A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Neil Sheehan
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How are the Viet Minh perceived by many of the Vietnamese people, especially in light of their victory over the French in the First Indochina War?
(a) Anti-authoritarian radicals.
(b) Patriotic freedom fighters.
(c) Enlightened warriors.
(d) Deeply religious traditionalists.

2. Which person below gives John Paul Vann his first military command duties with the 7th Division?
(a) General Westmoreland.
(b) Colonel Tim Bradstreet.
(c) Colonel Daniel B. Porter.
(d) General Palmer.

3. This is one of the most effective weapons deployed by the ARVN/American forces at Ap Bac.
(a) All answers are correct.
(b) Fifty caliber guns.
(c) Napalm.
(d) Rocket salvos.

4. Which of the following is true regarding the interrogation tactics of the Vietnamese and Cambodian "Rangers"?
(a) They were very cruel and often wound up killing their captives.
(b) They did not capture anyone, but rather killed them on the field of battle.
(c) They were considerate and polite.
(d) They adhered strictly to the Geneva Convention with regard to interrogation techniques.

5. During the early 1960s, the Vietcong forces are _______________ in comparison to the ARVN troops.
(a) Greatly inferior.
(b) Easily slain.
(c) Superior.
(d) Unmotivated.

Short Answer Questions

1. Ngo Dinh Nhu's wife, Madam Ngo, is not-so-affectionately known by what nickname?

2. This person is an influential figure in stabilizing the national government of the Philippines during the 1950s and was sent to South Vietnam to see if he could do the same there.

3. Which of the following best describes the attendees at John Paul Vann's funeral?

4. What word best describes John Paul Vann's physical size?

5. What organization is established by President Kennedy to act as an advisory body to the government in South Vietnam?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the use of terminology in reference to Ho Chi Minh's forces important for the Americans and South Vietnamese to establish?

2. What important political trends are taking place in North Vietnam and South Vietnam in the early 1960s?

3. What are some of the reasons why the South Vietnamese people as a whole do not rally behind the Americans?

4. What do the many guerrilla-style hit-and-run missions of the Viet Cong teach them about the nature of their enemies, the South Vietnamese and the Americans?

5. What political policies of Diem in particular lead to growing dissatisfaction with him and his regime among the South Vietnamese people and, eventually, the Americans as well?

6. What are some of the difficulties in getting the South Vietnamese prepared to engage the Viet Cong?

7. In what ways does John Paul Vann interact with his superior officers during his assignment to Vietnam?

8. John Paul Vann retires from the military in 1963, only to go back to Vietnam with the AID in 1965 and serve until his death in 1972. Based on what we've learned from "The Funeral" section, why do you think he does this?

9. In 1962, what is the United States' stated primary role in Vietnam?

10. What is the preliminary intelligence report given by Jim Drummond and the eavesdroppers in the Otters concerning the size and capabilities of the VC force at Ap Bac?

(see the answer keys)

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