In this week’s research, I discovered an article that I have just cracked the surface of throughout the course of this week, and I think it will be very helpful to my research. The article discusses events leading up to the fall of the South Vietnamese. I read that North Vietnam had suffered approximately 50,000 casualties during the Tet Offensive along with many more in the spring of 1972. The North Vietnamese were in desperate need of an opportunity to recover following these blows to their army. The South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, jumped on this opportunity, taking control of as much territory as possible. This strategy left the South Vietnamese very spread out and in poor position to defend against a North Vietnamese attack. These factors, combined with the withdrawing support of U.S. and increasing inflation, led to a North Vietnamese attack in 1975 that lasted a short three weeks killing or capturing more than 3,000 South Vietnamese troops. Also very crucial to the eventual defeat of the South Vietnamese, millions of dollars of supplies were lost to the enemy.
In addition, I found a great bit of information from my last reading that provided me with information of ways in which people were trying to avoid the hardship to come, by way of the North Vietnamese control. Van Es discussed a photograph that I could not find, but his description of it helped display the significance of the events that were soon to take place following the evacuation of Saigon. The photograph was of many Vietnamese in the streets, burning papers that showed any ties they had to the U.S. Also, he said he saw a mother passing her baby over barbed wire in hopes of a safer future. This further exemplifies the desperation at this time. I was excited to find more examples of South Vietnamese citizens’ attempts to avoid what was coming, because I feel that it greatly enhances the clarity of the fear that is shown by the long line of people hoping to board the helicopter in the photograph I am researching. Any further examples of South Vietnamese citizens trying to lessen the blow of the North, or avoid it all together, would be greatly appreciated (preferably photos).