France withdrew its last soldiers from Vietnam in April 1956.. French Colonialism & Vietnam's Desire for Independence. The chap with the chest wound was making a hell of a noise.  The group's formation was announced by Radio Hanoi and its ten-point manifesto called for, "overthrow the disguised colonial regime of the imperialists and the dictatorial administration, and to form a national and democratic coalition administration. As the Sino-Soviet split widened in the following months, Hanoi began to play the two communist giants off against each other. In the words of Mao Zedong: "The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue.". When someone laughs and jokes about what they're doing, they have to be enjoying it." But he, too, was thrown out. Secondary .  He argued adamantly that war with the United States was necessary to achieve unification. The initial objective of the NLF was to gain the support of the peasants living in the rural areas. After subduing the Bình Xuyên organized crime gang in the Battle for Saigon in 1955, and the Hòa Hảo and other militant religious sects in early 1956, Diệm turned his attention to the Viet Cong. I love it. Type in your name to start the game. By the terms of the Geneva Accord (1954), which ended the Indochina War, France and the Viet Minh agreed to a truce and to a separation of forces. They also waged a mass murder campaign against civilian hamlets and refugee camps; in the peak war years, nearly a third of all civilian deaths were the result of Viet Cong atrocities. Most peasants in South Vietnam were extremely poor. National Public Radio, "Cronkite: Gulf of Tonkin's Phantom Attack Faulty Intelligence Played Role in Decision to Engage Viet Cong, 2 August 2004.  This was considered the beginning of the "armed struggle" in communist accounts. Test yourself on primary and secondary sources by taking this quiz. - United Press International photo from an official communist source. They all looked alike. Carter recalled that some GIs were shouting and yelling during the massacre: "The boys enjoyed it. A map of North and South Vietnam during the Vietnam War showing major air bases and the communists' supply routes, including the Ho Chi Minh Trail.  French scholar Bernard Fall published an influential article in July 1958 which analyzed the pattern of rising violence and concluded that a new war had begun. University Publications of America, Inc., Bethesda, MD, with fully indexed guide edited and compiled by Robert E Lester. The promise of the NLF to give the peasants their land free of charge was an important factor in persuading them to help the guerrillas in their fight against the Diem government. Our losses were so immense that we were unable to replace them with new recruits", said PRG Justice Minister Trương Như Tảng. A 1966 photo of an American soldier motioning to a woman refugee to keep her children's heads down during a fight with Viet Cong. This was achieved in 938 AD. These materials were then used to make booby traps. The most popular aspect of the NLF programme was the promise to take the land from the rich and to distribute it amongst the peasants. Ironically, most of the explosives used for these mines came from unexploded bombs dropped by the United States. This represented a loss of power for Hồ, who preferred the more moderate Võ Nguyên Giáp, who was defense minister.  Nguyễn Hữu Xuyên was assigned military command in the South, replacing Lê Duẩn, who was appointed North Vietnam's acting party boss. One of the major problems of the US forces was the detection of the NLF hiding in the forests of Vietnam. Public Opinion & the Anti-war Movement. For example, the search Subject: sources AND (Subject: (viet OR vietnam*) produces books including: (2) Not to insist on buying or borrowing what the people are not willing to sell or lend. This strategy failed dismally and some observers claimed that it actually increased the number of peasants joining the NLF. Primary. Dir. But a lot of its fire came back right at us. A divided Vietnam angered Vietnamese nationalists, but it made the country less of a threat to China. In an attempt to prevent this they moved the peasants into new villages in areas under the control of the South Vietnamese army. A normal person can handle society. Explore resources and ideas for Using DPLA's Primary Source Sets in your classroom. They had the advantage of knowing every ditch and dyke, every tree and blade of rice and piece of cover, like it was their own backyard. U.S. The 1972 Easter Offensive was a direct North Vietnamese attack across the DMZ between North and South. A 1966 photo of an American soldier motioning to a woman refugee to keep her children's heads down during a fight with Viet Cong. Based on some 800 documents captured in battle and on interviews with 100 ex-Viet Cong, much of the primary source material is reproduced, and all of it is interpreted in the light of the author's broad knowledge of Vietnam and its people. Osborne, Milton. This article is a good mix of primary and secondary sources, as the article provides numerous images from the Viet Cong and North Vietnam, as well as providing images of the Viet Cong leaflets. I tried to endure the pain knowing that an American military man should endure torture until he dies. It was like a stew, full of meat and flesh and red tissue and white bone. We couldn't fire at them, because we would have been firing into our own platoon. We didn't tiptoe in there.". It made sense then... You don't take a person's life and not have guilt feelings about it. Viet Cong, the guerrilla force that, with the support of the North Vietnamese Army, fought against South Vietnam (late 1950s–1975) and the United States (early 1960s–1973).  