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"War in Vietnam" redirects here. For other wars in Vietnam, see Military history of Vietnam.
"Indochina conflict" redirects here. For the conflict in French Indochina, see Indochina War.

The Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina War, and also known in Vietnam as Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was a Cold War-era proxy war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War (1946–54) and was fought between North Vietnam—supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States and other anti-communist allies. The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The People's Army of Vietnam (also known as the North Vietnamese Army) engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units to battle.

As the war continued, the part of the Viet Cong in the fighting decreased as the role of the NVA grew. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery, and airstrikes. In the course of the war, the U.S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam, and over time the North Vietnamese airspace became the most heavily defended in the world.

The U.S. government viewed its involvement in the war as a way to prevent a Communist takeover of South Vietnam. This was part of a wider containment policy, with the stated aim of stopping the spread of communism. The North Vietnamese government and the Viet Cong were fighting to reunify Vietnam under communist rule. They viewed the conflict as a colonial war, fought initially against forces from France and then America, and later against South Vietnam.

Beginning in 1950, American military advisors arrived in what was then French Indochina. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with troop levels tripling in 1961 and again in 1962. U.S. involvement escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U.S. destroyer clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft, which was followed by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave the U.S. president authorization to increase U.S. military presence. Regular U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations crossed international borders: bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia were heavily bombed by U.S. forces as American involvement in the war peaked in 1968, the same year that the communist side launched the Tet Offensive. The Tet Offensive failed in its goal of overthrowing the South Vietnamese government but became the turning point in the war, as it persuaded a large segment of the United States population that its government's claims of progress toward winning the war were illusory despite many years of massive U.S. military aid to South Vietnam.

Gradual withdrawal of U.S. ground forces began as part of as "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the Communists to the South Vietnamese themselves. Despite the Paris Peace Accord, which was signed by all parties in January 1973, the fighting continued. In the U.S. and the Western world, a large anti-Vietnam War movement developed as part of a larger counterculture.

Direct U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973. The capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese Army in April 1975 marked the end of the war, and North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities (see Vietnam War casualties). Estimates of the number of Vietnamese service members and civilians killed vary from 800,000 to 3.1 million. Some 200,000–300,000 Cambodians, 20,000–200,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict.

