The French made Indochina into a colony in 1888. Although there were many different opposition movements, the French held strong until about 1941. It was in this year that the Viet Minh common front was founded. From 1944-45 northern Vietnam was hit with famine. The Viet Minh saw this opportunity, and urged the people to fight for food, and refuse to pay taxes. As a direct result of this, between 75 and 100 warehouses were raided. Following World War 2 the French decided that they wanted Indochina back. They did not have enough power though at the time, so they decided to look for help from other countries, such as Britain. Their attempt at retaking Vietnam was an utter failure, and the French retreated from Vietnam following their defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.
Ngo Dinh Diem was the Premier of South Vietnam beginning in 1954. He was an anti communist, and had his own very strong beliefs. He knew that following American advice, and doing it the “American way” was not going to solve Vietnams problems. He instituted a death policy for any communists. During this period, there were large shifts in populations, and many moved south, and a few moved north.
John F Kennedy was vehemently anti communist. He pledged to fight for liberty, at whatever the cost. However, his plan regarding Vietnam did not involve deploying any American troops there. Contrary to Kennedys plan, by 1963 there were 16000 American Military personnel in Vietnam. Due to his anti war position, he was assassinated. Many claim that the Rothschild family backed the assassination, and perhaps even funded it, due to their pro war feelings.
After the assassination of John F Kennedy, Lyndon B Johnson became president. On the 24th of November 1963, Johnson made the move to become more militarily involved in Vietnam. The National Security Council recommended a bombing plan for North Vietnam, and following an attack on US barracks, the bombings commenced. The bombings were to take out key air defense stations, as well as industrial infrastructure. One officer noted that “this is a political war and it calls for discriminate killing. The best weapon… would be a knife… the worst is an airplane.” Saturation bombing was not the way to handle it, but it was the way that the Americans handled it.
The advantage that the Americans had was their Air force. When it got attacked, it became apparent that they needed more protection. 3500 US soldiers were subsequently sent in for the purpose of defending. This number increased greatly though, and soon nearly 200,000 soldiers had been deployed. It seemed as if the ground forces just couldn’t get a break though. They were used to fighting offensively, not defensively, and did not deal with the guerilla warfare well.
The Tet Offensive refers to the surprise attack launched by the PVA and NLF, in hopes of sparking an uprising. It certainly was a surprise attack, but the Americans quickly responded, and for the most part, thought the Tet...