The War in Vietnam: Escalation Phase   
 

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A. Peter Dewey
American
  Lieutenant colonel in the OSS, assigned to Saigon in 1945; accidentally killed by the Vietminh in September; first American to die in Vietnam.
Aleksei Kosygin
Soviet
  Soviet prime minister from 1964 until his death in 1980; traveled to Hanoi in February 1965 in an attempt to persuade the North Vietnamese to negotiate with the United States, a visit that was aborted when American bombing of the north began.
Alexander Haig
American
  After commanding an infantry division in Vietnam, he joined Kissinger's national security council staff in 1969. Was used to negotiate with President Thieu during final phase of the cease-fire talks in 1972 and served briefly as secretary of state in Reagan administration.
Alexandre de Rhodes
French
  Seventeenth-century Jesuit missionary who perfected quoc ngu, transcribing the Chinese characters used to write Vietnamese into the Roman alphabet. Conceived of training Vietnamese priests to propagate Christianity,
Anthony Eden
British
  British foreign secretary who served along with Vyacheslav Molotov as cochairman of Geneva Conference of 1954. Instrumental in persuading Prime Minister Winston Churchill to reject Eisenhower's suggestion for joint intervention to help the French at Dienbienphu. He died in 1977.
Archimedes Patti
American
  OSS officer during World War II who was assigned to assist Ho Chi Minh's guerrillas fight the Japanese. Spent several months with Ho in Hanoi in late 1945 and helped him to draft the Vietnamese declaration of independence.
Arthur Radford
American
  Admiral and chairman of joint chiefs of staff, 1953-57, and a strong partisan of American intervention to rescue French at Dienbienphu; overruled by Eisenhower.
Bao Dai
Vietnamese
  Last emperor of Vietnam. Succeeded his father in 1925 at the age of twelve but did not ascend throne until 1932. Cooperated with Japanese during World War II. Abdicated in 1945 to join Vietminh briefly; went into exile and returned under the French to rule as chief of state 1949-55, when Ngo Dinh Diem ousted him in a referendum. Has since lived in France
Bill Clinton
American
  President of the United States, elected 1992; established diplomatic relations with Vietnam on July 11, 1995.
Bui Diem
Vietnamese
  South Vietnamese ambassador to United States 1966--72, and later roving envoy for President Nguyen Van Thieu. Northerner by birth, he fled to the south in 1954 and published an English-language newspaper in Saigon before joining the South Vietnamese government.
Bui Tin
Vietnamese
  Deputy editor of Quan Doi Nhan Dan, official North Vietnamese army newspaper, published in Hanoi. Veteran Communist officer, he took the surrender from the crumbling Saigon regime on April 30, 1975. Late in 1990, in Paris, he criticized the Hanoi regime in a series of radio interviews; expelled from the Communist party as a result."
Charles Marie Le Myre de Vilers
French
  First civilian governor of Indochina, 1879-83. Relatively enlightened compared to previous military governors; during his tenure, Cochinchina was completely pacified and began to be developed economically.
Charles Rigault de Genouilly
French
  Career naval officer who commanded an expedition to Asia in 1858 and staged an attack against Tourane. As minister of the navy, a vigorous advocate of French intervention in Indochina.
Charlton Ogburn
American
  One of the handful of State Department officials who during the late 1940s and early 1950s warned against American involvement in Southeast Asia. He later became a successful writer.
Chester Bowles
American
  Critic of American commitment to Vietnam; removed from post of under secretary of state by Kennedy in 1963 and sent to India as ambassador. Conducted a mission to Cambodia in 1968 to repair relations with Prince Norodom Sihanouk.
Christian de La Croix de Castries
French
  Dashing cavalry colonel with impressive military record in World War 11; assigned to command French garrison at Dienbienphu.
Clark Clifford
American
  Distinguished Washington lawyer, appointed secretary of defense by Johnson in 1968 to replace Robert McNamara; quickly maneuvered to steer Johnson away from further escalation of the war.
