THE VIETNAM WAR—1954-1975
THE FRENCH BEGINNING
From 1883-1945, Vietnam was part of colonial French Indochina.
In 1949, France creates the State of Vietnam in the south as communists take control of the north.
French defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1959; ending French colonialism in Indochina.
Tanks firing in support of French infantry at Dien Bien Phu, 1954, Official Army photo, www.history.army.mil/books/Vietnam/mounted/chapter1.htm#p3, Public Domain
In 1954, the Vietnam conflict begins when the North Vietnamese begin helping South Vietnam’s communist rebels, the Viet Cong, in attempts to overthrow the South Vietnamese government.
French defeated at Battle of Dien Bien Phu
By 1961, the United States had accepted the domino theory, that if one nation in the region fell to communist control then the other nations would be susceptible as well, and began sending aide to the South Vietnamese government along with military advisors.
UNITED STATES ENTERS THE WAR
In August 1964, 2 U.S. Navy destroyers were attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin; and, as a result, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving the President authority for military action in Vietnam.
In 1970, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces invade Cambodia to destroy North Vietnamese supplies.
In 1971, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces invade Laos to destroy North Vietnamese supply routes. Cease-fire and U.S. withdraws troops from Vietnam in 1973.
Fighting between the North and South Vietnamese resumes leading to the South’s surrender and the fall of Saigon in 1975.
Vietnam continues today as a united communist nation.
North Vietnamese, Viet Cong, Chinese and North Korean troop strength around 860,000 with more than 850,132 military dead and 604,200 wounded.
South Vietnam, United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Philippines troop strength 1,420,000 with 377,311 military dead and more than 1,340,000 wounded.
Civilian deaths in Vietnam were 627,000-2,000,000.
BATTLES OF THE VIETNAM WAR
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