Vietnam: A Television History Poster

Episode List



4 Oct. 1983
Roots of a War: 1945-1953
This first episode in the series deals with the history of Vietnam up to 1954. By 1885 the French were in control of Indochina and over 20 years or so pacified the population. Central to the 20th century history of Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh. Ho moved to Paris in 1917 and joined the Communist Party in 1920. He began formal training in 1923. Japan landed forces in Vietnam after France capitulated to the Germans in June 1940 and he founded the Viet Minh in 1941 which was both anti-French and anti-Japanese. The US actually trained the Viet Minh for the war against the ...
5 Oct. 1983
The First Vietnam War, 1946-1954
The eight-year battle between the French and Vietminh is examined.
11 Oct. 1983
America's Mandarin: 1954-1963
After the division of Vietnam into North and South the North is seen as a Communist threat by the United States. South Vietnam's Prime Minister, Ngo Dim Diem, faced a 2 year deadline for a nation-wide reunification vote and the US feared that Diem did might not win. Diem's advisers had a dim view of the future as well, believing a Communist victory was inevitable. After the division of the country many Vietnamese Catholics, estimated at 900,000, fled the North. Diem and his brother, who headed the intelligence service, demolished their opponents in the South and ...
18 Oct. 1983
LBJ Goes to War: 1964-1965
When LBJ became President there were some 16,000 advisers in South Vietnam and some of those were involved in combat. The President's main concern at the time was the war on poverty and the building of what he called the Great Society. The strategic hamlets that were built by the South Vietnamese government were being destroyed, often with the help of those lived there. Hanoi decided to escalate the war and Johnson found himself in an election against a conservative candidate. He was under pressure not to relent in the fight against Communism. On August 4, 1965, the ...
25 Oct. 1983
America Takes Charge: 1965-1967
In this episode, the first years of involvement by US combat troops is seen through the eyes of both American soldiers and everyday Vietnamese people. In the early days, there was strong support from the America public as America took charge of the war. By the end of 1965, there were 200,000 troops on the ground in Vietnam. The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was in control of large parts of South Vietnam and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) wasn't seen as reliable. Soldiers, once eager, were now beginning to question their role in Vietnam and began to question ...
1 Nov. 1983
America's Enemy: 1954-1967
Under the 1954 Geneva peace accords, reunification elections were to be held in Vietnam within two years. Prime Minister Diem rejected the election promise and took excessive steps to repress any opponents. The strategic hamlets were not welcome by the peasant population and by 1964, supplies were flowing south along the Ho Chi Minh trail. Viet Cong guerrillas supported the Army of North Vietnam (ARVN) attacked American installations in Saigon. The bombing of the North started in in 1965 in reaction to the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The Marines that began arriving in ...
8 Nov. 1983
Tet: 1968
The year 1968 was to be a new year for US efforts in Vietnam. Reports from the Embassy said that they were winning the ground war but American TV reports were showing a different picture altogether. The Tet offensive showed to what extent the Johnson Administration's status reports on the war differed from reality. There was a major attack on Khe San several days before Tet. The New Year's attack was the biggest offensive of the war, with Viet Cong (VC) and regulars from the Army of North Vietnam (ARVN) attacking nearly every province and district capital in Vietnam. ...
15 Nov. 1983
Vietnamizing the War: 1969-1973
By Christmas 1969, American troops were being withdrawn under President Nixon's policy of having more of the ground fighting transferred to the South Vietnamese army. That year as many as 4000 South Vietnamese soldiers were being killed every week. The South Vietnamese government was recognized by most countries in the West and had survived for 15 years on more than $100 billion in US aid. At its peak, US troops numbered 500,000. The Vietnamese economy was overheated and the black market and prostitution thrived. The Paris peace talks had not stopped the bombing in ...
22 Nov. 1983
Cambodia and Laos
The Pathet Lao in Laos were supported by the North Vietnamese who transported supplies south through Laos. The Kennedy Administration wanted to ensure a neutral Laos and to ensure that organized the Hmong hill tribes. In 1961, Laos was the major crisis center in Southeast Asia. In March 1964, the US organized a secret bombing campaign in Laos using unmarked planes and targeting the Ho Chi Minh trail. In 1964, Cambodia was still at peace and Prince Norodom Sihanouk attempted to maintain his State's neutrality. The country prospered with an abundance of rice and fish ...
29 Nov. 1983
Peace Is at Hand: 1968-1973
By early 1968, the US had dropped nearly 3 million tons of bombs on Vietnam. After the Tet offensive, President Johnson ordered a stop to the bombing and peace talks began in Paris. Some thought the negotiations would be swift but there was little of the give and take that you would normally expect. Nixon had won the 1968 election by a narrow margin and 500,000 American troops were still in Vietnam at that point. After Tet, fighting had again shifted to the countryside and in the first half of 1969, 200 Americans were killed and 800 wounded every week. Nixon ...
6 Dec. 1983
Homefront USA
Anti-war protests began early in the Johnson administration though the vast majority of Americans at the time supported the administration. The initial protests were led by civil rights activists, the old left, women's groups and the clergy. Religious organizations had a difficult time as they were conservative by nature. As well, college students could avoid the draft if they remained in school. Blacks were joining the military but activists decried those who claimed they were trying to save people of color. Passive resistance and draft card burning were increasing. ...
13 Dec. 1983
The End of the Tunnel: 1973-1975
On January 23, 1973 Richard Nixon announced a cease fire with the return of all POWs within 60 days and the complete withdrawal of of US Forces from South Vietnam in the same time period. Many South Vietnamese were furious about the agreement feeling it was a death sentence for them. By now, a majority of Americans now believed that the cost to the US, particularly in America lives, was too great. The public cheered the return of American POWs, a month-long celebration that played out on American TV. President Nixon had pledged American support should the North launch...
20 Dec. 1983
The legacy of the Vietnam War is examined.


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