The Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975.
Vietnam War (Chiến tranh Việt Nam) Part of the Indochina Wars and the Cold War: Clockwise, from top left: U.S. combat operations in Ia Drang, ARVN Rangers defending Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive, two A-4C Skyhawks after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, ARVN recapture Quảng Trị during the 1972 Easter Offensive, civilians fleeing the 1972 Battle of Quảng Trị, burial of 300 victims ...
- 1 November 1955 – 30 April 1975, (19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day)
- Decisive North Vietnamese victory, U. S. military and political defeat, Withdrawal of American forces from Indochina, Communist governments take power in South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, South Vietnam is annexed by North Vietnam
This war followed the First Indochina War (1946–54) and was fought between North Vietnam—supported by Communist nations such as the Soviet Union and China—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and other anti-communist allies.
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- Civilian deaths in the Vietnam War
- North Vietnamese and Viet Cong military deaths
- United States armed forces
Estimates of casualties of the Vietnam War vary widely. Estimates include both civilian and military deaths in North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The war persisted from 1955 to 1975 and most of the fighting took place in South Vietnam; accordingly it suffered the most casualties. The war also spilled over into the neighboring countries of Cambodia and Laos which also endured casualties from aerial and ground fighting. Civilian deaths caused by both sides amounted to a significant perce
Lewy estimates that 40,000 South Vietnamese civilians were assassinated by the PAVN/VC; 250,000 were killed as a result of combat in South Vietnam, and 65,000 were killed in North Vietnam. He suggests that 222,000 civilians were counted as military deaths by the U.S. in compiling its "body count." It was difficult to distinguish between civilians and military personnel in many instances as many individuals were part-time guerrillas or impressed laborers who did not wear uniforms.
According to the Vietnamese government's national survey and assessment of war casualties, there were 849,018 PAVN/VC military personnel dead, including combat death and non-combat death, from the period between 1955 and 1975. Based on unit surveys, a rough estimate of 30–40% of dead and missing were non-combat deaths. Across all three wars including the First Indochina War and the Third Indochina War there was a total of 1,146,250 PAVN/VC military deaths or missing, included 939,460 ...
African Americans suffered disproportionately high casualty rates in Vietnam. In 1965 alone they comprised 14.1% of total combat deaths, when they only comprised approximately 11% of the total U.S. population in the same year. With the draft increasing due to the troop buildup in
- Under the Kennedy Administration
- Vietnamization, 1969–73
- Morale and drug usage
The role of the United States in the Vietnam War began after World War II and escalated into full commitment during the Vietnam War from 1955 to 1973. The U.S. involvement in South Vietnam stemmed from a combination of factors: France's long colonial history in French Indochina, the U.S. war with Japan in the Pacific, and both Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong's pledge in 1950 to support Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh's guerrilla forces. Related to this, the U.S. was adamantly against providing any ai
In 1961, the new administration of President John F. Kennedy took a new approach to aiding anti-communist forces in Vietnam which differed from the administrations of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, who felt the neighboring country Laos was the "cork in the bottle" in combating the threat of Communism in southeast Asia. During 1961, his first year in office, Kennedy assigned $28.4M to the enlargement of the South Vietnamese army and $12.7M to enhance the civil guard. He also found himself face
On July 27, 1964, 5,000 additional U.S. military advisers were ordered to the Republic of Vietnam, bringing the total American troop level to 21,000. Shortly thereafter an incident occurred off the coast of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam that was destined to escalate the conf
President Johnson had already appointed General William C. Westmoreland to succeed General Harkins as Commander of MACV in June 1964. Under Westmoreland, the expansion of American troop strength in South Vietnam took place. American forces rose from 16,000 during 1964 to more tha
On November 27, 1965, the Pentagon declared that if the major operations needed to neutralize North Vietnamese and NLF forces were to succeed, U.S. troop levels in South Vietnam would have to be increased from 120,000 to 400,000. In a series of meetings between Westmoreland and t
The credibility of the U.S. government again suffered in 1971 when The New York Times, The Washington Post and other newspapers serially published The Pentagon Papers. This top-secret historical study of the American commitment in Vietnam, from the Franklin Roosevelt administrati
In 1971 the U.S. authorized the ARVN to carry out an offensive operation aimed at cutting the Ho Chi Minh Trail in southeastern Laos. Besides attacking the PAVN logistical system the incursion would be a significant test of Vietnamization. Backed by U.S. air and artillery support
Vietnamization received another severe test in the spring of 1972 when the North Vietnamese launched a massive conventional offensive across the Demilitarized Zone. Beginning on March 30, the Easter Offensive quickly overran the three northernmost provinces of South Vietnam, incl
The earliest reported use of drugs among US troops in Vietnam was recorded in 1963. During this time the most commonly used drug was marijuana, which was sometimes used in the form of hashish. Soldiers mainly used the drug during downtime in rear areas and commanders expressed concern that it would hinder combat operations. On the topic, Major General Raymond G. Davis noted that the troops policed themselves while they were out in the field, where combat was possible, as they would need a clear
Vietnam era rifles used by the US military and allies. This article is about the weapons used in the Vietnam War, which involved the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) or North Vietnamese Army (NVA), National Liberation Front for South Vietnam (NLF) or Viet Cong (VC), and the armed forces of the China (PLA), Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), United States, Republic of Korea, Philippines ...
