Vietnam War I. (7x foto)
Vietnam War II. (7x foto)
Vietnam War III. (6x foto)
Vietnam War IV. (7x foto)
Vietnam War V. (7x foto)
Vietnam War VI. (7x foto)

Vietnam War II.

After John Kennedy was murdered, Vice President Lyndon Johnson served the last fourteen months of Kennedy's term. He then was elected to his own full term. It began in January 1965. Much of his time and energy would be taken up by the war in Vietnam. By early nineteen-sixty-four, America had about seventeen-thousand troops in Vietnam. The troops were there to advise and train the South Vietnamese military.

Under President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1968), US intervention mushroomed both militarily and politically. Johnson asked for a resolution expressing U.S. determination to support freedom and protect peace in Southeast Asia. Congress responded with the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, expressing support for "all necessary measures" the President might take to repel armed attacks against US forces and prevent further aggression.

Under the strategy developed by General William C. Westmoreland, Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, American divisions would seek out and destroy North Vietnamese and Viet Cong (South Vietnamese Communist) formations, while air power carried the war to the North, attacking both the will of Hanoi's leaders to continue the fight and, to an increasing extent, their ability to do so. The list of targets expanded to include transportation, oil storage, and the nation's few industries. In theory, Westmoreland's strategy of search and destroy would force the Communists to expend supplies and thus make the logistics establishment in North Vietnam all the more vulnerable to bombing.

In 1966, more than 200,000 troops were committed to Vietnam. The United States escalated its participation in the war to a peak of 543,000 troops in April 1969. American forces in Southeast Asia operated under some stringent restrictions, including being forbidden to invade enemy territory in North Vietnam and, for many years, likewise being barred from ground operations against enemy sanctuaries in bordering Laos and Cambodia. The "body count" of Vietcong killed was the centerpiece of the American approach to waging the war, conducted through search-and-destroy operations in remote jungle regions. By 1966 it became increasingly clear that this strategy of attrition was not working and could not work because of the enemy's capacity to replace losses far higher than those the allies were able to inflict.

The Vietnam conflict wore many faces. It was at once an insurrection by indigenous guerrilla forces and an invasion by the regular army of a neighboring regime. It was a war of snipers and ambushes, booby traps and pitched battles. The location of the fighting ranged from the densely inhabited rice basket of the Mekong Delta to the remote, jungled mountains of the Central Highlands, It included both platoon-level “pacification” efforts aimed at small bands of Vietcong and corps-level operations targeted against main-force North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regiments and divisions. A determined enemy and brutally difficult terrain combined to negate the effects of American technology and presented a dramatic challenge to a U.S. Army commander's battle command skills.

Vietnam saw changes in employment tactics of artillery. Front lines common in previous wars were replaced by perimeter defenses. The helicopter became a prime mover for artillery giving increased mobility. Artillery units occupied fire support bases and could fire 360 degrees in support of operations. The ability of the artillery to provide rapid and devasting fire support at critical times often spelled the difference between victory and defeat.
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