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Series Two: Vietnam, 1959-1975

Part 1: Vietnam, 1959-1963

Key Personalities 1959-1963

Democratic Republic of Viet Nam (North Vietnam)

Ho Chi Minh Founder of the Vietminh. First president of the DRV (North Vietnam), until his death in 1969.

Vo Nguyen Giap Commander of the DRV military strategy against the French, and then the Americans.

Xuan Thuy Foreign Minister of DRV, 1963-1965.

Le Duan General Secretary of the Vietnamese Workers’ Party.

Republic of Viet Nam (South Vietnam)

Bao Dai Head of state from 1949-1955 and the last emperor of Vietnam. He was removed by Diem in 1955 and went into exile.

Ngo Dinh Diem Became prime minister in Bao Dai’s government in 1954 after a number of years in exile in the USA. He ousted the emperor in the 1955 referendum and declared South Vietnam a republic. He was president of South Vietnam from 1955 until his murder in the 1963 military coup.

Duong Van Minh Known as ‘Big Minh’. He headed the military coup against Diem in 1963, but was himself soon replaced by General Khanh as leader, but returned to power in 1975.

Ngo Dinh Nhu The younger brother of Diem. Nhu was a trusted advisor to the president and member of the government. He was killed with Diem after the 1963 coup.

Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu Diem’s sister and First Lady of South Vietnam. She escaped to Italy after the 1963 coup.

Ngo Dinh Thuc Diem’s eldest brother, Thuc became archbishop of Hué and was instrumental in provoking the Buddhist Crisis of 1963.

Nguyen Huu Tho Leader of the NLF (Vietcong) in South Vietnam.

USA - Kennedy Administration:

John F Kennedy United States President (1960-1963)

Lyndon Baines Johnson Vice-President (1960-1963)

McGeorge Bundy Special Assistant for National Security (1961-1966)

Robert S McNamara US Secretary of Defence (1961-1968)

Roswell Gilpatric US Deputy-Secretary of Defence

Dean Rusk US Secretary of State (1961-1969)

George Ball Under Secretary of State ( 1961-1966)
US Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (1961)
General Paul Harkins Head of Military Advisory Mission to Vietnam (MACV)

General Maxwell Taylor Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff (1962-1964) and Military Advisor to the President

Walt Rostow Director of the Policy Planning Staff, US Department of State (1961-1966); Chairman of the Planning Subcommittee, Executive Committee of the National Security Council (1962-1963)

Dean Acheson Presidential Advisor (1961-1963)

Allen Dulles Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (1953-1961)

John A McCone Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (1961-1965)

Elbridge Durbrow US Ambassador to South Vietnam (1957-1961)

Frederick Nolting US Ambassador to South Vietnam (1961-1963)

Henry Cabot Lodge US Ambassador to South Vietnam (1963-1964)

British Government:

Harold Macmillan British Prime Minister (1957-1963)

Sir Harold Caccia British Ambassador to the US (1956-1961)

David Ormsby-Gore British Ambassador to the US (1961-1965)

Sir Alec Douglas Home British Foreign Secretary (1960-1963), then Prime Minister (1963-1964)

H A F Hohler British Ambassador to Vietnam
Robert Thompson British military officer with successful experience of countering communist insurgents in Malaya. Became a military advisor to Diem

C Stewart British Embassy, Saigon

J W Hutson British Embassy, Saigon

Burrows British Embassy, Saigon

M T Walker British Ambassador to DRV

Frederick Warner Head of South East Asian Department of the Foreign Office

Soviet Government:

Nikita Khrushchev Soviet Premier (1958-1964)

Andrei Gromyko Soviet Foreign Minister (1957-1986)

Anatoly Dobrynin Soviet Ambassador to the US (1962-1986)



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