The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War occurred in present-day Vietnam, Southeast Asia. It represented a successful attempt on the part of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam, DRV) and theNational Front for the Liberation of Vietnam (Viet Cong) to unite and impose a communist system over the entire nation. Opposing the DRV was the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam, RVN), backed by theUnited States. The war in Vietnam occurred during the Cold War, and is generally viewed as an indirect conflict between the United States and Soviet Union, with each nation and its allies supportingone side.
When was the Vietnam War?
The most commonly used dates for the conflict are 1959-1975. This period begins with North Vietnam's first guerilla attacks against the South and ends with thefall of Saigon. American ground forces were directly involved in the war between 1965 and 1973.
The Vietnam War first began in 1959, five years after the division of the country by theGeneva Accords. Vietnam had been split into two, with a communist government in the north under Ho Chi Minh and a democratic government in the south under Ngo Dinh Diem. Ho launched a guerilla campaign inSouth Vietnam, led by Viet Cong units, with the goal of uniting the country under communist rule. The United States, seeking to stop the spread of communism, trained the Army of the Republic ofVietnam (ARVN) and provided military advisors to help combat the guerillas.
Americanization of the War:
In August 1964, a US warship was attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf ofTonkin. Following this attack, Congress passed the Southeast Asia Resolution which allowed President Lyndon Johnson to conduct military operations in the region without a declaration of war. On March 2,1965, US aircraft began bombing targets in Vietnam and the first troops arrived. Commanded by General William Westmoreland, US troops won victories over Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces around Chu...
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