Vietnam War Significant Events

The second Indochina War

1. The Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem

Due to his lack of leadership abilities, Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated in a coup d'etat by his own generals. Even though he died, and the leadership over South Vietnam was passed on to another leader, they were not much better and the South Vietnamese people lost faith in the government.

2. Communist Influence Grows and Faith in South Vietnamese Government Weakens

As the war raged on, Communist influence grew as they continued to send funds and weaponry to North Vietnam. The Vietcong forces continued to grow in South Vietnam as more and more Vietnamese perished in the war. The South was losing public support, and more people turned against them.

3. Tet Offensive

One of the bloodiest events in the Vietnam War, the Tet Offensive was a simultanious attack on 40 cities in South Vietnam by the Vietcong. They failed to capture any of them, but many people died in the process. This outraged the public in the US and many of them called for the return of US troops.

4. Lyndon B. Johnson Approves Regular Bombing of Northern Vietnam

After the loss of many US troops, Lyndon Johnson turned to air support to turn the tides of the war. Due to the guerilla tactics of the Vietminh and Vietcong, the use of Agent Orange and Napalm burned down most of the vegetation that they used to hide in to ambush US troops.

This tactic led to further loss of public support in South Vietnam and the war continually got harder to fight.

5. Harry S. Truman's Vietnamization

Under public pressure, Truman authorized the slow return of US troops from Vietnam. In order to keep control in Vietnam while US troops left, Truman suggested a large air strike on Northern Vietnam to weaken their forces and make it easier for South Vietnam to fight.

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