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Vietnam War In “Living Through The Vietnam War” By Cath Senker

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In the book “Living Through The Vietnam War” by Cath Senker talks about all the significance of The Vietnam War. It talks about how it was such a global significance and how it affected both sides of the conflict. It also talks about how it was so controversial.

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In January 31, 1968, was the very first night of the first Tet Offensive attacks on South Vietnam. North Vietnamese had planned to attack South Vietnam and the U.S. allies on the Vietnamese New Year when no one would expect. Around midnight Tuan Van Ban’s battalion while camouflaged in the dirt had moved in close to the fence of the U.S. Marine base. Mortar men and machine gunmen had fired at the base whistles sounded, and the troops had advanced, yelling “Attack! Attack! Attack!” By the time that the U.S had time to attack Tuan Van Ban and most of his men had already gotten into the base and gotten to the communication center. About 20 people died and about 70 had been wounded. A U.S GI Bob Gabriel was sent with his battalion to relieve the town of Hue, in South Vietnam. North Vietnam had started to attack and Bob’s soldiers had made a run for it leaving him alone with just a machine gun. He had somehow survived the attack without one scratch eventually another group if soldiers had come a rescued him, and they congratulated him for risking his life for his fellow soldiers.

France had colonized Vietnam in the early 19th century and had ruled it for more than 50 years. The communist leader Ho Chi Minh had declared North Vietnam’s independence at the end of World War Two. France had tried to gain back control of North Vietnam between 1945 and 1954, but North Vietnam had fought to unify the nation as an independent state. France had originally taken over Vietnam to gain benefit for it economically. The Vietnamese had resisted French rule from the beginning, in the 1920s young radicals had looked for ways to overthrow the French and start a new form of society. In 1930 Ho Chi Minh had created the Indochinese Communist Party the aim of it was to free Vietnam from colonial rule. In 1940 the Japanese had occupied Vietnam and had backed up the French colonial government, the occupation had deepened Vietnam’s desire for independence. Vietnamese communists had created the Independence League of Vietnam in 1941 and it had worked to unify the population against Japan and France. In March of 1945, Japan had taken over the government from France. In September 1945, Ho Chi Minh had declared North Vietnam’s independence in its capital city Hanoi.

After the defeat of France at the division of Vietnam and Dien Bien Phu, the United States had started giving support to South Vietnam’s government of Ngo Dinh Diem, it was based in the city of Saigon. The government had wanted to prevent the South from turning communist like the North. In 1955 Diem had rigged the election to get his role as the head of the state. Many people in North Vietnam had believed that they should focus on building their own state, but there had been a lot of pressure building up to help free South Vietnam from Diem’s rule. There had also been a desire to unite the country under communist rule. North Vietnam had started to smuggle weapons down the Ho Chi Minh Trail so that they could use armed struggle to overthrow Diem. In 1960 North Vietnam had started to draft people to the military for a bigger army. Also in 1960, the National Liberation Front for South Vietnam had also been created. The book says “it brought together communist and non-communist in the South”(12). In January of 1961, John F. Kennedy had become the President of the United States, but before he became President, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had said “If we let South Vietnam fall, the next domino, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and on down Subcontinent will fall”(14)”. There had been evidence that this could occur. For example, after the Russian Revolution of 1917, there had been a breakout of many other revolutions in several other countries.

The replacement of Diem did not solve the political crisis in South Vietnam. North Vietnam’s military had started to build up strength. President Lyndon Johnson President of the United States at the time had thought that communists were going to take over South Vietnam. So, he had sent in troops that he believed had strong forces and combined it with a massive bombing that would convince North Vietnam to withdraw its support for the NFL. In August of 1964, the U.S destroyed called the Maddox and the Turner Joy had claimed that they were under attack. Based on the evidence from the time Johnson was able to get support from congress for direct military action against Vietnam. North Vietnam’s military commander General Nguyen Chi Thanh had liked a major confrontation with the United States. Both China and The Soviet Union had promised military aid for North Vietnam.

By the end of 1964, China had agreed to send a large number of troops to North Vietnam. They had been ready for an escalation of the conflict. The NFL guerrillas attacked U.S. military bases in South Vietnam in February of 1965. President Johnson had ordered an aerial bombing campaign against the communication centers and military targets called Operation Flaming Dart. A few weeks later, Operation rolling thunder began it targeted railroad lines, and bridges, and North Vietnamese ports. The bombings continued on and off until the U.S. withdrew in 1973. President Johnson had sent ground troops into Vietnam. Many young men and some women had volunteered, but there were also very many that had been drafted into the war and forced to fight. The draft was extremely in the United States and many people fled to Canada.

In Conclusion, this is just some of the things that had happened in the Vietnam war. There were very traumatic events in the Vietnam war and there were somethings that weren’t that big of a deal. I think that the Vietnam war had a big significance in where we are today and without I don’t think that we would be where we are if I didn’t happen.

07 September 2020

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