The Vietnam War
The War that Changed a Generation
The United States' involvement in South Vietnam began during
President Truman's administration. (See
The Vietnam War was a war fought between 1964 and 1975 on the
ground in South Vietnam and bordering areas of Cambodia and Laos, and in bombing runs over North
Fighting on one side was a coalition of forces including the
United States, the Republic of Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea.
Fighting on the other side was a coalition of forces including the
Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the National Liberation Front, a communist-led South Vietnamese
The USSR provided military aid to the North Vietnamese and to the
NLF, but was not one of the military combatants.
The war was part of a larger regional conflict involving the
neighboring countries of Cambodia and Laos, known as the Second Indochina War. In Vietnam, this conflict is known
as the American War (Vietnamese Chiến Tranh Chống Mỹ Cứu Nước, which translates into English as "War Against
the Americans and to Save the Nation").
In many ways the Vietnam War was a direct successor to the French
Indochina War, which is sometimes referred to as the First Indochina War, when the French fought to maintain
control of their colony in Indochina against an independence movement led by Communist Party leader
Ho Chi Minh.
Citing progress in peace negotiations, On January 15, 1973
President Nixon ordered a suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam which was later followed by the
unilateral withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. The Paris Peace Accords were later signed on January 27, 1973
which officially ended US involvement in the Vietnam conflict.
The peace agreements signed at the Paris Peace Accords did not
last for very long. In early 1975 the North invaded the South and quickly consolidated the country under its
control. Saigon fell on April 30, 1975. North Vietnam united North and South Vietnam on July 2, 1976 to form the
"Socialist Republic of Vietnam". Hundreds of supporters of the South Vietnamese government were executed, thousands
more were imprisioned. Saigon was immediately re-named to "Ho Chi Minh City", in honor of the former president of
North Vietnam. Communist rule continues in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the present day.
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