11: Vietnam: 1954-1968 | Cold War

After losing the Battle of Dien Bien Phu the French leave Vietnam. A stream of refugees flee to the south after the Communist north institute a harsh land reform program. The north, with Soviet military assistance, seeks to reunify the country by using the Viet Cong to destabilise the South, prompting American intervention which escalates after the Gulf of Tonkin incident. American casualties mount in an increasingly unpopular and seemingly purposeless war that was difficult to wage successfully. President Lyndon B. Johnson's stature is reduced following the Tet Offensive. The bombing of North Vietnam is interspersed with peace negotiations, which prove fruitless. Interviewees include Robert McNamara, William Westmoreland, Nguyen Vo Giap, Bui Diem, Jack Valenti and Clark Clifford. The pre-credits scene portrays the destruction caused by the Vietnam War.

Clip Info
  • Clip length: 46'25''
  • Broadcast year: 1998
Curriculum Connection
  • History | The Cold War

Licence: ERA Licence required


UK only
Staff and students of licensed education establishments only
Cannot be adapted

  • Provider: BBC
  • Channel: BBC Two
  • Programme: Cold War
  • Episode: 11: Vietnam: 1954-1968