Repository logo

The Origins of the Vietnam War from the East- and West German Perspective, 1960-1965



Change log


Grundy, Steven Crawford 


This dissertation is the first analytical account of both the East- and West German perspective of the Vietnam War during the spring of 1960 and military escalation in the summer of 1965. By examining the GDR’s and FRG’s opinions and appraisals in these pivotal years, it challenges the prevalent scholarly argument that the roots of the conflicts origins were located in the Cold War struggle between Capitalism and Marxism-Leninism. The study, instead, illustrates how structural changes in the Eastern- and Western Bloc shaped the way in which Bonn and East Berlin reacted to the crisis. It argues that the causes of the Vietnam War cannot be explained without chronicling the breakup of the post-war international order and the subsequent shift from bipolarism to polycentrism. Not only does this thesis enhance our understanding of East- and West German decision-making, but also provides a new contribution to the historiography of the Vietnam War. Above all, it delineates events on either side of the 17th Parallel to ascertain how and why the struggle evolved the way it did.





Preston, Andrew


History, Vietnam War, East- and West Germany, Cold War


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge