Major Battles of Vietnam War
After the French were defeated in 1954, the United States sent
military advisors to South Vietnam to aid the government of
Ngo Dinh Diem. The pro-Communist Vietcong forces gradually grew in strength, partly because Diem failed to follow through
on promised reforms. They received support from North Vietnam, the Soviet Union,
and China. The U.S.
government supported a successful military coup against Diem in the fall of 1963. The Vietnam War was a war fought between
1964 and 1975 on the ground in South Vietnam and bordering areas of Cambodia
and Laos, and in bombing runs over North Vietnam.
There were many battles fought in the Vietnam War. The major battles of the Vietnam War began with the Battle of Ap Bac and
continued with the Tet Offensive, the Fall of Saigon and ended with the Battle of Xuan Loc.
The Battle of Ap Bac took place on January 2,
1963. This small-scale battle took place near the Hamlet of Ap Bac, that escalated into the Vietnam War. It was the first
major battle which resulted with a victory with the forces. On this day the Army of the Republic
of Vietnam seventh Division was ordered to destroy a Viet Cong in the Hamlet (AP)
of Tan Thoi. “The plan was for Army of the Republic of Vietnam infantry to be landed by helicopter to the north of the
hamlet, while two Civil Guard battalions supported by a company of M-113s approached from the south through the neighboring
hamlet of Bac” (http://www.vietnam-war.info/battles/hamlet_of_ap_bac2.php). The transmitter was thought to be guarded by about 120 Viet Cong, but it was guarded
by 360. The attack from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam
went wrong from the very beginning and ended with the Viet Cong slipping away leaving with eighteen dead, the United
States with three perished and the Army of the Republic of
Vietnam with eighty of themselves gone. The Army of the Republic
of Vietnam had eighty loses because of their leaders indecisiveness. The thick
fog and bad weather predictions severed the helicopter plan of the Republic of Vietnam,
which was also a cause for their great loses. It was a victory, but the conflict in South Vietnam
ended badly. This conflict later escalated into assassination plot against Diem for his oppressive nature against the Buddhist
religion. “The United States at this point could not
back out of the conflict and was committed by November 1, 1963” ( http://www.vietnam-war.info/battles/hamlet_of_ap_bac2.php ). The Battle of Ap Bac contributed to the United States
being involved in the Vietnam War.
On January 30- 31, 1968 the first day
of the Vietnamese New Year (Tet), the Viet Cong attacked numerous cities and towns, American bases and even Saigon.
“Although the Viet Cong suffered large loses, they won a psychological victory, as American opinion began turning against
the war” (Feldmeth 339). The series of battles that occurred were called
the Tet Offensive. The Tet Offensive was the largest military operation yet conducted by either side up to that point in the
war. “The purpose of the operations, which were unprecedented in this conflict, was to strike military and civilian
command and control centers throughout the Republic
of Vietnam (South Vietnam) and to spark a general uprising among the population that would hopefully
then topple the Saigon government, thus ending the war in a single blow” (http://www.vietnam-war.info/battles/tet_offensive.php ). The First Battle of Saigon was a major
battle fought on March 7, 1968. The First Battle of Saigon was fought during
the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War which was a coordinated attack by the North Vietnamese
Army and Viet Cong. North Vietnamese
Army and Viet Cong attacked from all sides of the South Vietnam's capital, Saigon. Another battle resulting from the Tet Offensive was the Battle of Hue, fought on January
31, 1968. The battle of Hue lasted 26 days and became known as one of the longest
and bloodiest single battles of the Vietnam War. “The Tet Offensive ended with the NLF and the North Vietnam Army fatality
around 35,000 men killed, 60,000 wounded and 6,000 POWs for no military success, the
US and Army of the Republic of Vietnam dead totaled around 3,900 (1,100 US)” (http://www.vietnam-war.info/battles/tet_offensive.php ). Without a U.S. victory and no motive for
being in the war any longer America began to stop U.S.
The Fall of Saigon on April 29, 1975
was the last straw for the United States. With Saigon
token over the war looked endless and the American people had enough of the Vietnam War. “At 4:03 a.m., April 30th,
1975, two U.S. Marines were killed in a rocket attack at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut airport.
They were the last Americans to die in the Vietnam War. At dawn, the remaining marines of the force guarding the U.S. Embassy
lifted off” (http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1880.html ).
The final battle of the Vietnam War was
the Battle of Xuan Loc. It was officially the last battle of the Vietnam War beginning on April 9, 1975 and ending on April
20, 1975, lasting twelve days. The battle took place in Xuan Loc, Dong Nai
Province. The Army of the Republic of the Vietnam
(18th Infantry Division) then attempted to prevent the People's
Army of Vietnam divisions from over running the town. During the fight for Xuan Loc both sides displayed
feats of courage, leadership and determination. For the soldiers of the Army of the
Republic of Vietnam led by Major General Le Minh Dao in particular, the battle proved that they were determined fighters, contradicting
reports in some Western media that described them as cowards.
major battles of the Vietnam were the Battle of Ap Bac, the
Tet Offensive, the Fall of Saigon and the Battle of Xuan Loc. The United
States never wanted to go to war, but was pushed in after the Battle of Ap Bac. The Vietnam
War ended in 1975, when Communists took control of Saigon and President Nixon instructed on January 15, 1973, a suspension
of offensive action in North Vietnam and later by the unilateral withdrawal of US
troops from Vietnam. Afterwards, the Paris Peace Accords were
later signed on January 27, 1973 which officially ended US involvement in the Vietnam
conflict. The Vietnam War affected a vast majority of the country's population. In the eight years of warfare, about two million
Vietnamese died, while three million were wounded and another 12 million became refugees. The Communists renamed Saigon, Ho
Chi Minh City. Vietnam was unified the following year, but
periodic violence continued over the next 15 years, including conflicts with neighboring Cambodia
and China. War had ruined the country's infrastructure and
economy, and reconstruction proceeded slowly. Under a broad free market policy put in place in 1986, the economy began to
improve, boosted by oil export revenues and an influx of foreign capital. In the 1990’s trade and diplomatic relations
between Vietnam and the United States were resumed. The current
prime minister of Vietnam is Nguyen Tan Dung. Nguyen Tan Dung
is regarded as the country's most progressive leader. The many major battles left Vietnam
with a country of destruction. Today Vietnam is still trying
to repair what it lost in the Vietnam War.
1. “ Battle at Hamlet Ap
Bac.” 2 pages. Online. Internet. 25 May 2008. Available http://www.vietnam-war.info/battles/hamlet_of_ap_bac2.php .
2. “ Tet Offensive.” 1 page. Online. Internet. 25 May 2008. Available
and Battles Fall of Saigon April 1975.” Online Highways 1page.
Online. Internet. 25 May 2008. Available http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1880.html.