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North Vietnamese victory

Withdrawal of American-led forces from Indochina Communist governments take power in South Vietnam, Cambodia
Cambodia
and Laos South Vietnam
South Vietnam
is annexed by North Vietnam

Territorial changes Reunification of North and South Vietnam
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:  Taiwan[1][2]

Other support

 Malaysia[3][4] Spain[2]  Canada[2] Iran[2]  West Germany[2]  Brazil[5]  Japan[2]

 North Vietnam Viet Cong Khmer Rouge Pathet Lao  China  North Korea

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

Other support

Czechoslovakia[8][9] Bulgaria[10]  East Germany[11][12] Romania[13]  Poland[14] Hungary[14]  Sweden[15][16]

Commanders and leaders

Ngô Đình Diệm
Ngô Đình Diệm
† Nguyễn Văn Thiệu Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Cao Văn Viên Ngô Quang Trưởng John F. Kennedy Lyndon B. Johnson Richard Nixon Gerald Ford Robert McNamara William Westmoreland Creighton Abrams Frederick C. Weyand Park Chung-hee Thanom Kittikachorn Robert Menzies Harold Holt John McEwen John Gorton William McMahon Ferdinand Marcos Keith Holyoake Jack Marshall Norman Kirk Chiang Kai-Shek …and others Ho Chi Minh Lê Duẩn Võ Nguyên Giáp Văn Tiến Dũng Lê Trọng Tấn Phạm Văn Đồng Hoàng Văn Thái Trần Văn Trà Nguyễn Văn Linh Nguyễn Hữu Thọ

…and others

Strength

≈1,420,000 (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: 11,570[24]  Australia: 7,672  Philippines: 2,061  New Zealand: 552[25]

≈860,000 (1967)  North Vietnam: 690,000 (January 1967, included NVA and Viet Cong)[26] Viet Cong: 200,000 (estimated, 1968)[27][25]  China: 170,000 (1967)[28][29][30]  North Korea: 200[31]

Casualties and losses

 South Vietnam 195,000–430,000 civilian dead[32][33][34] 254,256[35]–313,000 military dead[36] 1,170,000 wounded[37]  United States 58,220 dead;[38] 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 [44]  Thailand 351 dead; 1,358 wounded[45]  New Zealand 37 dead; 187 wounded[46]  Taiwan 25 dead;[47]  Philippines 9 dead;[48] 64 wounded[49] Total military dead: 318,568–377,311 Total wounded: ≈1,340,000+[37]

North Vietnam
North Vietnam
& Viet Cong 65,000 civilian dead[33] 849,018 military dead[50][51] 600,000+ wounded[52]  China ≈1,100 dead and 4,200 wounded[30]  North Korea 14 dead[53] Total military dead: 850,132+ Total wounded: ≈604,200

Vietnamese civilian dead: 627,000–2,000,000[33][54][55] Vietnamese total dead: 966,000[32]–3,091,000[56] Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
dead: 240,000–300,000*[57][58][59] Laotian Civil War
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
Vietnam
War casualties and Aircraft losses of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War * indicates approximations

v t e

Indochina
Indochina
Wars

Masterdom First Second

Laotian Civil War Cambodian Civil War

Third

Cambodian-Vietnamese

Cambodian-Thai border

Sino-Vietnamese

border conflicts

Hmong insurgency FULRO insurgency against Vietnam

v t e

Military engagements of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War

Guerrilla phase

Laos Chopper Sunrise 1st Ap Bac Go Cong Hiep Hoa 34A Long Dinh Kien Long Quyet Thang 202 Bien Hoa Airbase USNS Card Nam Dong An Lao Binh Gia Camp Holloway Qui Nhơn Song Be Ba Gia Dong Xoai

American intervention

Starlite Piranha An Ninh Plei Me Hump Gang Toi 1st Bau Bang Bushmaster II Ia Drang Marauder Crimp Van Buren Masher/White Wing Bong Son Mastiff Suoi Bong Trang New York Harrison Cocoa Beach Utah Silver City A Shau Oregon Texas Lincoln Birmingham Xa Cam My Fillmore Davy Crockett Austin IV Paul Revere Crazy Horse El Paso Hawthorne Hill 488 Nathan Hale Wahiawa Hastings Minh Thanh Road John Paul Jones Seward Prairie Colorado Duc Co Long Tan Amarillo Thayer Attleboro Deckhouse IV Irving Tan Son Nhut airbase Lam Son II Byrd SS Baton Rouge Victory Sunset Beach Shenandoah Paul Revere IV Thayer II Geronimo Fairfax Deckhouse V Cedar Falls Desoto Firebase Bird Sam Houston Tra Binh Dong Gadsden Pershing Bribie Junction City (1st Prek Klok 2nd Prek Klok Ap Gu Suoi Tre 2nd Bau Bang) Lejeune Francis Marion Manhattan Beaver Cage Union The Hill Fights Con Thien Malheur I and Malheur II Union II Dragnet Akron Billings Concordia Buffalo Hong Kil Dong Diamond Head Kingfisher Coronado II Hood River Suoi Chau Pha Benton Coronado IV Swift Dragon Fire Wheeler/Wallowa Coronado V Kunia Bolling Medina Shenandoah II Ong Thanh 1st Loc Ninh Kentucky Lancaster Coronado IX Dak To Santa Fe Phoenix Kien Giang 9-1 Manchester Yellowstone Auburn

1968

New Year's Day Battle of 1968 Khe Sanh Coburg Tet Offensive 1st Saigon Hue 1st Quảng Trị Ban Houei Sane Lang Vei Lo Giang Hop Tac I Coronado XI Patrick Truong Cong Dinh Lima Site 85 Quyet Thang My Lai Massacre Carentan Pegasus Toan Thang I Burlington Trail Scotland II Delaware Allen Brook May Offensive Landing Zone Center An Bao Kham Duc Coral–Balmoral Mameluke Thrust Robin Pocahontas Forest Somerset Plain Phase III Offensive Duc Lap Vinh Loc Maui Peak Meade River Speedy Express

Drawdown 1969–71

Bold Mariner Dewey Canyon Taylor Common 2nd Tet Purple Martin Massachusetts Striker Maine Crag Montana Mauler Oklahoma Hills Virginia Ridge Apache Snow Hamburger Hill Twinkletoes Binh Ba LZ Kate Bu Prang Texas Star Chicago Peak FSB Ripcord 1st Cambodia Kompong Speu Prey Veng 2nd Cambodia Snuol Tailwind Jefferson Glenn Hat Dich Lam Son 719 Son Tay Raid Chenla I Chenla II FSB Mary Ann Long Khanh Nui Le

Easter Offensive

2nd Quang Trị 3rd Quang Trị 2nd Loc Ninh An Lộc Kontum Thunderhead

Post- Paris Peace Accords
Paris Peace Accords
(1973–1974)

Cửa Việt Ap Da Bien Svay Rieng Iron Triangle Thượng Đức

Spring '75

Phuoc Long Ban Me Thuot Hue–Da Nang Phan Rang Xuân Lộc 2nd Saigon

Air operations

Farm Gate Chopper Ranch Hand Pierce Arrow Barrel Roll Pony Express Flaming Dart Iron Hand Rolling Thunder Steel Tiger Arc Light Tiger Hound Shed Light Thanh Hoa Bolo Popeye Yen Vien Niagara Igloo White Giant Lance Commando Hunt Menu Patio Freedom Deal Linebacker I Enhance Plus Linebacker II Homecoming Tan Son Nhut Air Base Babylift New Life Eagle Pull Frequent Wind

Naval operations

Yankee & Dixie Stations Gulf of Tonkin Market Time Vung Ro Bay Game Warden Double Eagle PIRAZ Sea Dragon Deckhouse Five Bo De River, Nha Trang, Tha Cau River Sealords Đồng Hới Pocket Money Custom Tailor End Sweep Paracel Islands East Sea Mayaguez incident

The Vietnam
Vietnam
War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina
Indochina
War,[60] and in Vietnam
Vietnam
as the Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was a conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia
Cambodia
from 1 November 1955[A 1] to the fall of Saigon
Saigon
on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars
Indochina Wars
and was officially fought between North Vietnam
North Vietnam
and the government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union, China
China
and other communist allies and the South Vietnamese army was supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand
Thailand
and other anti-communist allies.[61] The war is therefore considered a Cold War-era proxy war.[62] The war is considered a humiliation for the United States.[63][64] The Viet Cong
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
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
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
Viet Cong
were fighting to reunify Vietnam. They viewed the conflict as a colonial war and a continuation of the First Indochina
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.[65] Beginning in 1950, American military advisors arrived in what was then French Indochina.[66][A 3] Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U.S.[67] U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with troop levels tripling in 1961 and again in 1962.[68] 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
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
Laos
and Cambodia
Cambodia
were used by North Vietnam
North Vietnam
as supply routes and 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
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
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
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.[69] Direct U.S. military
U.S. military
involvement ended on 15 August 1973.[70] The capture of Saigon
Saigon
by the North Vietnamese Army
Army
in April 1975 marked the end of the war, and North and South Vietnam
South Vietnam
were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities (see Vietnam
Vietnam
War casualties). Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000[32] to 3.1 million.[56] Some 240,000–300,000 Cambodians,[57][58][59] 20,000–62,000 Laotians,[56] and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict, and a further 1,626 remain missing in action.[A 2]

Contents

1 Names for the war 2 Background 3 Transition period 4 Diệm era, 1955–63

4.1 Rule 4.2 Insurgency
Insurgency
in the South, 1954–60

4.2.1 North Vietnamese involvement

5 Kennedy's escalation, 1961–63

5.1 Ousting and assassination of Ngô Đình Diệm

6 Johnson's escalation, 1963–69

6.1 Gulf of Tonkin
Gulf of Tonkin
incident 6.2 Bombing of Laos 6.3 American ground war 6.4 Tet Offensive

7 Nixon Doctrine
Nixon Doctrine
and Vietnamization, 1969–72

7.1 Nuclear threats 7.2 Diplomacy 7.3 Domestic controversy 7.4 Troop withdrawal accelerates 7.5 Cambodia 7.6 Laos 7.7 1972 election and Paris Peace Accords

8 Opposition to U.S. involvement in the war, 1964–73 9 Exit of the Americans, 1973–75

9.1 Campaign 275 9.2 Final North Vietnamese offensive 9.3 Fall of Saigon

10 Other countries' involvement

10.1 Pro-Hanoi

10.1.1 People's Republic of China 10.1.2 Soviet Union 10.1.3 North Korea 10.1.4 Cuba

10.2 Pro-Saigon

10.2.1 South Korea 10.2.2 Thailand 10.2.3 Australia
Australia
and New Zealand 10.2.4 Philippines 10.2.5 Taiwan 10.2.6 Brazil

10.3 Canada
Canada
and the ICC

11 United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races
United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races
(FULRO) 12 War crimes

12.1 Allied war crimes 12.2 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong
Viet Cong
war crimes

13 Women in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War

13.1 American nurses 13.2 Vietnamese women

14 Black servicemen in Vietnam 15 Weapons

15.1 Radio communications 15.2 Extent of U.S. bombing

16 Aftermath

16.1 Events in Southeast Asia 16.2 Effect on the United States 16.3 Impact on the U.S. military 16.4 Effects of U.S. chemical defoliation 16.5 Casualties 16.6 In popular culture 16.7 Commemoration

17 See also 18 Annotations 19 Notes 20 References

20.1 Secondary sources 20.2 Primary sources 20.3 Historiography

21 External links

Names for the war Further information: Terminology of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam
Vietnam
War is the most commonly used name in English. It has also been called the Second Indochina
Indochina
War[60] and the Vietnam
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.[71] 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
Vietnam
War).[72] The primary military organizations involved in the war were, on one side, the Army
Army
of the Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
(ARVN) and the U.S. military, and, on the other side, the People's Army
Army
of Vietnam
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
South Vietnam
(NLF, more commonly known as the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
in English language sources), a South Vietnamese communist guerrilla force.[73] Background See also: History of Vietnam, Cochinchina Campaign, Cần Vương, Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng, Yên Bái mutiny, Vietnam
Vietnam
during World War II, War in Vietnam
Vietnam
(1945–46), 1940–46 in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, 1947–50 in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, First Indochina
Indochina
War, Operation Vulture, Operation Passage to Freedom, 1954 in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, First Indochina War, Operation Vulture, Operation Passage to Freedom, and 1954 in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War Indochina
Indochina
was a French colony during the 19th century. When the Japanese invaded during World War II, the Viet Minh
Viet Minh
opposed them with support from the USA, Russia
Russia
and China. They received some Japanese arms when Japan
Japan
surrendered. The Viet Minh, a Communist-led common front under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, then initiated an insurgency against French rule. Hostilities escalated into the First Indochina
Indochina
War (beginning in December 1946). By the 1950s, the conflict had become entwined with the Cold War. In January 1950, the People's Republic of China
China
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
recognized the Viet Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam, based in Hanoi, as the legitimate government of Vietnam. The following month the United States
United States
and Great Britain recognized the French-backed State of Vietnam
Vietnam
in Saigon, led by former Emperor Bảo Đại, as the legitimate Vietnamese government.[74][75] The outbreak of the Korean War
Korean War
in June 1950 convinced many Washington policymakers that the war in Indochina
Indochina
was an example of communist expansionism directed by the Soviet Union.[76]

French soldiers fight off a Viet Minh
Viet Minh
ambush in 1952.

Military advisors from the People's Republic of China
China
(PRC) began assisting the Viet Minh
Viet Minh
in July 1950.[77] PRC weapons, expertise, and laborers transformed the Viet Minh
Viet Minh
from a guerrilla force into a regular army.[78] In September 1950, the United States
United States
created a Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG) to screen French requests for aid, advise on strategy, and train Vietnamese soldiers.[79] By 1954, the United States
United States
had spent US$1 billion in support of the French military effort, shouldering 80 percent of the cost of the war.[80] During the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
Battle of Dien Bien Phu
U.S. carriers sailed to the Gulf of Tonkin and the U.S. conducted reconnaissance flights. There were also talks between the French and Americans in which the possible use of three tactical nuclear weapons was considered, though reports of how seriously this was considered and by whom are vague and contradictory.[81][82] According to U.S. Vice-President Richard Nixon, the plan involved the Joint Chiefs of Staff drawing up plans to use three small tactical nuclear weapons in support of the French.[81] Nixon, a so-called "hawk" on Vietnam, suggested that the United States might have to "put American boys in".[83] U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower made American participation contingent on British support, but the British were opposed.[83] Eisenhower decided against U.S. military intervention, being wary of getting the United States involved in a land war in Asia.[84] Throughout the conflict, U.S. intelligence estimates remained skeptical of French chances of success.[85] On 7 May 1954, the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu surrendered. The defeat marked the end of French military involvement in Indochina. At the Geneva Conference, the French negotiated a ceasefire agreement with the Viet Minh, and independence was granted to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Transition period Main articles: Geneva Conference (1954); Operation Passage to Freedom; Battle of Saigon
Saigon
(1955); Ba Cụt; State of Vietnam
Vietnam
referendum, 1955; Land reform in Vietnam; and Land reform in North Vietnam

The Geneva Conference, 1954

Vietnam
Vietnam
was temporarily partitioned at the 17th parallel, and under the terms of the Geneva Accords, civilians were to be given the opportunity to move freely between the two provisional states for a 300-day period. Elections throughout the country were to be held in 1956 to establish a unified government.[86] Around one million northerners, mainly minority Catholics, fled south, fearing persecution by the communists.[87] This followed an American psychological warfare campaign, designed by Edward Lansdale
Edward Lansdale
for the CIA, which exaggerated anti-Catholic sentiment among the Viet Minh
Viet Minh
and which falsely claimed the US was about to drop atomic bombs on Hanoi.[88][89][90] The exodus was coordinated by a U.S.-funded $93 million relocation program, which included the use of the Seventh Fleet to ferry refugees.[91] The northern, mainly Catholic refugees gave the later Ngô Đình Diệm
Ngô Đình Diệm
regime a strong anti-communist constituency.[92] Diệm staffed his government's key posts mostly with northern and central Catholics. In addition to the Catholics flowing south, up to 130,000 "Revolutionary Regroupees" went to the north for "regroupment", expecting to return to the south within two years.[93] The Viet Minh left roughly 5,000 to 10,000 cadres in the south as a "politico-military substructure within the object of its irredentism."[94] The last French soldiers were to leave Vietnam
Vietnam
in April 1956.[78] The PRC completed its withdrawal from North Vietnam
North Vietnam
at around the same time.[77] Around 52,000 Vietnamese civilians moved from south to north.[95] Between 1953 and 1956, the North Vietnamese government instituted various agrarian reforms, including "rent reduction" and "land reform", which resulted in significant political oppression. During the land reform, testimony from North Vietnamese witnesses suggested a ratio of one execution for every 160 village residents, which extrapolated nationwide would indicate nearly 100,000 executions. Because the campaign was concentrated mainly in the Red River Delta area, a lower estimate of 50,000 executions became widely accepted by scholars at the time.[96][97][98][99] However, declassified documents from the Vietnamese and Hungarian archives indicate that the number of executions was much lower than reported at the time, although likely greater than 13,500.[100] In 1956, leaders in Hanoi
Hanoi
admitted to "excesses" in implementing this program and restored a large amount of the land to the original owners.[101] The south, meanwhile, constituted the State of Vietnam, with Bảo Đại as Emperor and Ngô Đình Diệm
Ngô Đình Diệm
(appointed in July 1954) as his prime minister. Neither the United States
United States
government nor Ngô Đình Diệm's State of Vietnam
Vietnam
signed anything at the 1954 Geneva Conference. With respect to the question of reunification, the non-communist Vietnamese delegation objected strenuously to any division of Vietnam, but lost out when the French accepted the proposal of Viet Minh
Viet Minh
delegate Phạm Văn Đồng,[102] who proposed that Vietnam
Vietnam
eventually be united by elections under the supervision of "local commissions".[103] The United States
United States
countered with what became known as the "American Plan", with the support of South Vietnam and the United Kingdom.[104] It provided for unification elections under the supervision of the United Nations, but was rejected by the Soviet delegation.[104] The United States
United States
said, "With respect to the statement made by the representative of the State of Vietnam, the United States
United States
reiterates its traditional position that peoples are entitled to determine their own future and that it will not join in any arrangement which would hinder this".[105] U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
wrote in 1954, "I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting, possibly eighty percent of the population would have voted for the Communist Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
as their leader rather than Chief of State Bảo Đại. Indeed, the lack of leadership and drive on the part of Bảo Đại
Bảo Đại
was a factor in the feeling prevalent among Vietnamese that they had nothing to fight for."[106] According to the Pentagon Papers, however, from 1954 to 1956 " Ngô Đình Diệm
Ngô Đình Diệm
really did accomplish miracles" in South Vietnam: "It is almost certain that by 1956 the proportion which might have voted for Ho—in a free election against Diệm—would have been much smaller than eighty percent."[107] In 1957, independent observers from India, Poland, and Canada
Canada
representing the International Control Commission (ICC) stated that fair, unbiased elections were not possible, with the ICC reporting that neither South nor North Vietnam
North Vietnam
had honored the armistice agreement[108] From April to June 1955, Diệm eliminated any political opposition in the south by launching military operations against two religious groups: the Cao Đài
Cao Đài
and Hòa Hảo
Hòa Hảo
of Ba Cụt. The campaign also focused on the Bình Xuyên
Bình Xuyên
organized crime group which was allied with members of the communist party secret police and had some military elements. As broad-based opposition to his harsh tactics mounted, Diệm increasingly sought to blame the communists.[37] In a referendum on the future of the State of Vietnam
Vietnam
on 23 October 1955, Diệm rigged the poll supervised by his brother Ngô Đình Nhu and was credited with 98.2 percent of the vote, including 133% in Saigon. His American advisors had recommended a more modest winning margin of "60 to 70 percent." Diệm, however, viewed the election as a test of authority.[109] Three days later, he declared South Vietnam to be an independent state under the name Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
(ROV), with himself as president.[110] Likewise, Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
and other communist officials always won at least 99% of the vote in North Vietnamese "elections".[111] The domino theory, which argued that if one country fell to communism, then all of the surrounding countries would follow, was first proposed as policy by the Eisenhower administration.[112] John F. Kennedy, then a U.S. Senator, said in a speech to the American Friends of Vietnam: "Burma, Thailand, India, Japan, the Philippines
Philippines
and obviously Laos
Laos
and Cambodia
Cambodia
are among those whose security would be threatened if the Red Tide of Communism
Communism
overflowed into Vietnam."[113] Diệm era, 1955–63 Main articles: Ngô Đình Diệm
Ngô Đình Diệm
and War in Vietnam
Vietnam
(1954–59)

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles greet President Ngô Đình Diệm
Ngô Đình Diệm
of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
in Washington, 8 May 1957.