Cyrus Vance
American
  Deputy secretary of defense under Robert McNamara, 1964-67, afterward becoming Averell Harriman's chief associate at the Paris peace talks that began in 1968. As secretary of state (1977-80) in the Carter administration, favored diplomatic relations with Communist regime in Vietnam.
Daniel Ellsberg
American
  Defense Department official who served in Vietnam in 1967; participated in the group that compiled the "Pentagon Papers" and later purloined the documents and gave them to The New York Times, which published them in 1971.
Dean Acheson
American
  Secretary of State, 1949-52; persuaded Truman to begin furnishing aid to the French then fighting in Indochina. In 1968, urged Johnson to stop escalating the war and to seek a negotiated solution. He died in 1971.
Dean Rusk
American
  Secretary of state, 1961-68, under Kennedy and Johnson; devoted more years to Vietnam than any other senior American official, having faced the problem as assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs as early as 1950; consistently favored strong American involvement, arguing that "aggression" had to be stopped.
Dominique Lefebvre
French
  Nineteenth-century missionary who conspired to replace Emperor Thieu Tri with a monarch more receptive to Christianity. His presumed arrest by the Vietnamese gave the French pretext to attack Tourane in 1847.
Douglas Gracey
British
  Commander in charge of the British force that entered Saigon in September 1945 to disarm the Japanese; against orders, released and armed interned French troops in the city, thereby triggering clashes between the French and the Vietminh.
DuongVan Minh
Vietnamese
  Known as "Big Minh" because of his size, he was trained by French and later became the senior army officer when Ngo Dinh Diem established his government in 1955. Led the coup against Diem in November 1963 and was himself toppled two months afterward. Took over South Vietnamese regime in April 1975 and surrendered to Communists. Was permitted to immigrate to France in 1983."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
American
  President, 1953-61; decided against intervening to help France at Dienbienphu but had furnished aid to French before then and endorsed support for Diem after 1955. He died in 1969.
Earle Wheeler
American
  Chairman of joint chiefs of staff, 1964-70, and principal military figure in Washington overseeing the Vietnam war; excelled as a military politician to advance the interests of the Pentagon.
Edward Lansdale
American
  Air force officer during World War II; in 1955 under CIA auspices an advisor to Diem. Returned to Vietnam in 1966 as a special assistant to Ambassadors Henry Cabot Lodge and Ellsworth Bunker.
Ellsworth Bunker
American
  Born in 1894, alternated between private enterprise and government service, American ambassador in Saigon, 1967-73. Died in 1985.
Emile Bollaert
French
  High commissioner for Indochina, March 1947- October 1948; civil servant with no experience in foreign affairs who was more concerned with domestic politics in France than with Vietnam itself.
Ethridge Durbrow
American
  Ambassador to South Vietnam, 1957-61; outwardly voiced confidence in Diem regime but privately warned of its lack of effectiveness.
Etienne Valluy
French
  Successor to Leclerc in 1946 as commander in Indochina. Issued orders to attack Vietminh only five weeks after France had negotiated an agreement with Ho Chi Minh.
Francios Guizot
French
  Born in 1787, a prominent figure in King Louis Philippe's government and a noted historian. Originally opposed French imperial ventures in Asia, arguing that Europe was more important, but deployed a fleet off the China coast. Died in 1874.
Francis Garnier
French
  Naval officer and explorer who participated in French expedition up the Mekong from Cambodia into China. Killed during a skirmish in Tonkin in 1873, when he was thirty-four; his romantic exploits fired French imperialists.
Frank Church
American
  Senator from Idaho, 1957-81, chairman of Foreign Relations Committee, 1975-81; incurred the wrath of Johnson by criticizing American involvement in Vietnam.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
American
  President from 1933 until his death in 1945; paid little attention to Indochina during World War II, considering the region to be a military rather than political problem.
Frederick Nolting
American
  Scholarly diplomat from Virginia who spent most of his career in Europe before Kennedy app him ambassador to South Vietnam in 1961 Served in Saigon until the summer of 1963; embittered by American complicity in the overthrow of Diem, he resigned to go into banking. Died in 1990.
George Ball
American
  Lawyer who served as a senior State Department official in Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Consistently argued against the deepening American involvement in Vietnam.
