The Vietnam War referat

The Vietnam War


I. Causes Of The War

A. The French

B. Vietminh And America Involved

II. The War

A. The War Began

B. The Tet-Offensive

C. The End Of The War

I. Effects

A. Political

B. Immigrations

C. Effects of the media on the war

D. Effects Of The Music

E. Death, Wounded, Costs

F. Veterans and PTSD

Causes Of The War

The French

The French were the first who occupyed Vietnam. They attacked Vietnam, Laos and Kambodscha (Indochina) and made them to one of their colonies. Indochina resisted. During the second World War the Japanese captured it from the French. But France tried to recapture it and send troups to Indochina.

Viet Minh And America Involved

1944 the Vietnam Independence League (the Viet Minh) was founded and defeated the French. The “Democratic Republic of Vietnam” with Ho Chi Minh as president demanded independence for Vietnam. War broke out between the French and the Viet Minh. The Viet Minh received aid from China and gain gradually ground. The West feared that the success could spread to the neighboring countries, like the  domino theory saying that if one nation fell to communism, the neighbouring countries could also fell to it, like a domino causes his neighbour to fall. Because of this fear the American aided the French with financial and military grant. After the battle of Diên Bien Phu, the French colonial power ended.

The Geneva Agreement divided Vietnam into northern and southern parts. Ho Chi Minh presided over the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in North Vietnam, Ngô Dinh Diêm became the head of South Vietnam. The USA supported Ngô Dinh Diêm and reinforced their engagement in Vietnam to prevent the expansion of the communism over the south.

1955 the French gave the power over Vietnam to the USA.

In 1956 Ngô Dinh Diêm prevented the nationwide election, because the Viet Minh had the choises of the majority. His argument was that in the North the freedom of opinion wasn’t guarantee. 1960 the Vietcong (Vietnamese Communists) founded the National Liberation Front (NLF).

The War

The War Began

The Vietcong started to fight guerillawars against Diems regime and against the American military institutions. President John F. Kennedy reinforced another time the American aid for Saigon and South Vietnam. At the end of 1962 there were already more than 11,000 US-soldiers in South Vietnam, one year later 5000 more arrived.

After an attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats on two US destroyers, Lyndon B. Johnson, having become president after Kennedy was assasinated, get full power for warfare against North Vietnam. The USA started to bomb important military aims in northern Vietnam, as well as the Ho-Chi-Minh-Path in Laos and Camobodia, which the Vietcong used to transport weapons and forces from North to South.

Besides, America reinforced their troups, so there were over 180,000 men in the end of 1965. Despite, bombardements with Napalm and the use of the defoliant “Agent Orange”, it didn’t succeed to defeat their enemy military.

From 1965 onwards the anti-war-movement increased rapidly. Marches and demonstrations were held up. The Vietnam war brought 20,000 people to Washington to protest against the war.

The Tet-Offensive

With the Vietnamese New Year’s day Tet in 1968 came an unexpected raid on every major city in the South like Huê, Da Nang and Saigon, called the Tet-Offensive. This offensive convinced even more Americans, that their government strategy in Vietnam was not working. By mid 1968 over 35,000 GIs had died in combat.

Besides, the people criticized the use of chemical agents and the raids on the civilians, such as the massacre of My Lai, where GIs killed hundreds of people of every age. A growing number of American officials and large segments of the population began to look upon the war as a 'mistake' and the opinion of the majority was that it wasn’t able to win the war.

More and more American men tried to avoid being drafted to fight in Vietnam. This anti-draft-movement became an important branch of the whole movement. Even a growing number of Democrats became Johnson's sharpest critics.

That year the American deployment reached their top with 550,000 US-soldiers.

The End Of The War

Johnson announced the end of the air raids and that he will not take part in the re-election.

The official peace negotiations started the same year in Paris and Nixon, the new president, started with the withdrawal of US troops, called Vietnamization.

In 1972 the last US ground troops leave South Vietnam. In 1973 A cease-fire agreement is signed in Paris calling for a withdrawal of all US-troops. American involvment in Vietnam officially ends.