Rule See also: Ngô Đình Diệm
Ngô Đình Diệm
presidential visit to Australia A devout Roman Catholic, Diệm was fervently anti-communist, nationalist, and socially conservative. Historian Luu Doan Huynh notes that "Diệm represented narrow and extremist nationalism coupled with autocracy and nepotism."[114] The majority of Vietnamese people were Buddhist, and were alarmed by actions such as Diệm's dedication of the country to the Virgin Mary. Beginning in the summer of 1955, Diệm launched the "Denounce the Communists" campaign, during which communists and other anti-government elements were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, or executed. He instituted the death penalty against any activity deemed communist in August 1956.[115] According to Gabriel Kolko about 12,000 suspected opponents of Diệm were killed between 1955 and 1957 and by the end of 1958 an estimated 40,000 political prisoners had been jailed.[116] In May 1957, Diệm undertook a ten-day state visit to the United States. President Eisenhower pledged his continued support, and a parade was held in Diệm's honor in New York City. Although Diệm was publicly praised, in private Secretary of State John Foster Dulles conceded that Diệm had been selected because there were no better alternatives.[117] Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara
wrote in Argument Without End (1999) that the new American patrons of the Republic of Vietnam (ROV) were almost completely ignorant of Vietnamese culture. They knew little of the language or long history of the country.[74] There was a tendency to assign American motives to Vietnamese actions, though Diệm warned that it was an illusion to believe that blindly copying Western methods would solve Vietnamese problems.[74] Insurgency
Insurgency
in the South, 1954–60 Main articles: Viet Cong
Viet Cong
and War in Vietnam
Vietnam
(1959–63)

The Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
trail was used to supply the Viet Cong.

Between 1954 and 1957 there was large-scale but disorganized dissidence in the countryside which the Diệm government succeeded in quelling. In early 1957 South Vietnam
South Vietnam
enjoyed its first peace in over a decade. Incidents of political violence began to occur in mid-1957, but the government "did not construe it as a campaign, considering the disorders too diffuse to warrant committing major GVN [Government of Vietnam] resources." By early 1959, however, Diệm had come to regard the (increasingly frequent) disorders as an organized campaign and implemented Law 10/59, which made political violence punishable by death and property confiscation.[118] There had been some division among former Viet Minh
Viet Minh
whose main goal was to hold the elections promised in the Geneva Accords, leading to "wildcat" activities separate from the other communists and anti-GVN activists.[20] In December 1960, the National Liberation Front (NLF, a.k.a. the Viet Cong) was formally created with the intent of uniting all anti-GVN activists, including non-communists. According to the Pentagon Papers, the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
"placed heavy emphasis on the withdrawal of American advisors and influence, on land reform and liberalization of the GVN, on coalition government and the neutralization of Vietnam." Often the leaders of the organization were kept secret.[20] Support for the NLF was driven by peasant resentment of Diem's reversal of land reforms in the countryside. The vast majority of the population lived in villages in the countryside, where a key demand was for land reform. In areas they controlled, the Viet Minh
Viet Minh
had confiscated large private landholdings, reduced rents and debts, and leased communal lands, mostly to the poorer peasants. Diem brought the landlords back to the villages. People who were farming land they had held for years now had to return it to landlords and pay years of back rent. This rent collection was enforced by the South Vietnamese army. The divisions within villages reproduced those that had existed against the French: "75 percent support for the NLF, 20 percent trying to remain neutral and 5 percent firmly pro-government,"[119] North Vietnamese involvement See also: North Vietnamese invasion of Laos Sources disagree on whether North Vietnam
North Vietnam
played a direct role in aiding and organizing South Vietnamese rebels prior to 1960. Kahin and Lewis assert:

Contrary to United States
United States
policy assumptions, all available evidence shows that the revival of the civil war in the South in 1958 was undertaken by Southerners at their own—not Hanoi's—initiative… Insurgency
Insurgency
activity against the Saigon government began in the South under Southern leadership not as a consequence of any dictate from Hanoi, but contrary to Hanoi's injunctions.[20]

Similarly, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. states that "it was not until September, 1960 that the Communist Party of North Vietnam bestowed its formal blessing and called for the liberation of the south from American imperialism".[20] By contrast, James Olson and Randy Roberts assert that North Vietnam authorized a low-level insurgency in December 1956.[19] To counter the accusation that North Vietnam
North Vietnam
was violating the Geneva Accord, the independence of the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
was stressed in communist propaganda.[120] In March 1956, southern communist leader Lê Duẩn
Lê Duẩn
presented a plan to revive the insurgency entitled "The Road to the South" to the other members of the Politburo in Hanoi, but as both China
China
and the Soviets opposed confrontation at this time, Lê Duẩn's plan was rejected.[120] However the North Vietnamese leadership approved tentative measures to revive the southern insurgency in December 1956.[121] Communist forces were under a single command structure set up in 1958.[122] The North Vietnamese Communist Party approved a "people's war" on the South at a session in January 1959[123] and in May, Group 559 was established to maintain and upgrade the Ho Chi Minh trail, at this time a six-month mountain trek through Laos. About 500 of the "regroupees" of 1954 were sent south on the trail during its first year of operation.[124] The first arms delivery via the trail was completed in August 1959.[125] About 40,000 communist soldiers infiltrated into the south from 1961–63.[120] Kennedy's escalation, 1961–63 Main articles: Strategic Hamlet Program
Strategic Hamlet Program
and Phạm Ngọc Thảo In the 1960 U.S. presidential election, Senator John F. Kennedy defeated incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon. Although Eisenhower warned Kennedy about Laos
Laos
and Vietnam, Europe and Latin America "loomed larger than Asia on his sights."[126] In his inaugural address, Kennedy made the ambitious pledge to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and success of liberty."[127] In June 1961, he bitterly disagreed with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
when they met in Vienna to discuss key U.S.–Soviet issues. Only 16 months later, the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
(16–28 October 1962) played out on television worldwide. It was the closest the Cold War
Cold War
came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war, and the U.S. raised the readiness level of Strategic Air Command
Strategic Air Command
(SAC) forces to DEFCON
DEFCON
2.

President's news conference of 23 March 1961

The Kennedy administration remained essentially committed to the Cold War foreign policy inherited from the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. In 1961, the U.S. had 50,000 troops based in South Korea, and Kennedy faced a three-part crisis—the failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the construction of the Berlin Wall, and a negotiated settlement between the pro-Western government of Laos
Laos
and the Pathet Lao
Pathet Lao
communist movement.[128] These crises made Kennedy believe that another failure on the part of the United States
United States
to gain control and stop communist expansion would fatally damage U.S. credibility with its allies and his own reputation. Kennedy was thus determined to "draw a line in the sand" and prevent a communist victory in Vietnam. He told James Reston of The New York Times immediately after his Vienna meeting with Khrushchev, "Now we have a problem making our power credible and Vietnam
Vietnam
looks like the place."[129][130] Kennedy's policy toward South Vietnam
South Vietnam
rested on the assumption that Diệm and his forces had to ultimately defeat the guerrillas on their own. He was against the deployment of American combat troops and observed that "to introduce U.S. forces in large numbers there today, while it might have an initially favorable military impact, would almost certainly lead to adverse political and, in the long run, adverse military consequences."[131] The quality of the South Vietnamese military, however, remained poor. Poor leadership, corruption, and political promotions all played a part in weakening the South Vietnamese Army
Army
(ARVN). The frequency of guerrilla attacks rose as the insurgency gathered steam. While Hanoi's support for the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
played a role, South Vietnamese governmental incompetence was at the core of the crisis.[132]

South Vietnam, Military Regions, 1967

One major issue Kennedy raised was whether the Soviet space and missile programs had surpassed those of the United States. Although Kennedy stressed long-range missile parity with the Soviets, he was also interested in using special forces for counterinsurgency warfare in Third World countries threatened by communist insurgencies. Although they were originally intended for use behind front lines after a conventional Soviet invasion of Europe, Kennedy believed that the guerrilla tactics employed by special forces such as the Green Berets would be effective in a "brush fire" war in Vietnam. Kennedy advisors Maxwell Taylor and Walt Rostow recommended that U.S. troops be sent to South Vietnam
South Vietnam
disguised as flood relief workers.[133] Kennedy rejected the idea but increased military assistance yet again. In April 1962, John Kenneth Galbraith
John Kenneth Galbraith
warned Kennedy of the "danger we shall replace the French as a colonial force in the area and bleed as the French did."[134] By November 1963, there were 16,000 American military personnel in South Vietnam, up from Eisenhower's 900 advisors.[135] The Strategic Hamlet Program
Strategic Hamlet Program
was initiated in late 1961. This joint U.S.–South Vietnamese program attempted to resettle the rural population into fortified camps. It was implemented in early 1962 and involved some forced relocation, village internment, and segregation of rural South Vietnamese into new communities where the peasantry would be isolated from Communist insurgents. It was hoped these new communities would provide security for the peasants and strengthen the tie between them and the central government. However, by November 1963 the program had waned, and it officially ended in 1964.[136] On 23 July 1962, fourteen nations, including China, South Vietnam, the Soviet Union, North Vietnam
North Vietnam
and the United States, signed an agreement promising to respect the neutrality of Laos. Ousting and assassination of Ngô Đình Diệm See also: Role of the United States
United States
in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War § John F. Kennedy (1961–1963), 1960 South Vietnamese coup attempt, 1962 South Vietnamese Independence Palace
Independence Palace
bombing, Huế
Huế
Phật Đản shootings, and Xá Lợi Pagoda raids Main articles: Cable 243, Arrest and assassination of Ngô Đình Diệm, Buddhist crisis, Krulak Mendenhall mission, McNamara Taylor mission, 1963 South Vietnamese coup, and Reaction to the 1963 South Vietnamese coup The inept performance of the South Vietnamese army was exemplified by failed actions such as the Battle of Ap Bac
Battle of Ap Bac
on 2 January 1963, in which a small band of Viet Cong
Viet Cong
won a battle against a much larger and better-equipped South Vietnamese force, many of whose officers seemed reluctant even to engage in combat.[137] The Army
Army
of the Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
forces were led in that battle by Diệm's most trusted general, Huỳnh Văn Cao, commander of the IV Corps. Cao was a Catholic who had been promoted due to religion and fidelity rather than skill, and his main job was to preserve his forces to stave off coups; he had earlier vomited during a communist attack. Some policymakers in Washington began to conclude that Diệm was incapable of defeating the communists and might even make a deal with Ho Chi Minh. He seemed concerned only with fending off coups, and had become more paranoid after attempts in 1960 and 1962, which he partly attributed to U.S. encouragement. As Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
noted, "Diệm wouldn't make even the slightest concessions. He was difficult to reason with ..."[138] As historian James Gibson summed up the situation:

Strategic hamlets had failed ... The South Vietnamese regime was incapable of winning the peasantry because of its class base among landlords. Indeed, there was no longer a 'regime' in the sense of a relatively stable political alliance and functioning bureaucracy. Instead, civil government and military operations had virtually ceased. The National Liberation Front had made great progress and was close to declaring provisional revolutionary governments in large areas.[139]

A US tank convoy during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War

Discontent with Diệm's policies exploded following the Huế
Huế
Phật Đản shootings of nine majority Buddhists who were protesting against the ban on the Buddhist flag
Buddhist flag
on Vesak, the Buddha's birthday. This resulted in mass protests against discriminatory policies that gave privileges to the Catholic Church and its adherents. Diệm's elder brother Ngô Đình Thục was the Archbishop of Huế
Huế
and aggressively blurred the separation between church and state. Thuc's anniversary celebrations shortly before Vesak
Vesak
had been bankrolled by the government, and Vatican flags were displayed prominently. There had also been reports of Buddhist pagodas being demolished by Catholic paramilitaries throughout Diệm's rule. Diệm refused to make concessions to the Buddhist majority or take responsibility for the deaths. On 21 August 1963, the ARVN
ARVN
Special
Special
Forces of Colonel Lê Quang Tung, loyal to Diệm's younger brother Ngô Đình Nhu, raided pagodas across Vietnam, causing widespread damage and destruction and leaving a death toll estimated to range into the hundreds.

Kennedy and McNamara

Ngô Đình Diệm
Ngô Đình Diệm
after being shot and killed in the 1963 coup

U.S. officials began discussing the possibility of a regime change during the middle of 1963. The United States
United States
Department of State was generally in favor of encouraging a coup, while the Defense Department favored Diệm. Chief among the proposed changes was the removal of Diệm's younger brother Nhu, who controlled the secret police and special forces and was seen as the man behind the Buddhist repression and more generally the architect of the Ngô family's rule. This proposal was conveyed to the U.S. embassy in Saigon
Saigon
in Cable 243. The Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) was in contact with generals planning to remove Diệm. They were told that the United States
United States
would not oppose such a move nor punish the generals by cutting off aid. President Diệm was overthrown and executed, along with his brother, on 2 November 1963. When Kennedy was informed, Maxwell Taylor remembered that he "rushed from the room with a look of shock and dismay on his face."[140] He had not anticipated Diệm's murder. The U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, invited the coup leaders to the embassy and congratulated them. Ambassador Lodge informed Kennedy that "the prospects now are for a shorter war".[141] Kennedy wrote Lodge a letter congratulating him for "a fine job".[142] Following the coup, chaos ensued. Hanoi
Hanoi
took advantage of the situation and increased its support for the guerrillas. South Vietnam entered a period of extreme political instability, as one military government toppled another in quick succession. Increasingly, each new regime was viewed by the communists as a puppet of the Americans; whatever the failings of Diệm, his credentials as a nationalist (as Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara
later reflected) had been impeccable.[143] U.S. military
U.S. military
advisors were embedded at every level of the South Vietnamese armed forces. They were however criticized for ignoring the political nature of the insurgency.[144] The Kennedy administration sought to refocus U.S. efforts on pacification and "winning over the hearts and minds" of the population. The military leadership in Washington, however, was hostile to any role for U.S. advisors other than conventional troop training.[145] General Paul Harkins, the commander of U.S. forces in South Vietnam, confidently predicted victory by Christmas 1963.[146] The CIA was less optimistic, however, warning that "the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
by and large retain de facto control of much of the countryside and have steadily increased the overall intensity of the effort".[147] Paramilitary officers from the CIA's Special
Special
Activities Division trained and led Hmong tribesmen in Laos
Laos
and into Vietnam. The indigenous forces numbered in the tens of thousands and they conducted direct action missions, led by paramilitary officers, against the Communist Pathet Lao
Pathet Lao
forces and their North Vietnamese supporters.[148] The CIA also ran the Phoenix Program
Phoenix Program
and participated in Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
Vietnam
– Studies and Observations Group (MAC-V SOG), which was originally named the Special
Special
Operations Group, but was changed for cover purposes.[149] Johnson's escalation, 1963–69 Main article: Joint warfare in South Vietnam, 1963–69 Further information: Role of the United States
United States
in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War § Americanization See also: 1964 South Vietnamese coup, September 1964 South Vietnamese coup attempt, December 1964 South Vietnamese coup, and 1965 South Vietnamese coup

A U.S. B-66 Destroyer and four F-105 Thunderchiefs dropping bombs on North Vietnam
North Vietnam
during Operation Rolling Thunder

At the time Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
took over the presidency after the death of Kennedy, he had not been heavily involved with policy toward Vietnam.[150][151] Upon becoming president, however, Johnson immediately focused on the war: on 24 November 1963, he said, "the battle against communism ... must be joined ... with strength and determination."[152] However, Johnson knew that he had inherited a rapidly deteriorating situation in South Vietnam,[153] believing in the widely accepted arguments that were used for defending the South: Should they retreat or appease, either action would imperil other nations beyond the conflict.[154] The military revolutionary council, meeting in lieu of a strong South Vietnamese leader, was made up of 12 members headed by General Dương Văn Minh—whom Stanley Karnow, a journalist on the ground, later recalled as "a model of lethargy".[155] Lodge, frustrated by the end of the year, cabled home about Minh: "Will he be strong enough to get on top of things?" His regime was overthrown in January 1964 by General Nguyễn Khánh.[156] However, there was persistent instability in the military as several coups—not all successful—occurred in a short period of time. Gulf of Tonkin
Gulf of Tonkin
incident Main articles: Gulf of Tonkin incident
Gulf of Tonkin incident
and Credibility gap

An alleged Viet Cong
Viet Cong
activist, captured during an attack on an American outpost near the Cambodian border, is interrogated.

On 2 August 1964, the USS Maddox, on an intelligence mission along North Vietnam's coast, allegedly fired upon and damaged several torpedo boats that had been stalking it in the Gulf of Tonkin.[157] A second attack was reported two days later on the USS Turner Joy and Maddox in the same area. The circumstances of the attack were murky. Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon Johnson
commented to Undersecretary of State George Ball that "those sailors out there may have been shooting at flying fish."[158] An undated NSA publication declassified in 2005 revealed that there was no attack on 4 August.[159] The second "attack" led to retaliatory air strikes, and prompted Congress to approve the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
on 7 August 1964,[160][161] Although most Congressmen at the time denied that this was a full-scale war declaration, the Tonkin Resolution granted the president unilateral power to launch any military actions he deemed necessary.[161] In the same month, Johnson pledged that he was not "committing American boys to fighting a war that I think ought to be fought by the boys of Asia to help protect their own land".[162] "From a strength of approximately 5,000 at the start of 1959 the Viet Cong's ranks grew to about 100,000 at the end of 1964 ... Between 1961 and 1964 the Army's strength rose from about 850,000 to nearly a million men."[144] The numbers for U.S. troops deployed to Vietnam during the same period were quite different; 2,000 in 1961, rising rapidly to 16,500 in 1964.[163]

A Marine from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, moves an alleged Viet Cong activist to the rear during a search and clear operation held by the battalion 15 miles (24 km) west of Da Nang
Da Nang
Air Base.

The National Security Council recommended a three-stage escalation of the bombing of North Vietnam. On 7 February 1965 following an attack on a U.S. Army
Army
base in Pleiku,[164] Operation Flaming Dart (initiated when Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin
Alexei Kosygin
was on a state visit to North Vietnam), Operation Rolling Thunder
Operation Rolling Thunder
and Operation Arc Light commenced.[165] The bombing campaign, which ultimately lasted three years, was intended to force North Vietnam
North Vietnam
to cease its support for the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
by threatening to destroy North Vietnam's air defenses and industrial infrastructure. As well, it was aimed at bolstering the morale of the South Vietnamese.[166] Between March 1965 and November 1968, "Rolling Thunder" deluged the north with a million tons of missiles, rockets and bombs.[167] Bombing of Laos Main article: Laotian Civil War Bombing was not restricted to North Vietnam. Other aerial campaigns, such as Operation Barrel Roll, targeted different parts of the Viet Cong and NVA infrastructure. These included the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
trail supply route, which ran through Laos
Laos
and Cambodia. The ostensibly neutral Laos
Laos
had become the scene of a civil war, pitting the Laotian government backed by the US against the Pathet Lao
Pathet Lao
and its North Vietnamese allies. Massive aerial bombardment against the Pathet Lao
Pathet Lao
and People's Army
Army
of Vietnam
Vietnam
forces were carried out by the US to prevent the collapse of the Royal central government, and to deny the use of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. dropped two million tons of bombs on Laos, nearly equal to the 2.1 million tons of bombs the U.S. dropped on Europe and Asia during all of World War II, making Laos
Laos
the most heavily bombed country in history relative to the size of its population.[168] The objective of stopping North Vietnam
North Vietnam
and the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
was never reached. The Chief of Staff of the United States
United States
Air Force Curtis LeMay, however, had long advocated saturation bombing in Vietnam
Vietnam
and wrote of the communists that "we're going to bomb them back into the Stone Age".[169] American ground war

Play media

Universal Newsreel film about an attack on U.S. air bases and the U.S. response, 1965

Peasants suspected of being Viet Cong
Viet Cong
under detention of U.S. Army, 1966

Start of Tet Offensive
Tet Offensive
as seen looking north from LZ Betty's water tower, just south of Quang Tri City

Heavily bandaged woman with a tag attached to her arm which reads "VNC Female" meaning Vietnamese civilian

After several attacks upon them, it was decided that U.S. Air Force bases needed more protection as the South Vietnamese military seemed incapable of providing security. On 8 March 1965, 3,500 U.S. Marines were dispatched to South Vietnam. This marked the beginning of the American ground war. U.S. public opinion overwhelmingly supported the deployment.[170] In a statement similar to that made to the French almost two decades earlier, Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
warned that if the Americans "want to make war for twenty years then we shall make war for twenty years. If they want to make peace, we shall make peace and invite them to afternoon tea."[171] Some have argued that the policy of North Vietnam
North Vietnam
was not to topple other non-communist governments in South East Asia.[172] The Marines' initial assignment was defensive. The first deployment of 3,500 in March 1965 was increased to nearly 200,000 by December.[173] The U.S. military
U.S. military
had long been schooled in offensive warfare. Regardless of political policies, U.S. commanders were institutionally and psychologically unsuited to a defensive mission.[173] In December 1964, ARVN
ARVN
forces had suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Bình Giã,[174] in a battle that both sides viewed as a watershed. Previously, communist forces had utilized hit-and-run guerrilla tactics. However, at Binh Gia, they had defeated a strong ARVN
ARVN
force in a conventional battle.[175] Tellingly, South Vietnamese forces were again defeated in June 1965 at the Battle of Đồng Xoài.[176]

U.S. soldiers searching a village for Viet Cong

Desertion rates were increasing, and morale plummeted. General William Westmoreland informed Admiral U. S. Grant Sharp Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific forces, that the situation was critical.[173] He said, "I am convinced that U.S. troops with their energy, mobility, and firepower can successfully take the fight to the NLF [National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
a.k.a. the Viet Cong]".[177] With this recommendation, Westmoreland was advocating an aggressive departure from America's defensive posture and the sidelining of the South Vietnamese. By ignoring ARVN
ARVN
units, the U.S. commitment became open-ended.[178] Westmoreland outlined a three-point plan to win the war:

Phase 1. Commitment of U.S. (and other free world) forces necessary to halt the losing trend by the end of 1965. Phase 2. U.S. and allied forces mount major offensive actions to seize the initiative to destroy guerrilla and organized enemy forces. This phase would end when the enemy had been worn down, thrown on the defensive, and driven back from major populated areas. Phase 3. If the enemy persisted, a period of twelve to eighteen months following Phase 2 would be required for the final destruction of enemy forces remaining in remote base areas.[179]

The plan was approved by Johnson and marked a profound departure from the previous administration's insistence that the government of South Vietnam
Vietnam
was responsible for defeating the guerrillas. Westmoreland predicted victory by the end of 1967.[180] Johnson did not, however, communicate this change in strategy to the media. Instead he emphasized continuity.[181] The change in U.S. policy depended on matching the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
in a contest of attrition and morale. The opponents were locked in a cycle of escalation.[182] The idea that the government of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
could manage its own affairs was shelved.[182]

Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin
Alexei Kosygin
with U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
at the Glassboro Summit Conference
Glassboro Summit Conference
where the two representatives discussed the possibilities of a peace settlement

The one-year tour of duty of American soldiers deprived units of experienced leadership. As one observer noted "we were not in Vietnam for 10 years, but for one year 10 times."[183] As a result, training programs were shortened. South Vietnam
South Vietnam
was inundated with manufactured goods. As Stanley Karnow writes, "the main PX [Post Exchange], located in the Saigon
Saigon
suburb of Cholon, was only slightly smaller than the New York Bloomingdale's ..."[184] The American buildup transformed the economy and had a profound effect on South Vietnamese society. A huge surge in corruption was witnessed. Washington encouraged its SEATO allies to contribute troops. Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines[185] all agreed to send troops. Major allies, however, notably NATO
NATO
nations Canada
Canada
and the United Kingdom, declined Washington's troop requests.[186] The U.S. and its allies mounted complex operations, such as operations Masher, Attleboro, Cedar Falls, and Junction City. However, the communist insurgents remained elusive and demonstrated great tactical flexibility. Meanwhile, the political situation in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
began to stabilize with the coming to power of prime minister Air Marshal Nguyễn Cao Kỳ and figurehead Chief of State, General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, in mid-1965 at the head of a military junta. This ended a series of coups that had happened more than once a year. In 1967, Thieu became president with Ky as his deputy, after rigged elections. Although they were nominally a civilian government, Ky was supposed to maintain real power through a behind-the-scenes military body. However, Thieu outmaneuvered and sidelined Ky by filling the ranks with generals from his faction. Thieu was also accused of murdering Ky loyalists through contrived military accidents. Thieu, mistrustful and indecisive, remained president until 1975, having won a one-candidate election in 1971.[187] [188] The Johnson administration employed a "policy of minimum candor"[189] in its dealings with the media. Military information officers sought to manage media coverage by emphasizing stories that portrayed progress in the war. Over time, this policy damaged the public trust in official pronouncements. As the media's coverage of the war and that of the Pentagon diverged, a so-called credibility gap developed.[189] Tet Offensive Main articles: Tet Offensive
Tet Offensive
and United States
United States
news media and the Vietnam
Vietnam
War

A US "tunnel rat" soldier prepares to enter a Viet Cong
Viet Cong
tunnel.

In late 1967 the Communists lured American forces into the hinterlands at Đắk Tô
Đắk Tô
and at the Marine Khe Sanh combat base in Quảng Trị Province where the United States
United States
was more than willing to fight because it could unleash its massive firepower unimpeded by civilians. However, on 30 January 1968, the NVA and the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
broke the truce that traditionally accompanied the Tết
Tết
(Lunar New Year) holiday by launching the largest battle of the war, the Tet Offensive, in the hope of sparking a national uprising. Over 100 cities were attacked by over 85,000 enemy troops including assaults on General Westmoreland's headquarters and the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.[190] Although the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces were initially shocked by the scale of the urban offensive, they responded quickly and effectively, decimating the ranks of the Viet Cong. In the former capital city of Huế, the combined NVA and Viet Cong
Viet Cong
troops captured the Imperial Citadel and much of the city and held on in the fighting for 26 days.[191][192] During that time, they executed approximately 2,800 unarmed Huế
Huế
civilians, Americans and foreigners they considered to be enemies.[193] In the following Battle of Huế American forces employed massive firepower that left 80 percent of the city in ruins.[194] Further north, at Quảng Trị
Quảng Trị
City, members of the 1st Cavalry Division and 1st ARVN
ARVN
Infantry Division killed more than 900 NVA and Vietcong troops in and around the city.[195][196] In Saigon, 1,000 NLF (Viet Cong) fighters fought off 11,000 U.S. and ARVN troops for three weeks.

U.S. Marines in Operation Allen Brook in 1968

Across South Vietnam, 1,100 Americans and other allied troops, 2,100 ARVN, 14,000 civilians, and 32,000 NVA and Viet Cong
Viet Cong
lay dead.[196][197] But the Tet Offensive
Tet Offensive
had another, unintended consequence. General Westmoreland had become the public face of the war. He had been named Time magazine's 1965's Man of the Year and eventually was featured on the magazine's cover three times.[198] Time described him as "the sinewy personification of the American fighting man ... [who] directed the historic buildup, drew up the battle plans, and infused the… men under him with his own idealistic view of U.S. aims and responsibilities."[198] Six weeks after the Tet Offensive
Tet Offensive
began, "public approval of his overall performance dropped from 48 percent to 36 percent—and, more dramatically, endorsement for his handling of the war fell from 40 percent to 26 percent."[199]

U.S. Marines fighting in Huế

A few months earlier, in November 1967, Westmoreland had spearheaded a public relations drive for the Johnson administration to bolster flagging public support.[200] In a speech before the National Press Club he had said a point in the war had been reached "where the end comes into view."[201] Thus, the public was shocked and confused when Westmoreland's predictions were trumped by Tet.[200] The American media, which had until then been largely supportive of U.S. efforts, turned on the Johnson administration for what had become an increasing credibility gap. Despite the military failures for the Communist forces, Tet became a political victory for them and ended the career of president Lyndon B. Johnson, who declined to run for re-election as his approval rating slumped from 48 to 36 percent.[200] As James Witz noted, Tet "contradicted the claims of progress ... made by the Johnson administration and the military".[200] The offensive constituted an intelligence failure on the scale of Pearl Harbor.[185][202] According to Peter Arnett,[203] an infantry commander said of Bến Tre
Bến Tre
(laid to rubble by U.S. attacks) that "it became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it." [204]

Viet Cong/NVA killed by U.S. Air Force personnel during a perimeter attack of Tan Son Nhut Air Base
Tan Son Nhut Air Base
during the Tet Offensive

Westmoreland became Chief of Staff of the Army
Army
in March 1968, just as all resistance was finally subdued. The move was technically a promotion. However, his position had become untenable because of the offensive and because his request for 200,000 additional troops had been leaked to the media. Westmoreland was succeeded by his deputy Creighton Abrams, a commander less inclined to public media pronouncements.[205] On 10 May 1968, despite low expectations, peace talks began between the United States
United States
and North Vietnam
North Vietnam
in Paris. Negotiations stagnated for five months, until Johnson gave orders to halt the bombing of North Vietnam. As historian Robert Dallek writes, "Lyndon Johnson's escalation of the war in Vietnam
Vietnam
divided Americans into warring camps ... cost 30,000 American lives by the time he left office, [and] destroyed Johnson's presidency ..."[206] His refusal to send more U.S. troops to Vietnam
Vietnam
was seen as Johnson's admission that the war was lost.[207] In effect, Johnson found that the Vietnam
Vietnam
War was no easier to prosecute than the Korean War, learning from experience that China was likely to intervene directly if Hanoi's survival was threatened. Likewise, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
would respond by providing more supplies and equipment to raise the cost for U.S. involvement, weakening their defenses in Europe and in the worse case trigger a nuclear confrontation.[154] It can be seen that the refusal was a tacit admission that the war could not be won by escalation, at least not at a cost acceptable to the American people.[207] As Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara
noted, "the dangerous illusion of victory by the United States
United States
was therefore dead."[208] Vietnam
Vietnam
was a major political issue during the United States presidential election in 1968. The election was won by Republican party candidate Richard Nixon. Nixon Doctrine
Nixon Doctrine
and Vietnamization, 1969–72

Propaganda leaflet urging the defection of Viet Cong
Viet Cong
and North Vietnamese to the side of the Republic of Vietnam

U.S. President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
began troop withdrawals in 1969. His plan, called the Nixon Doctrine, was to build up the ARVN, so it could take over the defense of South Vietnam. The policy became known as "Vietnamization". Nuclear threats On 27 October 1969, Nixon ordered a squadron of 18 B-52s loaded with nuclear weapons to race to the border of Soviet airspace to convince the Soviet Union, in accord with the madman theory, that he was capable of anything to end the Vietnam
Vietnam
War ("Operation Giant Lance").[209][210] Diplomacy Nixon also pursued negotiations. Theater commander Creighton Abrams shifted to smaller operations, aimed at communist logistics, with better use of firepower and more cooperation with the ARVN. Nixon also began to pursue détente with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and rapprochement with China. This policy helped to decrease global tensions. Détente
Détente
led to nuclear arms reduction on the part of both superpowers. But Nixon was disappointed that China
China
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
continued to supply the North Vietnamese with aid. In September 1969, Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
died at age seventy-nine.[211] Domestic controversy The anti-war movement was gaining strength in the United States. Nixon appealed to the "silent majority" of Americans who he said supported the war without showing it in public. But revelations of the My Lai Massacre, in which a U.S. Army
Army
platoon raped and killed civilians, and the 1969 "Green Beret Affair" where eight Special
Special
Forces soldiers, including the 5th Special
Special
Forces Group Commander, were arrested for the murder[212] of a suspected double agent[213] provoked national and international outrage. In 1971 the Pentagon Papers
Pentagon Papers
were leaked to The New York Times. The top-secret history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, commissioned by the Department of Defense, detailed a long series of public deceptions on the part of the U.S. government. The Supreme Court ruled that its publication was legal.[214] Troop withdrawal accelerates Beginning in 1970, American troops were withdrawn from border areas where most of the fighting took place, and instead redeployed along the coast and interior, which is one reason why casualties in 1970 were less than half of 1969's totals.[215] Nixon said in 1970 in an announcement, "I am tonight announcing plans for the withdrawal of an additional 150,000 American troops to be completed during the spring of next year. This will bring a total reduction of 265,500 men in our armed forces in Vietnam
Vietnam
below the level that existed when we took office 15 months ago."[215] Cambodia Main articles: Operation Menu, Operation Freedom Deal, Operation Commando Hunt, Laotian Civil War, Cambodian Civil War, and Operation Lam Son 719 Prince Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk
had proclaimed Cambodia
Cambodia
neutral since 1955,[216] but the communists used Cambodian soil as a base and Sihanouk tolerated their presence, because he wished to avoid being drawn into a wider regional conflict. Under pressure from Washington, however, he changed this policy in 1969. The Vietnamese communists were no longer welcome. President Nixon took the opportunity to launch a massive bombing campaign, called Operation Menu, against communist sanctuaries along the Cambodia/ Vietnam
Vietnam
border. Only five high-ranking Congressional officials were informed of Operation Menu.[217] In 1970, Prince Sihanouk was deposed by his pro-American prime minister Lon Nol. North Vietnam
North Vietnam
invaded Cambodia
Cambodia
in 1970 at the request of Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
deputy leader Nuon Chea.[218] U.S. and ARVN forces launched an invasion into Cambodia
Cambodia
to attack NVA and Viet Cong bases. This invasion sparked nationwide U.S. protests as Nixon had promised to deescalate the American involvement. Four students were killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University
Kent State University
during a protest in Ohio, which provoked further public outrage in the United States. The reaction to the incident by the Nixon administration was seen as callous and indifferent, providing additional impetus for the anti-war movement.[219] The U.S. Air Force continued to heavily bomb Cambodia in support of the Cambodian government as part of Operation Freedom Deal. Laos

Pathet Lao
Pathet Lao
soldiers in Vientiane, 1972.

M41 Walker Bulldog, the main battle tank of the ARVN

The ARVN
ARVN
launched Operation Lam Son 719
Operation Lam Son 719
in February 1971, aimed at cutting the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
trail in Laos.[220][unreliable source?] After meeting resistance, ARVN
ARVN
forces retreated in a confused rout. They fled along roads littered with their own dead. When they exhausted fuel supplies, soldiers abandoned their vehicles and attempted to barge their way on to American helicopters sent to evacuate the wounded. Many ARVN
ARVN
soldiers clung to helicopter skids in a desperate attempt to save themselves. U.S. aircraft had to destroy abandoned equipment, including tanks, to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. Half of the ARVN
ARVN
troops involved in the operation were either captured or killed. The operation was a fiasco and represented a clear failure of Vietnamization. As Karnow noted "the blunders were monumental… The (South Vietnamese) government's top officers had been tutored by the Americans for ten or fifteen years, many at training schools in the United States, yet they had learned little."[221] In 1971 Australia
Australia
and New Zealand
New Zealand
withdrew their soldiers. The U.S. troop count was further reduced to 196,700, with a deadline to remove another 45,000 troops by February 1972. As peace protests spread across the United States, disillusionment and ill-discipline grew in the ranks[222] including increased drug use, "fragging" (the act of murdering the commander of a fighting unit) and desertions.[223] 1972 election and Paris Peace Accords Vietnamization
Vietnamization
was again tested by the Easter Offensive
Easter Offensive
of 1972, a massive conventional NVA invasion of South Vietnam. The NVA and Viet Cong quickly overran the northern provinces and in coordination with other forces attacked from Cambodia, threatening to cut the country in half. U.S. troop withdrawals continued. American airpower responded, beginning Operation Linebacker, and the offensive was halted. However, it became clear that without American airpower South Vietnam
South Vietnam
could not survive. The last remaining American ground troops were withdrawn by the end of March 1973; U.S. naval and air forces remained in the Gulf of Tonkin, as well as Thailand
Thailand
and Guam.[224] The war was the central issue of the 1972 U.S. presidential election. Nixon's opponent, George McGovern, campaigned on a platform of withdrawal from Vietnam. Nixon's National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, continued secret negotiations with North Vietnam's Lê Đức Thọ. In October 1972, they reached an agreement.