George Bush
American
  President of United States, elected 1988 after serving as vice president under Ronald Reagan; declared that America had kicked the "Vietnam syndrome" following defeat of Iraq in February 1991.
George Kenan
American
  Specialist in Soviet affairs, was head of State Department's policy-planning staff in the late 1940s when he conceived of "containment" to block Soviet expansion, This concept, he later explained, had not been designed to apply to places like Vietnam.
Georges Bidault
French
  Perennial political figure of the Fourth Republic and foreign minister at the time of Geneva conference in 1954. Took a tough position toward Vietminh but resigned when his government fell, giving way to Pierre Mendes-France.
Georges Clemenceau
French
  Born in 1841, radical politician who fiercely opposed colonial ventures in Asia on grounds that France's real interests lay in Europe. Reached the peak of his fame as prime minister during World War I, when he was known as ""The Tiger.""
Georges Thierry
French
  The First high commissioner to Indochina after War II. Born in 1884, a Carmelite monk officer who rose to rank of admiral; maneuvered to thwart an agreement between France and the Vietminh; died in 1964.
Gerald R. Ford
American
  Named vice-president following Agnew's resignation; became president after Nixon's resignation in 1974; had been Republican minority leader of House of Representatives, 1965-73.
Gia Long
Vietnamese
  Scion of the Nguyen clan, rivals of the Trinh dynasty, he launched a campaign to gain control of all Vietnam in the late eighteenth century and proclaimed himself emperor in 1802. His cause was helped by Pigneau de Behaine, a French missionary. Originally named Nguyen Anh, adopted name Gia Long on ascension to throne. He died in 1819."
Graham Martin
American
  Last American ambassador to South Vietnam, from 1973 until the fall of Saigon in 1975. Former newspaperman, he held several high diplomatic posts, including ambassador to Thailand and to Italy.
Harry S. Truman
American
  As president, 1945-52, took the first step toward involving United States in Vietnam when he agreed to Dean Acheson's proposal to aid French in 1949. His move to help Greece and Turkey against Communist threats, known as the Truman Doctrine, was an early phase in the containment policy. He died in 1972.
Henri Navarre
French
  Commander of the French forces in Indochina; chose to fight at Dienbienphu, a site he selected as part of a strategy to assault the Vietminh from various bases and also to protect Laos.
Henry Cabot Lodge
American
  Born in 1902, grandson of an illustrious senator, he held several important public posts, among them senator from Massachusetts and ambassador to the United Nations during the Eisenhower administration, Served two tours as ambassador to Vietnam, the first, 1963-64, the second, 1965-67; played a key role in the overthrow of the Diem regime. Died in 1985.
Henry Kissinger
American
  Appointed national security adviser by Nixon in 1969; in that capacity he negotiated with Le Duc Tho until the Paris peace settlement was achieved in January 1973. Nixon later appointed him secretary of state, a position he continued to hold under President Ford, 1973-77.
HoangDuc Nha
Vietnamese
  Cousin and special adviser to South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu, he became increasingly influential after 1972, when Thieu was under pressure to sign a cease-fire agreement. Immigrated to the United States, took up residence in Chicago."
HoChi Minh
Vietnamese
  Born Nguyen Tat Thanh in 1890, he left his native province in central Vietnam as a youth and traveled the world; moved to Paris in 1917 and remained there for seven years; joined the infant French Communist party in 1920; went to Moscow four years later and became a Communist agent. Used a number of aliases, the best known of them, Nguyen Ai Quoc, Nguyen the Patriot. Founded the Indochinese Communist party in Hong Kong in 1930, but did not return to Vietnam until 1941, when he created the Vietminh and adopted his most famous alias, Ho Chi Minh, He Who Enlightens." Proclaimed Vietnam's independence from France in September 1945, then fought the French for the next nine years, finally defeating them at Dienbienphu. President of North Vietnam—the Democratic Republic of Vietnam—from 1945 until his death in September 1969."
