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The Vietnam war was a long, costly and divisive problem that pitted the communist government of phibìc Vietnam versus South Vietnam and also its major ally, the united States. The dispute was increase by the continuous Cold War between the unified States and also the Soviet Union. More than 3 million human being (including end 58,000 Americans) were eliminated in the Vietnam War, and more than half of the dead to be Vietnamese civilians. 

Opposition come the war in the United claims bitterly divided Americans, even after chairman Richard Nixon signed the Paris tranquility Accords and ordered the withdrawal of U.S. Forces in 1973. Communist forces ended the battle by seizing manage of south Vietnam in 1975, and also the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.

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Roots that the Vietnam battle


Vietnam, a country in south east Asia ~ above the east edge of the Indochinese peninsula, had actually been under French early american rule due to the fact that the 19th century.


During human being War II, Japanese forces invaded Vietnam. Come fight off both Japanese occupiers and also the French colonial administration, politics leader Ho Chi Minh—inspired through Chinese and Soviet communism—formed the Viet Minh, or the organization for the independence of Vietnam.


Following its 1945 defeat in world War II, Japan withdrew its forces from Vietnam, leaving the French-educated Emperor Bao Dai in control. Seeing an possibility to take control, Ho’s Viet Minh forces immediately rose up, taking over the northern city of Hanoi and also declaring a autonomous Republic the Vietnam (DRV) with Ho together president.

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

Both sides want the exact same thing: a combined Vietnam. Yet while Ho and his supporters want a country modeled after other communist countries, Bao and also many others want a Vietnam with close economic and cultural ties come the West.


Did friend know? follow to a inspection by the Veterans Administration, some 500,000 that the 3 million troops who offered in Vietnam experienced from post-traumatic stress disorder, and also rates of divorce, suicide, alcoholism and also drug seeks were markedly higher among veterans.

When walk the Vietnam battle Start?

The Vietnam war and energetic U.S. Involvement in the war started in 1954, though ongoing dispute in the region had stretched back several decades.


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

The subsequent treaty signed in July 1954 in ~ a Geneva conference break-up Vietnam follow me the latitude known as the 17th Parallel (17 degrees north latitude), with Ho in manage in the North and Bao in the South. The treaty additionally called because that nationwide elections because that reunification to be organized in 1956.

In 1955, however, the strongly anti-communist politician Ngo Dinh Diem moved Emperor Bao beside to become president that the federal government of the Republic that Vietnam (GVN), often referred to during that era as southern Vietnam.

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READ MORE: Vietnam battle Timeline


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The Viet Cong

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

With training and also equipment native American military and also the CIA, Diem’s security pressures cracked down on Viet Minh sympathizers in the south, whom he derisively called Viet Cong (or Vietnamese Communist), arresting some 100,000 people, plenty of of whom to be brutally tortured and executed.

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

In December 1960, Diem’s many opponents within south Vietnam—both communist and non-communist—formed the national Liberation former (NLF) to organize resistance to the regime. Despite the NLF asserted to be autonomous and that most of that is members were no communists, numerous in Washington suspect it to be a puppet of Hanoi.

Domino theory

A team sent by President man F. Kennedy in 1961 to report on problems in south Vietnam recommend a buildup of American military, economic and also technical help in bespeak to help Diem confront the Viet Cong threat.