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Donster

This Month in the Vietnam War: December 1964 -1974

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1970-ChevroletChevelleSS.jpg1970 Chevy Chevelle SS 396

December 1964 - 10,000 NVA soldiers arrive in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh trail, carrying sophisticated weapons provided by China and the Soviet Union. They shore up Viet Cong battalions with the weapons and also provide experienced soldiers as leaders.
December 1, 1964 - At the White House, President Johnson's top aides, including Secretary of State Dean Rusk, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, and Defense Secretary McNamara, recommend a policy of gradual escalation of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.
December 20, 1964 - Another military coup occurs in Saigon by the South Vietnamese army. This time Gen. Khanh and young officers, led by Nguyen Cao Ky and Nguyen Van Thieu, oust older generals including Gen. Minh from the government and seize control.
December 21, 1964 - An angry Ambassador Taylor summons the young officers to the U.S. embassy then scolds them like schoolboys over the continuing instability and endless intrigues plaguing South Vietnam's government. Americans, he had already warned them, are "tired of coups."
Taylor's behavior greatly offends the young officers. Gen. Khanh retaliates by lashing out in the press against Taylor and the U.S., stating that America is reverting to "colonialism" in its treatment of South Vietnam.
December 24, 1964 - Viet Cong terrorists set off a car bomb explosion at the Brinks Hotel, an American officers' residence in downtown Saigon. The bomb is timed to detonate at 5:45 p.m., during 'happy hour' in the bar. Two Americans are killed and 58 wounded. President Johnson dismisses all recommendations for a retaliatory air strike against North Vietnam.
By year's end, the number of American military advisors in South Vietnam is 23,000. There are now an estimated 170,000 Viet Cong/NVA fighters in the 'People's Revolutionary Army' which has begun waging coordinated battalion-sized attacks against South Vietnamese troops in villages around Saigon.

june-wilkinson1.jpgJune Wilkinson

December 4, 1965 - In Saigon, Viet Cong terrorists bomb a hotel used by U.S. military personnel, killing eight and wounding 137.
December 7, 1965 - Defense Secretary McNamara tells President Johnson that the North Vietnamese apparently "believe that the war will be a long one, that time is their ally, and that their staying power is superior to ours."
December 9, 1965 - The New York Times reveals the U.S. is unable to stop the flow of North Vietnamese soldiers and supplies into the South despite extensive bombing.
December 18-20 - President Johnson and top aides meet to decide the future course of action.
December 25, 1965 - The second pause in the bombing of North Vietnam occurs. This will last for 37 days while the U.S. attempts to pressure North Vietnam into a negotiated peace. However, the North Vietnamese denounce the bombing halt as a "trick" and continue Viet Cong terrorist activities in the South.
By year's end U.S. troop levels in Vietnam reached 184,300. An estimated 90,000 South Vietnamese soldiers deserted in 1965, while an estimated 35,000 soldiers from North Vietnam infiltrated the South via the Ho Chi Minh trail. Up to 50 percent of the countryside in South Vietnam is now under some degree of Viet Cong control.

june-wilkinson2.jpgJune Wilkinson

December 8-9, 1966 - North Vietnam rejects a proposal by President Johnson for discussions concerning treatment of POWs and a possible exchange.
December 13-14 - The village of Caudat near Hanoi is leveled by U.S. bombers resulting in harsh criticism from the international community.
December 26, 1966 - Facing increased scrutiny from journalists over mounting civilian causalities in North Vietnam, the U.S. Defense Department now admits civilians may have been bombed accidentally.
December 27, 1966 - The U.S. mounts a large-scale air assault against suspected Viet Cong positions in the Mekong Delta using Napalm and hundreds of tons of bombs.
By year's end, U.S. troop levels reach 389,000 with 5008 combat deaths and 30,093 wounded. Over half of the American causalities are caused by snipers and small-arms fire during Viet Cong ambushes, along with handmade booby traps and mines planted everywhere in the countryside by Viet Cong. American Allies fighting in Vietnam include 45,000 soldiers from South Korea and 7000 Australians. An estimated 89,000 soldiers from North Vietnam infiltrated the South via the Ho Chi Minh trail in 1966.

june-wilkinson3.jpgJune Wilkinson

December 4, 1967 - Four days of anti-war protests begin in New York. Among the 585 protesters arrested is renowned 'baby doctor' Dr. Benjamin Spock.
December 6, 1967 - The U.S. reports Viet Cong murdered 252 civilians in the hamlet of Dak Son.
December 23, 1967 - Upon arrival at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam, President Johnson declares "...all the challenges have been met. The enemy is not beaten, but he knows that he has met his master in the field." This is the President's second and final trip to Vietnam during his presidency.
By year's end, U.S. troop levels reach 463,000 with 16,000 combat deaths to date. By this time, over a million American soldiers have rotated through Vietnam, with length of service for draftees being one year, and most Americans serving in support units. An estimated 90,000 soldiers from North Vietnam infiltrated into the South via the Ho Chi Minh trail in 1967. Overall Viet Cong/NVA troop strength throughout South Vietnam is now estimated up to 300,000 men.

