Change of Government by Steve Payne
says: what if there was a national debate on Vietnam long before the
Gulf of Tonkin? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not
necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
On November 11th 1960,
with the electoral recount process underway in the
disputed States of Texas and Illinois, Lieutenant Colonel Vuong Van Dong and
Colonel Nguyen Chanh Thi of the Airborne Division of the Army of the
Republic of Vietnam effected a more dramatic change of government by
assassinating President Ngo Dinh Diem.
"At last! Someone's done the arithmetic and noticed
that, for all the whining by Nixon supporters over the years about the 1960
election having been "stolen" in Chicago, Kennedy would have had enough
electoral votes without Illinois to put him over the top" - readers commentAfter
the plotters had trapped the ruling Ngo Family inside the Independence
Palace, Diem tried to stall the coup by holding negotiations and promising
reforms, such as the inclusion of military officers in the administration.
Opposition politicians then joined the fray, exploiting his position, but
Diem was simply playing for time, unaware that the 5th and 7th Divisions of
the ARVN were unable to lift the siege because the plotters had closed the
roads leading into the capital Saigon1.
"As President, I would recognize Ho Chi Minh and wait
patiently for him to put down his rivals to the South" - readers comment
Whilst this drama played out, lame duck President Eisenhower and his two
successor candidates Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy were also in limbo.
Both candidates decided to seize the initiative by
putting forthrightly their views on both the situation in Indochina, and
also the case for US intervention to save the region falling like a domino
says 1) this was the critical flaw in the coup that we have reversed. To
view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
Steve Payne, Editor of
Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items
explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist
superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy
Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting