Chief Military Sergeant Max Bielke, Alexandria, Minnesota, was the last U.S. military to leave Vietnam on 3/29, when the role of U.S. forces officially ended. He is carrying a scroll given to him by a North Vietnamese supporter, Colonel Bu. Tin. Source: Bettmann / G
On March 29, 1973, the last troops withdrew from Vietnam, after years of trying to end the war. Richard Nikon was elected in 1968 in a campaign that promised peace. Prior to his inauguration, Nikon appointed Henry Cabot Lodge, the former ambassador to South Vietnam, as chief negotiator in the Paris peace talks on January 1, 1969, although he no longer had a role until the negotiations. will end. replaced by Henry Kissinger. Peace talks began on January 25th. However, EE. USA Another naval campaign began in Vietnam on January 22, just before the start of peace negotiations, Operation Dewey Canyon.
The action continued after peace talks began
The Viet Cong continued to attack. Source: (Pinterest)
On February 23, 1969, the Viet Cong attacked 110 targets in South Vietnam, including Saigon, and two days later the Marines were killed by the NVA in its camp near the demilitarized zone. In March, Nikon threatened to continue the attack in North Vietnam, in retaliation for Viet Cong actions. For the first time since 1968, in March, American troops launched an offensive in the demilitarized zone. The same month the US military. The United States has launched an investigation into the Mi Lai massacre, and Nikon has launched Operation Covert Bombing in Cambodia to attack supplies from North Vietnam.
Hamburger Hill. Source: (Ian Brown, Flickr)
At the end of April 1969, troops in Vietnam lost 43,400 soldiers, and the number of deaths exceeded the war in Korea. In May, New York Times He published a story about secret attacks in Cambodia, forcing Nikon to eavesdrop on the FBI to reveal the source of the leak. The anti-war feeling was fueled by a ten-day fight on “Hamburger Hill”, in which 46 were killed and 400 were wounded. Although the United States was going uphill, the commander ordered them to leave. Americans protested against senseless deaths. As morale declined, drug use became stronger among conscripts, and drug-related casualties began to outnumber combat casualties.
Nikon was still trying to end the war
Life Story Magazine Source: (Military Teams)
Nikon submitted a peace plan on May 14, 1969, but Hanoi rejected it. On June 27, Life published portraits of 242 soldiers killed the previous week, further fueling anti-war sentiment. In July, Nixon once again called on Ho Chi Minh to end the war, but Ho Chi Minh continued to repeat the demands of the coalition government of South Vietnam to allow Vietnam to participate. That month, Nikon withdrew 800 troops, with plans to withdraw in separate phases, and Nikon launched the “Nikon Doctrine,” which said the United States would only help countries fighting communism and would no longer take part in ground wars. . from Vietnam.
Peace meetings when soldiers withdraw
Rally at National Mall Source: (Pinterest)
Vietnam attacked again in August, targeting 150 targets in South Vietnam, Nikon ordered a reduction in calls and the withdrawal of 35,000 troops from Vietnam in September, but protests against the war continued. First lottery design From the beginning of World War II in December until the end of the year, American forces were reduced by a total of 115,000 people. Meanwhile, the number of South Vietnamese fighters would increase, a process called the Vietnamese.
The fight extends to Cambodia
Pol Pot. Source: (Nation of Freedom)
In 1970 in Cambodia, Prince Sihanouk, previously expelled, allied himself with Khmer, a group of Cambodian communists led by Pot Pot. The subsequent rule of Pol Pot resulted in the death of a quarter of the Cambodian population. To help Lon Noll fight Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot, U.S. forces combined with South Vietnam and invaded Cambodia. Nikon claimed that the invasion should accelerate the end of the war in Vietnam. However, more American protests broke out and on June 30, American troops withdrew from Cambodia. 350 soldiers were killed during the attack. On September 5, in Operation Jefferson Glen, the last American offensive began, and a month later, Nikon proposed a “standing” truce. The number of troops continued to decline and by the end of the year had dropped to 280,000.
Pentagon documents have been released
Daniel Ellsberg, whistleblower behind Pentagon documents. Source: (VBUR).
On January 4, 1971, Nikon announced that the end was near, however, two weeks later, NVA supplies in Laos and Cambodia were the target of heavy airstrikes and, as protests continued, the Capitol building in Washington was damaged by a bomb. In April, the death toll in the United States exceeded 45,000, and the last combat units of the navy left Vietnam. In 1971, a publication was also published The Pentagon Documents, Secret documents of the Ministry of Defense about Vietnam, which angered Nikon, who took it The New York Times the court and the case would end up in the Supreme Court. The court will decide in favor New York Times i Washington Post, two newspapers that published those documents; This would eventually lead to the creation of a list of people who considered themselves Nikon’s enemies. When it ended in 1971, Saigon released 3,000 prisoners of war in Viet Kong, U.S. ground troops actively refused to fight, and troop numbers continued to decline, but the United States bombed North Vietnamese military facilities.
Nikon’s peace proposal
South Vietnam begins bombing of Napalm. Source: (Nick Ut / The Vire)
Nikon proposed an eight-point peace plan in 1972, but North Vietnam rejected it and the United States boycotted the Paris peace talks. From March to September, the Easter tide followed, when 200,000 North Vietnamese soldiers tried to conquer the south. Nikon launched retaliation, including bombing the ports of Hanoi and Haiphong, and during an air strike by pilots from South Vietnam, Napalm bombs were dropped on civilians, including children. Fighting continued throughout 1972, and on August 23, the last combat troops left. North Vietnam suffered 100,000 casualties during the eastern offensive.
Final air strike
Hanoi Station after the bombing. Source: (Hoa Lo Museum / fpif.org)
The stalemate in peace talks ended when the two sides made concessions. However, President Thieu denied them and presented a list of 69 demands, and the peace talks failed. Richard Nikon threatened to resume negotiations in 72 hours and, when they failed to do so, launched another offensive, during which B-52 bombers bombed military targets in Hanoi for 11 days and nights, the most intense bombing of the entire war. , with more than 100,000 bombs dropped, killing 1,318 citizens.
In 1973, peace talks resumed and on January 27, 1973, both sides signed the Paris Peace Agreement, and the United States agreed to withdraw all military personnel within 60 days. The withdrawal was completed on March 29.
After they got home
When the soldiers returned from the war, they faced horrible treatment, from people shouting that they were instructive and that others were spitting in their faces. They did not have to deal only with the reaction of the public, but also with the lack of government support. They declared a lack of gastrointestinal benefits, from medical care to educational support. Veterinarians also faced discrimination when applying for a job. The media also introduced stereotypes about the Vietnamese homeless veteran in movies like Deer hunter i First blood.
Although the protests may not have resulted in the immediate withdrawal from Vietnam, which the protesters wanted, in part because of difficulties in achieving peace, they may have a lasting effect in other ways as recruitment was not held by Vietnam and increased. interest in nonviolent solutions.