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Early Support for the War

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 11 months ago




Created by Laura Molesworth and Neil Beedie

Additions made by Jo Feng and Tommy Liang


* On 3rd August 1962, 30 Australian Military Advisors were sent to train in South Vietnamese Forces - this unified Australia's commitment to Vietnam.

* The conclusion to this commitment was in June 1973, when the last Australian troops were withdrawn.

* The Vietnam war was the longest war Australia was ever involved in.


Australian forces



1. Australian Task Force, Phuoc Tuy Province        2. Nine year old, Kim Phuc, running down a road near Trang Bang after an VNAF napalm attack, her skin badly burned                                                                                                        by napalm. The photograph shocked the world and changed the course of the war.



To stem the spread of communism in Europe and Asia, Australian support for South Vietnam in the early 1960s was in keeping with the policies of other nations, particularly the United States. In 1961 and 1962 the leader of the government in South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, repeatedly requested security assistance from the US and its allies. Australia responded with 30 military advisors, dispatched as the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV). In August 1964 the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) also sent a flight of Caribou transports to the port town of Vung Tau.


(There was, by the way, substantial support for a stronger war effort, especially early in the war.  For instance, in a poll conducted in February 1968, 25 per cent wanted to "gradually broaden and intensify our military operations", and 28 per cent wanted to "start an all-out crash effort in the hope of winning the war quickly even at the risk of China or Russia entering the war".  Just 24 per cent wanted to "discontinue the struggle and begin to pull out of Vietnam gradually in the near future", and 10 per cent wanted to "continue the war at the present level of military effort".  So, much of the disatisfaction about the war came, early on, from the belief that not enough was being done to win it.)


By early 1965 the US government requested further support from friendly countries in the region, including Australia because a major escalation of the war commenced. The Australian government dispatched the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) in June 1965 to serve alongside the US 173rd Airborne Brigade in Bien Hoa province.


The following year the Australian government felt that Australia's involvement in the conflict should be both strong and identifiable. In March 1966 the government announced the dispatch of a stronger taskforce, replacing the 1RAR, to be based at Nui Dat, Phuoc Tuy province. In August 1966 a large company was engaged in one of Australia's heaviest actions of the war, near Long Tan. After three hours of fierce fighting, eighteen Australians were killed and 24 wounded. The battle eliminated communist dominance over the province.


 By 1969 anti-war protests were gathering momentum in Australia. Opposition to conscription mounted, as more people came to believe the war could not be won. A "Don't register" campaign to dissuade young men from registering for conscription gained increasing support and some of the protests grew violent.


By late 1970 Australia had begun to wind down its military effort in Vietnam. The withdrawal of troops and all air units continued throughout 1971 - the last battalion left Nui Dat on 7 November. Australia's participation in the war was formally declared at an end when the Governor-Gernerl issued a proclamation on 11 January 1973. The only combat troops remaining in Vietnam were a platoon guarding the Austrralian embassy in Saigon, which was withdrawn in June 1973.


Support for War in Vietnam, by Age
  measured in %  measured in % 
  Under 30 30-49 Over 49 (Measured in %)
May 1965 61 59 43
August 1965 76 64 51
November 1965 75 68 57
March 1966 71 63 48
May 1966 62 54 39
September 1966 53 56 39
November 1966 66 55 41
May 1967 60 53 42
July 1967 62 52 37
October 1967 50 50 35
Early February 1968 51 44 36
March 1968 50 46 35
April 1968 54 44 31
August 1968 45 39 27
Early October 1968 52 41 26
February 1969 47 43 31
September 1969 36 37 25
January 1970 41 37 25
March 1970 48 41 26
April 1970 43 40 25
January 1971 41 38 20
May 1971 34 30 23


From the time of the first arrival in 1962:

* 50,000 Australians, including ground troops and air force and navy personnel, served in Vietnam.

* 520 died as a result of the War

* 2,400 were wounded


The war was the cause of the greatest social and political dissent in Australia since the conscription referendums of the First World War. Many draft resisters, conscientious objectors and protestors were fined or jailed, while the soldiers met a hostile reception on their return home.










Image 1: http://www.vwam.com/vets/allies/austra.html

Image 2: http://www.iraqwar.co.uk/kimphuc2.jpg


http://www.seanet.com/~jimxc/Politics/Mistakes/Vietnam_support.html (table)








Comments (7)

Anonymous said

at 8:53 am on Jun 13, 2007

It was well structured and easy to understand. It also got to the point quickly and was aimed at our age demographic. However, it wasn't overly visually pleasing and didn't contain any links. The information was relevant as were the pictures.

Anonymous said

at 8:56 am on Jun 13, 2007

The Wiki is not that entertaining as not many pictures have been used. Despite this, the information included in the Wiki is relevant but it seems to be lacking detail and does not relay the point across well enough. This Wiki is lacking pictures but the two that are there are good. BUT EWW..do you have to include the child pornography, seems highly irrelevant. Some people may find that attention grabbing but i do not. The structure of this presentation is like swiss cheese, it smells and is full of holes. NOT VISUALLY OR ORALLY PLEASING! Overall this Wiki is awesome!

Anonymous said

at 9:19 am on Jun 13, 2007

good use of heading and layout, good referencing and yer i like that u put only relevant info as u seeem to think very important, which i guess i agree with. well done its a pretty good wiki. thumbs up

Anonymous said

at 2:17 pm on Jun 13, 2007

Yeah, pretty good page Neil and Laura. Lots of pictures and info, gets to the point and not too boring to read. That random naked kids picture is a bit weird, but then again a lot of people used that. Well set out, but proper referencing would of been better at the end of the page.

good work (Y) oh wait, they don't work in this...


Anonymous said

at 9:01 am on Jun 14, 2007

Yes very much, good work, easy to read and understand. However, content seems quite irrelevant at times, you should go more onto the more specific detail such as examples of early support not only in the war section. Some of the pictures you offered were great, but as the "tim and Dav" states, it seems highly irrelevant. But overall pleasing to see such wonderful comitment, gud job keep it real!:>

Good Work!

Joe Feng!

Anonymous said

at 8:53 am on Jun 19, 2007

It is a really good page...heaps of really good information


Anonymous said

at 10:14 am on Jun 19, 2007

HMM ive only added some sections which will aid viewers on the statistical side of the support in vietnam war...Tom Riang...xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

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