Operation Linebacker
Operation Linebacker
II, December 1972

However, South Vietnamese president Thieu demanded massive changes to the peace accord. When North Vietnam
North Vietnam
went public with the agreement's details, the Nixon administration claimed that the North was attempting to embarrass the president. The negotiations became deadlocked. Hanoi
Hanoi
demanded new changes. To show his support for South Vietnam
South Vietnam
and force Hanoi
Hanoi
back to the negotiating table, Nixon ordered Operation Linebacker
Operation Linebacker
II, a massive bombing of Hanoi
Hanoi
and Haiphong 18–29 December 1972. The offensive destroyed much of the remaining economic and industrial capacity of North Vietnam. Simultaneously Nixon pressured Thieu to accept the terms of the agreement, threatening to conclude a bilateral peace deal and cut off American aid. On 15 January 1973, Nixon announced the suspension of offensive action against North Vietnam. The Paris Peace Accords
Paris Peace Accords
on "Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam" were signed on 27 January 1973, officially ending direct U.S. involvement in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War. A cease-fire was declared across North and South Vietnam. U.S. prisoners of war were released. The agreement guaranteed the territorial integrity of Vietnam
Vietnam
and, like the Geneva Conference of 1954, called for national elections in the North and South. The Paris Peace Accords
Paris Peace Accords
stipulated a sixty-day period for the total withdrawal of U.S. forces. "This article", noted Peter Church, "proved… to be the only one of the Paris Agreements which was fully carried out."[225] Opposition to U.S. involvement in the war, 1964–73 Main article: Opposition to United States
United States
involvement in the Vietnam War

Protests against the war in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
on 24 April 1971

Anti- Vietnam
Vietnam
War demonstration, 1967

Anti-war protests

During the course of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War a large segment of the American population came to be opposed to U.S. involvement in South Vietnam. Public opinion steadily turned against the war following 1967 and by 1970 only a third of Americans believed that the U.S. had not made a mistake by sending troops to fight in Vietnam.[226] Nearly a third of the American population were strongly against the war. It is possible to specify certain groups who led the anti-war movement and the reasons why. Many young people protested because they were the ones being drafted while others were against the war because the anti-war movement grew increasingly popular among the counterculture and drug culture in American society and its music. Some advocates within the peace movement advocated a unilateral withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam. One reason given for the withdrawal is that it would contribute to a lessening of tensions in the region and thus less human bloodshed. Early opposition to U.S. involvement in Vietnam
Vietnam
drew its inspiration from the Geneva Conference of 1954. American support of Diệm in refusing elections was seen as thwarting the democracy America claimed to support. John F. Kennedy, while Senator, opposed involvement in Vietnam.[163] Opposition to the Vietnam
Vietnam
War tended to unite groups opposed to U.S. anti-communism and imperialism[227] and, for those involved with the New Left
New Left
such as the Catholic Worker Movement. Others, such as Stephen Spiro opposed the war based on the theory of Just War. Some wanted to show solidarity with the people of Vietnam, such as Norman Morrison emulating the actions of Thích Quảng Đức. In a key televised debate from 15 May 1965, Eric Severeid reporting for CBS conducted a debate between McGeorge Bundy
McGeorge Bundy
and Hans Morgenthau
Hans Morgenthau
dealing with an acute summary of the main war concerns of the U.S. as seen at that time stating them as: "(1) What are the justifications for the American presence in Vietnam
Vietnam
– why are we there? (2) What is the fundamental nature of this war? Is it aggression from North Vietnam
North Vietnam
or is it basically, a civil war between the peoples of South Vietnam? (3) What are the implications of this Vietnam
Vietnam
struggle in terms of Communist China's power and aims and future actions? And (4) What are the alternatives to our present policy in Vietnam?"[228][229] High-profile opposition to the Vietnam
Vietnam
War turned to street protests in an effort to turn U.S. political opinion. On 15 October 1969, the Vietnam
Vietnam
Moratorium attracted millions of Americans.[230] Riots broke out at the 1968 Democratic National Convention
1968 Democratic National Convention
during protests against the war.[231] After news reports of American military abuses such as the 1968 My Lai Massacre, brought new attention and support to the anti-war movement, some veterans joined Vietnam
Vietnam
Veterans Against the War. The fatal shooting of four students at Kent State University
Kent State University
in 1970 led to nationwide university protests.[232] Anti-war protests ended with the final withdrawal of troops after the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973. South Vietnam
South Vietnam
was left to defend itself alone when the fighting resumed. Many South Vietnamese subsequently fled to the United States.[233] Exit of the Americans, 1973–75 The United States
United States
began drastically reducing their troop support in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
during the final years of Vietnamization. Many U.S. troops were removed from the region, and on 5 March 1971, the United States returned the 5th Special
Special
Forces Group, which was the first American unit deployed to South Vietnam, to its former base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.[234] [A 4] Under the Paris Peace Accords, between North Vietnamese Foreign Minister Lê Đức Thọ and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and reluctantly signed by South Vietnamese president Thiệu, U.S. military forces withdrew from South Vietnam
South Vietnam
and prisoners were exchanged. North Vietnam
North Vietnam
was allowed to continue supplying communist troops in the South, but only to the extent of replacing expended materiel. Later that year the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
was awarded to Kissinger and Thọ, but the Vietnamese negotiator declined it saying that a true peace did not yet exist. The communist leaders expected the ceasefire terms would favor their side. But Saigon, bolstered by a surge of U.S. aid received just before the ceasefire went into effect, began to roll back the Viet Cong. The communists responded with a new strategy hammered out in a series of meetings in Hanoi
Hanoi
in March 1973, according to the memoirs of Trần Văn Trà.[237] As the Viet Cong's top commander, Tra participated in several of these meetings. With U.S. bombings suspended, work on the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
trail and other logistical structures could proceed unimpeded. Logistics would be upgraded until the North was in a position to launch a massive invasion of the South, projected for the 1975–76 dry season. Tra calculated that this date would be Hanoi's last opportunity to strike before Saigon's army could be fully trained.[237]

Calling for immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam, George McGovern's 1972 Presidential Campaign lost 49 of 50 states to Richard Nixon.

In the November 1972 Election, Democratic nominee George McGovern
George McGovern
lost 49 of 50 states to the incumbent President Richard Nixon. On 15 March 1973, President Nixon implied the United States
United States
would intervene militarily if the communist side violated the ceasefire. Public and congressional reaction to Nixon's trial balloon was unfavorable and in April Nixon appointed Graham Martin
Graham Martin
as U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam. During his confirmation hearings in June 1973, Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger
James R. Schlesinger
stated he would recommend resumption of U.S. bombing in North Vietnam
North Vietnam
if North Vietnam
North Vietnam
launched a major offensive against South Vietnam. On 4 June 1973, the U.S. Senate passed the Case–Church Amendment
Case–Church Amendment
to prohibit such intervention.[238] The oil price shock of October 1973 following the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
in Egypt caused significant damage to the South Vietnamese economy. The Viet Cong
Viet Cong
resumed offensive operations when the dry season began and by January 1974 it recaptured the territory it lost during the previous dry season. After two clashes that left 55 South Vietnamese soldiers dead, President Thieu announced on 4 January that the war had restarted and that the Paris Peace Accord
Paris Peace Accord
was no longer in effect. There were over 25,000 South Vietnamese casualties during the ceasefire period.[239] Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
took over as U.S. president on 9 August 1974 after President Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal. At this time, Congress cut financial aid to South Vietnam
South Vietnam
from $1 billion a year to $700 million. The U.S. midterm elections in 1974 brought in a new Congress dominated by Democrats who were even more determined to confront the president on the war. Congress immediately voted in restrictions on funding and military activities to be phased in through 1975 and to culminate in a total cutoff of funding in 1976. The success of the 1973–74 dry season offensive inspired Trà to return to Hanoi
Hanoi
in October 1974 and plead for a larger offensive in the next dry season. This time, Trà could travel on a drivable highway with regular fueling stops, a vast change from the days when the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
trail was a dangerous mountain trek.[240] Giáp, the North Vietnamese defense minister, was reluctant to approve Trà's plan. A larger offensive might provoke a U.S. reaction and interfere with the big push planned for 1976. Trà appealed over Giáp's head to first secretary Lê Duẩn, who approved of the operation. Trà's plan called for a limited offensive from Cambodia
Cambodia
into Phước Long Province. The strike was designed to solve local logistical problems, gauge the reaction of South Vietnamese forces, and determine whether U.S. would return to the fray.

Recently released American POWs from North Vietnamese prison camps, 1973

On 13 December 1974, North Vietnamese forces attacked Route 14 in Phước Long Province. Phuoc Binh, the provincial capital, fell on 6 January 1975. Ford desperately asked Congress for funds to assist and re-supply the South before it was overrun. Congress refused. The fall of Phuoc Binh and the lack of an American response left the South Vietnamese elite demoralized. The speed of this success led the Politburo to reassess its strategy. It was decided that operations in the Central Highlands would be turned over to General Văn Tiến Dũng and that Pleiku
Pleiku
should be seized, if possible. Before he left for the South, Dũng was addressed by Lê Duẩn: "Never have we had military and political conditions so perfect or a strategic advantage as great as we have now."[241] At the start of 1975, the South Vietnamese had three times as much artillery and twice the number of tanks and armored cars as the opposition. They also had 1,400 aircraft and a two-to-one numerical superiority in combat troops over their Communist enemies.[242] However, the rising oil prices meant that much of this could not be used. They faced a well-organized, highly determined and well-funded North Vietnam. Much of the North's material and financial support came from the communist bloc. Within South Vietnam, there was increasing chaos. The departure of the American military had compromised an economy dependent on U.S. financial support and the presence of a large number of U.S. troops. South Vietnam
South Vietnam
suffered from the global recession that followed the Arab oil embargo. Campaign 275 See also: 1975 Spring Offensive, Battle of Ban Me Thuot, and Hue–Da Nang Campaign

Captured U.S.-supplied armored vehicles and artillery pieces.

On 10 March 1975, General Dung launched Campaign 275, a limited offensive into the Central Highlands, supported by tanks and heavy artillery. The target was Buôn Ma Thuột, in Đắk Lắk Province. If the town could be taken, the provincial capital of Pleiku
Pleiku
and the road to the coast would be exposed for a planned campaign in 1976. The ARVN
ARVN
proved incapable of resisting the onslaught, and its forces collapsed on 11 March. Once again, Hanoi
Hanoi
was surprised by the speed of their success. Dung now urged the Politburo to allow him to seize Pleiku
Pleiku
immediately and then turn his attention to Kon Tum. He argued that with two months of good weather remaining until the onset of the monsoon, it would be irresponsible to not take advantage of the situation.[37] President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, a former general, was fearful that his forces would be cut off in the north by the attacking communists; Thieu ordered a retreat. The president declared this to be a "lighten the top and keep the bottom" strategy. But in what appeared to be a repeat of Operation Lam Son 719, the withdrawal soon turned into a bloody rout. While the bulk of ARVN
ARVN
forces attempted to flee, isolated units fought desperately. ARVN
ARVN
General Phu abandoned Pleiku
Pleiku
and Kon Tum and retreated toward the coast, in what became known as the "column of tears".[37] As the ARVN
ARVN
tried to disengage from the enemy, refugees mixed with the line of retreat. The poor condition of roads and bridges, damaged by years of conflict and neglect, slowed Phu's column. As the North Vietnamese forces approached, panic set in. Often abandoned by the officers, the soldiers and civilians were shelled incessantly. The retreat degenerated into a desperate scramble for the coast. By 1 April the "column of tears" was all but annihilated.[37] On 20 March, Thieu reversed himself and ordered Huế, Vietnam's third-largest city, be held at all costs, and then changed his policy several times. Thieu's contradictory orders confused and demoralized his officer corps. As the North Vietnamese launched their attack, panic set in, and ARVN
ARVN
resistance withered. On 22 March, the NVA opened the siege of Huế. Civilians flooded the airport and the docks hoping for any mode of escape. Some even swam out to sea to reach boats and barges anchored offshore. In the confusion, routed ARVN soldiers fired on civilians to make way for their retreat.[37] On 25 March, after a three-day battle, Huế
Huế
fell. As resistance in Huế
Huế
collapsed, North Vietnamese rockets rained down on Da Nang
Da Nang
and its airport. By 28 March 35,000 VPA troops were poised to attack the suburbs. By 30 March 100,000 leaderless ARVN
ARVN
troops surrendered as the NVA marched victoriously through Da Nang. With the fall of the city, the defense of the Central Highlands and Northern provinces came to an end.[37] Final North Vietnamese offensive Further information on the final North Vietnamese offensive: Ho Chi Minh Campaign

Captured South Vietnamese warplanes in Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
City

With the northern half of the country under their control, the Politburo ordered General Dung to launch the final offensive against Saigon. The operational plan for the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Campaign called for the capture of Saigon
Saigon
before 1 May. Hanoi
Hanoi
wished to avoid the coming monsoon and prevent any redeployment of ARVN
ARVN
forces defending the capital. Northern forces, their morale boosted by their recent victories, rolled on, taking Nha Trang, Cam Ranh, and Da Lat. On 7 April, three North Vietnamese divisions attacked Xuân Lộc, 40 miles (64 km) east of Saigon. The North Vietnamese met fierce resistance at Xuân Lộc from the ARVN
ARVN
18th Division, who were outnumbered six to one. For two bloody weeks, severe fighting raged as the ARVN
ARVN
defenders made a last stand to try to block the North Vietnamese advance. By 21 April, however, the exhausted garrison were ordered to withdraw towards Saigon. An embittered and tearful president Thieu resigned on the same day, declaring that the United States
United States
betrayed South Vietnam. In a scathing attack, he suggested U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
had tricked him into signing the Paris peace agreement two years earlier, promising military aid that failed to materialize. Having transferred power to Trần Văn Hương, he left for Taiwan
Taiwan
on 25 April. At the same time, North Vietnamese tanks had reached Biên Hòa
Biên Hòa
and turned toward Saigon, brushing aside isolated ARVN
ARVN
units along the way. By the end of April, the ARVN
ARVN
collapsed on all fronts except in the Mekong Delta. Thousands of refugees streamed southward, ahead of the main communist onslaught. On 27 April 100,000 North Vietnamese troops encircled Saigon. The city was defended by about 30,000 ARVN
ARVN
troops. To hasten a collapse and foment panic, the NVA shelled the airport and forced its closure. With the air exit closed, large numbers of civilians found that they had no way out. Fall of Saigon Main article: Fall of Saigon Further information: Operation Frequent Wind

Victorious NVA troops at the Presidential Palace, Saigon

Chaos, unrest, and panic broke out as hysterical South Vietnamese officials and civilians scrambled to leave Saigon. Martial law
Martial law
was declared. American helicopters began evacuating South Vietnamese, U.S., and foreign nationals from various parts of the city and from the U.S. embassy compound. Operation Frequent Wind
Operation Frequent Wind
had been delayed until the last possible moment, because of U.S. Ambassador Graham Martin's belief that Saigon
Saigon
could be held and that a political settlement could be reached. Schlesinger announced early in the morning of 29 April 1975 the evacuation from Saigon
Saigon
by helicopter of the last U.S. diplomatic, military, and civilian personnel. Frequent Wind was arguably the largest helicopter evacuation in history. It began on 29 April, in an atmosphere of desperation, as hysterical crowds of Vietnamese vied for limited space. Martin pleaded with Washington to dispatch $700 million in emergency aid to bolster the regime and help it mobilize fresh military reserves. But American public opinion had soured on this conflict. In the United States, South Vietnam
South Vietnam
was perceived as doomed. President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
had given a televised speech on 23 April, declaring an end to the Vietnam
Vietnam
War and all U.S. aid. Frequent Wind continued around the clock, as North Vietnamese tanks breached defenses on the outskirts of Saigon. In the early morning hours of 30 April, the last U.S. Marines evacuated the embassy by helicopter, as civilians swamped the perimeter and poured into the grounds. Many of them had been employed by the Americans and were left to their fate. On 30 April 1975, NVA troops entered the city of Saigon
Saigon
and quickly overcame all resistance, capturing key buildings and installations. A tank from the 324th Division crashed through the gates of the Independence Palace
Independence Palace
at 11:30 am local time and the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
flag was raised above it. President Dương Văn Minh, who had succeeded Huong two days earlier, surrendered.[243] Other countries' involvement Pro-Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
from the Việt Minh independence movement and Việt Cộng with East German sailors in Stralsund
Stralsund
harbour, 1957

2,000 years of Chinese-Vietnamese enmity and hundreds of years of Chinese and Russian mutual suspicions were suspended when they united against us in Vietnam. — Richard Holbrooke, 1985[244]

People's Republic of China In 1950, the People's Republic of China
China
extended diplomatic recognition to the Viet Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
and sent heavy weapons, as well as military advisers led by Luo Guibo to assist the Viet Minh
Viet Minh
in its war with the French (1946-1954). The first draft of the 1954 Geneva Accords was negotiated by French prime minister Pierre Mendès France
Pierre Mendès France
and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai
who, seeing U.S. intervention coming, urged the Viet Minh
Viet Minh
to accept a partition at the 17th parallel.[245] China's support for North Vietnam
North Vietnam
when the U.S started to intervene included both financial aid and the deployment of hundreds of thousands of military personnel in support roles. In the summer of 1962, Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
agreed to supply Hanoi
Hanoi
with 90,000 rifles and guns free of charge. Starting in 1965, China
China
sent anti-aircraft units and engineering battalions to North Vietnam
North Vietnam
to repair the damage caused by American bombing, man anti-aircraft batteries, rebuild roads and railroads, transport supplies, and perform other engineering works. This freed North Vietnamese army units for combat in the South. China sent 320,000 troops and annual arms shipments worth $180 million.[246] The Chinese military claims to have caused 38% of American air losses in the war.[30] China
China
claimed that its military and economic aid to North Vietnam
North Vietnam
and the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
totaled $20 billion (approx. $143 billion adjusted for inflation in 2015) during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War.[30] Included in that aid were donations of 5 million tons of food to North Vietnam
Vietnam
(equivalent to NV food production in a single year), accounting for 10–15% of the North Vietnamese food supply by the 1970s.[30]

Military aid given to North Vietnam
North Vietnam
by the People's Republic of China[247]

Year Guns Artillery pieces Bullets Artillery shells Radio trans- mitters Telephones Tanks Planes Auto- mobiles

1964 80,500 1,205 25,240,000 335,000 426 2,941 16 18 25

1965 220,767 4,439 114,010,000 1,800,000 2,779 9,502 ? 2 114

1966 141,531 3,362 178,120,000 1,066,000 1,568 2,235 ? ? 96

1967 146,600 3,984 147,000,000 1,363,000 2,464 2,289 26 70 435

1968 219,899 7,087 247,920,000 2,082,000 1,854 3,313 18 ? 454

1969 139,900 3,906 119,117,000 1,357,000 2,210 3,453 ? ? 162

1970 101,800 2,212 29,010,000 397,000 950 1,600 ? ? ?

1971 143,100 7,898 57,190,000 1,899,000 2,464 4,424 80 4 4,011

1972 189,000 9,238 40,000,000 2,210,000 4,370 5,905 220 14 8,758

1973 233,500 9,912 40,000,000 2,210,000 4,335 6,447 120 36 1,210

1974 164,500 6,406 30,000,000 1,390,000 5,148 4,663 80 ? 506

1975 141,800 4,880 20,600,000 965,000 2,240 2,150 ? 20 ?

Total 1,922,897 64,529 1,048,207,000 17,074,000 30,808 48,922 560 164 15,771

Sino-Soviet relations
Sino-Soviet relations
soured after the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In October, the Chinese demanded North Vietnam
North Vietnam
cut relations with Moscow, but Hanoi
Hanoi
refused.[248] The Chinese began to withdraw in November 1968 in preparation for a clash with the Soviets, which occurred at Zhenbao Island
Zhenbao Island
in March 1969. The Chinese also began financing the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
as a counterweight to the Vietnamese communists at this time. China
China
"armed and trained" the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
during the civil war and continued to aid them for years afterward.[249] The Khmer Rouge launched ferocious raids into Vietnam
Vietnam
in 1975–1978. When Vietnam responded with an invasion that toppled the Khmer Rouge, China launched a brief, punitive invasion of Vietnam
Vietnam
in 1979. Soviet Union

Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
(left) was the leader of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
during the second half of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War.

