The Fall Of Saigon

The Vietnam War was a complex and costly conflict between communist North Vietnam and western-backed South Vietnam, intended to determine the nation's future after Japan's withdrawal from World War II. However, it quickly escalated to a global scale as a proxy war between the Soviet Union and the anti-communist United States, which believed in the "domino theory", which suggested that a country falling under communist rule would prevent the entire region from falling. Communism will spread. . The Vietnam War became the second longest conflict in which the U.S. (the longest war in Afghanistan) and had its first coercive defeat, resulting in the deaths of more than three million Vietnamese and 58,220 Americans by the end of the war.

By 1973, the United States had officially ended its combat activities, as US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger negotiated a peace treaty and ceasefire between Vietnamese Congressman Nuyen Thi Bin and South Vietnamese President Nuyen Van Thieu Of. Over the next two years, there was a shortage of personnel and President Gerald Ford began evacuating vulnerable civilians, including thousands of orphans, during Operation Babylift, which resulted in the evacuation of thousands of children despite the horrific C-5A Galaxy accident that killed people. took his life. 138 people.

A U.S. The Marines provide security as American helicopters land at the DAO. Compound.

While a large number of American personnel had moved out in the previous months, the end seemed to be very near when suddenly, on April 28, 1975, the North Vietnamese army finally closed around Saigon and closed Tan Son Nut. attacked the air base. The next day, a curious message popped up on local radio: a report that "the temperature is rising another 105 degrees in Saigon" followed by a horrifyingly out-of-season tune of "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin. For those in the know, it was code for a complete and total evacuation of the Americans in Saigon, as the United States was pulling its diplomats, Marine Guard and intelligence officers, essentially leaving South Vietnamese fighters behind for good. .

The total devastation came as thousands scrambled to reach extraction areas, and an estimated 10,000 people stormed the gates of the US embassy, ​​fearing torture and death by North Vietnamese forces attacking South Vietnamese and aiding American forces. May go. Unable to land its planes safely, the United States was forced to collect people by helicopter on the roof of the embassy and neighboring buildings, in what became known as Operation Frequent Wind. After 19 hours and using 81 helicopters, each American was out, but although 6,000 Vietnamese refugees had been rescued, hundreds of desperate Vietnamese allies were left behind after they got out of the plane on the morning of 30 April.

South Vietnamese refugees arrive on a US Navy ship during Operation Frequent Wind.

Many South Vietnamese soldiers simply took off their uniforms and left them on the street as the North Vietnamese entered Saigon and the 20-year conflict finally came to a chaotic end. Suddenly refugees scrambled to make their way onto Navy boats along the Saigon River, and panicked people even clinging to the exteriors of American Chinook helicopters as they landed at full capacity while others took their chances on the highway. Large-scale looting engulfed Saigon as civilization collapsed, abandoned tanks and weapons now the property of the People's Army of Vietnam.

The city was renamed Ho Chi Minh and is today the economic backbone of present-day Vietnam, where April 30 is now celebrated as Reunification Day. For many others, however, the fall of Saigon is considered a dark day in American foreign affairs history, even known among Vietnamese Americans as Black April, as well as a decade Here's an example of what not to do when exiting. Prolonged conflict regarding the protection of Americans and refugees.

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