Vietnam War by james mcgraw

After the end of the Second World War the idea of communism was spreading rapidly. Eventually it made its way to Vietnam under the rule of Ho Chi Minh. The country was split into two the northern part and the southern part. The north who were also known as the Viet Cong were communist and were trying to overpower the south. One of Southern Vietnam's allies was the United States who greatly opposed communism. The war officially began in 1954 and ended in 1975.

LEAD UP TO THE WAR

Vietnam revolutionary Ho Chi Minh was inspired by the effects communism had on Chinese and Soviet society. He adopted the idea and created the Viet Minh a group that fought against the French and Japanese forces at the end of World War 2. Eventually Japan retreated but France remained and supported Vietnamese Emperor Bao Dai. Eventually the French were defeated giving Ho's forces control of North Vietnam and Bao's forces South Vietnam. While this was happening the Cold War intensified and The US began to crack down on any communist ally of the Soviet union. Eventually The US sent troops to Vietnam to investigate what was going on

CONFLICT INTENSIFIES

By 1965 there were over 80,000 troops stationed in Vietnam. There were almost 200,000 troops that were being ordered to come fight alongside them. As fighting continued more and more troops were being called in. By 1967 500,000 US troops were overseas fighting the Viet Cong. The Viet Cong responded to this by coordinating a series of surprise attacks on Southern Vietnamese cities. This assault became known as the Tet Offensive and caught the US and Southern troops completely off guard. The US quickly retaliated recapturing the cities and calling 200,000 troops in to fight.

END OF THE WAR

By the early 70's the amount of anti war protests increased and got people thinking whether there was any point in keeping the troops there. To combat this President Nixon increased the number of artillery strikes and began to withdraw some troops from the country. One major problem Americans had with the war was the military draft. Thousands of young men were being sent to Vietnam by the time they turned 18. Thousands were discharged for desertion. In order to not serve many men known as "draft dodgers" would flee the country for Canada so they didnt have to go. By 1975 The United States pulled there troops out of the country. The Northern Vietnamese captured the city of Saigon as a result of this effectively winning the war. The next year Vietnam united and became the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. RICHARD NIXON, New York Times, March 28, 1985

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