Soviet ships in the South China Sea
South China Sea
gave vital early warnings to Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam. The Soviet intelligence ships would pick up American B-52 bombers flying from Okinawa and Guam. Their airspeed and direction would be noted and then relayed to COSVN, North Vietnam's southern headquarters. Using airspeed and direction, COSVN analysts would calculate the bombing target and tell any assets to move "perpendicularly to the attack trajectory." These advance warning gave them time to move out of the way of the bombers, and, while the bombing runs caused extensive damage, because of the early warnings from 1968 to 1970 they did not kill a single military or civilian leader in the headquarters complexes.[250] The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
supplied North Vietnam
North Vietnam
with medical supplies, arms, tanks, planes, helicopters, artillery, anti-aircraft missiles and other military equipment. Soviet crews fired Soviet-made surface-to-air missiles at U.S. F-4 Phantoms, which were shot down over Thanh Hóa in 1965. Over a dozen Soviet citizens lost their lives in this conflict. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1991, Russian officials acknowledged that the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
had stationed up to 3,000 troops in Vietnam
Vietnam
during the war.[251] Some Russian sources give more specific numbers: Between 1953 and 1991, the hardware donated by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
included 2,000 tanks, 1,700 APCs, 7,000 artillery guns, over 5,000 anti-aircraft guns, 158 surface-to-air missile launchers, 120 helicopters. During the war, the Soviets sent North Vietnam
North Vietnam
annual arms shipments worth $450 million.[252][253] From July 1965 to the end of 1974, fighting in Vietnam
Vietnam
was observed by some 6,500 officers and generals, as well as more than 4,500 soldiers and sergeants of the Soviet Armed Forces. In addition, Soviet military schools and academies began training Vietnamese soldiers—in all more than 10,000 military personnel.[254] North Korea As a result of a decision of the Korean Workers' Party in October 1966, in early 1967 North Korea
North Korea
sent a fighter squadron to North Vietnam
Vietnam
to back up the North Vietnamese 921st and 923rd fighter squadrons defending Hanoi. They stayed through 1968, and 200 pilots were reported to have served.[255] In addition, at least two anti-aircraft artillery regiments were sent as well.[256] Cuba The contribution to North Vietnam
North Vietnam
by the Republic of Cuba, under Fidel Castro have been recognized several times by representatives of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.[257] Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
mentioned in his discourses the Batallón Girón (Giron Battalion) as comprising the Cuban contingent that served as military advisors during the war.[258] In this battalion, alongside the Cubans, fought Nguyễn Thị Định, founding member of the Viet Cong, who later became the first female Major General in the North Vietnamese Army.[259] There are numerous allegations by former U.S. prisoners of war that Cuban military personnel were present at North Vietnamese prison facilities during the war and that they participated in torture activities. Witnesses to this include Senator John McCain, 2008 U.S. Presidential candidate and former Vietnam
Vietnam
prisoner of war, according to his 1999 book Faith of My Fathers.[260] Pro-Saigon South Korea Main article: South Korea
South Korea
in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War

Soldiers of the South Korean White Horse Division in Vietnam

Vietnamese civilians of Phong Nhi village massacred by South Korean Blue Dragon Brigade in 1968

On the anti-communist side, South Korea
South Korea
(a.k.a. the Republic of Korea, ROK) had the second-largest contingent of foreign troops in South Vietnam
Vietnam
after the United States. In November 1961, President Park Chung-hee proposed South Korean participation in the war to John F. Kennedy, but Kennedy disagreed.[261] On 1 May 1964 Lyndon Johnson requested South Korean participation.[261] The first South Korean troops began arriving in 1964 and large combat formations began arriving a year later. The ROK Marine Corps dispatched their 2nd Marine Brigade while the ROK Army
Army
sent the Capital Division and later the 9th Infantry Division. In August 1966 after the arrival of the 9th Division the Koreans established a corps command, the Republic of Korea Forces Vietnam
Vietnam
Field Command, near I Field Force, Vietnam
Vietnam
at Nha Trang.[262] The South Koreans soon developed a reputation for effectiveness, reportedly conducting counterinsurgency operations so well that American commanders felt that the South Korean area of responsibility was the safest.[263] Approximately 320,000 South Korean soldiers were sent to Vietnam,[264] each serving a one-year tour of duty. Maximum troop levels peaked at 50,000 in 1968, however all were withdrawn by 1973.[265] About 5,099 South Koreans were killed and 10,962 wounded during the war. South Korea claimed to have killed 41,000 Viet Cong
Viet Cong
fighters.[264] The United States
United States
paid South Korean soldiers 236 million dollars for their efforts in Vietnam,[264] and South Korean GNP increased five-fold during the war.[264] Thailand Main article: Thailand
Thailand
in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War

The Thai Queen's Cobra battalion in Phuoc Tho

Thai Army
Army
formations, including the Royal Thai Volunteer Regiment (Queen's Cobras) and later the Royal Thai Army
Army
Expeditionary Division (Black Panthers), saw action in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
between 1965 and 1971. Thai forces saw much more action in the covert war in Laos
Laos
between 1964 and 1972, though Thai regular formations there were heavily outnumbered by the irregular "volunteers" of the CIA-sponsored Police Aerial Reconnaissance Units or PARU, who carried out reconnaissance activities on the western side of the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
trail.[37] Australia
Australia
and New Zealand Main articles: Military history of Australia
Australia
during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War and New Zealand
New Zealand
in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War

An Australian soldier in Vietnam

Australia
Australia
and New Zealand, close allies of the United States
United States
and members of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization
Southeast Asia Treaty Organization
(SEATO) and the ANZUS
ANZUS
military co-operation treaty, sent ground troops to Vietnam. Both nations had gained experience in counterinsurgency and jungle warfare during the Malayan Emergency
Malayan Emergency
and World War II. Their governments subscribed to the Domino theory. Australia
Australia
began by sending advisors to Vietnam
Vietnam
in 1962, and combat troops were committed in 1965.[266] New Zealand
New Zealand
began by sending a detachment of engineers and an artillery battery, and then started sending special forces and regular infantry which were attached to Australian formations.[267] Australia's peak commitment was 7,672 combat troops and New Zealand's 552. More than 60,000 Australian personnel were involved during the course of the war, of which 521 were killed and more than 3,000 wounded.[268] Approximately 3,500 New Zealanders served in Vietnam, with 37 killed and 187 wounded.[269] Most Australians and New Zealanders served in the 1st Australian Task Force
1st Australian Task Force
in Phước Tuy Province.[266] Philippines Some 10,450 Filipino troops were dispatched to South Vietnam. They were primarily engaged in medical and other civilian pacification projects. These forces operated under the designation PHLCAG-V or Philippine Civic Action Group-Vietnam. More noteworthy was the fact that the naval base in Subic Bay was used for the U.S. Seventh Fleet from 1964 till the end of the war in 1975.[270][271] The Navy base in Subic bay and the Air force base at Clark achieved maximum functionality during the war and supported an estimated 80,000 locals in allied tertiary businesses from shoe making to prostitution.[272] Taiwan Main article: Republic of China
China
in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War Since November 1967, Taiwan
Taiwan
secretly operated a cargo transport detachment to assist the United States
United States
and South Vietnam. Taiwan
Taiwan
also provided military training units for the South Vietnamese diving units, later known as the Lien Doi Nguoi Nhai (LDMN) or "Frogman unit" in English.[1] Military commandos from Taiwan
Taiwan
were captured by North Vietnamese forces three times trying to infiltrate North Vietnam.[1] Brazil The Brazilian government of President Castelo Branco officially supported the United States's position in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
and contributed a medical team and supplies to the country—the only Latin American country to do so[5] Canada
Canada
and the ICC Main article: Canada
Canada
and the Vietnam
Vietnam
War Canada, India
India
and Poland constituted the International Control Commission, which was supposed to monitor the 1954 ceasefire agreement.[273] Officially, Canada
Canada
did not have partisan involvement in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War and diplomatically it was "non-belligerent" though there is evidence to the contrary.[274][275] The Vietnam
Vietnam
War entry in The Canadian Encyclopedia
The Canadian Encyclopedia
asserts plainly that Canada's record on the truce commissions was a pro- Saigon
Saigon
partisan one.[276] United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races
United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races
(FULRO) Main articles: United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races
United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races
and FULRO insurgency against Vietnam The ethnic minority peoples of south Vietnam
Vietnam
like the Christian Montagnards (Degar), Hindu and Muslim Cham and the Buddhist Khmer Krom banded together in the United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races (French: Front Uni de Lutte des Races Opprimées, acronym: FULRO) to fight against the Vietnamese for autonomy or independence. FULRO fought against both the anti-Communist South Vietnamese and the Communist Viet Cong, and then FURLO proceeded to fight against the united Communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
after the fall of South Vietnam. During the war, the South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem began a program to settle ethnic Vietnamese Kinh on Montagnard lands in the Central Highlands region. This provoked a backlash from the Montagnards. The Cambodians under both the pro- China
China
King Sihanouk and the pro-American Lon Nol
Lon Nol
supported their fellow co-ethnic Khmer Krom in south Vietnam, following an anti-ethnic Vietnamese policy. War crimes

Victims of the My Lai massacre

Main articles: List of war crimes § 1955–1975: Vietnam
Vietnam
War, and Vietnam
Vietnam
War casualties See also: List of massacres in Vietnam A large number of war crimes took place during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War. War crimes were committed by both sides during the conflict and included rape, massacres of civilians, bombings of civilian targets, terrorism, the widespread use of torture and the murder of prisoners of war. Additional common crimes included theft, arson, and the destruction of property not warranted by military necessity.[277] Allied war crimes Main articles: Tiger Force
Tiger Force
and Vietnam
Vietnam
War Crimes Working Group See also: Winter Soldier Investigation In 1968, the Vietnam
Vietnam
War Crimes Working Group (VWCWG) was established by the Pentagon task force set up in the wake of the My Lai Massacre, to attempt to ascertain the veracity of emerging claims of war crimes by U.S. armed forces in Vietnam, during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War period.

A Viet Cong
Viet Cong
prisoner captured in 1967 by the U.S. Army
Army
awaits interrogation. He has been placed in a stress position by tying a board between his arms.

Sworn statements by witnesses and status reports for top military officers indicated that 320 incidents had factual basis.[278] The substantiated cases included 7 massacres between 1967 and 1971 in which at least 137 civilians were killed; seventy eight further attacks targeting non-combatants resulting in at least 57 deaths, 56 wounded and 15 sexually assaulted; one hundred and forty-one cases of US soldiers torturing civilian detainees or prisoners of war with fists, sticks, bats, water or electric shock.[278] Journalism in the ensuing years has documented large numbers of overlooked war crimes involving every army division that was active in Vietnam.[278] [279] During their visits to transit detention facilities under American administration in 1968 and 1969, the International Red Cross recorded many cases of torture and inhumane treatment before the captives were handed over to South Vietnamese authorities.[280] The war involved the establishment of numerous free-fire zones by U.S. forces as a tactic to prevent Viet Cong
Viet Cong
fighters from sheltering in South Vietnamese villages. Such practice, which involved the assumption that any individual appearing in the designated zones was an enemy combatant that could be freely targeted by weapons, is regarded by journalist Lewis M. Simons as "a severe violation of the laws of war".[281] Nick Turse, in his 2013 book, Kill Anything that Moves, argues that a relentless drive toward higher body counts, a widespread use of free-fire zones, rules of engagement where civilians who ran from soldiers or helicopters could be viewed as Viet Cong, and a widespread disdain for Vietnamese civilians led to massive civilian casualties and endemic war crimes inflicted by U.S. troops.[282] One example cited by Turse is Operation Speedy Express, an operation by the 9th Infantry Division, which was described by John Paul Vann
John Paul Vann
as, in effect, "many My Lais".[282] A report by Newsweek magazine suggested that an estimated 5,000 civilians may have been killed during six months of the operation.[283] In terms of atrocities by the South Vietnamese, during the Diem era (1954–1963) R.J. Rummel estimated that 16,000 to 167,000 South Vietnamese civilians were killed in democide; for 1964 to 1975, Rummel estimated a total of 42,000 to 128,000 killed in democide. Thus, the total for 1954 to 1975 is from 57,000 to 284,000 deaths caused by South Vietnam, excluding NLF/North Vietnamese forces killed by the South Vietnamese armed forces.[284] Torture and ill-treatment were frequently applied by the South Vietnamese to POWs as well as civilian prisoners.[285][286] During their visit to the Con Son Prison in 1970, U.S. Congressmen Augustus F. Hawkins
Augustus F. Hawkins
and William R. Anderson witnessed detainees either confined in minute "tiger cages" or chained to their cells, and provided with poor-quality food. A group of American doctors inspecting the prison in the same year found many inmates suffering symptoms resulting from forced immobility and torture.[285] Red Cross reports after the war showed connections of U.S. advisors with the torture at POW camps.[286] Due to the particularly heavy impact of cluster bombs during this war, Laos
Laos
was a strong advocate of the Convention on Cluster Munitions
Convention on Cluster Munitions
to ban the weapons, and was host to the First Meeting of States Parties to the convention in November 2010.[287] South Korean forces were also accused of war crimes as well. One documented event was the Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất massacre
Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất massacre
where the 2nd Marine Brigade of the South Korean Army
Army
purportedly killed 69–79 civilians on 12 February 1968 in Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất village, Điện Bàn District
Điện Bàn District
of Quảng Nam Province
Quảng Nam Province
in South Vietnam.[288] South Korean forces are also accused of perpetrating other massacres, namely: Bình Hòa massacre, Binh Tai Massacre and Hà My massacre. North Vietnamese and Viet Cong
Viet Cong
war crimes Main article: Viet Cong
Viet Cong
and PAVN strategy, organization and structure § VC/NVA use of terror See also: Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
§ War Crimes

Victims of the Huế
Huế
Massacre

Ami Pedahzur has written that "the overall volume and lethality of Viet Cong
Viet Cong
terrorism rivals or exceeds all but a handful of terrorist campaigns waged over the last third of the twentieth century".[289] Notable Viet Cong
Viet Cong
atrocities include the massacre of over 3,000 unarmed civilians at Huế
Huế
during the Tet Offensive
Tet Offensive
and the incineration of hundreds of civilians at the Đắk Sơn massacre
Đắk Sơn massacre
with flamethrowers.[290] Up to 155,000 refugees fleeing the final North Vietnamese Spring Offensive were killed or abducted on the road to Tuy Hòa in 1975.[291] According to Rummel, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops killed between 106,000 and 227,000 civilians in South Vietnam.[292] North Vietnam
North Vietnam
was also known for its abusive treatment of American POWs, most notably in Hỏa Lò Prison
Hỏa Lò Prison
(aka the Hanoi Hilton), where torture was employed to extract confessions.[293] Women in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War American nurses

Da Nang, South Vietnam, 1968

During the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, American women served on active duty doing a variety of jobs. Early in 1963, the Army
Army
Nurse Corps (ANC) launched Operation Nightingale, an intensive effort to recruit nurses to serve in Vietnam.[294] First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant
Sharon Lane was the only female military nurse to be killed by enemy gunfire during the war, on 8 June 1969.[295] One civilian doctor, Eleanor Ardel Vietti, who was captured by Viet Cong
Viet Cong
on May 30, 1962 in Buôn Ma Thuột, remains the only American woman unaccounted for from the Vietnam
Vietnam
War.[296][297][298]

A nurse treats a Vietnamese child, 1967

Although a small number of women were assigned to combat zones, they were never allowed directly in the field of battle. The women who served in the military were solely volunteers. They faced a plethora of challenges, one of which was the relatively small number of female soldiers. Living in a male-dominated environment created tensions between the sexes. By 1973, approximately 7,500 women had served in Vietnam
Vietnam
in the Southeast Asian theater.[299] American women serving in Vietnam
Vietnam
were subject to societal stereotypes. To address this problem, the ANC released advertisements portraying women in the ANC as "proper, professional and well protected." This effort to highlight the positive aspects of a nursing career reflected the feminism of the 1960s–1970s in the United States. Although female military nurses lived in a heavily male environment, very few cases of sexual harassment were ever reported.[300] Vietnamese women

Master-Sergeant and pharmacist Do Thi Trinh, part of the WAFC, supplying medication to ARVN
ARVN
dependents

Unlike the American women who went to Vietnam, North Vietnamese women were enlisted and fought in the combat zone as well as providing manual labor to keep the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
trail open and cook for the soldiers. They also worked in the rice fields in North Vietnam
North Vietnam
and Viet Cong-held farming areas in South Vietnam's Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta
region to provide food for their families and the war effort. Women were enlisted in both the North Vietnamese Army
Army
(NVA) and the Viet Cong guerrilla insurgent force in South Vietnam. Some women also served for the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong
Viet Cong
intelligence services. In South Vietnam, many women voluntarily served in the ARVN's Women's Armed Force Corps (WAFC) and various other Women's corps in the military. Some, like in the WAFC, fought in combat with other soldiers. Others served as nurses and doctors in the battlefield and in military hospitals, or served in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
or America's intelligence agencies. During Diệm's presidency, Madame Nhu
Madame Nhu
was the commander of the WAFC.[301] The war saw more than one million rural people migrate or flee the fighting in the South Vietnamese countryside to the cities, especially Saigon. Among the internal refugees were many young women who became the ubiquitous "bargirls" of wartime South Vietnam
South Vietnam
"hawking her wares—be that cigarettes, liquor, or herself" to American and allied soldiers.[302] American bases were ringed by bars and brothels.[303] 8,040 Vietnamese women came to the United States
United States
as war brides between 1964 and 1975.[304] Many mixed-blood Amerasian
Amerasian
children were left behind when their American fathers returned to the United States
United States
after their tour of duty in South Vietnam. 26,000 of them were permitted to immigrate to the United States
United States
in the 1980s and 1990s.[305] Black servicemen in Vietnam See also: Civil rights movement

A wounded African-American soldier being carried away, 1968

The experience of American military personnel of African origin during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War had received significant attention. For example, the website "African-American Involvement in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War" compiles examples of such coverage,[306] as does the print and broadcast work of journalist Wallace Terry. Terry's book Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War by Black Veterans (1984), includes observations about the impact of the war on the black community in general and on black servicemen specifically. Points he makes on the latter topic include: the higher proportion of combat casualties in Vietnam
Vietnam
among African American servicemen than among American soldiers of other races, the shift toward and different attitudes of black military careerists versus black draftees, the discrimination encountered by black servicemen "on the battlefield in decorations, promotion and duty assignments" as well as their having to endure "the racial insults, cross-burnings and Confederate flags of their white comrades"—and the experiences faced by black soldiers stateside, during the war and after America's withdrawal.[307] By the war's completion in 1975, black casualties had declined to 12.5% of US combat deaths, approximately equal to percentage of draft-eligible black men, though still slightly higher than the 10% who served in the military.[308] Weapons Main article: Weapons of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War

Marines complete construction of M101 howitzer
M101 howitzer
positions at a mountain-top fire support base, 1968

During the early stages of their insurgency, the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
mainly sustained itself with captured arms (often of American manufacture)[309] or crude, self-made weapons (e.g. copies of the US Thompson submachine gun[310] and shotguns made of galvanized pipes).[311] Most arms were captured from poorly defended ARVN
ARVN
militia outposts.[312] In the summer and fall of 1967, all Viet Cong
Viet Cong
battalions were reequipped with arms of Soviet design such as the AK-47
AK-47
assault rifle and the RPG-2
RPG-2
anti-tank weapon.[313] Their weapons were principally of Chinese[314] or Soviet manufacture.[315] While the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
had both amphibious tanks (such as the PT-76) and light tanks (such as the Type 62), they also used bicycles to transport munitions. The US' heavily armored, 90 mm M48A3 Patton tank saw extensive action during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War and over 600 were deployed with US Forces. They played an important role in infantry support. The US service rifle was initially the M14 (though some units were still using the WWII-era M1 Garand
M1 Garand
for a lack of M14s). Found to be unsuitable for jungle warfare, the M14 was replaced by M16 which was more accurate and lighter than the AK-47. For a period, the gun suffered from a jamming flaw known as "failure to extract", which means that a spent cartridge case remained lodged in the action after a round is fired.[316] According to a congressional report, the jamming was caused primarily by a change in gunpowder which was done without adequate testing and reflected a decision for which the safety of soldiers was a secondary consideration.[317] That issue was solved in early 1968 with the issuance of the M16A1 that featured a chrome plated chamber among several other features.[318] End-user satisfaction with the M16 was high except during this episode, but the M16 still has a reputation as a gun that jams easily. The M60 machine gun
M60 machine gun
GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) was the main machine gun of the US army at the time and many of them were put on helicopters, to provide suppressive fire when landing in hostile regions. The MAC-10 machine pistol was supplied to many special forces troops in the midpoint of the war. It also armed many CIA agents in the field.

