Segments in this Video

"Mogie" Crocker (03:01)


Jean-Marie Crocker describes her son as a baby and recalls reading to him. At the age of 12, Denton "Mogie" Crocker Jr. kept track of Cold War events in a diary. He wanted to be part of something important and brave.

South Vietnam Governments (06:49)

Hear a recording of President Lyndon B. Johnson reflecting on Vietnam; he had high ambitions for the U.S. and opposed the military coup in Saigon. The Viet Cong made coordinated attacks throughout the countryside. Ngo Dinh Diem's instigated a series of coups; eight different governments ruled South Vietnam.

Change in North Vietnam (03:27)

Dong Si Nguyen reflects on Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh shared power with younger leaders; the two factions in the North debated on how to liberate the South. Le Duan controlled the war and proposed a two phase plan.

Covert Vietnam Operations (04:06)

Johnson increased personnel and military pressure in Vietnam, and replaced Henry Cabot Lodge with Maxwell Taylor. The Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted more dramatic action but Johnson refused.

Gulf of Tonkin Incident (07:33)

On July 30, 1964, South Vietnamese ships shelled North Vietnamese Islands. On August 2nd, the U.S.S. Maddox exchanged fire with torpedo boats and a perceived second attack provoked a military response from the U.S.; Everett Alvarez recalls bombing North Vietnam and being captured.

Tonkin Gulf Resolution (04:00)

Johnson asked for and received the resolution from Congress; Le Duan resolved to increase efforts in the South. The Viet Cong bombed Bien Hoa Air Base; Johnson would not adhere to retaliation suggestions but did approve a graduated response.

Choosing Military Service (05:26)

Mogie's mother and sister recall his determination to join the military. Philip Brady discusses his decision to join the Marines and working with the men of the South Vietnamese 4th Marine Battalion.

Battle of Binh Gia (10:47)

Nguyen Van Tong visits his brother's grave once a year. He discusses his view of the war as a member of the Viet Cong; his division targeted Binh Gia. Brady, Tong, and Tran Ngoc Toan recall the battle.

Widening the War (04:15)

President Johnson ordered air strikes in response to guerrilla attacks, resulting in foreign powers and advisers urging restraint. Johnson then ordered the systematic bombing of North Vietnamese targets; the American people were unaware.

American Ground Troops (06:17)

Gen. Westmoreland asked for Marine battalions to protect Da Nang Air Base. In March 1965, President Johnson ordered troops to Vietnam; South Vietnam was not consulted. Phillip Caputo recalls the beauty of Vietnam; Toan reflects on Viet Cong recruitment.

Opposition to the War (04:44)

Bill Zimmerman recalls the first protest he attended. University of Michigan faculty and students organized a "teach in," triggering discussions at other universities; Students for a Democratic Society organized a protest in Washington D.C. Mogie joined the U.S. Army in 1965.

Combat Mission Designation (06:26)

Le Minh Khue recalls American bombings and joining the Youth Shock Brigade; she loves American literature. President Johnson agreed to send more ground troops to Vietnam; American involvement heightened concern around the world. Hear some of Johnson's address to the nation.

Journalism and Landscape (03:31)

Joseph Galloway reflects on covering the war; there was no press censorship. Terrain was a challenge for American soldiers.

Viet Cong Superiority (05:25)

Hear a portion of a letter Mogie wrote to his parents; his mother and sister recall comments about the Viet Cong. South Vietnamese troops suffered and Gen. Westmoreland requested more American troops; Le Duan received help from China and the Soviet Union.

Additional American Forces (05:55)

Toan states that the arrival of ground troops was a mistake. CBS Correspondent Morley Safer accompanied Marines on patrol, giving Americans a new view of the war in Vietnam. Caputo recalls finding a family hiding in a bunker.

Air Mobile Warfare (02:36)

In a letter to his parents, Mogie reveals feelings about the war protests and American involvement. Joe Galloway reflects on the arrival of the 1st Cavalry Division at An Khe.

Siege of Plei Me (02:47)

North Vietnamese Regulars and Viet Cong units attack the U.S. Special Forces outpost for nearly a week. Galloway recalls flying into the camp and meeting Maj. Charles Beckwith.

Battle of Ia Drang (14:14)

Lo Khac Tam volunteered to fight in the south. Lt. Col. Hal Moore and the 1st Cavalry Division searched Chu Pong Massif and soon encountered enemy numbers seven times its strength; hear battle details and statistics.

Lessons in the Ia Drang Valley (03:37)

The North Vietnamese experienced significant loss and trauma at the Battle of Ia Drang, but learned how to fight their enemy; they attacked troops at LZ Albany.

Policy Error vs. Cover-ups (03:56)

Gen. Westmoreland and the Johnson Administration worried about the situation in Vietnam; Westmoreland asked for more troops. Karl Marlantes discusses his bitterness with political powers.

Christmas in Vietnam (02:42)

President Johnson agreed to stop the bombing in North Vietnam on Christmas Eve. The Crockers made a video message for Mogie.

Credits: The River Styx (January 1964-December 1965) (03:08)

Credits: The River Styx (January 1964-December 1965)

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The River Styx (January 1964-December 1965)

Part of the Series : The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



With South Vietnam in chaos, hardliners in Hanoi seize the initiative and send combat troops to the South. President Johnson escalates America’s military commitment, authorizing bombing of the North and deploying ground troops in the South.

Length: 116 minutes

Item#: BVL145809

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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