Vietnam War History

No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War.
It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.
--Richard M. Nixon, 1985

A-1 Skyraider
The A-1 was frequently the battlefield choice of commanders who needed fighter-bomber support.

A Shau Valley
The A Shau Valley was one of the major entry points to South Vietnam of the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

General Creighton Abrams
U.S. Commander in Vietnam, 1968-72.

Accelerated Pacification Campaign
The United States launched the Accelerated Pacification Campaign on November 1, 1968, with an objective of expanding government control over 1,200 villages at this time controlled by the Vietcong.

Ad Hoc Task Force on Vietnam
President Johnson assembled the Ad Hoc Task Force on Vietnam in 1968 to evaluate Westmoreland's request for more troops.

Adams-Westmoreland Controversy
Sam Adams became the center of a growing Vietnam War controversy.

After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam
by Ronald H. Spector
The TET Offensive of 1968 was supposed to mark a turning point in the war in Vietnam. In this brilliant and harrowing work, the bestselling author of "Eagle Against the Sun" shows the war that the TV missed -- and reveals that TET was only the beginning.

Against the Vietnam War: Writings by Activists
by Mary Susannah Robbins (Editor)
The protest movement in opposition to the Vietnam War was a complex amalgam of political, social, economic, and cultural motivations, factors, and events. "Against the Vietnam War" brings together the different facets of that movement and its various shades of opinion. Here the participants themselves offer statements and reflections on their activism, the era, and the consequences of a war that spanned three decades and changed the United States of America. The keynote is on individual experience in a time when almost every event had national and international significance. This collection includes classic documents and new essays by Noam Chomsky, Arlene Ash, Howard Zinn, Staughton Lynd, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Fallows, Eugene McCarthy, Daniel Berrigan, H. Bruce Franklin, and Jane Sass. A foreword by Staughton Lynd considers the events of the Vietnam War in the context of the present war in Iraq.

Agricultural Reform Tribunals
Ho Chi Minh unleashed cadre teams to seek out the landlord class.

Agroville Program
Because of growing instability and Vietcong insurgency in rural areas, President Ngo Dinh Diem launched the Agroville Program in 1959.

Air America
Air America was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) proprietary.

Air-Cushion Vehicles
A river craft giving troops the mobility enjoyed by Vietcong using sampans.

Airmobile Operations
They were used extensively by the United States Army and Marine Corps in Vietnam.

The primary infantry weapon of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Vietcong (VC) in the Vietnam War.

Muhammad Ali
A hero of the antiwar movement, as well as for poor people and blacks.

Everett Alvarez, Jr.
The first American pilot taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese.

America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam 1950-1975
by George Herring
Widely recognized as a major contribution to the study of American involvement in Vietnam, this comprehensive and balanced account analyzes the ultimate failure of the war, and the impact of the war on US foreign policy. The book seeks to place American involvement in Vietnam in historical perspective and to offer answers to vital questions.

America's War in Vietnam: A Short Narrative History
by Larry H. Addington
A great summary.

An American Ordeal: The Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam War (Syracuse Studies on Peace and Conflict Resolution)
The first interpretive history that covers the antiwar movement in this country throughout the entire Vietnam era. Richly illustrated with compelling photographs of the times, the book chronicles the war struggle that provoked a struggle about America.

An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War That Came Between Us
by James Carroll
This book is Carroll's story of what it was like to be an anti-war priest in the '60s while his father was an Air Force general deeply involved in Pentagon planning.

Amphibious Forces
Used transport and cargo ships, helicopters, tank landing ships, and dock landing ships.

Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War from the Other Side
An intense collection of images, many never seen before, from the cameras of North Vietnamese photographers. Each included photographer has a chapter highlighting his personal stories and captivating pictures.

The name given by the French to one of the three major regions of Vietnam.

April Fools
by George W. Schwarz
Relates the suffering of the Vietnamese during evacuations, 1972-1975 period. Schwarz worked for American companies in Vietnam during the war.

Arc Light Operations
Code name for the overwhelming aerial raids of B-52 Stratofortresses against enemy positions in Southeast Asia.

Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN)
The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) was a military component of the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).

Armored Personnel Carriers
The backbone of armored cavalry formations during the Vietnam War.

Next to the South Koreans, Australia provided the most military support to the United States in the Vietnam War conflict.

B-52 Bomber
The B-52 is deemed by experts as the most successful military aircraft ever produced.

Joan Baez
One of the leading antiwar activists.

Ban Me Thuot
The capital city of Darlac Province and the largest urban concentration in the Central Highlands.

Battle Notes: Music of the Vietnam War
by Lee Andresen
This book is the only complete discography of ALL the music of the Vietnam era. By Lake Superior College professor, Lee Andresen, the book details the famous and infamous songs and combines student essays. It highlights the obscure and unknown tunes. A tremendous source of accurate information. A treasure for Vietnam vets. Many fun illustrations.

Battle of An Loc (1972)
A major part of the North Vietnamese Eastertide Offensive in 1972.

Battle of Ap Bac (1963)
A village in the Mekong Delta, about 40 miles southwest of Saigon.

Battle of Ba Gia (1965)
A contingent of more than one thousand Vietcong attacked three battalions of South Vietnamese troops.

Battle of Bien Hoa (1964)
Escalation of the conflict became one indirect consequence of the attack on Bien Hoa in 1964.

Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954)
The defeat was a harsh psychological blow to the French.

Battle of Dong Ha (1968)
The NVA 320th Division, with 8,000 troops, attacked Dong Ha and fought a rigorous battle.

Battle of Dong Xoai (1965)
An American Special Forces Camp.