Hubert H. Humphrey
American
  Senator from Minnesota. 1948-64; became vice-president under Johnson; ran for the as the Democratic candidate in 1968 losing a narrow margin to Richard Nixon. His supporters claimed that he was defeated by Johnson's reluctance to halt the bombing of North Vietnam. He died in 1978.
J. William Fulbright
American
  Senator from Arkansas, 1945-79; as chairman of Foreign Relations Committee, managed the Tonkin Gulf resolution, which in 1964 gave Johnson the power to commit American forces to Southeast Asia. He soon turned against the war and held hearings criticizing the conflict.
Jacques Philippe Leclerc
French
  Nom de guerre of Philippe de in 1902. Led armored t liberated from the Germans in 1944. A year late commander in Indochina defeated Vietminh in southern Vietnam but recognized need for a negotiated settlement
James B. Stockdale
American
  Vice admiral awarded Medal of Honor following nearly eight years as prisoner of war in Hanoi. As U.S. navy pilot he flew over Tonkin Gulf during alleged incident in August 1964; later revealed that nothing had occurred.
Jean Cédile
French
  Member of General Charles de Gaulle's Free French forces who was parachuted into southern Vietnam in August 1945 to negotiate with Vietminh; became a partisan of a strong French presence in Indochina.
Jean de Lattre de Tassigny
French
  Military and civilian commander in Indochina, 1950-51; inspired his forces to inflict heavy defeats on the Vietminh, but these were temporary. Died in 1952.
Jean Dupuis
French
  Merchant and explorer living in China who organized his own force to seize part of Hanoi from the Vietnamese in 1873, an attack that gave France a pretext to intervene.
Jean Sainteny
French
  A former banker in Hanoi, sent to Vietnam in 1945 to negotiate on behalf of France with Ho Chi Minh, whom he befriended. Arranged the secret talks between Kissinger and Le Due Tho in Paris in 1972.
John F. Kennedy
American
  Elected president in 1960 after serving since 1953 as senator from Massachusetts; was assassinated in November 1963, three weeks after the murder of Diem.
John Foster Dulles
American
  Secretary of state, 1953-59, and strong anti-Communist who favored full support for the French in Indochina; he failed to dissuade them from compromising with the Vietminh at 1954 Geneva Conference; died in 1959.
Joseph Laniel
French
  Prime minister of France in 1954, at time of French defeat at Dienbienphu; a typical Fourth Republic politician, unable to resist public protests against the war in Indochina,
Jules Ferry
French
  "Ferry-the-Tonkinese," leading French imperialist of late nineteenth century who believed that France's industrial growth depended on colonial markets and sources of raw materials. Elected prime minister in 1879; died in 1893.
Le Duan
Vietnamese
  Born in 1908 in the central Vietnamese province of Quangtri; quit his job as a railroad employee to become a professional revolutionary; rose rapidly in the Communist hierarchy. By 1959, was general secretary of the Lao Dong (Workers party); later succeeded Ho Chi Minh as the most powerful figure in Vietnam. Operating under the alias Ba, Second Son, he took a particular interest in the insurgency in South Vietnam. He died in 1985.
Le Loi
Vietnamese
  Led a guerrilla war in the early fifteenth century against the Chinese, defeating them in 1418 and establishing the longest dynasty in Vietnamese history, which ruled until 1804. By then, Vietnam was divided by rebellions and rival clans."
LeDuc Tho
Vietnamese
  Born about 1912 in northern Vietnam. A founder of the Indochinese Communist party who played an important part in building its structure. Given responsibility for directing the insurgency in the south; at the same time, negotiated with Henry Kissinger. Rejected the Nobel Peace Prize he and Kissinger were awarded for achieving the cease-fire agreement in January 1973. He died in Hanoi in 1990"
Leon Blum
French
  Socialist prime minister during the 1930s and again after World War II. Initially sympathetic to Vietnamese nationalist cause, later less so, largely because of pressures from conservative elements in his ruling coalition.
Leon Pigeon
French
  High commissioner for Indochina, 1948-50; earlier had been an adviser to d'Argenlieu; strongly opposed compromise with the Vietminh but resisted giving latitude to the Bao Dai regime.
