vietnam war, part one: this page has links to the US involvement & the war in vietnam   

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    Da Nang, Vietnam - A young Marine private waits on the beach during the Marine landing. - August 3, 1965.This image or file is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the United States Marine Corps. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. casahistoria - web site for students of modern history!

  on this page
Browse down the page or just click one of these sections.... 
1. Introduction
Background to the US involvement
Geneva 1954 & aftermath |
Diem, Kennedy & Vietnam | LBJ & Tonkin
3. The War against the US:
Chronologies | Campaigns |
The Ho Chi Minh Trail | My Lai Massacre
4. Allies of the USA
Canada | ANZAC |
ARVN - South Vietnamese forces
5. Weapons
6. Women at War
7. Veteran and witness accounts
8. North Vietnamese & Viet Cong
Giap | Ho Chi Minh
9. The Vietnamese viewpoint
Other core casahistoria Vietnam pages:
  Vietnam War, Part Two:
       Protest & Opposition
       US Withdrawal
Vietnamization | Peace |
Fall of Saigon |MiA & war dead |
       Contagion: Laos & Cambodia  
       Photo journalism, Film, Literature & TV  
       General Sites   
       30 years on...
  Indo China & the French
Other core casahistoria Cold War pages:

  Origins of the Cold War
  Divided Germany, 1945-49
  Korean War
  Thaw to Cuban Missile Crisis
  Space Race
  Prague'68, Ostpolitik, Detente & China

  The End of the Cold War
  Related casahistoria sites
Imperialism · Decolonisation · China & the West ·
Iraq & West



casahistoria is recommended by many sites including:




1. Introduction
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See these casahistoria sites for further background:
Indochina: the French experience in Indochina.
Vietnam War, Part Two: opposition, contagion & US withdrawal.


In recent years, there has been an enormous growth in US sites dedicated to the Vietnam conflict. Most are linked to military aspects of the war, however many examine the documentary background to events. There are a number reasons for this: the recent Iraq conflict & occupation (see casahistoria Iraq & the West site for links), and a greater US military self confidence, release of official archive material,  less inhibitions by veterans to write about their war and not least the opening up of Vietnam itself to tourism. Welcome as this is, it has served to overwhelm users of the web and cloud key issues. The aim of this page is to focus on those sites of most interest and value to the student of the period and to place them within a (hopefully) clear structure. In addition gamer sites are proliferating - not all are as academically valuable as the French Indochine site.
  • Vietnamese History 'How and When the the Resistance movement began' A clear outline history and introduction to the conflicts historical context, from the US 'Vets with a Mission' site. Worth a look for its detail from 19th century onwards.
  • Vietnam  Not a history site, but one that gives you a tourist insight into a country opening more and more to tourism. This includes sections on: 'The History of Vietnam', 'Location, Geography and Climate', 'Vietnamese Culture' and 'Vietnamese People'. A full account of current Vietnam can be found at the CIA World Factbook site.
  • Vietnam: A Television History PBS Transcripts from the US TV series  is a 13-part documentary film series produced for public television by WGBH Boston, in cooperation with Central Independent Television/United Kingdom, and Antenne-2/France. Useful especially for first hand interviews, but also:
  • Lessons of the Vietnam War -- A Curriculum from the Center for Social Studies Education. US curriculum guide and materials for High School teachers (and students).





2. Background to the US involvement
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  • The Pentagon Papers One of the most important sources of information about the war is the collection of documents, with analysis, commonly known as "The Pentagon Papers." Nobody has ever published the whole collection as it was originally compiled inside the Defense Department between 1967 and 1969: a long and detailed history of U.S. policy toward Vietnam from 1945 to about March of 1968, plus about 4,000 pages of the actual texts of some of the most important documents dealing with Vietnam found in Defense Department files. Only partial versions have been released to the public. These are links to several of these original documents in facsimile form.
  • The United States Advisory Experience, 1954-1965. A University of Richmond course outline but with interesting links to the earliest period of US involvement.
  • Cold War in the Far East Lecture which gives a brief, but valuable overview of the impact and influence of the Cold war in the Far east and its contribution to conflicts there, of which Vietnam is the last. By Professor Gerhard Rempel, Western New England College.
Geneva, 1954 and its aftermath Diem Kennedy and Vietnam
LBJ and Tonkin
  • Gulf of Tonkin Notebook the official US Navy notes into the Gulf of Tonkin Incidents §
  • Anti-Communist Credentialism Blaine Taylor argues that ostensibly in response to a North Vietnamese Navy attack, the Tonkin Gulf Resolution was really about American domestic politics. Article from HistoryNet. (§ currently put offline by but the article is linked here from the Wayback Archive, but be patient - slow to load! Article can also be accessed here)
  • LBJ's Disengagement Strategy  Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker's charge from President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 was to de-escalate the Vietnam conflict without losing the war. He did just that. By Stephen B. Young. Article from HistoryNet
  • LBJ Goes to War (1964-1965) PBS Transcripts from the US TV series Vietnam: A Television History. Useful especially for first hand interviews
  • Tonkin Gulf Lie Launched Vietnam War By Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon looks at another reality behind the headlines of 1964.


