Nguyen Van Thieu


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South Vietnamese statesman, President (1967–75). He participated in the post-war struggle against the French but left the Vietminh because of its communist policies and thereafter became a general in the army of South Vietnam. He participated in the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem's government in 1963 and together with another military strongman, Nguyen Cao Ky, dominated the politics of his country. Elected President in 1967, and re-elected in 1971, he continued to press hard in the war against the Vietcong and their North Vietnamese allies despite growing opposition to his dictatorial methods. In the early 1970s the war began to run against him and his US allies drastically reduced their support. In April 1975, with his army in ruins and enemy forces closing on Saigon, he finally resigned his office. He went to live in Taiwan, and later moved to Britain and the USA.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence — History.

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