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Vietnam War: primary sources

Vietnam: military perspective

Records of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam History Vault
Duplicates RECAP Microfilm 07715
Consists of material from the holdings of the Library of the U.S. Army Military History Institute. "MACV controlled all U.S. military operations, commanded all army elements, managed military assistance and advisory efforts, coordinated U.S. intelligence operations, advised the U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam, and oversaw the many allied units and agencies in Vietnam."

  • Records of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam, Part 1. The War in Vietnam, 1954-1973, MACV Historical Office Documentary Collection
  • Records of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam, Part 2. Classified Studies from the Combined Intelligence Center Vietnam, 1965-1973
  • Records of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam, Part 3. Progress Reports on Pacification in South Vietnam, 1965-1973

U.S. Military Advisory Effort in Vietnam: Military Assistance Advisory Group, Vietnam, 1950-1964 Archives Unbound "President Harry Truman had approved National Security Council (NSC) Memorandum 64 in March 1950, proclaiming that French Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) was a key area that could not be allowed to fall to the communists and that the U.S. would provide support against communist aggression in the area. However, NSC 64 did not identify who would receive the aid, the French or the South Vietnamese. The French did not want the aid to go directly to the South Vietnamese and opposed the presence of any American advisory group. Nevertheless, the U.S. government argued that such a team would be necessary to coordinate requisitioning, procurement, and dissemination of supplies and equipment. Accordingly, an advisory group was dispatched to Saigon. In the long run, however, the French high command ignored the MAAG in formulating strategy, denied them any role in training the Vietnamese, and refused to keep them informed of current operations and future plans. By 1952, the U.S. would bear roughly one-third of the cost of the war the French were fighting, but find itself with very little influence over French military policy in Southeast Asia or the way the war was waged. Ultimately, the French were defeated at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and withdraw from Vietnam, passing the torch to the U.S. In 1964, MAAG Vietnam would be disbanded and its advisory mission and functions integrated into the U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), which had been established in February 1962."

U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam, 1954-1975  History Vault
Duplicates RECAP Microfilm 05638
A collection assembled from various sources to document U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Four parts: Indochina Studies; Vietnam: Lessons Learned; Vietnam: Reports of U.S. Army Operations; Vietnam: U.S. Army Senior Officer Debriefing Reports.

Peers Inquiry of the Massacre at My Lai History Vault

U.S. Army Build-up and Activities in South Vietnam, 1965-1972 History Vault

Records of the U.S. Marine Corps in the Vietnam War History Vault

War in Vietnam: Classified Histories by the National Security Council History Vault

The Observer: News for the American Soldier in Vietnam, 1962-1973 Archives Unbound "The Observer was a weekly newspaper published by the Command Information Division of the U.S. Military Assistance Command’s Office of Information. It was the official organ of the Military Assistance Command, and it carried official news about and for American troops in Vietnam. As such, it goes without saying that it was carefully edited to make certain it did not print news articles favorable to the communist enemy. The Military Assistance Command spread more than 80,000 weekly Observers among all points in Vietnam in which American troops were domiciled."

The War in Vietnam: Papers of William C. Westmoreland History Vault
Duplicates RECAP Microfilm 09653
Consists of correspondence, news clippings, reports and memoranda, and public statements of General Westmoreland.

Westmoreland v. CBS History Vault
Records of the libel suit brought by General Westmoreland against CBS for their documentary "The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception." Although the case was settled out of court, some 80,000 documents on the conduct of the war were amassed. See also