Vietnam War

Vietnam War
Chiến tranh Việt Nam  (Vietnamese)
Part of the Indochina Wars and the Cold War
VNWarMontage.png
Clockwise, from top left: U.S. combat operations in Ia Đrăng, ARVN Rangers defending Saigon during the 1968 Tết 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.
Date1 November 1955 – 30 April 1975 (1975-04-30)
(19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day)[A 1][10]
Location
Result

North Vietnamese and National Liberation Front victory

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

≈860,000 (1967)

  • North Vietnam:
    690,000 (January 1967, including PAVN and Viet Cong)[11]
  • Viet Cong:
    ~200,000
    (estimated, 1968)[12][13]
  • China:
    320,000 total[14][15][16]
  • Khmer Rouge:
    70,000 (1972)[17]
  • Pathet Lao:
    48,000 (1970)[18]
  • Soviet Union: ~3,000[19]
  • North Korea: 200[20]

≈1,420,000 (1968)

  • South Vietnam:
    850,000 (1968)
    1,500,000 (1974–75)[21]
  • United States:
    2,709,918 in Vietnam total
    Peak: 543,000 (April 1969)[22][23]
  • South Korea:
    320,000 total
    (~48,000 stationed per year)
  • Khmer Republic:
    200,000 (1973)[24]
  • Laos:
    72,000 (Royal Army and Hmong militia)[25][26]
  • Thailand: 32,000
    (in Vietnam[27] and Laos)[28]
  • Australia: 50,190 total
    (Peak: 7,672 combat troops)
  • New Zealand: 3,500 total
    (Peak: 552 combat troops)[13]
  • Philippines: 2,061
Casualties and losses
  • North Vietnam & Viet Cong
    65,000–182,000 civilian dead[29][30][31]
    849,018 military dead (per Vietnam; 1/3 non-combat deaths)[32][33][34]
    666,000–950,765 dead
    (US estimated 1964–74)[A 2][29][35]
    600,000+ wounded[36]
  • Khmer Rouge Unknown
  • Laos Pathet Lao Unknown
  •  China ~1,100 dead and 4,200 wounded[16]
  •  Soviet Union 16 dead[37]
  •  North Korea 14 dead[38]
Total military dead:
≈667,130–951,895

Total military wounded:
≈604,200

(excluding GRUNK and Pathet Lao)
  •  South Vietnam
    195,000–430,000 civilian dead[29][30][39]
    254,256–313,000 military dead[40][41]
    1,170,000 wounded[42]
  •  United States
    58,318 dead[43] (1/5 non-combat deaths)[44]
    303,644 wounded (including 150,341 not requiring hospital care)[A 3]
  •  Laos 15,000 army dead[50]
  • Khmer Republic Unknown
  •  South Korea 5,099 dead; 10,962 wounded; 4 missing
  •  Australia 521 dead; 3,129 wounded[51]
  •  Thailand 351 dead[52]
  •  New Zealand 37 dead[53]
  •  Taiwan 25 dead[54]
  •  Philippines 9 dead;[55] 64 wounded[56]

Total military dead:
333,620–392,364

Total wounded:
≈1,340,000+
[42]
(excluding FARK and FANK)

The Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina War,[63] and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955[A 1] to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975.[10] It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China,[14] and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies.[64][65] The war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives.[66] It lasted some 19 years with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975.

American military advisors began arriving in what was then French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh.[67][A 4] Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U.S.[68] After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state. The Việt Cộng, also known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF (the National Liberation Front), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U.S. involvement escalated in 1960, and continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels gradually surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963.[69][70]

By 1964, there were 23,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U.S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U.S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000.[69] Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces. Every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966.[71] 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. The U.S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968 proved to be the turning point of the war; despite years of American tutelage and aid, the South Vietnamese forces were unable to withstand the communist offensive and the task fell to US forces instead. The Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders; bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia were used by North Vietnam as supply routes and were heavily bombed by U.S. forces.

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 and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress.[72] The capture of Saigon by the NVA 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[29] to 3.8 million.[59] Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians,[60][61][62] 20,000–62,000 Laotians,[59] and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict, and a further 1,626 remain missing in action.[A 3] The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and conflict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, and the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun almost immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War. The end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea. Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements,[73] which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s.[74]

Names

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[63] 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.[75] In Vietnamese, the war is generally known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ (Resistance War Against America),[76] but less formally as 'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ' (The American War). It is also called Chiến tranh Việt Nam (The Vietnam War).[77]

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 Viêt Nam
Deutsch: Vietnamkrieg
Esperanto: Vjetnama milito
Fiji Hindi: Vietnam War
føroyskt: Vjetnamkríggið
Gàidhlig: Cogadh Bhiet-Nam
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Ye̍t Chan
한국어: 베트남 전쟁
hrvatski: Vijetnamski rat
Bahasa Indonesia: Perang Vietnam
interlingua: Guerra de Vietnam
Kiswahili: Vita ya Vietnam
Кыргызча: Вьетнам согушу
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
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Vyetnam urushi
ភាសាខ្មែរ: សង្គ្រាមវៀតណាម
Plattdüütsch: Vietnamkrieg
português: Guerra do Vietnã
русиньскый: Вєтнамска война
Simple English: Vietnam War
slovenčina: Vietnamská vojna
slovenščina: Vietnamska vojna
Soomaaliga: Dagaalki Vietnam
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