In this week’s research, I have just begun to crack the surface of a book entitled “Black April”. This book gives very detailed descriptions of what took place in the dark days of the war, leading up to the collapse of Saigon. The descriptions given in this book have already proven to be a great help in research I will use for my paper, as it goes much more in depth in the events that it describes compared to my other articles.
The first few pages of this book give a general understanding of the efforts in which the General Staff of the United States focused on. These included developing a strategic plan and updating that plan regularly, directing combat operations to slowly reduce the enemy’s control of territory, and sending necessary guidance and supplies to South Vietnam to build strength.
By 1973, the U.S. forces had been withdrawn from South Vietnam, and the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces was given a new list of goals. These goals primarily included recovering territory that was previously lost to the Communists and rebuilding troop units that had been weakened during 1972. There was a great sense of urgency, as the communist had established military positions significantly closer to the major cities than ever before. In order to make up for this undesirable circumstance, the South Vietnamese increased their Regional Forces battalions from 189 to 339, along with an increase in popular forces and local police.
In 1974 Nguyen Van Thieu, President of South Vietnam, had reached his tolerance limit in regards to communist attacks. He delivered a speech in Can Tho on January 4, 1974 in which he declared a new attitude for the war. as he was unable to continue to watch the communist destroy South Vietnams’ infrastructure, steal their crops, and harass them militarily. He described in his speech a renewed passion for the war and stated, “The war has begun again”.
It was not my intention to spend so much time discussing and analyzing the years prior to the Fall of Saigon. I had initially intended to spend my time focusing on the months leading up to the collapse. I still plan to do this, but I feel the information I have discovered in the early chapters of my reading will prove to be relevant to my paper, even though they were not as close to the time frame as I had originally hoped.
Veith, George. Black April. New York. Encounter Books, 2012. Print.