Leonard Charner
French
  Born in 1797, career naval officer, commanded a force that consolidated French position around Saigon in 1861; returned to France and was elected to the Senate.
Leonid Brezhnev
Soviet
  Secretary-general of the Soviet Communist 1964-83; invited Nixon to summit meeting in Moscow in spring of 1972, even though United States had intensified its bombing of North Vietnam.
LeThanh Tong
Vietnamese
  Ascended the throne of Vietnam in 1460 and ruled for thirty-seven years. The greatest of the Le dynasty emperors, he gave Vietnam a legal code and other reforms; also extended Vietnamese rule southward by conquering the kingdom of Champa in the central part of the peninsula."
Lon Nol
Cambodia
  As Cambodian defense minister, he led coup d'etat that ousted Prince Norodom Sihanouk from power in March 1970, an event that opened the way for American and South Vietnamese incursions into Cambodia. Went into exile in Hawaii when the Communists took over in 1975.
Lucien Conein
American
  French-born CIA agent who served as liaison between Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge and the South Vietnamese generals who overthrew Diem in 1963. Previously served in Vietnam with the OSS at end of World War II.
Lyndon B. Johnson
American
  Senator from Texas, 1949-61, when he became Kennedy's vice-president. Entered the White House after Kennedy's assassination in November 1963; chose not to run again in 1968. He died in 1973.
MadameNgoDinh Nhu
Vietnamese
  Born Tran Le Xuan, daughter of a Frenchified family in Hanoi. Became the "first lady" of South Vietnam, since Diem was a bachelor. Her strident manner provoked opposition to the regime. Retired to Rome in 1964."
Mao Zedong
China
  Chinese Communist party chairman; first warned North Vietnamese against negotiating with the United States then invited Nixon to Beijing in February 1972. He died in 1976
Matthew Ridgway
American
  General and chief of staff of army during Eisenhower administration; strongly opposed American involvement in Vietnam. Believed that United States could not conduct a land war in Asia. Had commanded U.S. forces in Korea in 1950 and 1951 and also served as allied commander in Europe for two years thereafter.
Maxwell Taylor
American
  Kennedy's favorite general; served as chairman of joint chiefs of staff, 3962-64; recommended a deeper American commitment to Vietnam in 1961. Johnson appointed him ambassador to South Vietnam in 1964, a post he held for more than a year. Died in 1986.
McGeorge Bundy
American
  Harvard professor and dean who joined Kennedy administration in 1961 as national security adviser, a post he continued to hold under Johnson until 1966. One of the "wise men" who urged Johnson to de- escalate the war in 1968.
Melvin Laird
American
  Republican congressman from Wisconsin, 1953-69; secretary of defense (1969-72) in Nixon administration; strongly favored American troop withdrawal from Vietnam and invented the term "Vietnamization."
Mike Mansfield
American
  Mining engineer who later taught political science at the University of Montana before his election to Congress; was a senator from Montana, 1952-76; an early supporter of Diem who later turned against the war. Carter appointed him ambassador to Japan, a post he continued to hold in the Reagan administration.
Minh Mang
Vietnamese
  Successor to Gia Long; enthroned in 1819 and ruled for twenty-one years. Published edicts banning Catholic missionaries, which furnished France with a pretext to plan to conquer Vietnam."
Morton Halperin
American
  Young Defense Department official during Johnson administration who became a principal aide to Henry Kissinger. Suspected of giving information to the press, he had his telephone tapped by the FBI. He brought suit against Kissinger following his resignation from the government.
Napoleon III
French
  Born in 1808, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. Proclaimed himself emperor after staging a coup in 1851. His wife, Eugenie, a devout Catholic, urged him to promote Christianity in Indochina, but he hesitated because of domestic commitments. Died in 1873.
Ngo Dinh
Vietnamese
  Diem's younger brother and chief political adviser. Organized regime's secret political movement, the Can Lao. Assassinated along with Diem in 1963.
NgoDinh Diem
Vietnamese
  Intense anti-Communist nationalist from a Catholic family of central Vietnam. Returned from exile in the United States in 1954 to become prime minister to Bao Dai, whom he ousted the next year in a rigged referendum. Rejected the elections prescribed under the 1954 Geneva agreement. Overthrown and murdered by his own generals in November 1963.
