Vietnam: A Television History (1983): S01E05 – America Takes Charge (1965-1967)


Vietnam: A Television History (1983) is a 13-part American documentary and television mini-series about the Vietnam War (1955-1975) from the perspective of the United States.

It was produced for public television by WGBH-TV in Boston, and it was originally broadcast on PBS between 04 October and 20 December 1983.


The first years of involvement by US combat troops is seen through the eyes of both American soldiers and everyday Vietnamese people. In the early days, there was strong support from the America public as America took charge of the war. By the end of 1965, there were 200,000 troops on the ground in Vietnam. The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was in control of large parts of South Vietnam and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) was not seen as reliable. Soldiers, once eager, were now beginning to question their role in Vietnam and began to question if they could ever win. Guerrillas travelled light while they carried 50 lbs of gear and their superior equipment seemed to be having little effect. Interviews with soldiers and survivors of the Thuy Bo massacre are conducted. The bombing in the North, Operation Rolling Thunder, continued but did not achieve the hoped for objective. After 3 years, the US had won many battles but not yet the war.

Vietnam: A Television History Series

You can find a full index and overview of Vietnam: A Television History here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 25 October 1983.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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