Other front names used by the Viet Cong in the 1950s implied that members were fighting for religious causes, for example, "Executive Committee of the Fatherland Front", which suggested affiliation with the Hòa Hảo sect, or "Vietnam-Cambodia Buddhist Association". , In a speech given on September 2, 1957, Hồ reiterated the "North first" line of economic struggle. While Beijing urged a fight to the finish, Moscow suggested a negotiated settlement. Immediate source of acquisition or transfer.  The success of this campaign inspired U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower to dub Diệm the "miracle man" when he visited the U.S. in May 1957. Example: Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Personal narratives, North Vietnamese-correspondence-biography. In return for the land they had been given, the peasants agreed to help the NLF by feeding and hiding them. But he, too, was thrown out. [nb 4] The "2d Liberation Battalion" ambushed two companies of South Vietnamese soldiers in September 1959, the first large unit military action of the war.  House-to-house fighting between Viet Cong and South Vietnamese Rangers left much of Cholon, a section of Saigon, in ruins. A newspaper written about Ho Chi Minh after the Vietnam war. It included the replacement of the Catholic dominated Ngo Dinh Diem administration with a government that: "represented all social classes and religions.". Its military force, the Liberation Army of South Vietnam (LASV), fought against the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War, eventually emerging on the winning side. , Anti-communists countered that the Viet Cong was merely a front for Hanoi. The purpose of this lesson plan is to use primary sources to develop students’ close reading and analysis skills while adding to their understanding of the Vietnam War. No. They did some similar things to my legs... During the night I heard someone screaming in the distance.  President Hồ Chí Minh stressed that violence was still a last resort. More Primary And Secondary Sources Quizzes. The official Vietnamese history gives the group's name as the Liberation Army of South Vietnam or the National Liberation Front for South Vietnam (NLFSV; Mặt trận Dân tộc Giải phóng miền Nam Việt Nam. I could see two others, heads just above the top of the rice, firing as well.  A series of uprisings beginning in the Mekong Delta province of Bến Tre in January 1960 created "liberated zones", models of Viet Cong-style government. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution . In 1964, however, American political and military authorities believed their overwhelming firepower would be more than enough to subdue the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army. To give feedback, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In March, Trà was recalled to Hanoi for a series of meetings to hammer out a plan for an enormous offensive against Saigon. If evidence was found of the NLF being in the village, the people were punished.  Within a few months, the Viet Cong had been driven into remote swamps.  The "special war" and "strategic hamlets" policies allowed Saigon to push back in 1962, but in 1963 the Viet Cong regained the military initiative. Anything. The offensive riveted the attention of the world's media for weeks, but also overextended the Viet Cong.  Funeral processions were used to smuggle weapons into Saigon. Given this situation, it is not surprising that the peasants saw the NLF as their friends and the US Marines/ARVN as the enemy. These took the form of sharpened bamboo staves and fragmentation mines. I didn't know whether they were true because I wasn't there.  The first arms delivery via the trail, a few dozen rifles, was completed in August 1959. Notes - Title from news agency caption. This view was re-inforced if the NLF left the village to escape advancing US or South Vietnamese troops. I was extremely angry at the enemy and I loved my country so much. They also contained caverns where they stored their printing presses, surgical instruments and the equipment for making booby traps and land mines. Charlie Company had suffered 28 casualties, including five dead.  The earliest citation for Viet Cong in English is from 1957. ... A 2007 journal article about the Viet Cong with a formal writing style, bibliography at the end, and lots of analysis and interpretation. At the victory parade, Tạng noticed that the units formerly dominated by southerners were missing, replaced by northerners years earlier. It is a contraction of Việt Nam Cộng-sản, (Vietnamese communist), or alternatively Việt gian cộng sản ("Communist Traitor to Vietnam"). The Vietnam War: Tet Offensive. My wrists and arms were tied behind my back. There were few physical protests from the people; about eighty of them were taken quietly from their homes and herded together in the plaza area. It is a contraction of Việt Nam Cộng-sản (Vietnamese communist), or alternatively Việt gian cộng sản ("Communist Traitor to Vietnam"). The peasants were angry at having to travel longer distances to reach their rice fields. All members were issued with a series of 'directives'. The long period of Chinese rule had left its mark on Vietnam. I used this source to gain a better understanding on Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts during the war. This was a secondary source but I cited it as a primary source because the only thing I used from the website was the primary source picture. , The offensive was undertaken in the hope of triggering a general uprising, but urban Vietnamese did not respond as the Viet Cong anticipated. Knowing that Vietnamese soldiers were often very young, from ages 14, they need to find a way for the U.S. The LASV had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized peasants in the territory the Viet Cong controlled.  