Saigon Evacuation Post 6

In the past week of reading George Veith’s book “Black April”, I completed most of the research I feel is needed, before I focus my time on the early 1975 period. It is important for me to efficiently analyze the financial situations and South Vietnam’s drastic need for U.S. involvement.
This week’s research informed me on the financial issues occurring prior to the collapse of Saigon and Nguyen Van Thieu’s (President of the Republic of Vietnam) frustration with the U.S. Despite Thieu’s goals of an investment in the nation’s resources, the South Vietnamese economy shrank to much lower levels than before. The peak of this economic depression came in 1973, as a result of the Arab Oil Embargo, through greatly increased gas prices. In 1974, U.S. Congress shrunk the aid program just as the threat of Communism began to grow stronger. This led to a public protest by Thieu against the aid cuts, along with the spread of his opinion that America was abandoning South Vietnam. Later, in a speech on June 6, 1974, Thieu emphasized that a strong military would make the communists realize that they could not win. Thieu believed that this was the only way that the Communists would view negotiation as a serious option. Thieu referenced America’s financial support to Europe after World War II and South Korea after poor circumstances. He also used comments from the Paris Peace Accords to condemn America. One of these comments was that the U.S. would “react vigorously…” but these promises have “been forgotten”.
The aid situation reached even lower depths in early August, 1974. The U.S. House voted to assist with only $700 million of the $1 billion authorized. This $700 million would then be reduced to $500 million after the cost of the DAO (Defense Attaché Office) was factored in. John Murray, Major General and DAO commander at the time for America, believed this $700 million investment would unlikely be enough to stop a full-scale attack. Murray was even more outraged when he discovered that the U.S. would not be supplying the $22 million of ammunition that Vietnam had been promised.
This week’s research will be effective in my paper, as it gives a depiction of the significance that America held in the view of Thieu and South Vietnam. The devaluing economy, along with constant decrease in American financial compensation, increased suspicions to the eventual dreaded Fall of Saigon.

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One thought on “Saigon Evacuation Post 6

  1. Dayton,

    This is an excellent post. I’m glad you read this book. Here’s my question to you. Do you think the US abandoned S. Vietnam? Did the South Vietnamese government demonstrate enough progress to make it worthwhile for the US government to continue its support?

    Nice job!

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