South Vietnam's struggle

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South Vietnam's struggle

Post  kosovohp on Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:10 am

To support South Vietnam's struggle against the communist insurgency, the United States began increasing its contribution of military advisers. US forces became embroiled in ground combat operations in 1965 and at their peak they numbered more than 500,000.[24][25] Communist forces attacked most major targets in South Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive, and although their campaign failed militarily, it shocked the American establishment, and caused them to think that the communists could not be defeated.[26] Communist forces supplying the Vietcong carried supplies along the Ho Chi Minh trail, which passed through Laos and Cambodia. US president Richard Nixon authorized Operation Menu, an SAC bombing campaign in Laos and Cambodia, which he kept secret from the US Congress.[27][28]

Its own casualties mounting, and facing opposition to the war at home and condemnation abroad, the U.S. began withdrawing from ground combat roles according to the Nixon Doctrine; the process was subsequently called Vietnamization. The effort had mixed results. The Paris Peace Accords of 27 January 1973, formally recognized the sovereignty of Vietnam "as recognized by the 1954 Geneva Agreements." Under the terms of the accords all American combat troops were withdrawn by 29 March 1973. Limited fighting continued, before the north captured the province of Phuoc Long in December 1974 and started a full-scale offensive, culminating in the Fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. South Vietnam briefly came under the nominal rule of a Provisional Revolutionary Government while under military occupation by North Vietnam. On 2 July 1976, North and South were merged to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

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