NgoDinh Thuc
Vietnamese
  Oldest of the Ngo brothers and archbishop of Hue Did much to antagonize the Buddhists; later excommunicated by the Vatican for religious extremism. He died in the United States in 1984.
Nguyen Khanh
Vietnamese
  South Vietnamese general who became prime minister in January 1964, when he overthrew the officers who had overthrown Diem. Lasted in office little more than a year, later retired in Florida.
NguyenCao Ky
Vietnamese
  Prime minister of South Vietnam, 1965-67, and its figurehead vice-president until 1971 A flamboyant pilot and originally the most dynamic of South Vietnam's young officers, but eased out of power by Nguyen Van Thieu. Fled to California and opened a liquor store in 1975."
NguyenCo Thach
Vietnamese
  Foreign minister of Vietnam since its reunification in 1975. An able diplomat, he served as one of Le Duc Tho's deputies during the Paris negotiations; after 1977, tried to establish diplomatic relations with the United States, but talks failed. Has headed liberal wing of Vietnamese Communist party."
NguyenHuu Tho
Vietnamese
  Chairman of the National Liberation Front for South Vietnam, the Vietcong, founded in December 1960. Saigon lawyer, jailed under the Diem regime for political dissidence; innocuous figure who took directives from the Communist party central committee in Hanoi"
NguyenVan Thieu
Vietnamese
  Born in 1924 in central Vietnam; served briefly in the Vietminh before joining Vietnamese army created by French; trained in France and later in United States and maneuvered to become president of South Vietnam in 1967. Indecisive and distrustful, fled Vietnam just before the fall of Saigon in late April 1975. Lived thereafter in Britain."
Norodom Sihanouk
Cambodia
  Enthroned as king of Cambodia by the French in 1941, later abdicated; maneuvered tirelessly to preserve Cambodia's neutrality but was overthrown while on a trip to France in March 1970. Later lived in China and North Korea and tried to regain power in Cambodia.
Paul Doumer
French
  Liberal politician, horn in 1857; became governor? general of Indochina in 1897 and in the next five years made it a profitable economic venture, building roads and bridges and raising revenues by creating an opium monopoly. Elected president of France in 1931; assassinated while in office a year later.
Paul Harkins
American
  General in charge of military advisory mission to South Vietnam in 1963; opposed the coup against Diem; acquired notoriety for insistence on optimistic reporting from his officers.
Paul Louis Philastre
French
  A "native affairs" officer sympathetic to the Vietnamese; openly decried French "aggression" but negotiated treaty that in 1879 gave France control over Indochina.
Paul Warnke
American
  Washington lawyer who joined Defense Department as general counsel in 1966 and became assistant secretary of defense a year later. He helped to turn Clark Clifford against the war.
PhamVan Dong
Vietnamese
  Son of a mandarin, born in central Vietnam in 1908; became involved in nationalist politics as a student in Hanoi; fled to China, where he met Ho Chi Minh and was one of the founders of Indochinese Communist party. Skilled administrator who led Vietminh delegation to 1954 Geneva conference; served as Ho's prime minister from 1950 onward; retained that post after reunification of Vietnam in 1975; retired in 1986.
PhanBoi Chau
Vietnamese
  Born in 1867, one of the most influential of the modern Vietnamese nationalists. Sentenced to life imprisonment by the French in 1925 but permitted to live under house arrest in Hue, where he inspired younger nationalists. He died in 1940.
PhanThanh Giang
Vietnamese
  Distinguished mandarin, sent to Paris by Tu Duc in 1863 to negotiate compromise with the French. After the French violated agreement, he committed suicide; in a farewell message, pledged his sons never to collaborate with France.
Pierre Benoit de La Grandičre
French
  Appointed governor of Cochinchina in 1863, when he was fifty-six; extended French rule through the southern region and into Cambodia. Conceived of the Mekong expedition; died in 1876.
Pierre Mendes -France
French
  Maverick political figure who warned against involvement in Indochina. Elected prime minister in June 1954 during the Geneva conference and met a self-imposed deadline to reach an armistice there. Ousted from office soon after; died in 1982.
