Vietnam War Quiz

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Question 1
What was the name given to communist insurgents fighting in South Vietnam?

A
The People’s Army of Vietnam
B
The Viet Cong
C
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
D
Khmer Rouge
Question 1 Explanation: 
The name Viet Cong was an abbreviated name that came from the Vietnamese word for communist. The People’s Army was the regular army of North Vietnam. The Army of the Republic of Vietnam was the South’s official military force. The Khmer Rouge were Cambodia communists.
Question 2
Which incident in 1964 led the United States to send more troops to Vietnam?

A
The Battle of Dien Bien Phu
B
The Partition of Vietnam
C
The Gulf of Tonkin incident
D
The Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem
Question 2 Explanation: 
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident occurred in August 1964, when three North Vietnamese torpedo boats allegedly attacked the destroyer USS Maddox with machine guns and torpedoes. Only a single bullet struck the Maddox, which fired almost 300 shells at the attackers. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which gave Johnson the authority to deploy more troops to Vietnam.
Question 3
Which aerial bombardment campaign in 1972 involved the largest number of heavy bomber raids by the American Air Force since World War II?

A
Rolling Thunder
B
Arc Light
C
Operation Crossbow
D
Linebacker II
Question 3 Explanation: 
Operation Linebacker II was an attempt to bring the North Vietnamese back to negotiations. B-52 bombers attacked targets near Hanoi and Haiphong. More than 15,000 tons of bomb were dropped and more than 80 US aircraft were shot down.
Question 4
US forces used which chemical agent to defoliate large swaths of Vietnam?

A
Agent Orange
B
White Phosphorous
C
DDT
D
Napalm
Question 4 Explanation: 
The US experimented with various herbicides and defoliants at the end of World War II and during the 1950s. US armed forces sprayed 20 million gallons of Agent Orange in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The goal was to deprive insurgents of food and cover. Millions of Vietnamese civilians fell ill after being exposed to Agent Orange, which is also linked to health problems in US veterans.
Question 5
As part of the Vietnam War, the United States also bombed what other Southeast Asian country?

A
Cambodia
B
Laos
C
Korea
D
A & B
Question 5 Explanation: 
Vietnamese insurgents often took refuge in Cambodia and Laos. They also used created trails in these countries to reinforce and resupply their troops in Vietnam. US forces bombed these areas in an effort to hinder the insurgents, even though Cambodia was neutral.
Question 6
Which town was the location of an infamous war crime where American forces slaughtered Vietnamese civilians in 1968?

A
My Lai
B
Khe San
C
Dien Bien Phu
D
No Gun Rhi
Question 6 Explanation: 
Soldiers from the 23rd Infantry entered the village of Mai Lai and massacred at least 347 Vietnamese civilians. Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offenses, but only 2nd Lt. William Calley was convicted. He was sentenced to life in prison, but Nixon issued a pardon that reduced his sentence.
Question 7
Which 1969 battle resulted in US forces capturing terrain with little strategic value and then abandoning it?

A
Khe San
B
Hamburger Hill
C
Dien Bien Phu
D
Tet Offensive
Question 7 Explanation: 
In 1969, more than 1,800 paratroopers and US marines attacked heavily fortified positions on Hamburger Hill (also known as Hill 937). The North Vietnamese defenders repulsed several assaults although US forces eventually captured the hill. More than 400 soldiers were killed or wounded, but the hill was eventually abandoned because it had little strategic importance.
Question 8
Which battle resulted in the withdrawal of French forces from Vietnam in 1954?

A
Khe San
B
Ap Bac
C
Dien Bien Phu
D
Hue
Question 8 Explanation: 
The French created a garrison of more than 16,000 troops at Dien Bien Phu, including paratroopers, Legionnaires, and colonial tirailleurs. The Viet Minh insurgents surrounded the fortress and bombarded it with artillery. They used anti-aircraft guns to prevent resupply and reinforcement by air. Eventually, the Viet Minh overwhelmed the defenders and captured more than 11,000 French troops. The humiliating defeat forced the French to withdraw.
Question 9
Which statesman served as president of the Republic of Vietnam between 1955 and 1963?

