I’ve seen a few Vietnam history posts over the years including an incorrect exit date memorial. As someone who served during this time, I’ve talked with enlisted and officers who served in Vietnam. I’ve taken a deep interest in the history. Ken Burns has done an excellent series on Vietnam, but it by no means is the last word.
+++ Operation Frequent Wind, was executed by the Marine Corps & Navy evacuation of South Vietnam – 29 April 1975. They moved over 50,000 people. Operation Frequent Wind was made late morning, 29 April 1975, Saigon. +++
The Vietnam War was a complicated extended conflict. Essentially the war we speak about began when the Japanese attacked China. After the Japanese defeat in WWII, it left a power vacuum in the region. This set the stage for a conflict lasting about 30 years.
After a 1963 generals’ coup against President Diem, the United States increased its military support for South Vietnam. President Johnson sent the first official U.S. combat forces to Vietnam in March of 1965. American military manpower peaked in 1969 with an in-country force of 534,000.
The Vietnam War officially ended in April 1975. It’s sometimes called the Second Indochina War or the American War. US combat and combat support operations ceased after January 1973. 21 January 1975 – Asked at a press conference if there were circumstances under which the United States might again actively participate in the Vietnam War U.S. President Gerald Ford said, “I cannot foresee any at the moment.” 28 January 1975 – President Ford asked Congress for an additional $522 million in military aid to assist South Vietnam and Cambodia. Ford said that North Vietnam now had 289,000 troops in South Vietnam and large numbers of tanks, artillery, and anti-aircraft weapons. Congress did not appropriate the money.
“The North Vietnamese army (PAVN) launched their Spring Offensive in March 1975. The South Vietnamese army (ARVN) was quickly defeated. The communist North Vietnamese captured Saigon on April 30, accepting the surrender of South Vietnam. In the final days of the war, the United States, which had supported South Vietnam for many years, carried out an emergency evacuation of its civilian and military personnel and more than 130,000 Vietnamese.
*1 General Giap has published his memoirs and confirmed what most Americans knew. The Vietnam war was not lost in Vietnam — it was lost at home.
“We paid a high price [during the TET offensive] but so did you [Americans]… not only in lives and material…. Do not forget the war was brought into the living rooms of the American people. … The most important result of the TET offensive was it made you deescalate the bombing, and it brought you to the negotiation table.”
“It was, therefore, a victory….” “The war was fought on many fronts. At that time the most important one was American public opinion.”
°≡≡° “What we still don’t understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi .. You had us on the ropes. If you had pressed us a little harder, just for another day or two, we were ready to surrender! It was the same at the battle of TET. you defeated us! We knew it, and we thought you knew it.” °∙··°
“But we were elated to notice your media was helping us. They were causing more disruption in America than we could in the battlefields. We were ready to surrender. You had won!” «──
The first phase of the Southeast Asia operation was called Operation Eagle Pull. It was the United States military evacuation by air of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, beginning on 12 April 1975. Ambassador John Gunther Dean called for the evacuation of Americans from the city.
This is a 4 minute video on the fall of Saigon, 30 April 1975
Notes ——- *1 Snopes claims this is an incorrect quote. Sorry Snopes, I think you got it wrong this time. This information was previously publicly published. Did Vietnamese general Vo Nguyen Giap’s memoirs pin U.S. defeat in Vietnam on American anti-war reporting?