UH-1D helicopters airlift members of a U.S. infantry regiment, 1966

Two aircraft which were prominent in the war were the AC-130 "Spectre" Gunship and the UH-1
UH-1
"Huey" gunship. The AC-130 was a heavily armed ground-attack aircraft variant of the C-130 Hercules transport plane; it was used to provide close air support, air interdiction and force protection. The AC-130H "Spectre" was armed with two 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannons, one Bofors 40mm
Bofors 40mm
autocannon, and one 105 mm M102 howitzer. The Huey is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine, with a two-bladed main rotor and tail rotor. Approximately 7,000 UH-1
UH-1
aircraft saw service in Vietnam. The Claymore M18A1, an anti-personnel mine, was widely used during the war. Unlike a conventional land mine, the Claymore is command-detonated and directional, meaning it is fired by remote-control and shoots a pattern of 700 one-eighth-inch steel balls into the kill zone like a shotgun. The aircraft ordnance used during the war included precision-guided munition, cluster bombs, and napalm, a thickening/gelling agent generally mixed with petroleum or a similar fuel for use in an incendiary device, initially against buildings and later primarily as an anti-personnel weapon that sticks to skin and can burn down to the bone.[37] Radio communications The Vietnam
Vietnam
War was the first conflict where U.S. forces had secure voice communication equipment available at the tactical level. The National Security Agency
National Security Agency
ran a crash program to provide U.S. forces with a family of security equipment code named NESTOR, fielding 17,000 units initially. Eventually 30,000 units were produced. However limitations of the units, including poor voice quality, reduced range, annoying time delays and logistical support issues led to only one unit in ten being used.[319]:Vol II, p. 43 While many in the U.S. military believed that the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
and NVA would not be able to exploit insecure communications, interrogation of captured communication intelligence units showed they were able to understand the jargon and codes used in realtime and were often able to warn their side of impending U.S. actions.[319]:Vol II, pp. 4, 10 Extent of U.S. bombing

Bombs being dropped by the B-52 Stratofortress
B-52 Stratofortress
long-range strategic bomber

See also: Operation Rolling Thunder, Operation Menu, Operation Freedom Deal, and CIA activities in Laos The U.S. dropped over 7 million tons of bombs on Indochina
Indochina
during the war—more than triple the 2.1 million tons of bombs the U.S. dropped on Europe and Asia during all of World War II, and more than ten times the amount dropped by the U.S. during the Korean War. 500 thousand tons were dropped on Cambodia, 1 million tons were dropped on North Vietnam, and 4 million tons were dropped on South Vietnam. On a per capita basis, the 2 million tons dropped on Laos
Laos
make it the most heavily bombed country in history; The New York Times
The New York Times
noted this was "nearly a ton for every person in Laos."[320] Former U.S. Air Force official Earl Tilford has recounted "repeated bombing runs of a lake in central Cambodia. The B-52s literally dropped their payloads in the lake": The Air Force ran many missions of this kind for the purpose of securing additional funding during budget negotiations, so the amount of tonnage expended does not directly correlate with the resulting damage.[321] Aftermath Events in Southeast Asia Further information: Mayaguez incident
Mayaguez incident
and Indochina
Indochina
refugee crisis

Vietnamese refugees fleeing Vietnam, 1984

On 2 July 1976, North and South Vietnam
South Vietnam
were merged to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.[322] Despite speculation that the victorious North Vietnamese would, in President Nixon's words, "massacre the civilians there [South Vietnam] by the millions," there is a widespread consensus that no mass executions in fact took place.[323] However, in the years following the end of the war, up to 300,000 South Vietnamese were sent to reeducation camps (not including "dissidents detained in the many prisons of Vietnam"), where many endured torture, starvation, and disease while being forced to perform hard labor.[324][325] Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, fell to the communist Khmer Rouge on 17 April 1975. Under the leadership of Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge would eventually kill 1–3 million Cambodians out of a population of around 8 million, in one of the bloodiest genocides in history.[57][326][327][328] After repeated border clashes in 1978, Vietnam
Vietnam
invaded Democratic Kampuchea
Democratic Kampuchea
(Cambodia) and ousted the Khmer Rouge, who were being supported by China, in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War. In response, China
China
invaded Vietnam
Vietnam
in 1979. The two countries fought a brief border war, known as the Sino-Vietnamese War. From 1978 to 1979, some 450,000 ethnic Chinese left Vietnam
Vietnam
by boat as refugees or were expelled. The Pathet Lao
Pathet Lao
overthrew the monarchy of Laos
Laos
in December 1975, establishing the Lao People's Democratic Republic
Lao People's Democratic Republic
under the leadership of a member of the royal family, Souphanouvong. The change in regime was "quite peaceful, a sort of Asiatic 'velvet revolution'"—although 30,000 former officials were sent to reeducation camps, often enduring harsh conditions for several years. The conflict between Hmong rebels and the Pathet Lao
Pathet Lao
continued in isolated pockets.[329] The millions of cluster bombs the US dropped on southeast Asia rendered the landscape hazardous. In Laos
Laos
alone, some 80 million bombs failed to explode and remain scattered throughout the country, rendering vast swathes of land impossible to cultivate and killing or maiming 50 Laotians every year.[330] Over 3 million people left Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia
Cambodia
in the Indochina
Indochina
refugee crisis. Most Asian countries were unwilling to accept these refugees, many of whom fled by boat and were known as boat people.[331] Between 1975 and 1998, an estimated 1.2 million refugees from Vietnam
Vietnam
and other Southeast Asian countries resettled in the United States, while Canada, Australia, and France resettled over 500,000. China
China
accepted 250,000 people.[332] Of all the countries of Indochina, Laos
Laos
experienced the largest refugee flight in proportional terms, as 300,000 people out of a total population of 3 million crossed the border into Thailand. Included among their ranks were "about 90 percent" of Laos's "intellectuals, technicians, and officials."[333] Agent Orange
Agent Orange
and similar chemical substances used by the U.S. have also caused a considerable number of deaths and injuries in the intervening years, including among the US Air Force crew which handled them. Scientific reports have concluded that refugees exposed to chemical sprays while in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
continued to experience pain in the eyes and skin as well as gastrointestinal upsets. In one study, ninety-two percent of participants suffered incessant fatigue; others reported monstrous births.[334] Meta-analyses of the most current studies on the association between Agent Orange
Agent Orange
and birth defects have concluded that there is a statistically significant correlation such that having a parent who was exposed to Agent Orange
Agent Orange
at any point in their life will increase one's likelihood of either possessing or acting as a genetic carrier of birth defects.[335] The most common deformation appears to be spina bifida. There is substantial evidence that the birth defects carry on for three generations or more.[336] In 2012, the United States
United States
and Vietnam
Vietnam
began a cooperative cleaning up of the toxic chemical on part of Danang International Airport, marking the first time Washington has been involved in cleaning up Agent Orange in Vietnam.[337] Effect on the United States

United States
United States
expenditures in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
(SVN) (1953–1974) Direct costs only. Some estimates are higher.[338]

U.S. military
U.S. military
costs U.S. military
U.S. military
aid to SVN U.S. economic aid to SVN Total Total (2015 dollars)

$111 billion $16.138 billion $7.315 billion $134.53 billion $1.020 trillion

Vietnam
Vietnam
War protests at the Pentagon, October 1967

In the post-war era, Americans struggled to absorb the lessons of the military intervention.[339] As General Maxwell Taylor, one of the principal architects of the war, noted, "First, we didn't know ourselves. We thought that we were going into another Korean War, but this was a different country. Secondly, we didn't know our South Vietnamese allies… And we knew less about North Vietnam. Who was Ho Chi Minh? Nobody really knew. So, until we know the enemy and know our allies and know ourselves, we'd better keep out of this kind of dirty business. It's very dangerous."[340][341] President Ronald Reagan coined the term " Vietnam
Vietnam
Syndrome" to describe the reluctance of the American public and politicians to support further international interventions after Vietnam. Some have suggested that "the responsibility for the ultimate failure of this policy [America's withdrawal from Vietnam] lies not with the men who fought, but with those in Congress…"[342] Alternatively, the official history of the United States
United States
Army
Army
noted that "tactics have often seemed to exist apart from larger issues, strategies, and objectives. Yet in Vietnam
Vietnam
the Army
Army
experienced tactical success and strategic failure… The… Vietnam
Vietnam
War…legacy may be the lesson that unique historical, political, cultural, and social factors always impinge on the military…Success rests not only on military progress but on correctly analyzing the nature of the particular conflict, understanding the enemy's strategy, and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of allies. A new humility and a new sophistication may form the best parts of a complex heritage left to the Army
Army
by the long, bitter war in Vietnam."[144]

A young Marine private waits on the beach during the Marine landing, Da Nang, 3 August 1965

U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
wrote in a secret memo to President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
that "in terms of military tactics, we cannot help draw the conclusion that our armed forces are not suited to this kind of war. Even the Special
Special
Forces who had been designed for it could not prevail."[343] Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara concluded that "the achievement of a military victory by U.S. forces in Vietnam
Vietnam
was indeed a dangerous illusion."[344] Doubts surfaced as to the effectiveness of large-scale, sustained bombing. As Army
Army
Chief of Staff Harold Keith Johnson
Harold Keith Johnson
noted, "if anything came out of Vietnam, it was that air power couldn't do the job."[345] Even General William Westmoreland
William Westmoreland
admitted that the bombing had been ineffective. As he remarked, "I still doubt that the North Vietnamese would have relented."[345] The inability to bring Hanoi
Hanoi
to the bargaining table by bombing also illustrated another U.S. miscalculation. The North's leadership was composed of hardened communists who had been fighting for thirty years. They had defeated the French, and their tenacity as both nationalists and communists was formidable. Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
is quoted as saying, "You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours…But even at these odds you will lose and I will win."[346]

Marine gets his wounds treated during operations in Huế
Huế
City, 1968

The Vietnam
Vietnam
War called into question the U.S. Army
Army
doctrine. Marine Corps General Victor H. Krulak
Victor H. Krulak
heavily criticised Westmoreland's attrition strategy, calling it "wasteful of American lives… with small likelihood of a successful outcome."[345] In addition, doubts surfaced about the ability of the military to train foreign forces. Between 1953 and 1975, the United States
United States
spent $168 billion on the war ($1.02 trillion in FY2015 dollars).[347][not in citation given] This resulted in a large federal budget deficit. More than 3 million Americans served in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, some 1.5 million of whom actually saw combat in Vietnam.[348] James E. Westheider wrote that "At the height of American involvement in 1968, for example, there were 543,000 American military personnel in Vietnam, but only 80,000 were considered combat troops."[349] Conscription in the United States
United States
had been controlled by the president since World War II, but ended in 1973. By war's end, 58,220 American soldiers had been killed,[A 2] more than 150,000 had been wounded, and at least 21,000 had been permanently disabled.[350] The average age of the U.S. troops killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years.[351] According to Dale Kueter, "Of those killed in combat, 86.3 percent were white, 12.5 percent were black and the remainder from other races."[352] Approximately 830,000 Vietnam veterans suffered some degree of posttraumatic stress disorder.[350] An estimated 125,000 Americans left for Canada
Canada
to avoid the Vietnam draft,[353] and approximately 50,000 American servicemen deserted.[354] In 1977, United States
United States
president Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
granted a full and unconditional pardon to all Vietnam-era draft dodgers.[355] The Vietnam
Vietnam
War POW/MIA issue, concerning the fate of U.S. service personnel listed as missing in action, persisted for many years after the war's conclusion. The costs of the war loom large in American popular consciousness; a 1990 poll showed that the public incorrectly believed that more Americans lost their lives in Vietnam
Vietnam
than in World War II.[356] As of 2013, the U.S. government is paying Vietnam
Vietnam
veterans and their families or survivors more than $22 billion a year in war-related claims.[357][358] Impact on the U.S. military As the Vietnam
Vietnam
War continued inconclusively and became more unpopular with the American public, morale declined and disciplinary problems grew among American enlisted men and junior, non-career officers. Drug use, racial tensions, and the growing incidence of fragging—attempting to kill unpopular officers and non-commissioned officers with grenades or other weapons—created severe problems for the U.S. military
U.S. military
and impacted its capability of undertaking combat operations. By 1971, a U.S. Army
Army
colonel writing in the Armed Forces Journal declared: "By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains in Vietnam
Vietnam
is in a state approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers and non commissioned officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited where not near mutinous....The morale, discipline, and battleworthiness of the U.S. Armed Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at any time in this century and possibly in the history of the United States."[359] Between 1969 and 1971 the US Army
Army
recorded more than 700 attacks by troops on their own officers. Eighty-three officers were killed and almost 650 were injured.[360] Ron Milam has questioned the severity of the "breakdown" of the U.S. armed forces, especially among combat troops, as reflecting the opinions of "angry colonels" who deplored the erosion of traditional military values during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War.[361] Although acknowledging serious problems, he questions the alleged "near mutinous" conduct of junior officers and enlisted men in combat. Investigating one combat refusal incident, a journalist declared, "A certain sense of independence, a reluctance to behave according to the military's insistence on obedience, like pawns or puppets...The grunts [infantrymen] were determined to survive...they insisted of having something to say about the making of decisions that determined whether they might live or die."[362] The morale and discipline problems and resistance to conscription (the draft) were important factors leading to the creation of an all-volunteer military force by the United States
United States
and the termination of conscription. The last conscript was inducted into the army in 1973.[363][364] The all-volunteer military moderated some of the coercive methods of discipline previously used to maintain order in military ranks.[365] Effects of U.S. chemical defoliation

U.S. helicopter spraying chemical defoliants in the Mekong Delta, South Vietnam, 1969

One of the most controversial aspects of the U.S. military
U.S. military
effort in Southeast Asia was the widespread use of chemical defoliants between 1961 and 1971. They were used to defoliate large parts of the countryside to prevent the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
from being able to hide their weapons and encampments under the foliage. These chemicals continue to change the landscape, cause diseases and birth defects, and poison the food chain.[366][367] Early in the American military effort, it was decided that since the enemy were hiding their activities under triple-canopy jungle, a useful first step might be to defoliate certain areas. This was especially true of growth surrounding bases (both large and small) in what became known as Operation Ranch Hand. Corporations like Dow Chemical Company and Monsanto
Monsanto
were given the task of developing herbicides for this purpose. American officials also pointed out that the British had previously used 2,4,5-T
2,4,5-T
and 2,4-D
2,4-D
(virtually identical to America's use in Vietnam) on a large scale throughout the Malayan Emergency in the 1950s in order to destroy bushes, crops, and trees in effort to deny communist insurgents the concealment they needed to ambush passing convoys.[368] Indeed, Secretary of State Dean Rusk
Dean Rusk
told President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
on 24 November 1961, that "[t]he use of defoliant does not violate any rule of international law concerning the conduct of chemical warfare and is an accepted tactic of war. Precedent has been established by the British during the emergency in Malaya in their use of aircraft for destroying crops by chemical spraying."[369]

Handicapped children in Vietnam, most of them victims of Agent Orange, 2004

The defoliants, which were distributed in drums marked with color-coded bands, included the "Rainbow Herbicides"—Agent Pink, Agent Green, Agent Purple, Agent Blue, Agent White, and, most famously, Agent Orange, which included dioxin as a by-product of its manufacture. About 11–12 million gallons (41.6–45.4 million L) of Agent Orange
Agent Orange
were sprayed over southern Vietnam
Vietnam
between 1961 and 1971.[370] A prime area of Ranch Hand operations was in the Mekong Delta, where the U.S. Navy patrol boats were vulnerable to attack from the undergrowth at the water's edge. In 1961 and 1962, the Kennedy administration authorized the use of chemicals to destroy rice crops. Between 1961 and 1967, the U.S. Air Force sprayed 20 million U.S. gallons (75,700,000 L) of concentrated herbicides over 6 million acres (24,000 km2) of crops and trees, affecting an estimated 13% of South Vietnam's land. In 1965, 42% of all herbicide was sprayed over food crops. Another purpose of herbicide use was to drive civilian populations into RVN-controlled areas.[371] Vietnamese victims affected by Agent Orange
Agent Orange
attempted a class action lawsuit against Dow Chemical and other US chemical manufacturers, but District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein
Jack B. Weinstein
dismissed their case.[372] They appealed, but the dismissal was cemented in February 2008 by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.[373] As of 2006[update], the Vietnamese government estimates that there are over 4,000,000 victims of dioxin poisoning in Vietnam, although the United States
United States
government denies any conclusive scientific links between Agent Orange
Agent Orange
and the Vietnamese victims of dioxin poisoning. In some areas of southern Vietnam, dioxin levels remain at over 100 times the accepted international standard.[374] The U.S. Veterans Administration has listed prostate cancer, respiratory cancers, multiple myeloma, Diabetes mellitus type 2, B-cell lymphomas, soft-tissue sarcoma, chloracne, porphyria cutanea tarda, peripheral neuropathy, and spina bifida in children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange.[375] Casualties See also: Vietnam
Vietnam
War casualties

Military deaths in Vietnam
Vietnam
War (1955–1975)

Year U.S.[376] South Vietnam

1956–1959 4 n.a.

1960 5 2,223

1961 16 4,004

1962 53 4,457

1963 122 5,665

1964 216 7,457

1965 1,928 11,242

1966 6,350 11,953

1967 11,363 12,716

1968 16,899 27,915

1969 11,780 21,833

1970 6,173 23,346

1971 2,414 22,738

1972 759 39,587

1973 68 27,901

1974 1 31,219

1975 62 n.a.

After 1975 7 n.a.

Total 58,220 >254,256[377]

Estimates of the number of casualties vary, with one source suggesting up to 3.8 million violent war deaths in Vietnam
Vietnam
for the period 1955 to 2002.[378] Between 195,000 and 430,000 South Vietnamese civilians died in the war.[33][34] Extrapolating from a 1969 US intelligence report, Guenter Lewy estimated 65,000 North Vietnamese civilians died in the war.[33] Estimates of civilian deaths caused by American bombing of North Vietnam
North Vietnam
in Operation Rolling Thunder
Operation Rolling Thunder
range from 52,000[379] to 182,000.[380] The military forces of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
suffered an estimated 254,256 killed between 1960 and 1974 and additional deaths from 1954 to 1959 and in 1975.[381] The official US Department of Defense figure was 950,765 communist forces killed in Vietnam
Vietnam
from 1965 to 1974. Defense Department officials believed that these body count figures need to be deflated by 30 percent. In addition, Guenter Lewy assumes that one-third of the reported "enemy" killed may have been civilians, concluding that the actual number of deaths of communist military forces was probably closer to 444,000.[33] It was difficult to distinguish between civilians and military personnel on the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
side as many persons were part-time guerrillas or impressed laborers who did not wear uniforms.[382][383][384] A detailed demographic study calculated 791,000–1,141,000 war-related deaths for all of Vietnam.[32] According to figures released by the Vietnamese government in 1995, there were 1,100,000 North Vietnamese Army
Army
and Viet Cong
Viet Cong
military personnel deaths during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War (including the missing).[385] The Vietnamese government released its estimate of war deaths for the more lengthy period of 1955 to 1975. According to the Vietnamese, Communist battle deaths totaled 1.1 million and civilian deaths of Vietnamese totaled 2.0 million. These estimates probably include battle deaths of Vietnamese soldiers in Laos
Laos
and Cambodia, but do not include deaths of South Vietnamese and allied soldiers which would add nearly 300,000 for a grand total of 3.4 million military and civilian dead.[386] Between 240,000[58][59] and 300,000[57] Cambodians died during the war. 20,000–62,000 Laotians also died,[56] and 58,222 U.S. military personnel were killed, of which 1,596 are still listed as missing as of 2015[update].[387] Unexploded ordnance, mostly from U.S. bombing, continue to detonate and kill people today. According to the Vietnamese government, ordnance has killed some 42,000 people since the war officially ended.[388][389] According to the government of Laos, unexploded ordnance has killed or injured over 20,000 Laotians since the end of the war.[330] In popular culture See also: Vietnam
Vietnam
War in film, Vietnam
Vietnam
War in games, and War in popular culture The Vietnam
Vietnam
War has been featured extensively in television, film, video games, and literature in the participant countries. In American popular culture, the "Crazy Vietnam
Vietnam
Veteran", who was suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, became a common stock character after the war. One of the first major films based on the Vietnam
Vietnam
War was John Wayne's pro-war film, The Green Berets (1968). Further cinematic representations were released during the 1970s and 1980s, including Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter
(1978), Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now
(1979), Oliver Stone's Platoon (1986) – based on his service in the U.S. military
U.S. military
during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket
(1987), Hamburger Hill
Hamburger Hill
(1987), and Casualties of War
Casualties of War
(1989). Later films would include We Were Soldiers (2002) and Rescue Dawn
Rescue Dawn
(2007).[37] The war also influenced a generation of musicians and songwriters in Vietnam
Vietnam
and the United States, both anti-war and pro/anti-communist. The band Country Joe and the Fish
Country Joe and the Fish
recorded "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" / The "Fish" Cheer in 1965, and it became one of the most influential anti- Vietnam
Vietnam
protest anthems.[37] Many songwriters and musicians supported the anti-war movement, including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Peggy Seeger, Ewan MacColl, Barbara Dane, The Critics Group, Phil Ochs, John Lennon, Nina Simone, Neil Young, Tom Paxton, Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff
and Arlo Guthrie. Commemoration On May 25, 2012, President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
issued a proclamation of the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War.[390][391] On November 10, 2017, President Donald Trump
Donald Trump
issued a proclamation commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.[392][393][394][395] See also