A
Bao Dai
B
Ho Chi Minh
C
Ngo Dinh Diem
D
Nguyen van Thieu
Question 9 Explanation: 
Diem took power after a fraudulent election in 1955. Diem was a Catholic and persecuted Buddhists — the majority religion in South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese army launched a coup against Diem in 1963 and he was assassinated.
Question 10
Which of the following Cold War policies held that if one country became communist, all the other adjacent nations would be threatened as well?

A
Domino Theory
B
Mutually assured destruction
C
Rollback
D
Détente
Question 10 Explanation: 
President Dwight D. Eisenhower introduced the domino theory in 1954, when he said that knocking over one domino would cause the others to topple very quickly. Mutually assured destruction governed the use of nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Détente was a thaw in relations between the US/USSR. Rollback was an attempt to undermine communist regimes and replace them with US allies.
Question 11
Which president coined the term “silent majority”?

A
Dwight D. Eisenhower
B
John F. Kennedy
C
Lyndon B. Johnson
D
Richard M. Nixon
Question 11 Explanation: 
Nixon gave a speech in 1969 that urged members of the “silent majority” to express their support for him. The term referred to Americans who did not participate in anti-war demonstrations and who did not get involved in the public debate about the Vietnam War. Working class and middle class Americans in the suburbs and rural areas were thought to comprise the “silent majority.”
Question 12
Which of the following methods did anti-war activists use to voice their opposition to the Vietnam War?

A
Organizing large protests.
B
Burning draft cards.
C
Writing anti-war songs.
D
All of the above.
Question 12 Explanation: 
After protesters began burning their draft cards, Johnson signed a bill that made it a crime to destroy them. Anti-war protests spread across the country, and several hundred thousand marched on Washington D.C. in 1969 to voice their opposition to the war. Influential musicians wrote anti-war songs as well, including “Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die” (Country Joe & the Fish) and “Give Peace a Chance” (John Lennon).
Question 13
Which battle in 1963 resulted in a small Viet Cong force repulsing an attack by a large South Vietnamese army group that included armored personnel carriers and helicopters?

A
Ap Bac
B
Khe San
C
Hue
D
Ia Drang
Question 13 Explanation: 
In the Battle of AP Bac, more than 1,500 South Vietnamese troops attacked a Viet Cong force of about 350. The Viet Cong held their ground against infantry and APC assaults. It was a major victory for the Viet Cong and a humiliating defeat for the South Vietnamese.
Question 14
Which battle in 1965 was an inconclusive engagement between US air cavalry forces and North Vietnamese troops.

A
Khe San
B
Hue
C
Ia Drang
D
Xuan Loc
Question 14 Explanation: 
The Battle of IA Drang was the first major battle between the United States Army and the People's Army of Vietnam. Helicopters inserted American forces into LZ X-RAY. US and North Vietnamese forces both suffered heavy losses, and each side claimed victory.
Question 15
The Tet Offensive had which of the following consequences?

A
It led to the capture of Saigon.
B
It resulted in heavy casualties for the Viet Cong.
C
It undermined public support for the Vietnam War in the US.
D
B & C
Question 15 Explanation: 
Although the Viet Cong initially achieved some success during the Tet Offensive, they sustained more than 100,000 casualties. Although the US secured a tactical victory, the surprise attack shocked the American public. They became increasingly skeptical of official reports on the Vietnam War, which led to a “credibility gap.”
Question 16
What were students at Kent State University protesting when National Guardsmen opened fire on them in 1970?

