Cold War: Vietnam - US Intervention, 1965-1973

GCSE History covers, amongst other things, the Cold War, which lasted from the end of World War II until the fall of the Soviet Union. One aspect looked at is the intervention of the USA in the Vietnam War.

The government of the USA, under both Johnson and Nixon, became more and more engaged in Vietnam, believing in the "Domino Theory". They thought that intervention in the war was justified because, if South Vietnam fell to Communist aggression, then other neighbouring states like Laos, Cambodia and Thailand would fall too.

Explore the Vietnam War, and the intervention of the USA, in this informative quiz.

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  1. President Lyndon Johnson complained that North Vietnamese naval forces had attacked US forces at sea off the coast of Vietnam. He used this to justify escalating the war. Where did this alleged attack take place?
    Johnson persuaded Congress that US forces were in danger from Communist aggression, and that further US land, air and naval forces should be deployed in the Vietnam theatre
  2. Which powerful American Democrat senator chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and was a constant critic of US policy in Vietnam?
    Johnson and Nixon enjoyed considerable public support for their policy of intervention in Vietnam. However, an important minority in Congress were constant critics
  3. Communist forces launched a strong offensive in South Vietnam in 1968 at the time of the Vietnamese New Year. What name is given to this attack?
    Communist forces suffered huge losses in the attack, and they failed to gain their main objective. However they are generally considered to have won a signal victory, as many Americans now came to regard the war as unwinnable
  4. Which historic Vietnamese city was almost totally destroyed in this campaign?
    Opinion in the USA and elsewhere was appalled by the human and material losses during the war in Vietnam
  5. Many Communist troops fighting in South Vietnam were organised in units that were part of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). However, others were guerrillas recruited in the South to fight for the National Liberation Front. What Vietnamese name was given to these latter forces?
    The Americans and their South Vietnamese allies faced Communist infiltration from the North along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and attacks from Southern guerrillas who were present in most parts of South Vietnam
  6. The US army officer, Lieutenant Calley, was accused of war crimes against villagers in which South Vietnamese hamlet during 1968?
    While there was plenty of evidence of Communist atrocities, massacres carried out by US forces helped to fuel strong opposition to the war in America
  7. Which North Vietnamese minister shared the Nobel Peace Prize for his skilful negotiations with the Americans in Paris?
    The North Vietnamese played a skilful hand in Paris: partly because they knew that the USA was weary of the war, and partly because they knew that the South Vietnamese government lacked popular support
  8. Which American, an advisor to President Nixon, shared this Nobel Peace Prize for his persistent and patient negotiating style?
    The US negotiated in Paris from a relatively weak hand, as the other side knew that they were desperate for a face-saving formula that would enable them to leave Vietnam with dignity
  9. Which US general commanded US ground troops in Vietnam, and asked for another 500,000 men to bring total US troop numbers up to 1,000,000?
    The American military tended to believe that escalation of the war was the key to victory. They wanted to massively increase the number of ground troops and to step up air and naval attacks
  10. What term of abuse was used by US troops to refer to their Vietnamese adversaries?
    Many American troops respected their enemy for their ingenuity, but they really despised them and regarded them as essentially inferior

Author: Edward Towne

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