AC-47-Gunship-Puff.jpgAC-47 Gunship - Puff The Magic Dragon

December 1, 1969 - The first draft lottery since World War II is held in New York City. Each day of the year is randomly assigned a number from 1-365. Those with birthdays on days that wind up with a low number will likely be drafted.
December 15, 1969 - President Nixon orders an additional 50,000 soldiers out of Vietnam.
December 20, 1969 - A frustrated Henry Cabot Lodge quits his post as chief U.S. negotiator at the Paris peace talks.
By year's end, America's fighting strength in Vietnam has been reduced by 115,000 men. 40,024 Americans have now been killed in Vietnam. Over the next few years, the South Vietnamese Army will be boosted to over 500,000 men in accordance with 'Vietnamization' of the war in which they will take over the fighting from Americans.

june-wilkinson4.jpgJune Wilkinson

December 10, 1970 - President Nixon warns Hanoi that more bombing raids may occur if North Vietnamese attacks continue against the South.
December 22, 1970 - The Cooper-Church amendment to the U.S. defense appropriations bill forbids the use of any U.S. ground forces in Laos or Cambodia.
American troop levels drop to 280,000 by year's end. During the year, an estimated 60,000 soldiers experimented with drugs, according to the U.S. command. There were also over 200 incidents of "fragging" in which unpopular officers were attacked with fragmentation grenades by men under their command. In addition, many units are now plagued by racial unrest, reflecting the disharmony back home.

june-wilkinson5.jpgJune Wilkinson

December 17, 1971 - U.S. troop levels drop to 156,800.
December 26-30 - The U.S. heavily bombs military installations in North Vietnam citing violations of the agreements surrounding the 1968 bombing halt.

june-wilkinson6.jpgJune Wilkinson

December 13, 1972 - In Paris, peace negotiations between Kissinger and Le Duc Tho collapse after Kissinger presents a list of 69 changes demanded by President Thieu.
President Nixon now issues an ultimatum to North Vietnam that serious negotiations must resume within 72 hours. Hanoi does not respond. As a result, Nixon orders Operation Linebacker II, eleven days and nights of maximum force bombing against military targets in Hanoi by B-52 bombers.
December 18, 1972 - Operation Linebacker II begins. The so called 'Christmas bombings' are widely denounced by American politicians, the media, and various world leaders including the Pope. North Vietnamese filmed footage of civilian casualties further fuels the outrage. In addition, a few downed B-52 pilots make public statements in North Vietnam against the bombing.
December 26, 1972 - North Vietnam agrees to resume peace negotiations within five days of the end of bombing.
December 29, 1972 - Operation Linebacker II ends what had been the most intensive bombing campaign of the entire war with over 100,000 bombs dropped on Hanoi and Haiphong. Fifteen of the 121 B-52s participating were shot down by the North Vietnamese who fired 1200 SAMs. There were 1318 civilian deaths from the bombing, according to Hanoi.

Mark-II-PBR-Boat.jpgMark II PBR Patrol Boat

December 3, 1973 - Viet Cong destroy 18 million gallons of fuel stored near Saigon.

Stars-and-Stripes.jpgSoldier Reading Stars and Stripes

December 13, 1974 - North Vietnam violates the Paris peace treaty and tests President Ford's resolve by attacking Phuoc Long Province in South Vietnam. President Ford responds with diplomatic protests but no military force in compliance with the Congressional ban on all U.S. military activity in Southeast Asia.
December 18, 1974 - North Vietnam's leaders meet in Hanoi to form a plan for final victory.
1970-PlymouthRoadrunner-and-GTX.jpg'70 Plymouth Road Runner/GTX

 

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36 minutes ago, Donster said:

1970-ChevroletChevelleSS.jpg1970 Chevy Chevelle SS 396

 

36 minutes ago, Donster said:

1970-PlymouthRoadrunner-and-GTX.jpg'70 Plymouth

The muscle car era pretty much peaked in 1970.  After 1970, the market for muscle cars declined, fuel prices went up, emissions controls were introduced, the cars got heavier, the power output diminished, the wild ride was over.