A
The invasion of Laos
B
The invasion of Cambodia
C
The fall of Saigon
D
The institution of a draft
Question 16 Explanation: 
President Nixon had announced the invasion of Cambodia on April 30, 1970. The next day, students at Kent State began protesting and tension rose until the National Guardsmen fired on students on May 4. Four students were killed and nine were injured, including one who became paralyzed.
Question 17
How was President Nixon’s policy of Vietnamization implemented?

A
The Vietnamese government began building protected hamlets to isolate peasants from the insurgents.
B
The US government began relocating South Vietnamese refugees after the fall of Saigon.
C
The US government began to increase efforts to train and equip the South Vietnamese Army.
D
The US government began to train officers to speak the local language before they were deployed to Vietnam.
Question 17 Explanation: 
President Nixon tried to shift the burden of fighting the war away from US forces and onto the shoulders of the South Vietnamese. This included providing more weapons and training to the South Vietnamese army.
Question 18
Which diplomat represented the United States at the Paris Peace Talks in 1973?

A
Henry Kissinger
B
Dean Rusk
C
Robert McNamara
D
Henry Cabot Lodge
Question 18 Explanation: 
Born in Germany in 1923, Kissinger and his family moved to the US in 1938. He joined the US Army during World War II and obtained a doctorate in political science. He became Secretary of State in Nixon’s administration and won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the peace talks in 1973.
Question 19
What did the Paris Peace Talks of 1973 accomplish?

A
They established a permanent cease-fire.
B
They established a temporary cease-fire.
C
They immediately reunified North and South Vietnam.
D
B & C
Question 19 Explanation: 
The peace talks provided for a temporary cease-fire that would allow for US troops to be withdrawn in 60 days. This effectively ended US involvement in the war. Although the agreement aimed for a peaceful reunification process, fighting between North and South Vietnam resumed after the last US troops left.
Question 20
When did Saigon fall to North Vietnamese troops?

A
1973
B
1974
C
1975
D
1976
Question 20 Explanation: 
Fighting resumed shortly after the Paris Peace Talks of 1973. The North Vietnamese pushed towards Saigon but did not capture it until 1975. Even though the South Vietnamese army still had a large advantage in tanks, planes, and artillery, the soldiers were unwilling to stand and fight.
Question 21
Which of the following countries provided military assistance to the South Vietnamese?

A
South Korea
B
Australia
C
New Zealand
D
All of the above
Question 21 Explanation: 
The South Koreans sent more than 300,000 soldiers to assist the South Vietnamese during the course of the war. That was the second largest contingent behind the Americans. The Australians sent 60,000 soldiers with more than 500 killed and 3,000 wounded. New Zealand sent 3,500 and more than 200 became casualties.
Question 22
Which of the following countries provided the most military and economic assistance to the North Vietnamese?

A
The USSR
B
China
C
Cuba
D
North Korea
Question 22 Explanation: 
The Chinese claim to have sent more than $20 billion in aid to the North Vietnamese, as well as more than 300,000 soldiers. The Soviets sent $450 million in aid and 3,000 troops. Cuba sent at least one battalion of advisers and the North Koreans deployed two fighter squadrons with 200 pilots to North Vietnam.
Question 23
Which city was the former imperial capital of Vietnam and was the site of heavy fighting during the 1968 Tet Offensive?

A
Saigon
B
Hai Phong
C
Hue
D
Hanoi
Question 23 Explanation: 
Hue was the seat of the Nguyen dynasty between 1802 and 1945. More than 80 percent of the ancient city was destroyed during ferocious fighting in the Tet Offensive.
Question 24
Which general led US forces in Vietnam between 1964 and 1968?

A
William Westmoreland
B
Creighton Abrams
C
Frederick Weyand
D
Lloyd Ferendall
Question 24 Explanation: 
Westmoreland became an artillery officer and fought in World War II. He became a general in 1963 and took command of US forces in Vietnam. He used body counts to show that America was winning the war, but he was discredited by the surprising Tet Offensive of 1968. Abrams replaced him that same year. Westmoreland retired in 1972 and died in 2005.
Question 25
Which US Senator was an early opponent of the Vietnam War and published a critique called The Arrogance of Power?

