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The Vietnam War After U.S. Troops Got Involved

  • The Start of U.S. Invlolvement

    The Start of U.S. Invlolvement
    American troops were in Vietnam already helping the French fight but did not get fully involved until President Dwight D. Eisenhower told Ngo Dinh Diem that he would directly send assistance to South Vietnam on October of 1954.
  • South East Asia Treaty Organization

    South East Asia Treaty Organization
    A short time later the Eisenhower administration provides economic and military aid to South Vietnam under the leadership of Diem. This coincides with the establishment of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) on September 7th. This followed the rules of NATO where if one of the countries was attacked, the others would help fight the enemy.
  • Army of the Republic of Vietnam and Elections

    Army of the Republic of Vietnam and Elections
    Diem had asked President Eisenhower for military instructors to lead his army by mid May. The capitol city of Hanoi tried to get Diem to accept their proposal to normalize relations before the election set up by the Geneva Accords which Diem immediately refused. He said an election would be impossible in the Communist North and an election he set up so that e would win.
  • South Vietnam Training

    South Vietnam Training
    American Military Assistance Advisory Group takes over the training of South Vietnamese forces in late April. This represents the beginning of the “advisory” force that will number nearly a thousand troops by the end of the Eisenhower administration.
  • American Troops Fear an Attack

    American Troops Fear an Attack
    As ever more guerrilla incidents in South Vietnam increase, the U.S. becomes increasingly concerned about the infiltration of cadres from the north, though they are mostly native southerners returning to their villages. Following the methods employed by the French, the U.S. finds local spokespeople and forms an alliance with the minority populations of various hill tribes.
  • Diem Needs More

    Diem Needs More
    The U.S. sends Diem an affirmation of its commitment by sending more military advisers as he has requested. The North Vietnamese begin to receive increasing aid from the Soviet Union. During July two U.S. advisers are killed and several more are wounded in a terrorist attack on the Bien Hoa military base.
  • More Aid Needed

    More Aid Needed
    Southern Vietnam veterans of the French attack declare open rebellion against Diem and fight with ARVN troops. Diem shortly thereafter declares a state of emergency and asks for increased U.S. military aid. By the end of the year there are 773 American advisory personnel in Vietnam.
  • Even More Troops Are Sent To Vietnam

    Even More Troops Are Sent To Vietnam
    J. F. K. sends 400 American combat troops to South Vietnam as advisers, as well as increases foreign military aid, approves the involvement of the "Green Berets", and orders personnel increases for the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Saigon. They were allowed to attack the enemy if fired upon. By the end of the year advisers number 3,000.
  • U.S. Strength Increases

    U.S. Strength Increases
    American military strength reaches 4,000, with the arrival of two additional Army aviation units on February 7th. The MAAG is turned into the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. By the end of 1962 there are 11,000 U.S. military personnel and technicians in South Vietnam.
  • New Leader

    New Leader
    ARVN forces, accompanied by U.S. advisers, are defeated in very early January at the battle of Ap Bac. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara publicly states that the U.S. military role will end by 1965; and that troop withdrawals will begin in December. In November a coup d'etat supported by the U.S., overthrows Diem and his brother Nhu who are arrested then assassinated. General Duong Van Minh emerges as the leader of South Vietnam.
  • Tonkin Golf Resolution

    Tonkin Golf Resolution
    On August 7 Johnson asks for and Congress approves the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. This prepares the way for massive U.S. involvement because it allows virtually unlimited power to the president to conduct war in Vietnam.
  • First American Deployment

    First American Deployment
    Operation Rolling Thunder starts when B-52 bombers are employed for the first time. It is suppose to be a massive extended bombing campaign over North Vietnam. This sustained aerial bombardment of North Vietnam is accompanied by the first U.S. troop deployments. By October there are 50,000 American soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen in South Vietnam beginning offensive operations.
  • U.S. Involvement Questioned By The American People

    U.S. Involvement Questioned By The American People
    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins hearings questioning the legality of the U.S. military operations in Vietnam. By the end of the year General Westmoreland commands over 1 million troops in Vietnam, including 385,300. U.S. servicemen. Over 5,000 U.S. troops are killed in this year, and 30,000 wounded.
  • Dr. King Speaks Up

    Dr. King Speaks Up
    Dr. Martin Luther King presents a major address dissenting against the Vietnam war at the Riverside Church in New York City, calling the U.S. “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”. policy. By the end of the year there are approximately 500,000 U.S. servicemen in Vietnam with just over 9,000 K.I.As (for a cumulative total of 16,000) and nearly 100,000 wounded.
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    The TET Offensive was simultaneous attacks on all U.S. military bases and 110 cities and towns in South Vietnam launched by North Vietnam. On August 8 the Republican Party nominates Richard M. Nixon as its candidate for president. President-elect Richard M. Nixon promises a gradual troop withdrawal from Vietnam. At the end of 1968 there are 536,100 U.S. troops in Vietnam. Approximately 30,000 American soldiers have been killed and 92,000 wounded.
  • Casualties On The Rise

    Casualties On The Rise
    The U.S. begins using the staggered body count. American losses aren't reported daily but are spread out over an amount of time, usually a week. This creates a perception of a decreasing number of U.S. casualties.During the Fall the U.S. and Thai governments announce a planned withdrawal of 6,000 Americans, mostly airmen, from Thailand. During the year rumors circulate about a Vietnam citizen massacre of Vietnamese committed by U.S. troops dubbed the massacre of My Lai.
  • Cambodia Is Attacked

    Cambodia Is Attacked
    On April 29 MACV announces the invasion of Cambodia by U.S. and ARVN forces to seek out North Vietnamese bases, the consequences initiate a general state of revolution in Cambodia. The U.S. Senate votes to repeal the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. Congress then bans U.S. combat troops in Laos and Cambodia. By the end of the year U.S. troop strength has declined to 334,600, with 44,245 casualties.
  • Proposal To End The War

    Proposal To End The War
    The ARVN attacks the North Vietnamese sanctuaries west of Khe Sanh. It is given the name LAM SON 719 and involves some of the best of the ARVN. This turns into a disaster and costs the ARVN many of its best officers and demoralizes the Army. A counter offer is presented to the North Vietnamese that includes the withdrawal of all U.S. forces in six months, the release of POWs and free elections. By November Nixon announces troop withdrawal which will leave the troop level at 139,000.
  • Nixon Pulls More Troops

    Nixon Pulls More Troops
    Nixon announces new troop withdrawals and reveals that there are secret talks being conducted with the North Vietnamese, and discloses his peace proposals.The North Vietnamese begin a major offensive across the DMZ. This is the biggest battle of the war.
  • The End Of The War Begins

    The End Of The War Begins
    In mid January the President suspends military operations and five hundred ninety-one Americans being held as POWs by the North Vietnamese are released during Operation Homecoming. Nixon also pledges over $4 billion in reconstruction aid to North Vietnam- a promise that is never fulfilled. The Secretary of State William Rogers, the foreign ministers of South and North Vietnam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government sign the Paris Peace Accord.
  • Nixon Resigns

    Nixon Resigns
    In August Nixon resigns as a result of Watergate, and is replaced by Gerald Ford. Ford immediately pardons Nixon for “any and all” crimes he may have committed while in office.
  • South Vietnam Is Seized

    South Vietnam Is Seized
    Saigon falls to NVA and NLF forces, and U.S. personnel leave in panic in an emergency helicopter airlift. In May the PAVN and local forces from the NLF establish control in South Vietnam. Saigon is placed under the control of NLF.