3. The US (Vietnam) War: Events & key campaigns

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Chronologies General Specific campaigns The Ho Chi Minh Trail My Lai Massacre


4. Allies of the US
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Australia: Canada: New Zealand: ARVN - The South Vietnamese forces
  • Heroic Allies Sympathetic article on the ARVN by Harry F. Noyes III for Vietnam Magazine/PRIMEDIA History Group.
  • ARVN: Toward Fighting Trim 1968 article from TIME on the role and work of the ARVN
  • The Strength and Weakness of the ARVN interesting 1972 analysis by Jack Foisie of The Los Angeles Times in Saigon, and also published in the Pacific Stars and Stripes.
  • 'The Most Brilliant Commander': Ngo Quang Truong Detailed 2007 bio of his role in the ARVN by James H. Willbanks and originally published in Vietnam Magazine
  • Let the Tigers Fight  "With the arrogant, take-charge attitude of many American advisers, too often the South Vietnamese opted to 'sit on a mountain to watch tigers fight." by Bartholomew King. looks at the reasons for the often passive role of the ARVN. (§ be patient - slow to load!!)
  • "America's Most Loyal Allies" Website dedicated to the The Montagnards, the aboriginal hill tribes of southeast Indochina
  • Caught in the Crossfire: Montagnard Stories Descriptions of the involvement of the hill tribes in support of the US & South. By Robert E. O'Melia from Vietnam magazine. (§ be patient - slow to load!!)




5. Weapons

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6. Women at War 

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7. Veteran and witness accounts 

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  • The Virtual Wall  A digital interactive legacy memorializing the men and women who gave their lives during the Vietnam War. This extensive site offers veteran profiles, remembrances, chat rooms, reunion postings, name rubbings, custom reports, and much more. A fascinating site and one of the best anywhere on the internet for this type of research.
  • Reflections  From PBS, a collection of first-person accounts from both sides in the conflict.
  • Vietnam Veterans  The website provides "an interactive, on-line forum for Vietnam veterans and their families and friends to exchange information, stories, poems, songs, art, pictures, and experiences in any publishable form." 
  • Vietnam Stories  The 'Vietnam Stories' site is designed as a gathering place for personal stories and a forum for opinions on the war. The 'Add Your Story' page enables visitors to add their own stories, images, etc. to the vast databank of information on the war. 'The Stories' page contains excerpts of selected stories and is changed regularly. A search engine enables the visitor to investigate all the narratives that have been submitted to 'Vietnam Stories'. 
  • West Point's Collection of Letters from the Vietnam War Looks at the letters from Vietnam stored at the US Officers College. 2002 article by Lt. Col. James Jay Carafano, for Vietnam Magazine.
  • Remembrance: Reflections, Memories and Images of Vietnam Past. The website is a collection of galleries containing stories, poems, songs, maps and narratives about the Vietnam War. The website also contains listings of all US, Australian and New Zealand casualties of the Vietnam War
Individual accounts: Accounts linked to US military units
  • History Central Vietnam War Links Look at the "Units" section midway down the page for a very comprehensive list of military unit accounts. The "Personal Accounts" Section is also comprehensive.
  • A-1 Skyraider Combat Journal  This site is a journal written by an A1 Skyraider airplane pilot.  Information on other aircraft used in the Vietnam War can be found at the (Dayton, Ohio) United States Air Force Museum.
  • The Vietnam Helicopter Flight Crew Network (VHFCN)is a non profit veterans organization dedicated to the fulfillment of the following purposes: To provide a forum for recreational communications amongst a fraternity of aircrew members who served in Vietnam during the period 1961-75. Topics cover the entire spectrum from Vietnam to reunions and everything in between. This is their website, complete with sound effects...



8. North Vietnamese and Viet Cong

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  • America's Enemy (1954-1967) The war Americans seldom saw: the view from North Vietnam, featuring the perspectives of communist leaders, Vietcong guerrillas and American prisoners of war. PBS Transcripts from the US TV series Vietnam: A Television History. Useful especially for first hand interviews
  • In Viet Cong Country, Villagers Are the Key  US reporter writes about live in an VC controlled village (after the US withdrawal in 1973)  Jacques Leslie This article appeared in the Los Angeles Times, February 4, 1973  §

Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh for biographies of Ho Chi Minh go to the casahistoria indochina site.

Vo Nguyen Giap

Vo Nguyen Giap For bios & interviews go to the casahistoria indochina site




9. The Vietnamese viewpoint 

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  • Reflections  From PBS, a collection of a dozen first-person accounts from Americans and Vietnamese.
  • Viet Quoc This is the website of the Vietnamese Nationalist Party.  This (politicised) website includes a whole range of articles on the Vietnam War including: 'The 1968 Tet offensive', 'The Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces', 'The Forgotten Victims in Vietnam', 'Vietnamese Independence and Ho Chi Minh', 'Unmasking Ho Chi Minh', 'Twenty-Two Years Under Communism' and 'South Vietnamese Disabled Veterans'.
  • Communist Propaganda from North Vietnam Project (University of Wisconsin)
  • Children of Vietnam War 1969-70 Background, Oral History Project, Photo Album, & award-winning photographs of the exhibit "Children of Vietnam War", a part of the permanent collection of the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, Illinois. The original site has been removed so this is a archived version. Valuable, but slow to load – be patient…  §

See this casahistoria site for further links to the Vietnam War:

  Vietnam War, Part Two: opposition, contagion & US withdrawal 


other casahistoria post 1945 conflict core sites:

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  Indochina: the French experience in Indochina
  Vietnam War, Part One: US Involvement and campaigns

  Vietnam War, Part Two: opposition, contagion & US withdrawal
in Africa, British southeast Asia & India, Dutch East Indies    
  The Malvinas/Falklands War
1982 UK-Argentina conflict in the South Atlantic  

Arab-Israeli Conflict 1947-79
  The British in Mesopotamia/Iraq
for links to 20th century events before independence
Iraq, Hussein, the West & War for links to the history of Iraq up to and including the Gulf Wars





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