? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Australia and the Vietnam War..?

Just wondering why and how Australia become involved in the Vietnam War? Just a short summary will do.

I'm not asking you to do my homework or something if that's what you're thinking, I'm just doing an assignment relating to it and thought that knowing this particular answer would help.

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  • Mary
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War was driven largely by the rise of communism in Southeast Asia after the Second World War, and the fear of its spread which developed in Australia during the 1950s and early 1960s.[4] Following the end of the Second World War the French had sought to reassert control over French Indochina. In 1950 as the communist-backed Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh, began to gain the ascendency in the First Indochina War, the Vietnamese nation had two parallel administrations; the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) (recognised by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China), and the State of Vietnam (SoV), an associated state in the French Union (recognised by the non-communist world). In 1954, after the defeat of the French at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the Geneva Accords of 1954 split the country geographically, with the DRV to the north of the 17th parallel and the SoV in the south.[5]

    The Geneva Accords imposed a deadline of July 1956 for the governments of the two Vietnams to hold elections, with a view to uniting the country under one government.[6] In 1955, Ngo Dinh Diem, the prime minister of the State of Vietnam, deposed the head of state Bảo Đại in a fraudulent referendum and declared himself President of the newly proclaimed Republic of Vietnam.[7] He then refused to take part in the elections, claiming that the communist north would engage in election fraud and that as a result they would win because they had more people. After this deadline passed, the military commanders in the North began preparing an invasion of the South.[6] Over the course of the late 1950s and early 1960s this invasion took root in a campaign of insurgency, subversion and sabotage in the South employing guerilla warfare tactics.[8]

    In September 1957, Diem visited Australia and was given strong support by both the ruling Liberal Party of Australia of Prime Minister Robert Menzies and the opposition Australian Labor Party. Diem was particularly feted by the Catholic community, as he pursued policies that discriminated in favour of the Catholic minority in his country and gave special powers to the Catholic Church.[9]

    By 1962 the situation in South Vietnam had become bad enough that Diem submitted a request for assistance to the United States and its allies in order to counter the growing insurgency and the threat that it posed to South Vietnam's security. Following this the US began to send a large number of advisors to provide tactical and logistical advice to the South Vietnamese. At the same time, the US sought to increase the legitimacy of the South Vietnamese government by instituting the Many Flags program, hoping to counter the communist propaganda that South Vietnam was merely a US puppet state[10] and to involve as many nations as possible. Thus Australia, as an ally of the United States with obligations under the SEATO and ANZUS Pacts, and in the hope of shoring up its alliance with the US, became involved in the Vietnam War.[11] Between 1962 and 1972 it would send almost 60,000 personnel to Vietnam, including ground troops, naval forces and air assets and would contribute large amounts of material to the war effort.[3]

    Source(s): google
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    The ANZUS treaty for one because the Americans asked for Australia's help. Also, America was puppeteering Diem, South Vietnam's PM, the Americans got him to ask Australia to become involved because Australia didn't want to join a civil war unless South Vietnam asked for help.

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