Pierre Pigneau de Behaine
French
  Eighteenth-century missionary in Vietnam who dreamed of building an empire for France in Asia. Befriended Nguyen Anh, later the Emperor Gia Long, and negotiated a treaty on his behalf in 1787 with Louis XVI.
Pol Pot
Cambodia
  Pseudonym of Cambodian Communist leader who slaughtered an estimated two million of his people in an effort to make Cambodia an agricultural utopia; ousted from power after the Vietnamese invasion in late 1978, he continued to wage a guerrilla war.
Rene Cogny
French
  A chief aide to Henri Navarre; contributed to planning that locked the French garrison into its untenable position at Dienbienphu. Later served as French government representative in Morocco.
Richard M. Nixon
American
  Elected to Congress from California following service in navy during World War II. Served two terms as vice-president under Eisenhower, 1952-60, but defeated for presidency by John Kennedy. Won presidential elections in 1968 and 1972 but forced by the Watergate scandal to resign in August 1974.
Robert F. Kennedy
American
  Attorney general in his brother John's administration, served as senator from New York from 1965 until his assassination in June 1968. His decision to run for presidency on Democratic ticket alarmed Johnson.
Robert Komer
American
  Nicknamed the "Blowtorch" because of his dynamism, he managed the pacification programs in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968; became a senior Defense Department official in the Carter administration.
Robert McNamara
American
  As secretary of defense for seven years, 1961-68, was a senior policymaker of the Vietnam war. A Ford Motor Company executive from 1946 until be joined the Kennedy administration in 1961, he resigned in 1968, disenchanted with the war, to become president of the World Bank.
Robert Thompson
British
  British officer and scholar who, after directing counterinsurgency efforts in Malaya, arrived in South Vietnam in the early 1960s to undertake the same task as an adviser to Diem; later an unofficial adviser to Nixon.
Roger Hilsman
American
  Harriman's successor as assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs (1963-64) and an advocate of counterinsurgency in Vietnam. Played a key role in promoting the coup against Diem and resigned from the government soon after Johnson took office.
Souvanna Phouma
Laos
  Prince who was made prune minister of Laos in 1962 following a conference at Geneva; held the post until the Communist takeover in 1975. Laos, occupied by North Vietnamese troops and bombed by the United States was a devastated victim of the war in Vietnam.
Spiro Agnew
American
  Governor of Maryland, 1967-68. Chosen by Nixon as vice-president in 1968. Resigned in October 1973 following his indictment for tax evasion. During the Nixon administration he denounced antiwar critics in the most vitriolic terms.
Thieu Tri
Vietnamese
  Successor to Minh Mang; ascended the throne in1841 and ruled for six years. Reign coincided with the Opium war, first major effort by British to open China to trade, which spurred the French to press"
Tran Do
Vietnamese
  Deputy commander of Communist forces in South Vietnam and instrumental in the 1968 Tet offensive. Spent most of his time in the south, constantly moving his headquarters to avoid American bombs.
TranKim Tuyen
Vietnamese
  A Catholic, trained as a physician. Left North Vietnam in 1954 to become head of Ngo Dinh Nhu's covert police and intelligence operations, set up with CIA help. Later plotted to overthrow the South Vietnamese regime but played no part in the coup, having been exiled beforehand by Nhu. Escaped to Britain in 1975, where he opened a rooming house in Cambridge."
TranVan Don
Vietnamese
  Born in France in 1917, son of a doctor. Returned to Vietnam to train at a French military school for Vietnamese officers; after fighting with French against Vietminh, became a senior officer in Diem regime; was one of the organizers of the coup to oust Diem. Escaped to United States in 1975; has worked as a headwaiter, real estate salesman and travel agent.
TranVan Tra
Vietnamese
  Born in central Vietnam in 1918; worked on the railroad before joining the Vietminh. Became a deputy commander of the Communist forces in the south and directed attack against Saigon during 1968 Tet offensive. His written history of final offensive in 1975 was banned in reunified Vietnam. He later formed an association of Vietcong veterans in Ho Chi Minh City.
