Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War

Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War

1980, Military and War  -  Playlist 73 Comments
Ratings: 7.55/10 from 33 users.

Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day WarVietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War, a 26-part Canadian television documentary on the Vietnam War, was produced in 1980 by Michael Maclear.

The documentary series was consolidated into 13 hour-long episodes for American television syndication. The series was released on videocassette format by Embassy and won a National Education Association award for best world documentary.

The military, political, and social repercussions of the Vietnam War continue to be felt, in the ways in which it altered the landscape of American life forever. Written by CNN correspondent Peter Arnett, the 13 episodes of Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War trace the entire course of the conflict, from the closing days of World War II when Ho Chi Minh first began to assemble his revolutionary army, to the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Documentary filmmaking simply doesn't get much better than this. With extensive archival footage shot by both sides and interviews with participants ranging from infantry soldiers to diplomats, Vietnam has a detached, journalistic objectivity and fairness throughout.

It would be much easier to understand the war if it were possible to lay the blame at the feet of the French, or Kennedy, Johnson, or Nixon, but the war's progress was never that clear-cut. Rather, it was a slippery slope that inexorably led to thousands of deaths and laid waste to the country of Vietnam.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Owen Self
6 months ago

Who composed the music theme at the beginning of the episodes?

2 years ago

Do a search for NSM263 JFK was pulling out and was killed for it,looks like he had it right.

ternce kelly
4 years ago

wiked brutalo war

10 years ago

Why has this excellent documentary disappeared? Is there an innocent explanation, or are dark forces at work?

10 years ago

You cannot deny those soldiers stopped Communism from absorbing the south Vietnamese People and territory for Ten Years! Rhodes celebrated for keeping Demetrius out of their city for only one year? O Helios!

10 years ago

I suggest that you read some of the contemporary research on the Vietnam War along with watching this documentary. The documentary is itself very good, but texts like Vietnam at War by Mark Bradley
Hanoi's War by Lien-Hang T. Nguyen, and perhaps more sensationally
Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam

by Nick Turse can supplement it with information gleaned from documents from Vietnamese, French and American archives that were unavailable when this documentary was made. It is an amazingly well-balanced documentary, though.

10 years ago

There is a very bad tendency of human of blind sympathy with the underdog!

Majority of people in the world sympathizing the viet cong; they have no idea that this not the usual underdog; the viet cong is the MAD underdog! mad dog savagely kills its own kind: They shoot directly into columns of refugees, they execute ordinary people. Ho, pronounced that he burns the Long mountain to 'liberate' the South!!

China used viet cong to fight the US, they used Vietnam blood to revenge the Korean War.

Le Duan said that they fight the US for China and for the USSR.

I watch this documentary because it contains real events in South Vietnam, the refugees, the deaths, the miseries; not the staged one from the North, heroic youth, happy faces... It is really sad that people see half of the truth, they do not see the reality in the North Vietnam side.

I hope the 'blind' people of the world know more about the communists, North Korea, North Viet now.

Vietnam war is a tragedy, where the blood thirsty won the war.

Phelps Hawkins
10 years ago

Thank you, Alan. Brilliant, and accurate, comment. And given the drivel that preceded your comment, such a rare, pertinent comment is much-needed.

Phelps Hawkins
VV '67-'71

10 years ago

The fact is. These brave,Poverty sticken people in their shoes made from old tyres broke the greatest military power on earth and broke the moral spirit of homeland america to such an extent that the effect on american society was still having an effect 20 years after the cessation of hostilities.The world should never forget the sheer horror that the american military inflicted on this tiny country. Agent orange,the indiscrimate napalm bombing of villages and towns, more bombs dropped than in WW 2. Need one go on? My heart bleeds for what my generation permitted to happen to Vietnam. As early as 1945 a respected american military advisor warned the pentagon that Ho Chi Min had no desire to become part of the communisation of S.E. Asia. All he wanted for Vietnam was an independent republic whose people could enjoy the the same lifestyle as the people of america. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Amen
Alan. Cyprus 2012

10 years ago

You sir are correct. We did defeat the north forcing them to the table. The north broke the treaty defeating the south because of the dems, who didn't give a damn about our commitment, or promise to the Republic of South Vietnam and the Yards. If we had lost, as some say, than why wasn't there cries and whaling in '73?

Michael Wierson
11 years ago

this country is a fascist state, admit it.

11 years ago

a ten hour doc! Juicy :)

11 years ago

our ancestors were part of Vietnam's War and that's the reason our Hmong people here in the USA. Because our Hmong people helped the CIA fought against the Vietnamese (Communist) from 1965-1975.

