The fall of Saigon, 1975

Professor Peter Edwards
Professor Peter Edwards delivering the inaugural RG Neale Lecture at the National Archives, 1 May 2006.

The inaugural RG Neale Lecture was given by Professor Peter Edwards, AM, on the fall of Saigon, 30 April 1975. Professor Edwards delivered his paper on 1 May 2006 at the National Archives in Canberra.

You can access the audio and transcript of Professor Edwards' lecture from the link at the bottom of this page.

Records release

To coincide with the lecture, the National Archives released digital copies of over 30 records relating to the fall of Saigon. For details, see Fact Sheet 243 – The fall of Saigon.

About this presentation

Thirty-one years after the fall of Saigon in 1975, acclaimed historian Dr Peter Edwards examined documents created in the Department of Foreign Affairs at the time. With the benefit of hindsight, he analysed the controversies and concerns of the government of the day during the tumultuous years of the Vietnam War.

Professor Peter Edwards biographical note

A graduate of the universities of Western Australia and Oxford, Professor Edwards has published extensively on 20th century history, principally on Australian foreign policy, Europe between the world wars, and Australian–American relations. A Rhodes scholar, Harkness fellow and Harold White fellow, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2001 for his work as official historian of Australia’s involvement in Southeast Asian conflicts.

Currently a Visiting Professor of the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, Professor Edwards’ first tenured position after completing his postgraduate studies was working under RG Neale in the newly formed Historical Section in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

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