Vietnam War

Vietnam War
(Chiến tranh Việt Nam)
Part of the Indochina Wars and the Cold War
VNWarMontage.png
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, and burial of 300 victims of the 1968 Huế Massacre.
Date 1 November 1955 [A 1] – 1975-04-30)
(19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day)
Location South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
Result

North Vietnamese victory

Territorial
changes
Reunification of North and South Vietnam into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Belligerents

  South Vietnam
United States
  South Korea
  Thailand
  Australia
  Philippines
  New Zealand
  Khmer Republic
  Kingdom of Laos

Military support:
  Republic of China [1] [2]

  North Vietnam
Viet Cong
Khmer Rouge
Pathet Lao
  People's Republic of China
  North Korea

Military support:
  Soviet Union
  Cuba [6] [7]

Commanders and leaders
South Vietnam Ngô Đình Diệm
South Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Thiệu
South Vietnam Nguyễn Cao Kỳ
South Vietnam Cao Văn Viên
South Vietnam Ngô Quang Trưởng
United States John F. Kennedy
United States Lyndon B. Johnson
United States Richard Nixon
United States Gerald Ford
United States Robert McNamara
United States William Westmoreland
United States Creighton Abrams
United States Frederick C. Weyand
South Korea Park Chung-hee
Thailand Thanom Kittikachorn
Australia Robert Menzies
Australia Harold Holt
Australia John McEwen
Australia John Gorton
Australia William McMahon
Philippines Ferdinand Marcos
New Zealand Keith Holyoake
New Zealand Jack Marshall
New Zealand Norman Kirk
and others
North Vietnam Ho Chi Minh
North Vietnam Lê Duẩn
North Vietnam Võ Nguyên Giáp
North Vietnam Văn Tiến Dũng
North Vietnam Lê Trọng Tấn
North Vietnam Phạm Văn Đồng
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam Hoàng Văn Thái
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam Trần Văn Trà
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Linh
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam Nguyễn Hữu Thọ
and others
Strength

≈1,830,000 (1968)
 South Vietnam: 850,000 (1968)
1,500,000 (1974–75) [21]

 United States: 543,000 (April 1969) [22] [23]
 South Korea: 50,003
 Thailand: 11,586
 Australia: 7,672
 Philippines: 2,061
 New Zealand: 552 [24]

≈461,000

 North Vietnam: 287,465 (January 1968) [25]
Viet Cong: 108,000–114,000 (estimated in 1964) [24]
 China: 170,000 (1965–69) [26] [27] [28]
 North Korea: 200 [29]
Casualties and losses

 South Vietnam
195,000–430,000 civilian dead [30] [31] [32]
220,357 [33]–313,000 military dead [34]
1,170,000 wounded [35]
 United States
58,318 dead; [36] 303,644 wounded (including 150,341 not requiring hospital care) [A 2]
 South Korea
5,099 dead; 10,962 wounded; 4 missing
 Australia
521 dead; 3,129 wounded
[41]
 Thailand
351 dead; 1,358 wounded [42]
 New Zealand
37 dead; 187 wounded [43]
 Republic of China
25 dead; [44]
 Philippines
9 dead; [45] 64 wounded [46]

Total dead: 479,668–807,311
Total wounded: ≈1,340,000+ [35]

North Vietnam & Viet Cong
65,000 civilian dead [31]
444,000 [31]–1,100,000 military dead or missing [47]
600,000+ wounded [48]
 China
≈1,100 dead and 4,200 wounded [28]
 North Korea
14 dead [49]

Total dead: 510,114–1,166,114
Total wounded: ≈604,200

Vietnamese civilian dead: 627,000–2,000,000 [31] [50] [51]
Vietnamese total dead : 966,000 [30]–3,812,000 [52]
Cambodian Civil War dead: 240,000–300,000* [53] [54] [55]
Laotian Civil War dead: 20,000–62,000*
Non-Indochinese military dead (sum): 65,425
Total dead (sum): 1,291,425–4,211,451
For more information see Vietnam War casualties and Aircraft losses of the Vietnam War

* indicates approximations, see Casualties below

The Vietnam War ( Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina War, [56] and known in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America ( Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was a war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 [A 1] to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies and the South Vietnamese army was supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. [57] The war is therefore considered a Cold War-era proxy war. [58]

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, while the People's Army of Vietnam, also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), engaged in more conventional warfare, at times committing large units to battle. As the war continued, the military actions of the Viet Cong decreased as the role and engagement 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.

