attack was ordered on December 14, 1972.
During the Paris peace talks in October 1972, a tentative cease-fire agreement was reached between the United States and North Vietnam, represented by Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, respectively. On October 22, U.S. President Richard Nixon halted all bombing north of the 20th parallel and Kissinger proclaimed that "peace is at hand." However, the U.S. government had not consulted with South Vietnam's president Nguyen Van Thieu, who demanded changes that infuriated North Vietnam, and peace talks broke off on December 13.
Linebacker I had three operational objectives: (1) to destroy military supplies inside North Vietnam; (2) to isolate the DRV from outside sources of supply; and (3) to interdict the flow of supplies and troops to the battlefields of South Vietnam. The targets were basically the same as those attacked during Operation Rolling Thunder: highways, railroads, bridges, warehouses, petroleum storage facilities, barracks, and power-generating plants.
President Richard Nixon used the process of Vietnamization, or the replacement of American troops with South Vietnamese troops, to transfer military responsibility to South Vietnam. A mobilization law was passed that called into the army all men in South Vietnam between the ages of 17 and 43. By late 1972, 1.1 million men and women were under arms in the South Vietnamese armed forces.
The bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War was a devastating 14-month raid of Cambodia that began in 1969 and was kept secret by the Nixon administration until May 1970. On April 25, despite opposition from Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird and Secretary of State William Rogers, President Richard Nixon ordered both ARVN and U.S. ground forces into Cambodia.
The election was Lyndon B. Johnson against Richard M. Nixon. Nixon wanted to get troops out of Vietnam.
The My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968 was the most notorious U.S. military atrocity of the Vietnam War. It was famous for the cover-up of the incident perpetrated by the brigade and division staffs. U.S. soldiers were ordered to conduct a classic search-and-destroy sweep. The airmobile assault into My Lai was timed to arrive shortly after the local women had departed for market. The soldiers had expected to engage elements of one of the most successful VC units in the area but instead found only women, children, and old men. The U.S. soldiers ran wild, particularly those commanded by First Lieutenant William Calley. They indiscriminately shot people as they ran from their huts and then systematically rounded up survivors, allegedly leading them to a nearby ditch and executing them. Between 200 and 500 Vietnamese civilians were massacred in the incident.
This was the longest and bloodiest of all the Tet Offensive battles. On the morning of January 30, 1968 Brigadier General Ngo Quang Truong, commander of the ARVN 1st Division, put his headquarters on alert after receiving reports of the premature Tet attacks against the cities to the south. Truong's move was critical in preventing a complete Communist takeover of Hue.
The General Offensive was set for Tet 1968, the beginning of the Lunar New Year and the most important holiday in the Vietnamese year. The plans, however, were a tightly held secret, and the exact timing and objectives of the attack were withheld from field commanders until the last possible moment. Giap's buildup and staging for the Tet Offensive was a masterpiece of deception. Starting in the fall of 1967, VC and PAVN forces staged a series of bloody but seemingly pointless battles in the border regions and the northern part of South Vietnam near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The battles at Loc Ninh and Dak To were part of Giap's "peripheral campaign" designed to draw U.S. combat units out of the urban areas and toward the borders. The operations also were designed to give communist forces experience in larger-scale conventional attack formations. In January 1968 several PAVN divisions began to converge on the isolated U.S. Marine outpost at Khe Sanh in northern I Corps, near the DMZ.
Operation Cedar Falls consisted of two phases. Phase I was the stealthy positioning of forces (the anvil) from January 5 to 8 with an air assault on the village of Ben Suc on the 8th. Phase II began on January 9 with two squadrons of the 11th Armored Cavalry ("Blackhorse") Regiment and elements of the 173d Airborne Brigade (Task Force Deane) making the hammerlike penetration from east to west beginning near Ben Cat, and the 3d Brigade, 1st Infantry ("Big Red One") Division making airmobile assaults into the jungle of the Thanh Nien forest to the north of the triangle to seal off the area, then sweep south toward the junction of the Saigon and Thi Tình Rivers. Two U.S. and one ARVN infantry divisions, supported by extensive artillery, engineer, and aviation units, were committed to the operation, the largest of the war to date.