Vietnam
Vietnam
portal United States
United States
portal War portal Cold War
Cold War
portal 1950s portal 1960s portal 1970s portal

Aircraft losses of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War Awards and decorations of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War Battle of Quang Tri (1968) Counterculture of the 1960s Củ Chi tunnels Đắk Sơn massacre Draft lottery (1969) Kit Carson Scouts List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Vietnam
Vietnam
War List of United States
United States
servicemembers and civilians missing in action during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War (1968–69) McNamara Line Major General Michael D. Healy Operation Wheeler/Wallowa Patrol Craft Fast Political midlife crisis Protests of 1968 The Sixties Unplugged United States
United States
Air Force in Thailand United States
United States
Army
Army
Special
Special
Forces in popular culture U.S. news media and the Vietnam
Vietnam
War Vietnam
Vietnam
War Crimes Working Group Files Weapons of the Cambodian Civil War Winter Soldier Investigation Lai Đại Hàn

General:

History of Cambodia History of Laos List of conflicts in Asia

Annotations

^ a b Due to the early presence of American troops in Vietnam
Vietnam
the start date of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War is a matter of debate. In 1998, after a high level review by the Department of Defense (DoD) and through the efforts of Richard B. Fitzgibbon's family the start date of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War according to the US government was officially changed to 1 November 1955.[17] U.S. government reports currently cite 1 November 1955 as the commencement date of the " Vietnam
Vietnam
Conflict", because this date marked when the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group
Military Assistance Advisory Group
(MAAG) in Indochina
Indochina
(deployed to Southeast Asia under President Truman) was reorganized into country-specific units and MAAG Vietnam
Vietnam
was established.[18] Other start dates include when Hanoi
Hanoi
authorized Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
to begin a low-level insurgency in December 1956,[19] whereas some view 26 September 1959 when the first battle occurred between the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
and the South Vietnamese army, as the start date.[20] ^ a b c The figures of 58,220 and 303,644 for U.S. deaths and wounded come from the Department of Defense Statistical Information Analysis Division (SIAD), Defense Manpower Data Center, as well as from a Department of Veterans fact sheet dated May 2010; the total is 153,303 WIA excluding 150,341 persons not requiring hospital care[39] the CRS (Congressional Research Service) Report for Congress, American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics, dated 26 February 2010,[40] and the book Crucible Vietnam: Memoir of an Infantry Lieutenant.[41] Some other sources give different figures (e.g. the 2005/2006 documentary Heart of Darkness: The Vietnam
Vietnam
War Chronicles 1945–1975 cited elsewhere in this article gives a figure of 58,159 U.S. deaths,[42] and the 2007 book Vietnam
Vietnam
Sons gives a figure of 58,226)[43] ^ The Military Assistance Advisory Group, Indochina
Indochina
(with an authorized strength of 128 men) was set up in September 1950 with a mission to oversee the use and distribution of US military equipment by the French and their allies. ^ On 8 March 1965 the first American combat troops, the Third Marine Regiment, Third Marine Division, began landing in Vietnam
Vietnam
to protect the Da Nang
Da Nang
airport.[235][236]

Notes

^ a b c Moïse 1996, pp. 3–4. ^ a b c d e f "Allies of the Republic of Vietnam". Retrieved 24 September 2011.  ^ "Chapter Three: 1957–1969 Early Relations between Malaysia
Malaysia
and Vietnam" (PDF). University of Malaya
University of Malaya
Student Repository. p. 72. Retrieved 17 October 2015.  ^ "Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj (Profiles of Malaysia's Foreign Ministers)" (PDF). Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malaysia). 2008. p. 31. ISBN 978-9832220268. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. The Tunku had been personally responsible for Malaya's partisan support of the South Vietnamese regime in its fight against the Vietcong and, in reply to a Parliamentary question on 6 February 1962, he had listed all the used weapons and equipment of the Royal Malaya Police given to Saigon. These included a total of 45,707 single-barrel shotguns, 611 armoured cars and smaller numbers of carbines and pistols. Writing in 1975, he revealed that "we had clandestinely been giving 'aid' to Vietnam
Vietnam
since early 1958. Published American archival sources now reveal that the actual Malaysian contributions to the war effort in Vietnam
Vietnam
included the following: "over 5,000 Vietnamese officers trained in Malaysia; training of 150 U.S. soldiers in handling Tracker Dogs; a rather impressive list of military equipment and weapons given to Viet-Nam after the end of the Malaysian insurgency (for example, 641 armored personnel carriers, 56,000 shotguns); and a creditable amount of civil assistance (transportation equipment, cholera vaccine, and flood relief)". It is undeniable that the Government's policy of supporting the South Vietnamese regime with arms, equipment and training was regarded by some quarters, especially the Opposition parties, as a form of interfering in the internal affairs of that country and the Tunku's valiant efforts to defend it were not convincing enough, from a purely foreign policy standpoint.  ^ a b Weil, Thomas E. et. al. Area Handbook for Brazil
Brazil
(1975), p. 293 ^ The Cuban Military Under Castro, 1989. p. 76 ^ Cuba
Cuba
in the World, 1979. p. 66 ^ "Cesky a slovensky svet". Svet.czsk.net. Retrieved 24 February 2014.  ^ "Bilaterální vztahy České republiky a Vietnamské socialistické republiky Mezinárodní vztahy e-Polis – Internetový politologický časopis". E-polis.cz. Retrieved 24 February 2014.  ^ "Foreign Affairs in the 1960s and 1970s". Library of Congress. 1992. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
gave official military support to many national liberation causes, most notably in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, (North Vietnam)…  ^ "Project MUSE – l Sailing in the Shadow of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War: The GDR Government and the " Vietnam
Vietnam
Bonus" of the Early 1970s" (PDF).  ^ " Stasi
Stasi
Aid and the Modernization of the Vietnamese Secret Police". 20 August 2014.  ^ Crump 2015, p. 183 ^ a b Radvanyi, Janos (1980). " Vietnam
Vietnam
War Diplomacy: Reflections of a Former Iron Curtain
Iron Curtain
Official" (PDF). Paramaters: Journal of the US Army
Army
War College. Carlise Barracks, Pennsylvania. 10 (3): 8–15.  ^ "Why did Sweden
Sweden
support the Viet Cong?". HistoryNet. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2016.  ^ " Sweden
Sweden
announces support to Viet Cong". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 20 July 2016. In Sweden, Foreign Minister Torsten Nilsson reveals that Sweden
Sweden
has been providing assistance to the Viet Cong, including some $550,000 worth of medical supplies. Similar Swedish aid was to go to Cambodian and Laotian civilians affected by the Indochinese fighting. This support was primarily humanitarian in nature and included no military aid.  ^ DoD 1998 ^ Lawrence 2009, p. 20. ^ a b Olson & Roberts 1991, p. 67.[citation not found] ^ a b c d e Origins of the Insurgency
Insurgency
in South Vietnam, 1954–1960, The Pentagon Papers
Pentagon Papers
(Gravel Edition), Volume 1, Chapter 5, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), Section 3, pp. 314–46; International Relations Department, Mount Holyoke College. ^ Le Gro, p. 28. ^ Tucker, Spencer (2011). The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War: A Political, Social, and Military History, 2nd Edition. ABC-CLIO. p. xlv. ISBN 978-1851099610.  ^ "Facts about the Vietnam
Vietnam
Veterans Memorial Collection". nps.gov.  (citing The first American ground combat troops landed in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
during March 1965, specifically the U.S. Third Marine Regiment, Third Marine Division, deployed to Vietnam
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
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
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
Vietnam
War Almanac, Facts on File
File
Publishing, 1985.) ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 August 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016. , accessed 7 Nov 2017 ^ a b The A to Z of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War. The Scarecrow Press. 2005. ISBN 978-1461719038.  ^ Victory in Vietnam: The Official History of the People's Army
Army
of Vietnam, 1954–1975. Translated by Merle Pribbenow, Lawerence KS: University of Kansas Press, 2002, p. 211: "By the end of 1966 the total strength of our armed forces was 690,000 soldiers.”. According to Hanoi's official history, the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
was a branch of the People's Army
Army
of Vietnam. ^ Doyle, The North, pp. 45–49 ^ " China
China
admits 320,000 troops fought in Vietnam". Toledo Blade. Reuters. 16 May 1989. Retrieved 24 December 2013.  ^ Roy, Denny (1998). China's Foreign Relations. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 27. ISBN 978-0847690138.  ^ a b c d e Womack, Brantly (2006-02-13). China
China
and Vietnam. ISBN 978-0521618342.  ^ Pham Thi Thu Thuy (1 August 2013). "The colorful history of North Korea- Vietnam
Vietnam
relations". NK News. Retrieved 3 October 2016.  ^ a b c d Charles Hirschman et al., "Vietnamese Casualties During the American War: A New Estimate," Population and Development Review, December 1995. ^ a b c d e f Lewy 1978, pp. 450–53. ^ a b Thayer 1985, chap. 12. ^ Clarke, Jeffrey J. (1988), United States
United States
Army
Army
in Vietnam: Advice and Support: The Final Years, 1965–1973, Washington, D.C: Center of Military History, United States
United States
Army, p. 275: "The Army
Army
of the Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
suffered 254,256 recorded combat deaths between 1960 and 1974, with the highest number of recorded deaths being in 1972, with 39,587 combat deaths" ^ Rummel, R.J (1997), "Table 6.1A. Vietnam
Vietnam
Democide : Estimates, Sources, and Calculations" (GIF), Freedom, Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War, University of Hawaii System  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Tucker, Spencer E. The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War: A Political, Social, and Military History ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1851099611 ^ "America's Wars Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved 29 November 2017.  ^ America's Wars (PDF) (Report). Department of Veterans Affairs. May 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2014.  ^ Anne Leland; Mari–Jana "M-J" Oboroceanu (26 February 2010). American War and Military Operations: Casualties: Lists and Statistics (PDF) (Report). Congressional Research Service.  ^ Lawrence 2009, pp. 65, 107, 154, 217 ^ Aaron Ulrich (editor); Edward FeuerHerd (producer and director) (2005, 2006). Heart of Darkness: The Vietnam
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 1417229209.  ^ Kueter, Dale. Vietnam
Vietnam
Sons: For Some, the War Never Ended. AuthorHouse (21 March 2007). ISBN 978-1425969318 ^ "Australian casualties in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, 1962–72 Australian War Memorial". Awm.gov.au. Retrieved 29 June 2013.  ^ The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War: A Political, Social, and Military History By Spencer C. Tucker "https://books.google.com/?id=qh5lffww-KsC" ^ "Overview of the war in Vietnam
Vietnam
VietnamWar.govt.nz, New Zealand and the Vietnam
Vietnam
War". Vietnamwar.govt.nz. 16 July 1965. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.  ^ "America Wasn't the Only Foreign Power in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War". Retrieved 10 June 2017.  ^ "Chapter III: The Philippines". History.army.mil. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2014.  ^ "Asian Allies in Vietnam" (PDF). Embassy of South Vietnam. March 1970. Retrieved 18 October 2015.  ^ "Chuyên đề 4 CÔNG TÁC TÌM KIẾM, QUY TẬP HÀI CỐT LIỆT SĨ TỪ NAY ĐẾN NĂM 2020 VÀ NHỮNG NĂM TIẾP THEO, datafile.chinhsachquandoi.gov.vn/Quản%20lý%20chỉ%20đạo/Chuyên%20đề%204.doc".  ^ Associated Press, 3 April 1995, " Vietnam
Vietnam
Says 1.1 Million Died Fighting For North." ^ Soames, John. A History of the World, Routledge, 2005. ^ " North Korea
North Korea
fought in Vietnam
Vietnam
War". BBC News. 31 March 2000. Retrieved 18 October 2015.  ^ 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. ^ "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 ^ a b c d Obermeyer, Murray & Gakidou 2008. ^ a b c d Heuveline, Patrick (2001). "The Demographic Analysis of Mortality in Cambodia". Forced Migration and Mortality. National Academy Press. pp. 102–04, 120, 124. ISBN 978-0309073349. As best as can now be estimated, over two million Cambodians died during the 1970s because of the political events of the decade, the vast majority of them during the mere four years of the 'Khmer Rouge' regime. ... Subsequent reevaluations of the demographic data situated the death toll for the [civil war] in the order of 300,000 or less.  ^ a b c Banister, Judith; Johnson, E. Paige (1993). "After the Nightmare: The Population of Cambodia". Genocide and Democracy in Cambodia: The Khmer Rouge, the United Nations and the International Community. Yale University Southeast Asia Studies. p. 87. ISBN 978-0938692492. An estimated 275,000 excess deaths. We have modeled the highest mortality we can justify for the early 1970s.  ^ a b c Sliwinski estimates 240,000 wartime deaths, of which 40,000 were caused by U.S. bombing. (Sliwinski 1995, p. 48). He characterizes other estimates ranging from 600,000–700,000 as "the most extreme evaluations" (p. 42). ^ a b Factasy. "The Vietnam
Vietnam
War or Second Indochina
Indochina
War". PRLog. Retrieved 29 June 2013.  ^ " Vietnam
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  ^ Lind, Michael (1999). "Vietnam, The Necessary War: A Reinterpretation of America's Most Disastrous Military Conflict". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2014.  ^ "Today in history: A humiliating end to the Vietnam
Vietnam
War". 28 April 2014.  ^ "'Vietnam' reveals the folly of a war that scarred America". 14 September 2017.  ^ Digital History; Steven Mintz. "The Vietnam
Vietnam
War". Digitalhistory.uh.edu. Archived from the original on 30 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.  ^ Major General George S. Eckhardt, Vietnam
Vietnam
Studies Command and Control 1950–1969, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
(1991), p. 6 ^ "Could Vietnam
Vietnam
have been nuked in 1954?". 5 May 2014 – via www.bbc.com.  ^ Vietnam
Vietnam
War Statistics and Facts 1, 25th Aviation Battalion
Battalion
website. ^ Thee, Marek (1976). "The Indochina
Indochina
Wars: Great Power Involvement – Escalation and Disengagement". Journal of Peace Research. Sage Publications. 13 (2): 117. doi:10.1177/002234337601300204. ISSN 1460-3578. JSTOR 423343. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ Kolko 1985, pp. 457, 461ff. ^ Moore, Harold. G and Joseph L. Galloway We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam
Vietnam
(p. 57). ^ "Asian-Nation: Asian American History, Demographics, & Issues:: The American / Viet Nam War". Retrieved 18 August 2008. The Viet Nam War is also called 'The American War' by the Vietnamese  ^ Tucker, Spencer C. (2011) The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War: A Political, Social, and Military History ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1851099611, p. xli ^ a b c McNamara 1999, pp. 377–79. ^ "The Vietnam
Vietnam
War Seeds of Conflict 1945–1960". The History Place. Retrieved 13 May 2013.  ^ Pentagon Papers, Gravel, ed, Chapter 2, 'U.S. Involvement in the Franco- Viet Minh
Viet Minh
War', p. 54. ^ a b Ang, Cheng Guan, The Vietnam
Vietnam
War from the Other Side, p. 14. Routledge (2002). ^ a b "The History Place – Vietnam
Vietnam
War 1945–1960". Retrieved 11 June 2008.  ^ Herring 2001, p. 18. ^ Zinn, A People's History of the United States, p. 471. ^ a b Vietnam
Vietnam
The Ten Thousand Day War, Thames 1981, Michael Maclear, p. 57. ^ Vietnam
Vietnam
at War: The History: 1946–1975, ISBN 978-0195067927, p. 263. ^ a b Tucker 1999, p. 76 ^ The U.S. Navy: a history, Naval Institute Press, 1997, Nathan Miller, ISBN 978-1557505958, pp. 67–68. ^ The Pentagon
The Pentagon
Papers. Gravel, ed. vol. 1, pp. 391–404. ^ Press release by the Embassy of the Republic of Vietnam, quoted from the Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
press and Information Service, vol I. no. 18 (22 July 1955) and no. 20 (18 August 1955), in Chapter 19 of Gettleman, Franklin and Young, Vietnam
Vietnam
and America: A Documented History, pp. 103–05. ^ Jacobs, pp. 45–55. ^ Kinzer, Stephen (2013-10-01). The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War. Macmillan. pp. 195–96. ISBN 978-1429953528.  ^ Patrick, Johnson, David (2009). Selling "Operation Passage to Freedom": Dr. Thomas Dooley and the Religious Overtones of Early American Involvement in Vietnam
Vietnam
(Thesis). University of New Orleans.  ^ Fall 1967, p. [page needed]. ^ Vietnam
Vietnam
Divided by B.S.N. Murti, Asian Publishing House, 1964. ^ Karnow 1997, p. 238. ^ Kolko 1985, p. 98. ^ 1 Pentagon Papers
Pentagon Papers
(The Senator Gravel Edition), 247, 328 (Boston, Beacon Press, 1971). ^ John Prados,"The Numbers Game: How Many Vietnamese Fled South In 1954?". The VVA Veteran (January/February 2005). Archived from the original on 27 May 2006. Retrieved 11 May 2017.  ^ Turner 1975, p. 143. ^ cf. Gittinger, J. Price, "Communist Land Policy in Viet Nam", Far Eastern Survey, Vol. 29, No. 8, 1957, p. 118. ^ Courtois, Stephane; et al. (1997). The Black Book of Communism. Harvard University Press. p. 569. ISBN 978-0674076082.  ^ Dommen, Arthur J. (2001), The Indochinese Experience of the French and the Americans, Indiana University Press, p. 340, gives a lower estimate of 32,000 executions. ^ "Newly released documents on the land reform". Vietnam
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Studies Group. Archived from the original on 20 April 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2016. Vu Tuong: There is no reason to expect, and no evidence that I have seen to demonstrate, that the actual executions were less than planned; in fact the executions perhaps exceeded the plan if we consider two following factors. First, this decree was issued in 1953 for the rent and interest reduction campaign that preceded the far more radical land redistribution and party rectification campaigns (or waves) that followed during 1954–1956. Second, the decree was meant to apply to free areas (under the control of the Viet Minh government), not to the areas under French control that would be liberated in 1954–1955 and that would experience a far more violent struggle. Thus the number of 13,500 executed people seems to be a low-end estimate of the real number. This is corroborated by Edwin Moise in his recent paper "Land Reform in North Vietnam, 1953–1956" presented at the 18th Annual Conference on SE Asian Studies, Center for SE Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley (February 2001). In this paper Moise (7–9) modified his earlier estimate in his 1983 book (which was 5,000) and accepted an estimate close to 15,000 executions. Moise made the case based on Hungarian reports provided by Balazs, but the document I cited above offers more direct evidence for his revised estimate. This document also suggests that the total number should be adjusted up some more, taking into consideration the later radical phase of the campaign, the unauthorized killings at the local level, and the suicides following arrest and torture (the central government bore less direct responsibility for these cases, however).  cf. Szalontai, Balazs (November 2005). "Political and Economic Crisis in North Vietnam, 1955–56". Cold War
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had honored the armistice agreement. With the French gone, a return to the traditional power struggle between north and south had begun again." ^ Karnow 1997, p. 224. ^ Gerdes (ed.) Examining Issues Through Political Cartoons: The Vietnam
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and James Roberts." 16 of the 47 names used to extrapolate this "bloodbath" were duplicates; this extremely high duplication rate (34%) strongly suggests Desbarats and Jackson were drawing from a small number of total executions. Rather than arguing that this duplication rate proves there were very few executions in post-war Vietnam, Porter and Roberts suggest it is an artifact of the self-selected nature of the participants in the Desbarats-Jackson study, as the authors followed subjects's recommendations on other refugees to interview. See Elliot, Duong Van Mai (2010). "The End of the War". RAND in Southeast Asia: A History of the Vietnam
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has mapped some 23,745 mass graves containing approximately 1.3 million suspected victims of execution; execution is believed to account for roughly 60% of the full death toll. See: Seybolt, Taylor B.; Aronson, Jay D.; Fischoff, Baruch (2013). Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict. Oxford University Press. p. 238. ISBN 9780199977314.  ^ Ben Kiernan cites a range of 1.671 to 1.871 million excess deaths under the Khmer Rouge. See Kiernan, Ben (December 2003). "The Demography of Genocide in Southeast Asia: The Death Tolls in Cambodia, 1975-79, and East Timor, 1975-80". Critical Asian Studies. 35 (4): 585–597.  ^ Courtois, Stephane; et al. (1997). The Black Book of Communism. Harvard University Press. pp. 575–76. ISBN 978-0674076082.  ^ a b Wright, Rebecca (2016-09-06). "'My friends were afraid of me': What 80 million unexploded US bombs did to Laos". CNN. Retrieved 2016-09-18.  ^ "Migration in the Asia-Pacific Region". Stephen Castles, University of Oxford. Mark J. Miller, University of Delaware. July 2009. ^ Robinson, William Courtland (1998). Terms of refuge: the Indochinese exodus & the international response. Zed Books. p. 127. ISBN 1856496104.  ^ Courtois, Stephane; et al. (1997). The Black Book of Communism. Harvard University Press. p. 575. ISBN 978-0674076082.  ^ Rose, Hilary A., and Stephen P. Rose. "Chemical Spraying as Reported by Refugees from South Vietnam." Science. 177.4050 (1972): Science. Web. ^ Ngo, Anh D., Richard Taylor, Christine L. Roberts, and Tuan V. Nguyen. "Association between Agent Orange
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(Gravel ed. 5 vol 1971); combination of narrative and secret documents compiled by Pentagon. excerpts U.S. Department of State. Foreign Relations of the United States (multivolume collection of official secret documents) vol 1: 1964; vol 2: 1965; ; vol 4: 1966; U.S. Department of Defense and the House Committee on Armed Services. U.S.– Vietnam
Vietnam
Relations, 1945–1967. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Department of Defense and the House Committee on Armed Services, 1971, 12 volumes.

