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 far off (in miles) from their intended landing zones are the ARVN paratroopers eventually dropped?
(a) One half mile.
(b) One mile.
(c) Two miles.
(d) One and a half miles.

2. To save face following the Battle of Ap Bac, General Cao does which of the following?
(a) Staged a dangerous mock attack on the same site for PR reasons.
(b) Fled to neighboring Cambodia in disgrace.
(c) Launched a massive aerial offensive against Hanoi.
(d) Surrendered command to John Paul Vann.

3. Which of the following funeral attendees is also an instrumental adviser to the South Vietnamese during the early 1960s?
(a) Lt. Col. Lucien Conein.
(b) Joseph Alsop.
(c) General Edward Lansdale.
(d) Ho Chi Minh.

4. U.S. military ships are fired on during a routine mission in this body of water:
(a) Indian Ocean.
(b) South China Sea.
(c) Gulf of Tonkin.
(d) Bay of Biscay.

5. Where does John Paul Vann die?
(a) Central Highlands of North Vietnam.
(b) Over the Pacific Ocean.
(c) On his way home from work at the Pentagon.
(d) Central Highlands of South Vietnam.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following ARVN infantry units is referred to as the "cockpit of war" during Vietnam?

2. The Communist forces of North Vietnam are led by which of the following men?

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

4. Which city in North Vietnam is the base for Ho Chi Minh's government?

5. Which intelligence officer, assigned to work with Vann, lives by the motto "know your foe", setting up an elaborate system of informants and launching an exhaustive data file on the Vietcong?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. Based on what you learned in this section, describe briefly John Paul Vann's physical appearance.

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. How does the United States initially get more involved in South Vietnamese politics in 1962?

6. Why do you believe General Harkins and others in the United States' military and intelligence communities put so much stock into the opinions of Vietnamese military leaders like General Huynh Van Cao, often at the expense of more sound advice from their own people, like John Paul Vann?

7. As adviser to the 7th Infantry Division of the ARVN, John Paul Vann is responsible for the defense and preservation of what area in Vietnam?

8. Which American adviser is responsible for drawing up the basic plan of attack for the ARVN?

9. In what ways does John Paul Vann's life embody the spirit of the United States in the Vietnam War?

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

(see the answer keys)

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