A
Frank Church
B
George McGovern
C
William Fulbright
D
Eugene McCarthy
Question 25 Explanation: 
Fulbright joined the US Senate in 1945. Although he voted for the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, he had come to oppose the Vietnam War by 1966. He served in the Senate until 1974 and died in 1995. He also created the Fulbright program which is an international educational exchange.
Question 26
Which statesman was the US ambassador to South Vietnam during the 1963 coup and refused to help the embattled ruler?

A
Dean Acheson
B
Dean Rusk
C
Robert McNamara
D
Henry Cabot Lodge
Question 26 Explanation: 
Lodge fought during World War II and served twice in the US Senate. He became the US ambassador to South Vietnam in 1963 and thought Diem was too corrupt and ineffective. Lodge refused to talk to Diem during the coup and declined to protect him.
Question 27
President Johnson declared that he lost “middle America” when which famous broadcast journalist declared the Vietnam War had become a quagmire in 1968?

A
Ted Koppel
B
Walter Cronkite
C
Walter Lipmann
D
David Halberstam
Question 27 Explanation: 
Cronkite became the host of the CBS Evening News in 1962. In 1968, he declared that the US should negotiate an end to the Vietnam War. He also covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Cronkite retired in 1981 and died in 2009.
Question 28
What were the Pentagon Papers?

A
Secret diplomatic cables from Vietnam
B
Secret combat reports from Vietnam
C
A history of US intervention in Vietnam
D
Secret intelligence reports from Vietnam
Question 28 Explanation: 
In 1967, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara commissioned a study of American political and military involvement in Vietnam. Daniel Ellsberg was an analyst at the RAND Corporation and secretly copied the report. In 1971, the New York Times published excerpts from the documents, which became known as the Pentagon Papers.
Question 29
Which tribesmen lived in the Central Highlands of Vietnam and cooperated with US Special Forces during the war?

A
Chams
B
Degar/Montagnards
C
Pathet Lao
D
Khmer Krom
Question 29 Explanation: 
The Degar were called the Montagnards by the French and many converted to Christianity. They often came into conflict with the Viet Cong, so the US Special Forces trained thousands to fight against their common enemy. Several thousand Montagnards resettled in North Carolina after the fall of Saigon.
Question 30
Who was the commander of the Vietnam People’s Army (NVA)?

A
Ho Chi Minh
B
Le Duan
C
Pol Pot
D
Vo Nguyen Giap
Question 30 Explanation: 
Giap had commanded the Viet Minh and supervised the attack on Dien Bien Phu. He commanded the NVA throughout the war against the United States. However, he was blamed for the failure of the Easter Offensive in 1972. He retired in 1982 and died in 2013.
Question 31
What was the name of the secret CIA effort to kill or capture Viet Cong agents?

A
Phoenix Program
B
Winter Soldier
C
Operation Wandering Soul
D
Operation Bravo
Question 31 Explanation: 
The Phoenix Program began in 1964 and continued until 1972. The CIA formed special teams called Provincial Reconnaissance Units that targeted suspected Viet Cong agents. If captured, Viet Cong agents faced torture. Almost 82,000 suspected Viet Cong agents were killed or captured. The program was exposed in 1970.
Question 32
Which of the following Southeast Asian countries also succumbed to a Communist revolution after American forces left Vietnam?

A
Thailand
B
Cambodia
C
Laos
D
B & C
Question 32 Explanation: 
Cambodian Communists (Khmer Rouge) launched an insurgency in 1967 and seized power in 1975. The Laotian Communists (Pathet Lao) began fighting against the ruling monarchy in 1953 and eventually took power in 1975. Thailand was a monarchy but used American support to suppress the Thai communist party.
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