Historiography

Hall, Simon, "Scholarly Battles over the Vietnam
Vietnam
War", Historical Journal 52 (September 2009), 813–29.

External links

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v t e

Vietnam
Vietnam
War

Participants

North Vietnam
North Vietnam
( Viet Minh
Viet Minh
/ PAVN, Viet Cong) South Vietnam
South Vietnam
(ARVN) United States

Related conflicts

Laotian Civil War Cambodian Civil War Cold War
Cold War
(1962–79)

Background

French Indochina Japanese occupation State of Vietnam
Vietnam
(1949–1955) Viet Minh Battle of Dien Bien Phu Geneva Conference (1954) 1955 referendum North Vietnamese invasion of Laos 1960 South Vietnamese coup attempt

Events

1962: Strategic Hamlet Program 1963: Buddhist crisis Coup against Diem 1964: Gulf of Tonkin
Gulf of Tonkin
Incident / Resolution December coup 1965: U.S. escalation / "Americanization" 1965 South Vietnamese coup Bombing of North Vietnam 1968: Tet Offensive
Tet Offensive
(Khe Sanh, Hue) 1970: Cambodian Campaign 1971: Vietnamization
Vietnamization
policy, ARVN
ARVN
campaign in Laos 1972: Easter Offensive Christmas bombings 1973: Paris Peace Accords 1974: Invasion and capture of the Central Highlands 1975: 1975 Spring Offensive Fall of Saigon

Aftermath

Cambodian–Vietnamese War Sino-Vietnamese War Vietnamese boat people Vietnam
Vietnam
Veterans Memorial Normalization of US– Vietnam
Vietnam
relations

Other topics

Agent Orange Australia
Australia
in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
trail Opposition to United States
United States
involvement in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War Pentagon Papers SEATO Sihanouk Trail South Korea
South Korea
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Vietnam
War United States
United States
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Vietnam
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Vietnam
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War crimes
(Hue, My Lai, Đắk Sơn) Weapons of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War

Category Battles and operations

Vietnam
Vietnam
War timeline

v t e

↓ Battle of Saigon

Hòa Hảo
Hòa Hảo
defeated

Viet Cong
Viet Cong
created

↓ Palace Bombing

Gulf of Tonkin
Gulf of Tonkin
incident

↓ Battle of Đức Cơ

↓ Tet Offensive

↓ Cambodian Campaign

↓ Operation Lam Son 719

↓ Easter Offensive

↓ Paracel Islands

↓ Fall of Saigon

↓ Trần Văn Hương→

U.S.A. presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Richard Nixon

G. Ford

S. Vietnam
Vietnam
presidents: Ngô Đình Diệm

Instability

Nguyễn Văn Thiệu

N. Vietnam
Vietnam
presidents: Ho Chi Minh

Tôn Đức Thắng

│ 1955

│ 1956

│ 1957

│ 1958

│ 1959

│ 1960

│ 1961

│ 1962

│ 1963

│ 1964

│ 1965

│ 1966

│ 1967

│ 1968

│ 1969

│ 1970

│ 1971

│ 1972

│ 1973

│ 1974

│ 1975

v t e

20th century in Vietnam

World War I

Interwar

World War II

First Indochina
Indochina
War

Vietnam
Vietnam
War

Subsidy phase

Đổi Mới

Topics related to Vietnam
Vietnam
War

v t e

Armed conflicts involving the United States
United States
Armed Forces

listed chronologically

Domestic

Shays' Rebellion Whiskey Rebellion Fries's Rebellion Mormon War Dorr Rebellion Bleeding Kansas Utah War Civil War Indian Wars Brooks–Baxter War Range War Lincoln County War Johnson County War Coal Creek War Homestead strike Battle of Blair Mountain Bonus Army Battle of Athens

Foreign

Revolutionary War Quasi-War First Barbary War War of 1812 Second Barbary War First Sumatran expedition Second Sumatran expedition Ivory Coast Expedition Mexican–American War First Fiji Expedition Second Opium War Second Fiji Expedition Formosa Expedition Korean Expedition Spanish–American War Philippine–American War Boxer Rebellion Banana Wars Border War World War I Russian Civil War World War II Korean War Vietnam
Vietnam
War U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic Invasion of Grenada Lebanese Civil War Invasion of Panama Gulf War Somali Civil War Bosnian War Kosovo War Afghanistan War Iraq War War in North-West Pakistan Libyan Civil War Intervention against ISIL

Iraq Syria Cameroon Libya

Related articles

List of conflicts in the U.S. List of wars involving the U.S. Timeline of U.S. military
U.S. military
operations Length of U.S. participation in major wars Overseas expansion Military history Covert regime-change actions Casualties of war Peace movement List of anti-war organizations Conscientious objector War on Terror

v t e

Cold War

USA USSR ANZUS NATO Non-Aligned Movement SEATO Warsaw Pact Cold War
Cold War
II

1940s

Morgenthau Plan Hukbalahap Rebellion Dekemvriana Percentages Agreement Yalta Conference Guerrilla war in the Baltic states

Forest Brothers Operation Priboi Operation Jungle Occupation of the Baltic states

Cursed soldiers Operation Unthinkable Operation Downfall Potsdam Conference Gouzenko Affair Division of Korea Operation Masterdom Operation Beleaguer Operation Blacklist Forty Iran crisis of 1946 Greek Civil War Baruch Plan Corfu Channel incident Turkish Straits crisis Restatement of Policy on Germany First Indochina
Indochina
War Truman Doctrine Asian Relations Conference May 1947 Crises Marshall Plan Comecon 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état Tito–Stalin Split Berlin Blockade Western betrayal Iron Curtain Eastern Bloc Western Bloc Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
(Second round) Malayan Emergency Albanian Subversion

1950s

Papua conflict Bamboo Curtain Korean War McCarthyism Egyptian Revolution of 1952 1953 Iranian coup d'état Uprising of 1953 in East Germany Dirty War
Dirty War
(Mexico) Bricker Amendment 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état Partition of Vietnam Vietnam
Vietnam
War First Taiwan
Taiwan
Strait Crisis Geneva Summit (1955) Bandung Conference Poznań 1956 protests Hungarian Revolution of 1956 Suez Crisis "We will bury you" Operation Gladio Arab Cold War

Syrian Crisis of 1957 1958 Lebanon crisis Iraqi 14 July Revolution

Sputnik crisis Second Taiwan
Taiwan
Strait Crisis 1959 Tibetan uprising Cuban Revolution Kitchen Debate Sino-Soviet split

1960s

Congo Crisis 1960 U-2 incident Bay of Pigs Invasion 1960 Turkish coup d'état Soviet–Albanian split Berlin Crisis of 1961 Berlin Wall Portuguese Colonial War

Angolan War of Independence Guinea-Bissau War of Independence Mozambican War of Independence

Cuban Missile Crisis Sino-Indian War Communist insurgency in Sarawak Iraqi Ramadan Revolution Eritrean War of Independence Sand War North Yemen Civil War Aden Emergency 1963 Syrian coup d'état Vietnam
Vietnam
War Shifta War Guatemalan Civil War Colombian conflict Nicaraguan Revolution 1964 Brazilian coup d'état Dominican Civil War South African Border War Transition to the New Order Domino theory ASEAN Declaration Laotian Civil War 1966 Syrian coup d'état Argentine Revolution Korean DMZ conflict Greek military junta of 1967–74 Years of Lead (Italy) USS Pueblo incident Six-Day War War of Attrition Dhofar Rebellion Al-Wadiah War Protests of 1968 French May Tlatelolco massacre Cultural Revolution Prague Spring 1968 Polish political crisis Communist insurgency in Malaysia Invasion of Czechoslovakia Iraqi Ba'athist Revolution Goulash Communism Sino-Soviet border conflict CPP–NPA–NDF rebellion Corrective Move

1970s

Détente Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Black September
Black September
in Jordan Corrective Movement (Syria) Cambodian Civil War Koza riot Realpolitik Ping-pong diplomacy Ugandan-Tanzanian War 1971 Turkish military memorandum Corrective Revolution (Egypt) Four Power Agreement on Berlin Bangladesh Liberation War 1972 Nixon visit to China North Yemen-South Yemen Border conflict of 1972 Yemenite War of 1972 NDF Rebellion Eritrean Civil Wars 1973 Chilean coup d'état Yom Kippur War 1973 oil crisis Carnation Revolution Spanish transition Metapolitefsi Strategic Arms Limitation Talks Rhodesian Bush War Angolan Civil War Mozambican Civil War Oromo conflict Ogaden War Ethiopian Civil War Lebanese Civil War Sino-Albanian split Cambodian–Vietnamese War Sino-Vietnamese War Operation Condor Dirty War
Dirty War
(Argentina) 1976 Argentine coup d'état Korean Air Lines Flight 902 Yemenite War of 1979 Grand Mosque seizure Iranian Revolution Saur Revolution New Jewel Movement 1979 Herat uprising Seven Days to the River Rhine Struggle against political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union

1980s

Soviet–Afghan War 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics boycotts 1980 Turkish coup d'état Peruvian conflict Casamance conflict Ugandan Bush War Lord's Resistance Army
Army
insurgency Eritrean Civil Wars 1982 Ethiopian–Somali Border War Ndogboyosoi War United States
United States
invasion of Grenada Able Archer 83 Star Wars Iran–Iraq War Somali Rebellion 1986 Black Sea incident 1988 Black Sea bumping incident South Yemen Civil War Bougainville Civil War 8888 Uprising Solidarity

Soviet reaction

Contras Central American crisis RYAN Korean Air Lines Flight 007 People Power Revolution Glasnost Perestroika Nagorno-Karabakh War Afghan Civil War United States
United States
invasion of Panama 1988 Polish strikes Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 Revolutions of 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall Velvet Revolution Romanian Revolution Peaceful Revolution Die Wende

1990s

Mongolian Revolution of 1990 German reunification Yemeni unification Fall of communism in Albania Breakup of Yugoslavia Dissolution of the Soviet Union Dissolution of Czechoslovakia

Frozen conflicts

Abkhazia China-Taiwan Korea Nagorno-Karabakh South Ossetia Transnistria Sino-Indian border dispute North Borneo dispute

Foreign policy

Truman Doctrine Containment Eisenhower Doctrine Domino theory Hallstein Doctrine Kennedy Doctrine Peaceful coexistence Ostpolitik Johnson Doctrine Brezhnev Doctrine Nixon Doctrine Ulbricht Doctrine Carter Doctrine Reagan Doctrine Rollback Sovereignty of Puerto Rico during the Cold War

Ideologies

Capitalism

Chicago school Keynesianism Monetarism Neoclassical economics Reaganomics Supply-side economics Thatcherism

Communism

Marxism–Leninism Castroism Eurocommunism Guevarism Hoxhaism Juche Maoism Trotskyism Naxalism Stalinism Titoism

Other

Fascism Islamism Liberal democracy Social democracy Third-Worldism White supremacy Apartheid

Organizations

ASEAN CIA Comecon EEC KGB MI6 Non-Aligned Movement SAARC Safari Club Stasi

Propaganda

Active measures Crusade for Freedom Izvestia Pravda Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Red Scare TASS Voice of America Voice of Russia

Races

Arms race Nuclear arms race Space Race

See also

Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War Soviet espionage in the United States Soviet Union– United States
United States
relations USSR–USA summits Russian espionage in the United States American espionage in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and Russian Federation Russia– NATO
NATO
relations Brinkmanship CIA and the Cultural Cold War Cold War
Cold War
II

Category Commons Portal Timeline List of conflicts

v t e

Armed conflicts involving the People's Republic of China

Internal

Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
(1927–50) Kuomintang Islamic insurgency (1950–58) Kuomintang insurgency (1949-1961) Battle of Chamdo (1950) Tibetan uprising (1959) Xinjiang conflict
Xinjiang conflict
(1980–present) Tiananmen Square protests (1989)

Cross- Taiwan
Taiwan
Strait (vs Taiwan) (after 1 Oct 1949)

Kuningtou (1949) Dengbu Island (1949) Hainan Island (1950) Nanri Island (1952) Dongshan Island (1953) Yijiangshan Islands (1955) Dachen Archipelago (1955) Second Taiwan
Taiwan
Strait Crisis (1958) Burmese border Dong-Yin (1965) Third Taiwan
Taiwan
Strait Crisis (1995–96)

Others

vs USSR

Sino-Soviet border conflict
Sino-Soviet border conflict
(1969)

vs United States
United States
and allies

Korean War
Korean War
(1950–53) Vietnam
Vietnam
War (1965–70)

vs India

Sino-Indian War
Sino-Indian War
(1962) Chola incident
Chola incident
(1967) Sino-Indian skirmish (1987) Sino-Indian Standoff (2017)

vs South Vietnam/Vietnam

Paracel Islands (1974) Sino-Vietnamese War
Sino-Vietnamese War
(1979) Sino-Vietnamese conflicts 1979–90 Johnson South Reef Skirmish
Johnson South Reef Skirmish
(1988)

See also

Incorporation of Tibet into the People's Republic of China Incorporation of Xinjiang into the People's Republic of China

v t e

Armed conflicts involving Russia
Russia
(incl. Imperial and Soviet times)

Internal

Razin's Rebellion Bulavin Rebellion Pugachev's Rebellion Decembrist revolt Russian Civil War August Uprising Bitch Wars Coup d'état attempt (1991) 1993 Russian constitutional crisis First Chechen War War of Dagestan Second Chechen War Insurgency
Insurgency
in the North Caucasus

Pre-17th century

Muscovite–Volga Bulgars war (1376) First Muscovite–Lithuanian War (1492–94) Russo-Swedish War (1495–97) Second Muscovite–Lithuanian War
Second Muscovite–Lithuanian War
(1500–03) Third Muscovite–Lithuanian War
Third Muscovite–Lithuanian War
(1507–08) Fourth Muscovite–Lithuanian War
Fourth Muscovite–Lithuanian War
(1512–22) Fifth Muscovite–Lithuanian War (1534–37) Russo-Crimean Wars Russo-Kazan Wars Russo-Swedish War (1554–57) Livonian War Russian Conquest of Siberia (1580–1747) Russo-Swedish War (1590–95) Polish–Muscovite War (1605–18)
Polish–Muscovite War (1605–18)
and the Time of Troubles Ingrian War Smolensk War Russo-Persian War (1651–53) Sino-Russian border conflicts
Sino-Russian border conflicts
(1652–89) Russo-Polish War (1654–67) Second Northern War Russo-Turkish War (1676–81) Russo-Turkish War (1686–1700)

18th–19th century

Great Northern War Russo-Turkish War (1710–11) Russo-Persian War (1722–23) War of the Polish Succession
War of the Polish Succession
(1733–38) Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–39) War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
(1740–48) Russo-Swedish War (1741–43) Seven Years' War Russo-Turkish War (1768–74) Bar Confederation Russo-Turkish War (1787–92) Russo-Swedish War (1788–90) Russo-Polish War (1792) Kościuszko Uprising Russo-Persian War (1796) War of the Second Coalition War of the Third Coalition Russo-Persian War (1804–13) War of the Fourth Coalition Russo-Turkish War (1806–12) Anglo-Russian War Finnish War War of the Fifth Coalition French invasion of Russia War of the Sixth Coalition War of the Seventh Coalition Russian conquest of the Caucasus Caucasian War

Russo-Circassian War Murid War

Russo-Persian War (1826–28) Russo-Turkish War (1828–29) November Uprising Russian conquest of Bukhara Hungarian Revolution of 1848 Crimean War January Uprising Russo-Turkish War (1877–78) Boxer Rebellion

Russian invasion of Manchuria

20th century

Russo-Japanese War Russian Invasion of Tabriz, 1911 World War I Russian Civil War Ukrainian–Soviet War Finnish Civil War Heimosodat Soviet westward offensive of 1918–19

Estonian War of Independence Latvian War of Independence Lithuanian–Soviet War

Polish–Soviet War Red Army
Army
invasion of Azerbaijan Red Army
Army
invasion of Armenia Red Army
Army
invasion of Georgia Red Army
Army
intervention in Mongolia Sino-Soviet conflict (1929) Soviet–Japanese border conflicts Soviet invasion of Xinjiang Xinjiang War (1937) World War II

Soviet invasion of Poland Winter War Soviet occupation of the Baltic states (1940) Continuation War Eastern Front (World War II) Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran Soviet–Japanese War

Guerrilla war in the Baltic states Ili Rebellion First Indochina
Indochina
War Korean War Hungarian Revolution of 1956 Eritrean War of Independence War of Attrition Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
invasion of Czechoslovakia Sino-Soviet border conflict Vietnam
Vietnam
War Ogaden War South African Border War Soviet–Afghan War

Post-Soviet

Nagorno-Karabakh War Transnistria War Georgian Civil War Tajikistani Civil War Russo-Georgian War Intervention in Ukraine

Annexation of Crimea War in Donbass

Intervention in Syria

Military history of Russia Russian Winter Russian Revolution Cold War Sphere of influence

Authority control

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