History of the Vietnam War: depicting Australia's involvement

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The Growth of Internationalism

"Why did Australia involve itself in the Vietnam War? Was it a War fully supported by the Australian public?"

Background to the Conflict in Vietnam

The Vietnam War also known as the Second Indochina War was a conflict between North Vietnam, allied with the Viet Cong against South Vietnam, and their allies--the United States. The French had taken over Indochina by the end of the 1880's; these included the countries of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. In 1954, at the United Nations Geneva Conference, decisions were taking place to divide the country at the "seventeenth parallel of latitude" and to hold elections two years later to decide whether or not the country of Vietnam should be reunited. The election that was to take place in 1956 was never held, due to the government in the "South fearing that the result would be a reunified one" North Vietnam had a communist government whose leader was Ho Chi Minh while South Vietnam had a Capitalist government led by Ngo Binh Diem.

During the 1960s, the Americans were extremely concerned with ending Communist regimes around the world in particularly in the Soviet Union and China.

After the conclusion of World War II and until 1955, France fought hard to regain their former territories in the region, but with a badly organized army and little determination among the troops, their efforts were soon shattered. The French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu on the 8th of May 1954 by the Communist general Vo Nguyen Giap. Between 1955 and 1960, the North Vietnamese with the assistance of the Southern Communists, tried to take over the government in South Vietnam, and in November 1963 President Diem was overthrown and executed. The following year, the North Vietnamese began planning to conquer...