1963 in the Vietnam War
|1963 in the Vietnam War|
|Anti-Communist forces:||Communist forces:|
|US: 16,732 |
|Casualties and losses|
|US: 118 killed
South Vietnam: killed
|North Vietnam: casualties|
- January 2
The Battle of Ap Bac was a small-scale battle which resulted in the first major combat victory by the Viet Cong against regular South Vietnamese and American forces. The battle took place near the hamlet of Ap Bac, 65 km (40 mi) southwest of Saigon in the Mekong Delta. Forces of the 7th Division of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), equipped with armored personnel carriers (APCs) and artillery and supported by American helicopters, confronted entrenched elements of the Viet Cong 261st and 514th battalions.
- June 3
The Hue chemical attacks was when soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) poured liquid chemicals from tear gas grenades onto the heads of praying Buddhists in Huế, South Vietnam. The Buddhists were protesting against religious discrimination by the regime of the Roman Catholic President Ngo Dinh Diem. The attacks caused 67 people to be hospitalised for blistering of the skin and respiratory ailments.
- June 11
Hòa thượng Thích Quảng Đức was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963. Thích Quảng Đức was protesting against the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam's Ngô Đình Diệm administration.
DEPTEL 243 was a high profile message sent on August 24, 1963 by the United States Department of State to Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., the US ambassador to South Vietnam. The cable came in the wake of a series of bloody raids in which hundreds were believed to have been killed. The raids were orchestrated by Diem's brother Ngo Dinh Nhu. The message was the beginning of the end for Diem and historian John W. Newman described it as "the single most controversial cable of the Vietnam War."
- September 3
- September 9
American troops in South Vietnam rise to 16, 732.
- October 11
In National Security Action Memorandum 263 (NSAM 263) John F Kennedy orders the withdrawal of 1000 American troops from South Vietnam. This policy is sometimes cited as part of a possible motive to assassinate Kennedy. (This theory is presented in Oliver Stone's film JFK.)
- November 2
The arrest and assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem, then president of South Vietnam, marked the culmination of a successful CIA-backed coup d'état led by General Duong Van Minh. On the morning of November 2, 1963, Diem and his adviser, younger brother Ngo Dinh Nhu, were arrested and then killed in an armoured personnel carrier by ARVN officers.
- November 20
New plans for Vietnam are drawn up at a military conference in Honolulu. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara approves OPLAN 34A.
- November 22
- November 22
The Battle of Hiep Hoa was a minor battle of the Vietnam War. On the night of November 22, 1963, an estimated 500 Viet Cong soldiers overrun the Hiep Hoa Special Forces Camp, resulting in four American personnel MIA.
- November 23
- November 26
In National Security Action Memorandum 273 President Lyndon B. Johnson reverses Kennedy's draw down and changes the goal of American involvement from supporting South Vietnam to defeating communist forces.
Year in numbers
|Armed Force||Strength||KIA||Reference||Military costs - 1963||Military costs - 2014||Reference|
|South Vietnam ARVN|
|United States US Forces||16, 732 ||118|||
- Weeks & Meconis 2004, p. 23
- Lucas 2010
- Jacobs 2006, p. 319
- Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993), p. 37.
- Busky 2002, p. 32
- Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993), p. 24. "While there were undoubtedly fictions in Oliver Stone's movie JFK, many critics at the time of its release in 1991 concentrated on denying two of Stone's incontrovertible facts. The first was that in late 1963 Kennedy had authorized an initial withdrawal of 1,000 U.S. troops from Vietnam, as the first step of a pull-out to be substantially completed by the end of 1965. The second was that, in a high-level meeting right after Kennedy's murder, Johnson redirected U.S. Vietnam policy from this graduated disengagement to graduated escalation. These divergent decisions were encoded in two divergent National Security Action Memoranda, NSAMs 263 and 273. NSM 263 of October 11, 1963, was Kennedy's last NSAM policy directive on Vietnam. NSAM 273 of November 26, 1963, dated four days after the assassination, was Johnson's first."
- United States 2010
- Busky, Donald F. (2002). Communism in history and theory: Asia, Africa, and the Americas (2002 ed.). Praeger Publishers. ISBN 0-275-97733-1. - Total pages: 256
- Lucas, Dean (2010). "Famous Picture: Burning Monk". Famous Pictures Magazine. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
- Scott, Peter Dale. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. ISBN 0-520-08410-1
- Jacobs, Seth (2006). Cold War Mandarin: Ngo Dinh Diem and the Origins of America's War in Vietnam, 1950–1963. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 0-7425-4447-8.
- United States, Government (2010). "Statistical information about casualties of the Vietnam War". National Archives and Records Administration. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
- Weeks, Stanley Byron; Meconis, Charles A. (2004). The armed forces of the USA in the Asia-Pacific region (2004 ed.). PUBLISHER. ISBN 1-86064-488-0. - Total pages: 272
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