The Vietnamese finally won their independence and freedom. The communism had won and some years later, the communists victories in Laos and Cambodia, too.


In 1977 three areas in Orange County, California, were set to become the homes of 140,000 of South Vietnamese refugees looking for a new life in the United States. Orange County, just fifty miles from Los Angeles had the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam.

A second group known as the 'boat people' because of the dangerous escapes by boat which they endured in this era, gradually started to resettle in Orange County as well as other areas of the USA.

In 1970 there had been fewer than 10,000 Vietnames living in America; after the war it had risen to almost a quarter of a million!

Effects Of The Media On The War


The techniques of the media changed dramatically because of Vietnam. The media was what brought the news of all the horrors of Vietnam to America into everyone’s home. Before Vietnam, the media focused on the positives of wars like the Korean War, presenting U.S. actions in a positive light. They focused on what people wanted and needed to hear. It was the media’s job to keep the American listeners optimistic and panic free. During the Vietnam war, reporters began to show skepticism. The reporters began showing the American people all the true horrors of war, especially the politics behind it. The media was no longer about getting the good honest news but now the endless competition to earn fame, money and success on television from the American people by showing the truth.


Effects Of The Music

Many songs were about the war, and mostly were against it. It was because of the war that many artists felt it was necessary to write and sing about the evils of war, and the happiness of peace. The war very obviously affected the music of that time. Similarly, the music also affected the people. It preached of peace, protest, freedom, etc.

Death, Wounded, Costs

Nearly 2.5 million people were killed in the war, 56,000 of them were Americans. 3 Mio. get cripple and wounded.  7 Mio. ton bombs were dropped – that are about three times as much as in the WW2.

The totally cost of the US warfare was about 112 Mio. $.

Veterans And PTSD

Most of the Vietnam veterans took drugs or drunk alcohol during the war and after it. Many of them had or have the Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, otherwise known as PTSD. This syndrome can affect anyone who has survived an unusual physical or mental trauma. Some veterans experience the traumatic events another time through nightmares and flashbacks. Veterans with this syndrome live paranoid lifes. Memories of the veterans are too painful to remember, but too traumatic to forget. With this syndrome comes depression and anxiety. Signs of this disease are noticeable change in appetite, problems sleeping or waking, sudden loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, feelings of worthlessness and guilt.

All in all, what is left of the war, are the memorials, like the wall in Washington, the masses of graves in Arlington and the legacy extending into every aspect of society.


After the Japanese occupied Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh establish the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi. France sends troops back to Vietnam. The Viet Minh begin a war against French occupation with attacks in the North

The USA begin providing military and financial aid to the French in Indochina

The French are defeated. In July, the Geneva Agreement is signed and divided Vietnam into northern and southern parts. The Viet Minh take control over North Vietnam, Ngô Dinh Diêm over the South

South Vietnam refuses to participate in nationwide elections

A US military group replaces French army of the South Vietnamese

The (Communist) National Liberation Front (NLF) is formed in Vietnam

South Vietnam´s president Diem is overthrown and killed in a military coup. Kennedy is assasinated and Lyndon B. Johnson becomes new president

After an attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats on two US destroyers, The USA started to bomb important military aims in northern Vietnam

America reinforce their troups, so there were over 180,000 men

The American deployment reachs their top with 550,000 US-soldiers

US-President Nixon annouces the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam, which is called ”Vietnamization”

The last US-troops leave Vietnam

A cease-fire agreement is signed in Paris calling for the withdrawal of all US-troops. American involvment in Vietnam officially ends

Report of Vietnam Veteran

I drank a lot after the war and I wasn’t very happy because I didn’t want to leave the guys behind. I was in the hospital for two months after the war so nothing really mattered to me anymore. There were a lot of problems at home, my wife had left me and I couldn’t find my two children.

I was angry when I was back from war because I got treated like dirt because I was a Vietnam veteran. The way that I feel about this is that you have never been there so you have nothing to say. A soldier shouldn’t be blamed, he has to do his job. No questions asked, it was the politicians policy.

I had flashback’s for ten years after the war and I was in and out of treatment. I’m happy with my life today. I’m not in very good shape now but I will always work.


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