Ho Chi Minh- a Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader. He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 as well as the People's Army of Vietnam during the Vietnam war.
Ho Chi Minh Trail- was a logistical system that ran from North Vietnam (Democratic Republic) to South Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam) through the neighboring kingdoms of Laos and Cambodia. The system provided support, in the form of manpower and material to both sides of Vietnam.
Domino Theory- was a theory prominent from the 1950s to the 1980s, that speculated that if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect. In April of 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower described the theory when addressing communism in Indonesia.
Geneva Conference was a conference among several nations that took place in Geneva, Switzerland, in order to settle outstanding issues resulting from the Korean War and discuss the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina. The conference produced a set of documents known as the Geneva Accords. These agreements temporarily separated Vietnam into two zones, a northern zone and a southern zone to be governed by the State of Vietnam.
Ngo Dinh Diem was a South Vietnamese politician. He won a heavily rigged referendum, he deposed Bảo Đại and established the first Republic of Vietnam (RVN), with himself as president. He was a leader of the Catholic element and was opposed by Buddhists.
Guerilla Warfare- a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military.
Vietcong were Vietnamese Communists and a military branch of the National Liberation Front (NLF) who were commanded by the Central Office for South Vietnam. For arms, ammunition and special equipment, the Vietcong depended on the Ho Chi Minh trail. Recruits for Vietcong were young teenagers, and while many were motivated by idealism, others had been pressured or shamed into joining.
Mao Zedong- launched the Great Leap Forward campaign that aimed to rapidly transform China's economy from an agrarian economy to an industrial one. The campaign contributed to a widespread famine, whose death toll is estimated at between 15 and 45 million
United States Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam, was established in Saigon. Its mission was to supervise the issuance and employment of $10 million of military equipment to support French legionnaires in their effort to combat Viet Minh forces.
Gulf of Tonkin- was an incident involving two separate confrontations involving North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin
Lyndon B. Johnson was given the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist aggression" after the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The resolution served as Johnson's legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam.
Napalm- is a mixture of plastic polystyrene, hydrocarbon benzene, and gasolin that creates a jelly-like substance that, when ignited, sticks to practically anything and burns up to ten minutes. It is used in flamethrowers for U.S. ground troops; they burned down sections of forest and bushes in hopes of eliminating any enemy guerrilla fighters
Napalm fired by US ships into the forest
Agent Orange- a toxic chemical herbicide used in war. It was used during Operation Ranch Hand; intended to deprive Vietnamese farmers and guerilla fighters of clean food and water in hopes they would relocate to areas more heavily controlled by the U.S. By the end of the operation over twenty million gallons of herbicides and defoliants were sprayed over forests and fields.
Agent Orange being sprayed over forests
North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launched the Tet Offensive- a coordinated series of fierce attacks on more than 100 cities and towns in South Vietnam.
Upon being elected into office, U.S. President Richard Nixon introduced a new strategy called Vietnamization that was aimed at ending American involvement in the Vietnam War by transferring all military responsibilities to South Vietnam.