It was the first major battle between the United States Army and the People's Army of Vietnam.
Most of the money spent in Vietnam was spent on military supplies such as aircraft and weapons. In the 60's we lost 2,000 jet aircraft in Vietnam which cost 2,000 million dollars. By 1971 there was 69,500 men killed by 1971.
The United States is very much against Communism. We also wanted to help stop Communism. This is why we went to Vietnam. We went because the Domino theory means if one country goes under the influence of Communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect. The Truman Doctrine was an emergency aid to keep a nation from Communist Influence. And the Eisenhower Doctrine said that countries can request economic assistance or U.S. military forces if it was threatened. All of these things led us to joining the Vietnam War.
The first American combat troops, the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, arrived in Vietnam to defend the U.S. airfield at Danang. Scattered Vietcong gunfire was reported, but no Marines were injured.
Arc Light missions were flown above 30,000 feet in South Vietnam and Laos in support of ground troops or to interdict enemy infiltration. ARC LIGHT operations were most often close air support carpet bombing raids of enemy base camps, troop concentrations, and/or supply lines. On June 28, 1965, 27 B-52Fs of the 7th and 320th Bomb Wings in Guam made the first Arc Light raid against a Viet Cong jungle redoubt.
Rolling Thunder was the operation name for the prolonged U.S. bombing campaign against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV, North Vietnam). It became the longest bombing campaign ever conducted by the U.S. Air Force. The bombing cost the DRV more than half its bridges, virtually all of its large petroleum storage facilities, and nearly two-thirds of its power-generating plants. It also killed an estimated 52,000 of its citizens. On March 2, 1965 the first Rolling Thunder mission took place when 100 U.S. Air Force and Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) sorties struck the Xom Bang ammunition depot 35 miles north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
On July 31, 1964 the U.S. Navy destroyer Maddox started a reconnaissance cruise off the coast of North Vietnam. The destroyer carried extra radio gear and personnel to monitor Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) radio communications, but not enough of either to give the ship the capabilities of a true electronic espionage vessel. On the evening of August 1 the Maddox approached within gun range of the island of Hon Me (one of the two islands shelled by OPLAN 34A vessels on the night of July 30-31) and the coastal defense forces became more aroused than the Americans had planned. On the afternoon of August 2 three DRV torpedo boats came out from the island and attacked the destroyer. The attack was unsuccessful, and the torpedo boats suffered varying degrees of damage and crew casualties.
Congressional resolution passed in response to the Tonkin Gulf incidents. During 1964, senior Lyndon Johnson administration officials became increasingly convinced that an acceptable conclusion of the war in South Vietnam would require some form of armed attack on North Vietnam and began to consider obtaining a congressional resolution that endorsed U.S. military action. President Johnson, wary of the prospect of a major war in Vietnam, was especially determined not to get into such a war without a prior commitment of congressional support.
The media made everything about the war seem bad. They would talk about how many lives were being lost and show us all the bad things going on in Vietnam. The media helped turn people against the war and Lyndon B. Johnson's administration.
As part of his overall strategy, General William Westmoreland ordered the construction of interconnected bases along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to act as an infiltration barrier, later using sensors and motion detectors to alert each base to enemy movements. The outposts were not to stop infiltration but to funnel it to areas where bombers could strike Communist troop concentrations.
network of roads that stretched from North Vietnam through eastern Laos to South Vietnam, forming the main supply route for troops and materiel that supported Hanoi's war against the Saigon government. The United States recognized the importance of this vital transportation and economic link and waged a massive air interdiction campaign against it. On May 19, 1955, Ho Chi Minh's birthday, Major General Nguyen Van Vinh of Hanoi's Central Military Committee instructed Major Vo Ban to open a supply route to the South. The Communist Party's Central Committee had decided to conduct a campaign of overt insurgency against South Vietnam, and troops and materiel would have to be moved south to support this new phase of the struggle against the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) government. Assigned 500 troops for the task, Major Ban set to work building the necessary staging areas, depots, and command posts along the ancient system of footpaths and roads that connected North and South.