With U.S. bombing ended, communist logistical preparations could be accelerated. Le Duan returned to inform his leader that Diem's policy of imprisoning the leaders of the opposition was so successful that unless North Vietnam encouraged armed resistance, a united country would never be achieved. The Viet Cong used any available tactic to demoralize and intimidate the population, including the assassination of South Vietnamese commanders. Secondary. National Liberation Front (NFL) (Vietcong). The NLF was merged with the Vietnamese Fatherland Front in February 1977. I was very impressed, not only by their tactics but by their performance. This they agreed to do and in December, 1960, the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF) was formed. In some cases, the peasants also agreed to take up arms with the NLF and help 'liberate' other villages. ", The war was mostly a matter of enduring weeks of expectant waiting and, at random intervals, of conducting vicious manhunts through jungles and swamps where snipers harassed us constantly and booby traps cut us down one by one... At times, the comradeship that was the war's only redeeeming quality caused some of the worst crimes - acts of retribution for friends who had been killed. They thought they were shooting at trespassers, occupiers, that they had a right to be there and we didn't. beating. At this point, there were about 500,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam, as well as 900,000 allied forces. He had not even noticed how much he was bleeding or the pieces of bone that had been pushed through his skin and were sticking out of his leg like huge toothpicks... North Vietnamese officers interrogated him. Vincent Voice Library: Recordings on anti-war protest movements. Gale Primary Sources is a universal research experience that combines Gale's acclaimed digital archives in a single cross-search interface. After Diem had gained power in South Vietnam, he forced the peasants to pay for the land they had been given. The name is said to have first been used by South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem to belittle the rebels. O'Connell, Kim A. Its the awesome power that you have in your hands. Arguing that a free election was impossible under the conditions that existed in communist-held territory, Diệm announced in July 1955 that the scheduled election on reunification would not be held. US Department of Defence pamphlet: Know Your Enemy: the Viet Cong Lyndon Johnson on the political aims of the Vietnam War (June 1966) A Viet Cong guerrilla tells of the Tet offensive (1968) An Australian press report on the Tet offensive (February 1968) An American reporter discusses South Vietnamese military weaknesses (1973) By the beginning of 1968, it was estimated that $300 million of damage had been done to North Vietnam. Are the following sources primary or secondary? CIA. To increase its advantage, the NLF relied heavily on night attacks. , Two regional command centers were merged to create the Central Office for South Vietnam (Trung ương Cục miền Nam), a unified communist party headquarters for the South. Major reversals in 1966 and 1967, as well as the growing American presence in Vietnam, inspired Hanoi to consult its allies and reassess strategy in April 1967. The US Army employed several strategies which turned out to be ineffective in stopping the advance of the enemy in Vietnam. They tied my nipples to an electric wire and they gave me electric shocks, knocking me to the floor every time that they did so. The peasants were motivated by fear as well as a sense of gratitude. Datelined Saigon, appearing under the byline of a USIA foreign service officer, this is the first extensive study of the Viet Cong. Still more time is required to breed more fleas... the military enemy suffers the dog's disadvantages: too much to defend; too small and agile an enemy to come to grips with. Prados, John, (2006) "The Road South: The Ho Chi Minh Trail", Nghia M. Vo Saigon: A History 2011 - Page 140 "... on December 19 to 20, 1960, Nguyễn Hữu Thọ, a Saigon lawyer, Trương Như Tảng, chief comptroller of a bank, Drs.  After the overthrow of Prince Sihanouk in March 1970, the Viet Cong faced a hostile Cambodian government which authorized a U.S. offensive against its bases in April. Innocent civilians were often killed by mistake. This video was shown to all of the troops in America before heading out to war in Vietnam. Bibliography Primary Sources; Bibliography Secondary Sources ; The Viet Cong.  Between the beginning of 1974 and April 1975, with now-excellent roads and no fear of air interdiction, the communists delivered nearly 365,000 tons of war matériel to battlefields, 2.6 times the total for the previous 13 years. Pushed into Cambodia, the Viet Cong could no longer draw South Vietnamese recruits. The Vietcong were there. For the communist independence movement before the Geneva Accords, see, "Vietcong" redirects here.  The official Vietnamese history of the war states that "The Liberation Army of South Vietnam [Viet Cong] is a part of the People's Army of Vietnam".  The launch of Sputnik in October boosted Soviet confidence and led to a reassessment of policy regarding Indochina, long treated as a Chinese sphere of influence. Robert J. Hanyok, "Skunks, Bogies, Silent Hounds, and the Flying Fish: The Gulf of Tonkin Mystery, 2-4 August 1964," Cryptologic Quarterly, February 1998 In 1959, an estimated 1,200 of Diem's government officials were murdered. A photo of a Viet Cong soldier crouching in a bunker with an SKS rifle, 1968. JUSPAO was also responsible for providing overall policy guidance to and co-ordination of US psychological operational efforts through analyses of captured Viet Cong and North Vietnamese papers.  The Viet Cong won its first military victory against South Vietnamese forces at Ấp Bắc in January 1963. 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