Tri Quang
Vietnamese
  Buddhist monk who organized opposition to South Vietnamese regime in 1963 and again in 1966. Put under house arrest when the Communists took control of Vietnam in 1975; later released but lived in obscurity.
Trieu Da
Vietnamese
  Chinese general who organized a rebellion against China and set up one of the earliest Vietnamese states, in 208 B.C., calling it Nam Viet. The state held out against China for a hundred years but was conquered.
Trung sisters
Vietnamese
  Two aristocrats, Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, led the first major Vietnamese insurrection against Chinese rule, in A.D. 40. Their kingdom, which reached from southern China to the region around Hue, was soon reconquered by the Chinese. The Vietnamese still revere them as goddesses."
Truong Chinh
Vietnamese
  Born in 1908, son of a schoolteacher; one of the founders of the Indochinese Communist party. Inspired by Mao Zedong's celebrated Long March, changed his name from Dang Xuan Khu to Truong Chinh, "Long March." Held responsible for excesses of land reform in North Vietnam in 1955 but emerged from demotion and continued as major Communist theoretician.
Tu Duc
Vietnamese
  Ruled Vietnam, 1848-83; xenophobic and insular emperor who promulgated harsh laws against Catholics, which provided France with the pretext to invade Vietnam. Reign effectively spelled the end of Vietnamese independence.
VanTien Dung
Vietnamese
  One of the few authentic peasants in the Communist hierarchy, born in 1917. Became a protege of Vo Nguyen Giap and handled logistics at battle of Dienbienphu; directed offensive against Saigon in 1975; became defense minister of reunified Vietnam, later retired.
VoNguyen Giap
Vietnamese
  Modern Vietnam's foremost military figure, born in 1912 in central Vietnam. Taught high school and studied law at University of Hanoi while engaging in Communist activities; created the Vietminh military organization that defeated French at Dienbienphu; continued as chief Communist strategist in the war against the United States and South Vietnam. Virtually retired from public life after 1975, but remained influential as an "elder statesman."
Vyacheslav Molotov
Soviet
  Cochairman with Eden of the 1954 Geneva conference; delivered verdict that compelled Vietnamese Communists to settle for less than their objectives; agreed to cancel Vietnamese elections two years later, again disappointing the Hanoi leaders.
W.Averell Harriman
American
  Served as assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs, 1961-63, and was instrumental in authorizing American support for the overthrow of Diem. Headed delegation to Paris peace talks in 1968, when he was seventy-seven years old. Died in 1989.
Walt W. Rostow
American
  Went from a distinguished academic position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to a top State Department job during the Kennedy administration. As Johnson's national security adviser (1966-68), he was a partisan of forceful action in Vietnam.
Walter Bedell Smith
American
  General who served as under secretary of state, 1953-54; in that capacity headed American delegation at 1954 Geneva conference
Wayne Morse
American
  Senator from Oregon, 1945-69, he was a maverick who early on almost single-handedly opposed the Vietnam war. Only he and Senator Ernest Gruening of Alaska voted against the Tonkin Gulf resolution in August 1964. He died in 1974.
William Bundy
American
  Brother of McGeorge, served with CIA for ten years until 1961, when he shifted to Defense Department during the Kennedy administration. Later as assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs under Johnson, played a key role in formulating Vietnam policy.
William C. Westmoreland
American
  Appointed head of military advisory mission to Vietnam in 1964 by Johnson; until his departure in 1968, commanded U.S. combat forces in the country. Later became chief of staff of the army.
XuanThuy
Vietnamese
  Foreign minister of North Vietnam, 1963-1965; headed delegation at Paris peace talks in 1968; negotiated with Kissinger as Le Duc Tho's deputy."
Zhou Enlai
China
  As China's foreign minister, reached compromise in Geneva in 1954 with Mendes-France that ended the French war in Indochina; with Kissinger, as prime minister, arranged Nixon's visit to Beijing in February 1972. In both instances, incurred the wrath of North Vietnamese, who accused him of conniving with their enemies. He died in 1976.