  1. ^ "ALLIES OF THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM". Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  2. ^ The Cuban Military Under Castro, 1989. Page 76
  3. ^ Cuba in the World, 1979. Page 66
  4. ^ "Cesky a slovensky svet". Svet.czsk.net. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Bilaterální vztahy České republiky a Vietnamské socialistické republiky | Mezinárodní vztahy | e-Polis – Internetový politologický časopis". E-polis.cz. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Foreign Affairs in the 1960s and 1970s". Bulgaria Country Study. Library of Congress. 1992. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Bulgaria gave official military support to many national liberation causes, most notably in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, (North Vietnam)… 
  7. ^ https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/german_studies_review/v036/36.3.horten.pdf
  8. ^ Le Gro, p. 28.
  9. ^ "Vietnam War : US Troop Strength". Historycentral.com. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  10. ^ "Facts about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection". nps.gov.  (citing The first American ground combat troops landed in South Vietnam during March 1965, specifically the U.S. Third Marine Regiment, Third Marine Division, deployed to Vietnam from Okinawa to defend the Da Nang, Vietnam, airfield. During the height of U.S. military involvement, 31 December 1968, the breakdown of allied forces were as follows: 536,100 U.S. military personnel, with 30,610 U.S. military having been killed to date; 65,000 Free World Forces personnel; 820,000 South Vietnam Armed Forces (SVNAF) with 88,343 having been killed to date. At the war's end, there were approximately 2,200 U.S. missing in action (MIA) and prisoners of war (POW). Source: Harry G. Summers Jr. Vietnam War Almanac, Facts on File Publishing, 1985.)
  11. ^ Vietnam Marines 1965–73. Osprey Publishing. 8 March 1965. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  12. ^ Vietnam War After Action Reports, BACM Research, 2009, page 430
  13. ^ "China admits 320,000 troops fought in Vietnam". Toledo Blade. Reuters. 16 May 1989. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  14. ^ Roy, Denny (1998). China's Foreign Relations. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 27. ISBN 978-0847690138. 
  15. ^ China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry. Cambridge University Press 2006. Brantly Womack. P. 176
  16. ^ Lewy 1978, pp. 450–3.
  17. ^ Thayer 1985, chap. 12.
  18. ^ Aaron Ulrich (editor); Edward FeuerHerd (producer and director) (2005 & 2006). Heart of Darkness: The Vietnam War Chronicles 1945–1975 (BOX SET, COLOR, DOLBY, DVD-VIDEO, FULL SCREEN, NTSC, DOLBY, VISION SOFTWARE) (Documentary). Koch Vision. Event occurs at 321 minutes. ISBN 1-4172-2920-9.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ Rummel, R.J (1997), "Table 6.1A. Vietnam Democide : Estimates, Sources, and Calculations," (GIF), Freedom, Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War, University of Hawaii System 
  20. ^ Tucker, Spencer E. The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-85109-961-1
  21. ^ 14 names added to Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  22. ^ Names added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  23. ^ "Australian casualties in the Vietnam War, 1962–72 | Australian War Memorial". Awm.gov.au. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  24. ^ "Overview of the war in Vietnam | VietnamWar.govt.nz, New Zealand and the Vietnam War". Vietnamwar.govt.nz. 16 July 1965. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  25. ^ The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History By Spencer C. Tucker "http://books.google.com/?id=qh5lffww-KsC"
  26. ^ "Chapter III: The Philippines". History.army.mil. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  27. ^ Wiesner, Louis A. (1988). Victims and Survivors Displaced Persons and Other War Victims in Viet-Nam. New York: Greenwood Press. p.310
  28. ^ Associated Press, 3 April 1995, "Vietnam Says 1.1 Million Died Fighting For North."
  29. ^ Soames, John. A History of the World, Routledge, 2005.
  30. ^ Dunnigan, James & Nofi, Albert: Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam War: Military Information You're Not Supposed to Know. St. Martin's Press, 2000, p. 284. ISBN 0-312-25282-X.
  31. ^ Shenon, Philip (23 April 1995). "20 Years After Victory, Vietnamese Communists Ponder How to Celebrate". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2011.  The Vietnamese government officially claimed a rough estimate of 2 million civilian deaths, but it did not divide these deaths between those of North and South Vietnam.
  32. ^ "fifty years of violent war deaths: data analysis from the world health survey program: BMJ". 23 April 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2013.  From 1955 to 2002, data from the surveys indicated an estimated 5.4 million violent war deaths … 3.8 million in Vietnam
  33. ^ Heuveline, Patrick (2001). "The Demographic Analysis of Mortality in Cambodia." In Forced Migration and Mortality, eds. Holly E. Reed and Charles B. Keely. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
  34. ^ Sliwinski 1995.
  35. ^ Banister, Judith, and Paige Johnson (1993). "After the Nightmare: The Population of Cambodia." In Genocide and Democracy in Cambodia: The Khmer Rouge, the United Nations and the International Community, ed. Ben Kiernan. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies.
  36. ^ Factasy. "The Vietnam War or Second Indochina War". PRLog. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  37. ^ Lind, Michael (1999). "Vietnam, The Necessary War: A Reinterpretation of America's Most Disastrous Military Conflict". New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  38. ^ DoD 1998
  39. ^ Lawrence 2009, p. 20.
  40. ^ Olson & Roberts 1991, p. 67.
  41. ^ Origins of the Insurgency in South Vietnam, 1954–1960, The Pentagon Papers (Gravel Edition), Volume 1, Chapter 5, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), Section 3, pp. 314–346; International Relations Department, Mount Holyoke College.
  42. ^ "Vietnam War". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 5 March 2008. Meanwhile, the United States, its military demoralized and its civilian electorate deeply divided, began a process of coming to terms with defeat in its longest and most controversial war 
  43. ^ Digital History, Steven Mintz. "The Vietnam War". Digitalhistory.uh.edu. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  44. ^ Major General George S. Eckhardt, Vietnam Studies Command and Control 1950–1969, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C. (1991), p. 6
  45. ^ Vietnam War Statistics and Facts 1, 25th Aviation Battalion website.
  46. ^ Kolko 1985, pp. 457, 461ff.
  47. ^ Charles Hirschman et al., "Vietnamese Casualties During the American War: A New Estimate," Population and Development Review, December 1995.
  48. ^ Shenon, Philip (23 April 1995). "20 Years After Victory, Vietnamese Communists Ponder How to Celebrate". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  49. ^ "fifty years of violent war deaths: data analysis from the world health survey program: BMJ". 23 April 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  50. ^ Warner, Roger, Shooting at the Moon (1996), pp. 366, estimates 30,000 Hmong.
  51. ^ Obermeyer, "Fifty years of violent war deaths from Vietnam to Bosnia", British Medical Journal, 2008, estimates 60,000 total.
  52. ^ T. Lomperis, From People's War to People's Rule, (1996), estimates 35,000 total.
  53. ^ Small, Melvin & Joel David Singer, Resort to Arms: International and Civil Wars 1816–1980, (1982), estimates 20,000 total.
  54. ^ Taylor, Charles Lewis, The World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators, estimates 20,000 total.
  55. ^ Stuart-Fox 1997, p. 144, which estimates 200,000 by 1973.
  56. ^ America's Wars (PDF) (Report). Department of Veterans Affairs. May 2010. 
  57. ^ Anne Leland; Mari–Jana "M-J" Oboroceanu (26 February 2010). American War and Military Operations: Casualties: Lists and Statistics (PDF) (Report). Congressional Research Service. 
  58. ^ Lawrence 2009, pp. 65, 107, 154, 217
  59. ^ Kueter, Dale. Vietnam Sons: For Some, the War Never Ended. AuthorHouse (21 March 2007). ISBN 978-1425969318

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