The Vietnam War took place within the region of Southeast Asia east of Thailand and south of China formerly known as Indochina, which is now comprised of the countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Most of the fighting occurred within the country that was then known as South Vietnam, but the conflict spilled over into the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia to the east. Aerial bombing raids were also conducted over the area that was, at the time of the fighting, a separate country called North Vietnam.Know More
The Vietnam War is also known as the Second Indochina War in order to distinguish it from the previous war waged by the indigenous population against the French when the region was a French colony. The war with France ended in a defeat for the French at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in May of 1954 and the area formerly known as Indochina became the independent countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Vietnam was partitioned at the 17th parallel by the accords of the 1954 Geneva Convention and became the two countries that were commonly referred to as North Vietnam and South Vietnam.
An organized communist insurgency against the then western-leaning government of South Vietnam brought the United States into the conflict. Troops from North Vietnam joined the fight in support of the insurgents, which led to increased U.S. military escalation and bombing raids over North Vietnam. North Vietnamese supply routes into the battle zones that crossed through Laos and Cambodia soon brought those regions into the conflict.Learn more about Vietnam War
The Vietnam War began as a civil war between North and South Vietnam, with the South being opposed to communist rule. Most historians see the Vietnam War as a consequence of the Cold War and the fear of global communism.Full Answer >
The commonly accepted dates for the Vietnam conflict are 1954 to 1975. Most of the military fighting occurred between 1957 and 1973. Because Congress never officially passed a vote to declare a war, the United States was never technically at war with North Vietnam.Full Answer >
In figures released in 1995, Vietnam claimed 2 million civilians died on both sides, while 1.1 million North Vietnamese soldiers and between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers lost their lives in the war. Roughly 58,200 American soldiers died during the United States' involvement in the conflict.Full Answer >
In addition to the untold consequences for military families due to the massive loss of 58,000 American lives during the conflict, the Vietnam War led to the end of the military draft in the United States, a reduction in the voting age to age 18, restriction of a sitting president's ability to send military forces into combat, weakened and undermined morale among the U.S. military and caused damage to the American economy. In addition, the Vietnam War caused divisions in the Democratic Party and caused Americans to be suspicious of their government. Returning soldiers fared little better, with an estimated 700,000 Vietnam veterans suffering from the psychological after effects of war.Full Answer >