The Domino Theory In Relation To The Vietnam War

1769 words - 7 pages

The struggle for Vietnam in the middle of the twentieth century came from a long rooted nationalist movement that had Vietnam pitted against itself. The North Vietnamese led by Ho Chi Minh, were trying to reunite the country after it was taken over by the Japanese during World War II. This attempt by Ho Chi Minh to unite the country went uncontested, but the fact that he tried to unite the country through military means sparked outside interest from other countries. The other countries would be forced to act militarily to preserve their interests in Vietnam.To properly understand why American interest was sparked and why the United States felt compelled to go to war in Vietnam, the reader must first understand what happen to the country of Vietnam after World War II. After World War II, Vietnam was occupied by the Chinese for approximately seven months after the war before the French troops took over the occupation. Fighting broke out between French and Vietnamese troops in November of 1946. "The French launched a war against the "Viet Minh", Ho Chi Minh's forces in the northern part of Vietnam. Ho realized how a small, less industrialized country must fight against a stronger enemy. Ho Chi Minh's forces would attack, harass, and then melt away." This strategy worked very well for Ho's troops as they battered and beat the French army. The French tried to strike quickly with a large amount of force against Ho's troops. The goal of the French throughout the war was to get into a large scale battle with the Vietnamese. The French thinking was that their superior weapons, armor, and military expertise would crush a light armed less advanced army. Ho knew that this was the French wanted and that is why Ho's forces were never really condensed in one area throughout the entire war. The French would get their chance near the end of the war and blow it. When it became clear that the French were becoming involved in a long drawn out war the French government tried to negotiate a deal with Ho. They offered to set up a national government and promised they would eventually grant Vietnam its independence. Ho and his other leaders did not trust the word of the French and continued pounding the French with their guerilla war tactics.French public opinion continued to move against the war, as the French troops were slowly being worn down and humiliated by Ho's forces. "Between 1946 and 1952 90,000 French troops had been killed wounded or captured." This really shattered morale at home and on the frontlines especially because France was attempting to build up their economy and establish itself as a colonial power after World War II. The cost of the war had been twice what they expected and the war had been going on for seven years and there looked like there was no end in sight. Time was running out for the French in Vietnam and they were still looking for that large scale victory that would break the back of the Vietnamese and end the war.The Vietnamese finally...

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