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

Neil Sheehan
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following ARVN commanders is promoted to the rank of general just before the Battle of Ap Bac?

2. The helicopters that carry the ARVN troops to the battle location are affectionately known by what name?

3. Which event during the Vietnam War is used to discredit General Westmoreland's overall strategy and cause many Americans to demand an end to U.S. involvement there?

4. Who is primarily responsible for the gathering of pre-battle intelligence for this conflict?

5. Which of the following cities is the site of the Vietnamese imperial palace?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is General Huynh Van Cao's chief-of-staff, Lt. Colonel Bui Dinh Dam, selected, even though he is a North Vietnamese and General Huynh Van Cao is a general for the South?

2. Why are the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) referred to as "Viet Cong"?

3. What is the primary shift in strategy espoused by John Paul Vann and Colonel Porter in 1962?

4. 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?

5. What are the key components of Ziegler's battle plan? How many men and how much air and armor support are sent to Ap Bac?

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. What is one of the secret desires of the American military advisers with regard to the Viet Cong's fighting tactics?

8. What do you think John Paul Vann's motivations are when he is first sent to Vietnam to advise the South Vietnamese military in 1962?

9. Why is the Battle of Ap Bac considered perhaps the most important confrontation of the entire Vietnam War?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

John Paul Vann retired from the military in 1963. However, he re-enlisted to serve in Vietnam as a civilian with the Agency for International Development (AID) just two years later, in 1965. Briefly explain why you think John Paul Vann would make that decision and support your answer with information given in the text.

Essay Topic 2

Based on what you have read in the Sheehan book, please describe, compare, and contrast the overall war strategy of General Westmoreland and the North Vietnamese under Ho Chi Minh. How were the strategies different and which do you think was the better overall plan for victory? Why?

Essay Topic 3

President John Kennedy wanted to approach the situation in South Vietnam with a tactic he termed "Counter Insurgency" (COIN). What was counter-insurgency and how was it implemented? Did it have the effect that JFK wanted it to? Why or why not? Would the program have been more effective if it were implemented earlier or in a more aggressive way? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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