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The Vietnam war was a long, costly and also divisive problem that pitted the communist government of phibìc Vietnam against South Vietnam and also its major ally, the unified States. The conflict was increase by the ongoing Cold War in between the joined States and the Soviet Union. Much more than 3 million human being (including end 58,000 Americans) were eliminated in the Vietnam War, and much more than fifty percent of the dead to be Vietnamese civilians. Opposition come the battle in the United states bitterly divided Americans, even after chairman Richard Nixon bespeak the withdrawal of U.S. Forces in 1973. Communist forces ended the battle by seizing control of south Vietnam in 1975, and the country was combined as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.

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Roots of the Vietnam war


Vietnam, a country in southeast Asia ~ above the east edge that the Indochinese peninsula, had been under French early american rule because the 19th century.

During human being War II, Japanese pressures invaded Vietnam. Come fight off both Japanese occupiers and also the French early american administration, political leader Ho Chi Minh—inspired by Chinese and also Soviet communism—formed the Viet Minh, or the organization for the freedom of Vietnam.


Following the 1945 loss in civilization War II, Japan withdrew its forces from Vietnam, leave the French-educated Emperor Bao Dai in control. See an opportunity to take control, Ho’s Viet Minh forces immediately rose up, taking over the north city that Hanoi and declaring a autonomous Republic the Vietnam (DRV) with Ho together president.


Seeking to regain control of the region, France donate Emperor Bao and collection up the state that Vietnam in July 1949, v the city of Saigon together its capital.

Both sides want the very same thing: a combined Vietnam. However while Ho and his supporters want a nation modeled after other communist countries, Bao and many others wanted a Vietnam through close economic and cultural ties to the West.

Did you know? according to a survey by the Veterans Administration, part 500,000 of the 3 million troops who served in Vietnam suffered from post-traumatic anxiety disorder, and also rates that divorce, suicide, alcoholism and drug seeks were markedly greater among veterans.


When walk the Vietnam war Start?

The Vietnam battle and energetic U.S. Joining in the war started in 1954, though ongoing conflict in the region had stretched earlier several decades.

After Ho’s communist forces took power in the north, equipped conflict in between northern and also southern armies continued till the north Viet Minh’s decisive win in the fight of Dien Bien Phu in may 1954. The French loss at the battle ended almost a century the French early american rule in Indochina.

The succeeding treaty signed in July 1954 in ~ a Geneva conference separation Vietnam follow me the latitude well-known as the 17th Parallel (17 levels north latitude), with Ho in control in the North and also Bao in the South. The treaty additionally called because that nationwide elections because that reunification come be hosted in 1956.


In 1955, however, the strong anti-communist politician Ngo Dinh Diem thrust Emperor Bao aside to become president of the government of the Republic that Vietnam (GVN), frequently referred to throughout that era as southern Vietnam.

READ MORE: Vietnam war Timeline


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The Viet Cong

With the Cold battle intensifying worldwide, the United states hardened the policies versus any allies the the Soviet Union, and by 1955 chairman Dwight D. Eisenhower had actually pledged his firm assistance to Diem and South Vietnam.


With training and also equipment from American military and the CIA, Diem’s security forces cracked down on Viet Minh sympathizers in the south, who he derisively dubbed Viet Cong (or Vietnamese Communist), arresting some 100,000 people, countless of whom were brutally tortured and executed.

By 1957, the Viet Cong and other opponents of Diem’s repressive regime began fighting ago with assaults on federal government officials and other targets, and by 1959 they had started engaging the southern Vietnamese army in firefights.

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In December 1960, Diem’s countless opponents within south Vietnam—both communist and also non-communist—formed the nationwide Liberation front (NLF) come organize resistance come the regime. Though the NLF declared to be autonomous and that many of that is members were not communists, countless in Washington presume it to be a puppet that Hanoi.

Domino concept

A team sent by President man F. Kennedy in 1961 to report on conditions in southern Vietnam advised a accumulation of American military, economic and also technical aid in order to help Diem face the Viet Cong threat.

Working under the “domino theory,” which held that if one Southeast asian country fell to communism, plenty of other countries would follow, Kennedy increased U.S. Aid, despite he stopped brief of committing to a large-scale military intervention.


A coup by some of his very own generals succeeded in toppling and killing Diem and also his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, in November 1963, three weeks prior to Kennedy to be assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

The ensuing political instability in south Vietnam convinced Kennedy’s successor, lyndon B. Johnson, and also Secretary the Defense Robert McNamara to further increase U.S. Military and economic support.

In august of 1964, ~ DRV torpedo boats attacked two U.S. Destroyers in the Gulf the Tonkin, Johnson ordered the retaliatory battle of army targets in phibìc Vietnam. Congress shortly passed the Gulf that Tonkin Resolution, which provided Johnson broad war-making powers, and U.S. Planes began regular battle raids, codenamed operation Rolling Thunder, the complying with year.