The Vietnam War  
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Vietnam War Quiz

Quiz 1

1.  Name the anti-communist military alliance organized by John Foster Dulles in 1954 to promote U.S. interests in this region of the world.

2.  Which university in 1970 witnessed the first killing of U.S. student protesters?

3.  What did President Nixon call his policy to replace U.S. ground troops with South Vietnamese?

4.  Ho Chi Minh modeled the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam's 1946 statement of national independence after which country's?

5.  Which country provided up to 80% of the cost of France's military effort to restore its colonial rule in 1946-54?

6. Name the lengthy North Vietnamese supply route that started in the north and ended in South Vietnam.

7.  Lt. William Calley Jr. was convicted of leading a massacre of South Vietnamese men, women and children in what village?

8.  What is the popular name given the 1964 congressional resolution giving President Johnson a proxy for a formal declaration of war?

9.  Name the 1968 communist military campaign that turned U.S. public opinion decisively against the war.

10. What is the popular name given the harmful defoliant used by U.S. forces during the conflict?

11. Name the psychological impairment of troops that used to be called shell shock or battle fatigue.

12. What was the name given President Eisenhower's theory claiming if Vietnam fell, other countries would soon follow?

13. What was the site of the peace talks between the U.S. and North Vietnam that produced the treaty leading to U.S. withdrawal from the war in 1973?

14. By what measure did the U.S. Military Advisory Command measure progress in its war plan?

15. What is the name given to the U.S. bombing campaign that significantly widened the war in 1965?

16. What 1954 international agreement brought an end to the French Indochina War and called for general elections to reunify North and South Vietnam in 1956?


  1. Southeast Treaty Organization (SEATO)
  2. Kent State;
  3. Vietnamization;
  4. USA;
  5. USA;
  6. Ho Chi Minh Trail;
  7. My Lai;
  8. Tonkin Gulf Resolution;
  9. Tet Offensive;
  10. Agent Orange;
  11. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder;
  12. Domino theory;
  13. Paris;
  14. a "body count";
  15. Operation Rolling Thunder;
  16. Geneva Agreement.

Quiz 2

1. What event in 1963 probably had the greatest effect on the future of the Vietnam War?

2. What resolution, named after a body of water, formed the legal underpinning of U.S. military action in Vietnam?

3. What three-word expression (the middle word is "and") described the basic military tactic used by U.S. and South Vietnamese troops against the Vietcong?

4. What was the main system of Communist supply routes called?

5. What major action starting Jan. 30, 1968 - a Vietnamese holiday - dramatically changed the character of the war?

6. Whom did Seymour Hersh describe as "a mild-mannered, boyish- looking Vietnam combat veteran with the nickname of Rusty?"

7. Who declared April 5, 1971 to be "American fighting man's day" in Georgia?

8. What demoralizing documents began to run in the New York Times on June 13, 1971?


1. Possible answers:

a.  The murder of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem by South Vietnamese military officers, who was the one South Vietnamese leader with nationalist credentials.
b.  The assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara has written: "I think it highly probable that, had President Kennedy lived, he would have pulled us out of Vietnam." Lyndon Johnson's predecessor, assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, consistently rejected memos calling for a greater U.S. combat presence.  At the end of the Kennedy years, U.S. casualties numbered 109. Presidents Johnson and Nixon raised the ante to 58,132.

2. U.S. President Lyndon Johnson acquired what he regarded as the legal authority to escalate the war in August 1964 when Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in response to two North Vietnamese gunboat attacks, in the gulf, on the U.S. Destroyer Maddox and the C. Turner Joy. Whether these attacks were real or exaggerated is a historical controversy in its own right.

The resolution, giving Johnson permission to "take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression," passed both houses of Congress by a 502-2 margin.

3. "Search and destroy."

4. The Vietcong received supplies largely through the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which ran along the border through Laos and Cambodia.

5. At the beginning of the Vietnamese lunar new year - Tet - the North launched what became called the Tet Offensive, a huge simultaneous assault on dozens of cities in the South, including the capital, Saigon, and the second-most populous city, Hue.  The North may have lost as many as 60,000 soldiers as compared to about a thousand U.S. casualties and two thousand South Vietnamese, but it won a major public relations victory. It was clear that there was no “light at the end of the tunnel,” as military authorities had claimed.

6. That was how reporter Seymour Hersh described William L. Calley, the 26-year-old lieutenant in charge of the massacre of at least 109 Vietnamese civilians living in the hamlet of My Lai 4.

7. In response to Calley's court martial at Fort Benning, the state of Georgia, whose governor was Jimmy Carter, declared a day of protest.

8. On that day The New York Times ran the first installment of what were known as the Pentagon Papers, a classified history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam supplied to the press by former Pentagon official Daniel Ellsberg. The documents left no doubt that the authorities deceived and misinformed the public about the real progress of the war.

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