 

40 minutes ago, Donster said:

December 13, 1974 - North Vietnam violates the Paris peace treaty and tests President Ford's resolve by attacking Phuoc Long Province in South Vietnam. President Ford responds with diplomatic protests but no military force in compliance with the Congressional ban on all U.S. military activity in Southeast Asia.
December 18, 1974 - North Vietnam's leaders meet in Hanoi to form a plan for final victory.

The American public was tired of the prolonged war in Vietnam, a Congress had been voted in based upon campaign promises to end the war, a President who never envisioned himself as president, we were in the process of withdrawing from Vietnam, and the South Vietnamese forces, although very well equipped, were easily overrun by the NVA.  I think the war in Southeast Asia has many lessons to teach us.  Sadly, we are very poor at learning lessons from history.

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8 hours ago, Stans said:

South Vietnamese forces, although very well equipped, were easily overrun by the NVA.  I think the war in Southeast Asia has many lessons to teach us.  Sadly, we are very poor at learning lessons from history.

The ARVNs were not "very well equipped".  They were adequately equipped for the type of war fought over most of the previous ten years, but not set up for a full-on armored invasion.  The NVA used more tanks in their last attack on the South than Hitler used to overrun France in 1940.  In '73 we provided gunships armed with anti-armor missiles and other air support to help smash the NVA attack.  In '75 Congress would not allow that kind of support and even prevented critical ammunition resupply.  That said, the ARVN were not well led, in general, so the eventual outcome was likely a foregone conclusion.

You've mixed up the two invasions.  We were at the end of our troop withdrawal in '73.  In '75 we had very few forces in SVN.  The media made it look like we had large forces trying desperately to escape.  Remember the pictures of Hueys being dumped over the side of aircraft carriers?  Most of those were VNAF or ARVN helos, not ours.  Similarly, many of the folks taped trying to leave via the American embassy were SVN nationals, not American.

We ARE very poor at learning the lessons of history.  Example: a pussyfooting approach to the most the most dangerous enemy we've ever faced -- radical Islam.  Of course, when our own media brazenly lies about events, it's difficult to know what lessons to learn.  :)

OG

Edited by Old Guy
adding material

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14 hours ago, Stans said:

 

The muscle car era pretty much peaked in 1970.  After 1970, the market for muscle cars declined, fuel prices went up, emissions controls were introduced, the cars got heavier, the power output diminished, the wild ride was over.

 

The American public was tired of the prolonged war in Vietnam, a Congress had been voted in based upon campaign promises to end the war, a President who never envisioned himself as president, we were in the process of withdrawing from Vietnam, and the South Vietnamese forces, although very well equipped, were easily overrun by the NVA.  I think the war in Southeast Asia has many lessons to teach us.  Sadly, we are very poor at learning lessons from history.

 

5 hours ago, Old Guy said:

The ARVNs were not "very well equipped".  They were adequately equipped for the type of war fought over most of the previous ten years, but not set up for a full-on armored invasion.  The NVA used more tanks in their last attack on the South than Hitler used to overrun France in 1940.  In '73 we provided gunships armed with anti-armor missiles and other air support to help smash the NVA attack.  In '75 Congress would not allow that kind of support and even prevented critical ammunition resupply.  That said, the ARVN were not well led, in general, so the eventual outcome was likely a foregone conclusion.

You've mixed up the two invasions.  We were at the end of our troop withdrawal in '73.  In '75 we had very few forces in SVN.  The media made it look like we had large forces trying desperately to escape.  Remember the pictures of Hueys being dumped over the side of aircraft carriers?  Most of those were VNAF or ARVN helos, not ours.  Similarly, many of the folks taped trying to leave via the American embassy were SVN nationals, not American.

We ARE very poor at learning the lessons of history.  Example: a pussyfooting approach to the most the most dangerous enemy we've ever faced -- radical Islam.  Of course, when our own media brazenly lies about events, it's difficult to know what lessons to learn.  :)

OG

Bwahahaha!  Herr Stainz vas ownedt by zhe Olde Guy!  Gut tjob korrektink zhe fvorum know it all!  Bwahahaha!

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Fink, shut your pie hole.  I concede to the one who was there.  I only know what I was taught in school and college, which is often not the whole story nor the whole truth.  History is written by the victors, but history books are too often written by revisionists and ideologues.

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