Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

U.S. Military Advisory Effort in Vietnam: Military Assistance Advisory Group, Vietnam, 1950-1964

Date Range: 1950-1964
Content: 18,669 pages
Source Library: U.S. National Archives


President Harry Truman had approved National Security Council (NSC) Memorandum 64 in March 1950, proclaiming that French Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) was a key area that could not be allowed to fall to the communists and that the U.S. would provide support against communist aggression in the area. However, NSC 64 did not identify who would receive the aid, the French or the South Vietnamese. The French did not want the aid to go directly to the South Vietnamese and opposed the presence of any American advisory group. Nevertheless, the U.S. government argued that such a team would be necessary to coordinate requisitioning, procurement, and dissemination of supplies and equipment. Accordingly, an advisory group was dispatched to Saigon. In the long run, however, the French high command ignored the MAAG in formulating strategy, denied them any role in training the Vietnamese, and refused to keep them informed of current operations and future plans. By 1952, the U.S. bore roughly one-third of the cost of the war the French were fighting, but found itself with very little influence over French military policy in Southeast Asia or the way the war was waged. Ultimately, the French were defeated at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and withdrew from Vietnam, passing the torch to the U.S. In 1964, MAAG Vietnam was disbanded and its advisory mission and functions integrated into the U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), which was established in February 1962.

The involvement of the United States in the affairs of Vietnam began with grants of money and military equipment, grew with the dispatch of military advisers and maintenance personnel, and mushroomed with the commitment of ships, planes, tanks, and eventually 550,000 troops. Dragging out into the longest conflict in U.S. history, the conflict in Vietnam remained an issue through four presidential elections—and it divided the country more sharply than any controversy since slavery.

This collection contains a variety of Military Assistance Advisory Group, Vietnam materials:

  • Reports
  • Correspondence
  • Memoranda
  • Tables of organization
  • Statistics
  • Operations plans
  • Memoranda of conversations
  • Photographs

U.S. Military Advisory Effort in Vietnam: Military Assistance Advisory Group, Vietnam, 1950-1964 features a wealth of information necessary for research in Southeast Asian and Asian Studies, Vietnam Conflict Studies, Military History, Diplomatic History, International Affairs, Political Science and Political Economy.

Sample documents include:

  • MAAGV 400.1: Supplies, Services & Equipment, 1950
  • MAAGV 335: Honors & Ceremonies, 1953
  • MAAGV 370.2: Operations & Reports, 1953
  • MAAGV 000.72: Secret & Confidential.
  • MAAGV 322: Organizations & Tactical Units
  • MAAGV 470: Ammunition, Armament & Other Similar Services
  • MAAGV 350.09: Intelligence, 1954
  • MAAGV 320.3: MAAG-Cambodia, 1954
  • MAAGV 370.2: Mutual Defense Assistance Program
  • MAAGV 320.2: Recommended Forces Basis for Vietnam Air Force
  • MAAGV 333: Investigation Re: Explosion on Board USNS LST 657 (Part 2 of 2)
  • MAAGV 370.2: Country Statement on Map, Non-NATO Countries, Jan. 15, 1956
  • MAAGV 300: Force Level & Force Base, Vietnam for FY 1957 & FY 1958
  • And so much more

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