Vietnam War (Chiến tranh Việt Nam) Pairt o the Indocheenae Wars an the Cauld War: Clockwise, frae tap left: US combat operations in Ia Drang, ARVN Rangers defendin Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive, twa Douglas A-4C Skyhawks enroute for airstrikes against North Vietnam efter the Gulf o Tonkin incident, ARVN recaptur Quảng Trị during the 1972 Easter Offensive, ceevilians fleein the ...
- December 1956 – 30 Apryle 1975, (18 years, 4 months, 4 weeks and 1 day)
- Communist decisive victory, U. S. military an political defeat, Communist govrenments tak pouer in Sooth Vietnam, Cambodie an Laos, Sooth Vietnam is annexed bi North Vietnam
- Initial contributions
- Military assistance
- Agent Orange
New Zealand decided to send troops to Vietnam in 1964 because of Cold War concerns and alliance considerations. The potential adverse effect on the ANZUS alliance of not supporting the United States in Vietnam was key. It also upheld New Zealand's national interests of countering communism in South-East Asia. The government wanted to maintain solidarity with the United States, but was unsure about the likely outcome of external military intervention in Vietnam. Prime Minister Keith Holyoake deci
New Zealand's initial response was carefully considered and characterised by Prime Minister Keith Holyoake's cautiousness towards the entire Vietnam question. While it was considered that New Zealand should support South Vietnam, as Holyoake alleged; Whose will is to prevail in South Vietnam? The imposed will of the North Vietnamese communists and their agents, or the freely expressed will of the people of South Vietnam? The government preferred minimal involvement, with other South East Asian d
American pressure continued for New Zealand to contribute military assistance, as the United States would be deploying combat units itself soon, as would Australia. Holyoake justified New Zealand's lack of assistance by pointing to its military contribution to the Indonesia-Malaysian Confrontation, but eventually the government decided to contribute. It was seen as in the nation's best interests to do so—failure to contribute even a token force to the effort in Vietnam would have ...
In line with reductions in American and Australian strength in Vietnam, New Zealand began the gradual withdrawal of its combat forces as the training teams were arriving. Prime Minister Holyoake said in 1971 that New Zealand's combat forces would be withdrawn by "about the end of this year," and they were – Whiskey Three Company went in November 1970, the SAS Troop and 161 Battery followed in February and May 1971 respectively, and Victor Six Company and the tri-service medical team left ...
Although New Zealand's involvement in the war was very limited compared to the contributions of some of its allies, it still triggered a large anti-Vietnam War movement at home.
Like veterans from many of the other allied nations, as well as Vietnamese civilians, New Zealand veterans of the Vietnam War claimed that they had suffered serious harm as a result of exposure to Agent Orange. In 1984, Agent Orange manufacturers paid New Zealand, Australian and Canadian veterans in an out-of-court settlement, and in 2004 Prime Minister Helen Clark's government apologised to Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other toxic defoliants, following a health selec
Some troops engaged in this war, especially engineering units, railway corps, logistical units and antiaircraft units, had been assigned to assist North Vietnam in its war against South Vietnam just a few years earlier during the Vietnam War. Contrary to the belief that over 600,000 Chinese troops entered North Vietnam, the actual number was ...
- 17 February – 16 March 1979, (3 weeks and 6 days)
- Both sides claim victory, Chinese withdrawal from Vietnam, Continued Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia until 1989, Continuation of border clashes between China and Vietnam until 1991