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Ch 6: Major Battles & Offensives of the Vietnam War

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons and learn about the Battle of Ap Bac, the Tet Offensive, the My Lai massacre and more. Take the short quizzes that accompany each lesson to track your progress.

Major Battles & Offensives of the Vietnam War - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Let instructors show you some of the strategies behind major offensives launched by the U.S. as well as North and South Vietnamese forces. You can also learn about the cost of these campaigns in terms of human casualties and analyze their impact on the course of the war. This chapter can teach you about:

  • Initial clashes between South Vietnamese forces and the National Liberation Front (NLF)
  • Outcomes of early engagements between the U.S., the NLF and the People's Army of Vietnam
  • Objectives of the North Vietnamese's major offensives
  • The effectiveness of U.S. search-and-destroy operations

Video Objectives
The Battle of Ap Bac: Causes and Impacts Discuss the first major engagement between the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front.
U.S. Marine Corps vs. the National Liberation Front: Operation Starlite Examine the outcomes of the U.S. Marine Corps' first engagement with the National Liberation Front.
Battle for the La Drang Valley: The U.S. Army vs. the People's Army of Vietnam Analyze the first major American battle of the Vietnam War, which witnessed fighting between the U.S. and the People's Army of Vietnam.
Operation Masher/White Wing: Description, Phases & Strategies Investigate the effectiveness of one of the larger operations to employ the search-and-destroy strategy.
Operation Junction City: Airborne Engagement During the Vietnam War Study the Vietnam War's only airborne engagement.
The Tet Offensive: The First Major Offensive from North Vietnam Analyze North Vietnam's first major offensive and its preliminary siege at Khe Sanh. Outline the objectives of North Vietnamese forces.
The My Lai Massacre: Causes and Significance Survey causes of the American-led massacre at the My Lai hamlet.
The Easter Offensive of 1972: North Vietnam Attacks the South Examine the second major offensive conducted by the North Vietnamese against South Vietnam.

10 Lessons in Chapter 6: Major Battles & Offensives of the Vietnam War
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Major Battles & Offensives of the Vietnam War: Learning Objectives & Activities

1. Major Battles & Offensives of the Vietnam War: Learning Objectives & Activities

This chapter will teach about the major battles that took place during the Vietnam War. You can use the key questions and learning activities to apply your knowledge after watching the lessons.

The Battle of Ap Bac: Causes and Impacts

2. The Battle of Ap Bac: Causes and Impacts

The Battle of Ap Bac in 1963 is considered the first major encounter between the North and South Vietnamese armies. Explore the causes and impacts by looking at the planning phase, the battle itself, and how mixed information contributed to the credibility gap of media reports coming out of Vietnam.

US Marine Corps vs the National Liberation Front: Operation Starlite

3. US Marine Corps vs the National Liberation Front: Operation Starlite

There is a significant duality between the U.S Marine Corps and the National Liberation Front. Learn more about Operation Starlite and the ensuing battle between the divisions.

Battle for the Ia Drang Valley: The US Army vs The People's Army of Vietnam

4. Battle for the Ia Drang Valley: The US Army vs The People's Army of Vietnam

The Battle for the Ia Drang Valley in 1965 was the first confrontation between the People's Army of Vietnam and the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Learn about the planning phase and outcome of the Battle for the Ia Drang Valley.

Operation Masher/White Wing: Description, Phases & Strategies

5. Operation Masher/White Wing: Description, Phases & Strategies

During the Vietnam War, search-and-destroy was a military tactic that sought to find enemies, destroy them quickly, and withdraw immediately. Review Operation Masher/White Wing's description, phases, and strategies to learn more about this tactic. Understand how long the operation lasted, why it had two names, and the results it produced.

Operation Junction City: Airborne Engagement During the Vietnam War

6. Operation Junction City: Airborne Engagement During the Vietnam War

At the height of the Vietnam War in 1967, the United States implemented a large-scale, search-and-destroy campaign, 'Operation Junction City', against an insurgent force in the northern part of the country. Learn the planning of the operation, the execution of its phases, and the outcomes of three major airborne engagements during the operation.

The Tet Offensive: The First Major Offensive from North Vietnam

7. The Tet Offensive: The First Major Offensive from North Vietnam

The Tet Offensive was the United States' first major military campaign from North Vietnam. Learn how the offensive was defined, explore its planning and execution, and discover its long-term impact on the war and the region.

The My Lai Massacre: Causes and Significance

8. The My Lai Massacre: Causes and Significance

The My Lai Massacre occurred during the Vietnam War and involved the murder of 300 Vietnamese civilians. Learn about the causes and significance of the My Lai Massacre and discover the events of that day and the initial report and investigation.

Primary Source: Ron Ridenhour's Letter about the My Lai Massacre

9. Primary Source: Ron Ridenhour's Letter about the My Lai Massacre

Of all the controversies of the Vietnam War, none were greater than the My Lai Massacre in 1968. American soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians, including women, children, and infants.

The Easter Offensive of 1972: North Vietnam Attacks the South

10. The Easter Offensive of 1972: North Vietnam Attacks the South

In 1972, North Vietnam attacked South Vietnam in the Easter Offensive. Dive into the background of the Easter Offensive and Vietnam's 'all or nothing' mentality and learn about the United States' response and the aftermath for Vietnam.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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