The North Vietnamese government and the Viet Cong were fighting to reunify Vietnam. They viewed the conflict as a colonial war and a continuation of the First Indochina War against forces from France and later on the United States. 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 the domino theory of a wider containment policy, with the stated aim of stopping the spread of communism. [59]

Beginning in 1950, American military advisors arrived in what was then French Indochina. [60] [A 3] U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with troop levels tripling in 1961 and again in 1962. [61] 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 U.S. 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 " 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. The war changed the dynamics between the Eastern and Western Blocs, and altered North–South relations. [62]

Direct U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973. [63] 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 soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 [30] to 3.8 million. [52] Some 240,000–300,000 Cambodians, [53] [54] [55] 20,000–62,000 Laotians, [52] and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict, and a further 1,626 remain missing in action. [A 2]

Names for the war

Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam War is the most commonly used name in English. It has also been called the Second Indochina War and the Vietnam Conflict.

As there have been several conflicts in Indochina, this particular conflict is known by the names of its primary protagonists to distinguish it from others. [64] In Vietnamese, the war is generally known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ (Resistance War Against America), but less formally as 'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ' (The American War'). It is also called Chiến tranh Việt Nam (The Vietnam War). [65]

The primary military organizations involved in the war were, on one side, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and the U.S. military, and, on the other side, the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) (more commonly called the North Vietnamese Army, or NVA, in English-language sources), and the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF, more commonly known as the Viet Cong in English language sources), a South Vietnamese communist guerrilla force. [66]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Viëtnamoorlog
Alemannisch: Vietnamkrieg
العربية: حرب فيتنام
azərbaycanca: Vyetnam müharibəsi
башҡортса: Вьетнам һуғышы
беларуская: Вайна ў В'етнаме
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Вайна ў Віетнаме
bosanski: Vijetnamski rat
brezhoneg: Brezel Vietnam
Deutsch: Vietnamkrieg
Esperanto: Vjetnama milito
Fiji Hindi: Vietnam War
føroyskt: Vjetnamkríggið
Gàidhlig: Cogadh Bhiet-Nam
한국어: 베트남 전쟁
hrvatski: Vijetnamski rat
Bahasa Indonesia: Perang Vietnam
interlingua: Guerra de Vietnam
Basa Jawa: Perang Vietnam
Kiswahili: Vita ya Vietnam
latviešu: Vjetnamas karš
Lëtzebuergesch: Vietnamkrich
lietuvių: Vietnamo karas
Limburgs: Viëtnamkrieg
македонски: Виетнамска војна
Bahasa Melayu: Perang Vietnam
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Uŏk-nàng Ciéng-cĕng
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဗီယက်နမ်စစ်ပွဲ
Nederlands: Vietnamoorlog
नेपाल भाषा: भियतनाम युद्ध
norsk nynorsk: Vietnamkrigen
ភាសាខ្មែរ: សង្គ្រាមវៀតណាម
Plattdüütsch: Vietnamkrieg
português: Guerra do Vietnã
русиньскый: Вєтнамска война
Simple English: Vietnam War
slovenčina: Vietnamská vojna
slovenščina: Vietnamska vojna
српски / srpski: Вијетнамски рат
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Vijetnamski rat
svenska: Vietnamkriget
татарча/tatarça: Вьетнам сугышы
українська: Війна у В'єтнамі
vepsän kel’: Soda Vjetnamas
Tiếng Việt: Chiến tranh Việt Nam
文言: 越戰
吴语: 越南战争
粵語: 越戰
žemaitėška: Vietnama vaina
中文: 越南战争