Battle of Hue (1975)
On March 24, General Truong began evacuating ARVN forces from Hue, and NVA troops entered the city the same day.

Battle of Ia Drang Valley (1965)
The battle of the Ia Drang Valley began with a North Vietnamese attack on the Special Forces camp at Plei Me in the Central Highlands.

Battle of Khe Sanh (1967-1968)
The NVA siege of Khe Sanh began on January 21, 1968.

Battle of Loc Ninh (1967)
The Vietcong defeat at Loc Ninh encouraged American military officials to believe that at long last the enemy was trying to use conventional tactics.

Battle of Xuan Loc (1975)
The fighting was harsh and severe, and the ARVN troops fought well.

Ben Suc
In the heart of the Iron Triangle and a center of activity for the Vietcong.

Ben Tre
"It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it."

The Berrigan Brothers
Antiwar activists and priests.

The Best and the Brightest
by David Halberstam
Now in its 20th anniversary edition, this 1973 classic is an unforgettable chronicle of John Kennedy's Camelot and its legacy -- featuring remarkable portraits of the men who conceived and executed the Vietnam War, including Robert McNamara, McGeorge Bundy, Dean Rusk, and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

Binh Xuyen
The Binh Xuyen were drug smugglers who traditionally traded support for legal protection of their rackets.

by Wallace Terry
An oral history unlike any other, "Bloods" features twenty black men who tell the story of how members of their race were sent off in disproportionate numbers and the special test of patriotism they faced.

Leon Blum
One of the leading French socialists..

Boat People
A euphemism for Vietnamese refugees fleeing Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975..

Brinks Hotel
No place was completely safe from Vietcong acts of terrorism.

McGeorge Bundy
Vietnam War historical information on a U. S. government key player.

Ellsworth Bunker
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, 1967-73.

Cao Dai
A Vietnamese religious sect with saints ranging from Buddha and Jesus to Charlie Chaplin and Joan of Arc.

The Cat from Hue: A Vietnam War Story
by John Laurence
This is the true story of a young American reporter who went to Vietnam with an open mind and an innocent heart and was plunged into a world of cruel beauty and savage violence. His experiences in the war forced him to question all his assumptions about his country, the nation's leaders and his own sanity.

The Chicago Seven
The famous antiwar group.

Chieu Hoi
An amnesty program.

The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy: Brothers in Arms: A Biography by Kai Bird
This dual biography of the brothers who were top aides to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson is an outstanding study of the mindset that allowed the United States to become slowly ensnared in the Vietnam War. Both McGeorge Bundy, a national security advisor, and William Bundy, a senior official at the Pentagon and State Department, were liberal anti-Communists trying to balance American interests in Southeast Asia between what they considered the dangerous extremes of both Left and Right.

Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order
by Dan Dane
"Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order" offers a glimpse of conditions in the First Cavalry Division around Bien Hoa during the last years of the Vietnam war. In 1971, Bill Blake encounters fragging, racism, and heroin addiction while defending soldiers in court-martial trials as a young Army JAG lawyer. Much like the soldiers he defends, Blake finds himself in conflict with his superior officers. The story of a drafted, civilian attorney serving as an Army lawyer in Vietnam gives this book a unique perspective. Captain Blake's experiences accentuate many of the troublesome aspects of the war, including the draft, authority of commanding Generals, domestic demand for troop withdrawal, and in the end, the manufacture and delivery of heroin to the American troops. Although conditions varied widely during the ten years of the war, the historical fiction genre allows veterans to recognize historically correct settings in Vietnam during 1971 and 1972. The fictitious characters and circumstances provide an entertaining read for those who lived through the era as well as those for whom Vietnam is only a curiosity out of the distant past. This short novel is one of the most readable and provocative accounts of the Vietnam war.
Dan Dane earned a JD degree from the University of Arkansas and was licensed to practice law in 1969. He immediately entered the U.S. Army and received a direct commission as a JAG officer. After a short stay in Arizona he was re-assigned to the Third Brigade of the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam.

Confucianism was the moral philosophy which the Vietnamese used to govern their society.

Lucien Conein
Conein entered Hanoi when Japan surrendered and met with Ho Chi Minh and other Vietminh leaders.

Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite became the preeminent media figure of the 1960s and 1970s as correspondent and anchorman for CBS Television.

The Cu Chi Tunnels (A Video)
During the war in Vietnam, thousands of people in the Vietnamese province of Cu Chi lived in an elaborate system of underground tunnels. Originally built in the time of the French colonial occupation, the tunnels were enlarged during the American presence.

Decent Interval
by Frank Snepp
April 29, 1975: the evacuation of Saigon. It�s every man for himself; thousands of panic-stricken Vietnamese clawing at the Embassy gates, begging not to be left behind as the last of the Americans save themselves.

Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam
Ho Chi Minh's Speech, Ba Dinh Square, September 2, 1945

Democratic Republic of Vietnam Peace Proposal
June 26, 1971.

Dien Bien Phu: The Epic Battle America Forgot
by Howard R. Simpson
The fall of Dien Bien Phu ended French control of Indochina and opened the way to US commitment to the area (and to US mistakes of a similar nature). Simpson -- former US consul general, novelist, and writer on defense matters -- was there as a USIA correspondent. His account, on the 40th anniversary of the battle, is personal, and includes many of his photos as well as photos from the Foreign Legion archives.

Pham Van Dong
North Vietnamese leader.

Duong Van Minh
The last president of the Republic of Vietnam.

The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN), also known as North Vietnam.

Vietnam War History, Part 2

Vietnam War History, Part 3

Vietnam War History, Part 4

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