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The Vietnam War

  • Joined May 2021
  • Published Books 1

The Vietnam War

 

table of contents:

 

Background

The Conflict

Influencing Artists

Most Popular Songs

What did the Soldiers listen to?

The End of the War

 

 

by Ohad Gilboa

 

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The Vietnam War by Ohad Gilboa - Ourboox.com

Background

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975.

It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam.

 

North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies;

South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, and other anti-communist allies.

 

The war, considered a Cold War-era proxy war by some, lasted 19 years, with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, which ended with all three countries becoming communist in 1975.

 

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The Vietnam War by Ohad Gilboa - Ourboox.com

The significance of the Vietnam war lies in the fact that a country that had been barely known to most Americans came to define an era.

 

Vietnam was a battleground in the Cold War when the United States and the Soviet Union grappled for world domination. The USA was afraid that communism would spread to South Vietnam and then the rest of Asia. It decided to send money, supplies, and military advisers to help the South Vietnamese Government.

 

By war’s end, North and South Vietnam would be reunited, but at great cost. The end results in Vietnam were that its entirety became communist.

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The Vietnam War by Ohad Gilboa - Ourboox.com

The Conflict

Vietnam War protests began small among peace activists and leftist intellectuals on college campuses but gained national prominence in 1965 after the United States began bombing North Vietnam in earnest.

 

As time went by Massive gatherings of anti-war demonstrators helped bring attention to the public resentment of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

 

Peace movement leaders opposed the war on moral and economic grounds. The North Vietnamese, they argued, were fighting a patriotic war to rid themselves of foreign aggressors. Innocent Vietnamese peasants were being killed in the crossfire. Moreover, many U.S soldiers died in Vietnam, in the name of Capitalism and not to defend the security of the U.S

 

Famous Quote from the protests:

“One! Two! Three! Four! We don’t want your f#[email protected] war!”
Anti-war chant, first reported in 1969

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Why were so many songs written about the war?

Music is an effective way of protest due to it being a peaceful way of giving out your thoughts and opinions in the form of songs and good sounds, not harsh screams and rants.

 

Plus, the Sixties in America, was a unique time when music really influenced society’s way of life and changed the world. It was legitimate to try and create a change through music these days.

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The Vietnam War by Ohad Gilboa - Ourboox.com

Main leading artists against the war

 

Simon and Garfinkel – 7 o’clock News, trying to make the listeners feel the absurd between the peaceful song and the news that is in the background and just getting louder during the song.

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Main leading artists against the war

 

Bob Dylan – Blowin in the Wind, has been described as a protest song and poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war, and freedom.

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Main leading artists against the war

 

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun, the animals transposed their own narrative onto the lyrics – it became about a man whose father was a drunken gambler. However, the song struck a chord with the troops in vietnam and formed an indelible association with that conflict.

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More Famous Songs Associated With the Vietnam War

 

All Along the Watchtower – Bob Dylan / Jimi Hendrix

 

Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones

 

Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival

 

For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield

 

Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding

 

We’ve Gotta Get Out of this Place – The Animals

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What did the soldiers listen to?

The U.S soldiers wanted to come back home safely, they had to keep their morale high and Believe in their righteousness in some way.

Realizing, of course, that every soldier had their own special song that helped bring them home, these are the 10 most mentioned songs by the U.S Vietnam veterans:

  • Green Green Grass of Home by Porter Wagoner
  • Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin
  • The Letter by The Box Tops
  • (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
  • Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR)
  • Purple Haze by Jim Hendrix Experience
  • Detroit City by Bobby Bare
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane by Peter, Paul and Mary
  • I Feel Like I’m Fixin to Die Rag by Country Joe & The Fish
  • We Gotta Get Out of This Place by The Animals
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Who won and how did it influence the artists?

in 1969, the U.S president, Nixon, pointed out that he had already ordered the withdrawal of 60,000 U.S. troops. Concurrently, he had issued orders to provide the South Vietnamese with more modern equipment and weapons and increased the advisory effort, all as part of the “Vietnamization” program.

 

As Nixon was holding his press conference, troops from the U.S. 25th Infantry Division (less the Second Brigade) began departing from Vietnam.

Nixon’s pronouncements that the war was ending proved premature.

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The Vietnam War by Ohad Gilboa - Ourboox.com

Who won and how did it influence the artists?

Although Nixon did continue to decrease American troop strength in South Vietnam, the fighting continued. In 1972, the North Vietnamese launched a massive invasion of South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese forces reeled under the attack but eventually prevailed with the help of U.S. airpower. After extensive negotiations and the bombing of North Vietnam in December 1972, the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973. Under the provisions of the Accords, U.S. forces were completely withdrawn.

 

Unfortunately, this did not end the war for the Vietnamese and the fighting continued until April 1975 when Saigon fell to the communists…

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The Vietnam War by Ohad Gilboa - Ourboox.com

Who won and how did it influence the artists?

The U.S. Army reported 58, 177 losses in Vietnam, the South Vietnamese 223, 748. This comes to less than 300,000 losses. The North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong, however, are said to have lost more than a million soldiers and two million civilians. In terms of body count, the U.S. and South Vietnam won a clear victory. In addition, just about every North Vietnamese offensive was crushed.

But, still, the U.S. is considered to be the loser of the war!

 

The American public was outraged that its soldiers were dying. The people were protesting against the government’s justifications for the war.

The government claimed that it was building democracy and infrastructure for South Vietnam. But eventually, Vietnam ended up being concurred and fell to the communists, as mentioned earlier.

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The Vietnam War by Ohad Gilboa - Ourboox.com

Who won and how did it influence the artists?

So, it came to be that after losing thousands of soldiers and money, half a world away on a war for one of the most insignificant places on Earth (in terms of resources and size), the United States of America withdrew its men in uniform because its people said so…

 

The voice of the artists was making a difference and the power of the people made the decisions in the U.S eventually.

 

 

 

 

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