Summer of 1976 (05:55)
Roger Harris states that soldiers adapt to war. MACV provided an optimistic view of Vietnam; the Saigon government was unpopular. Racial unrest occurred cities across America. Le Duan and colleagues secretly planned a new offensive.
Little Cultural Understanding (02:02)
By mid-1967 nearly 500,000 American soldiers were in Vietnam; 20% would see combat. Troops had little education about the Vietnamese people; derogatory terms were commonplace.
South of the DMZ (05:36)
American soldiers fought in all four tactical zones of South Vietnam. Gen. Westmoreland prepared for NVA attempts on the two most northern provinces; Marines were within range of NVA firepower. John Musgrave recalls fighting in Con Thien.
War Equals Real Estate (06:56)
The NVA followed trails left by cigarette smoke. The M16 often malfunctioned for American soldiers; many died as a result. Musgrave hated and feared the NVA, and objectified the enemy. The Marines were often sent back to places they had already been.
Mass Casualties (04:38)
Harris and the 2nd Battalion moved into the southern half of the DMZ and were ambushed. Loc Khac Tam and his unit chased two American companies and outflanked them, but they lost many men.
South Vietnam Government (02:47)
Nguyen Van Thieu and Prime Minister Ky rivaled for political authority; Thieu became president and Ky vice president. Phan Quang Tue discusses political corruption.
War Support and Opposition (03:50)
War was not an issue for Eva Jefferson Paterson and fellow Northwestern University students. Jack Todd joined the Marines but had doubts about the war. Hear a recording of Johnson speaking with Everett Dirksen about ending bombing.
North Vietnamese Plan (05:38)
Vo Nguyen Giap and Ho Chi Minh waged a war of attrition while Soviet and Chinese patrons offered conflicting advice. Le Duan devised the General Offensive, General Uprising and neutralized those who opposed his plan.
Border Battles (05:14)
The NVA hoped to lure American and South Vietnamese soldiers away from big cities and bases; Con Thien was the first engagement. Musgrave and Harris recall the fear and destruction.
War Crimes (05:55)
Dennis Stout witnessed atrocities on the part of American troops in Vietnam; he recalls the rape and murder of a Vietnamese girl. Tiger Force killed scores of unarmed civilians in Song Ve Valley.
Antiwar Movement (07:02)
Major demonstrations occurred every spring and fall. Bill Zimmerman helped lead 50,000 people from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pentagon; President Johnson believed Communism was behind the demonstration. Pascal Poolaw was a decorated soldier and one of 42,000 Native Americans who served in Vietnam.
Wounded in Battle (09:49)
Musgrave recalls hearing the word hippie for the first time and hating war protestors. On November 7, 1967, he was shot during an ambush and triaged three times. John McCain was shot down over Hanoi and became a prisoner of war.
Battle of Dak To (11:52)
The NVA and Viet Cong continued a series of border battles and began amassing in the Central Highlands. Nguyen Thanh Son and his men engaged American troops on Hill 875; the battle featured in American news.
Success Offensive (04:30)
The Johnson Administration engaged in a PR campaign. Robert McNamara secretly advised Johnson against the course of action in Vietnam; Clark Clifford succeeded him. Sen. Eugene McCarthy announced his presidential candidacy.
Credits: This Is What We Do (July 1967-December 1967) (03:12)
Credits: This Is What We Do (July 1967-December 1967)
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