TV : Documentary : DVD quality : English
The Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular war in which Americans ever fought. And there is no reckoning the cost. The toll in suffering, sorrow, in rancorous national turmoil can never be tabulated. No one wants ever to see America so divided again. And for many of the more than two million American veterans of the war, the wounds of Vietnam will never heal.
Fifty-eight thousand Americans lost their lives.
The losses to the Vietnamese people were appalling.
The financial cost to the United States comes to something over $150 billion dollars.
Direct American involvement began in 1955 with the arrival of the first advisors. The first combat troops arrived in 1965 and we fought the war until the cease-fire of January 1973. To a whole new generation of young Americans today, it seems a story from the olden times.
In 1983, the unfolding of the Vietnam tragedy was the focus of an extraordinary documentary series broadcast on public television.
When first aired, the series was recognized immediately as a landmark. It had taken six years to make. Researchers had combed film archives in eleven countries and the result was a stunning record of the conflict as it happened. The original thirteen-part program was later edited to eleven parts and rebroadcast in spring 1997.
Part 1 -
Roots of a War (1945-1953)
The end of World War II opened the way for the return of French rule to Indochina. Despite the ties he had forged within the American intelligence community, and his professed respect for democratic ideals, Ho Chi Minh was unable to convince Washington to recognize the legitimacy of his independence movement against the French. French generals and their American advisors expected Ho's rag-tag Viet Minh guerrillas to be defeated easily. But after eight years of fighting and $2.5 billion in U.S. aid, the French lost a crucial battle at Dienbienphu -- and with it, their Asian empire.
Jun 12, 2009, 20:05:15
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