Australia’s Involvement in the Vietnam War

A discussion of why Australia took part in the Vietnam War.

This essay looks at the reasons behind Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War and the performance of Australian troops in the conflict. The paper then discusses the internal pressures faced by the Australian government to dissengage it’s troops from the conflict. The paper includes information on the seven other nations who were also a part of this conflict in the 1960’s and 70’s.
Following the victory of Ho Chi Minh’s communist guerrillas over French forces in the former French colony of Indochina, Vietnam was partitioned at the 17th parallel by an 8 kilometre wide demilitarised zone. To the north was the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam, to the south the notionally democratic South Vietnam. The Geneva Accords which brought this into effect were not endorsed by Australia, as it was feared that communism would continue to march southwards. The Domino Effect theory predicted that the remainder of Indochina would fall next, followed by Thailand, perhaps Malaysia, maybe Indonesia or the Philippines.