11 years ago

Americans are really insane. :-(
The greatest warmongers on the planet.

Yoaly Rodriguez
11 years ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary, interviewing all parties involved was the best part for me. On the whole historically accurate and unbiased. Though I've seen it once, I would see it again.

11 years ago

Yeah SHOULD have done this, SHOULD have done that, but they didnt. You could also say they SHOULD have just nuked the kip.

11 years ago

Tonkin bay was a lie, so this documentary is over for me, 9 min into the film.

11 years ago

Excellent doc. from Canada. Of course like many I enjoyed overall however I have to admit there is little criticism of President Johnson and his knowledge that this was a losing effort from the beginning.

And speaking of the beginning. I would have to say the glaring omission that the Tonkin Bay incident was a premeditated excuse instigated by the USA is disappointing.

11 years ago

More than half million U.S troops and still eventually defeated by the Vietcong!

11 years ago

slow suffocation as torture, thats sick I knew the Americans did some nasty things but that has shocked me so much I don't think I will think in the same way about the USA again. USA is more evil than Nazi Germany without question.

12 years ago

Nice doc, very informative and well presented. The fact that it from the 80s and therefore much closer to the Time Period of the Vietnam war makes it even more intriguing. Another great one Vlat

12 years ago

I do think it was tasteless to lay into the soldiers themselves, although to be quite frank many of them were responsible for some very brutal and inhumane behavior. Many though were simply confused kids holding on for dear life. Governments don't really ask the public if it's okay to go to war. They don't clearly express the reasoning - in fact they light outright about it. In regards to Iraq, many Americans genuinely believed that Hussein was linked to Al Quaeda, had weapons of mass destruction, and was planning to attack the U.S. It wasn't until much American and Iraqi blood had been shed that the details surfaced, exposing this all as a sham. There are also cases where the war simply drags on for eternity with no end in sight or turns into a permanent occupation. I think, in these cases, it is our duty to rally for the return of our troops.

12 years ago

This is one of the best and most in-depth documentaries on the Vietnam war I've ever seen, it really looks at the thing from all angles. Highly recommdended to those people who want to lay their educational foundation on this topic.

12 years ago

War is wrong as a solution. It should be avoided at all costs. However the victim of protest is almost invariably the common soldier, as it was during Vietnam. I will always support the troops and all of their heroism. Because once you step off that boat or helicopter it is not about politics or power. It is about fighting for the lives of the men you serve with. The government never suffered for their sins in the 60s no matter what the protesters did. The ones who did suffer were the ones who came home to scorn and isolation. After a year of bloody hell and mental torture, To be called a baby killer or murdering dog of the man is unfathomable. Public consensus should be determined before war, not during. If we want to stop war we need it to stop before it happens otherwise we only punish our own brothers and sisters.

12 years ago

I was in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam. I'm also a long time, active member of Veterans For Peace. VFP is a fairly radical, rowdy group of vets with a mission statement that comes right out and condemns war as a solution to any global problems...period! This documentary is very good. "Hearts and Minds" is the best I ever saw in terms of capturing the war on the home front. It was turbulent. Very intense...similar to today's protests of Afghanistan and Iraq but much bigger and more active... more vocal too. Another one called "Vietnam: A Television History" is the best accurate, no-spin history IMHO. Although the experience of that war left a profound impact upon everyone who was involved, I haven't really carried it around like some heavy load like some guys I've known who are stuck back in the mayhem.

12 years ago

You have to also take in account that it was made in 1980 so much of the material was still not available and the cold war was still on. It gives a good view on some things but it really is not the best you can find on the war today.

12 years ago

Everything has a bias, the bias here is probably that this comes from a Canadian perspective and not an American one so certain points are stressed more than others, while some points may be left out.

12 years ago

This is nothing but pure propaganda crap. I watched the first eight minutes and when they brought up the Gulf of tonkin incident saying that the Vietnamese fired on U S ships that was enough for me. That is a proven out and out lie! In fact U S ships fired on them in an atttempt to draw them into battle and they never fired back. The so called Gulf of Tonkin Incident never happened. This kind of garbage should be burned. People need to learn real history instead of the swill that has been fed to us over the years.

12 years ago

Great, started into this and my power went out about 3 hrs in :( Now I got to find where the heck I was at in the playlist again. It is an interesting series but I would recommend watching "The Trials of Henry Kissinger" here on TDF to give a second opinion of some of the things going on. Seems like it has a pretty biased view on some aspects of the Vietnam War.