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Vietnam War

A UH-1D helicopter piloted by Maj. Bruce P. Crandall climbs skyward after discharging a load of US infantrymen on a search and destroy mission.
Military Conflict
NameUSd&w|group=A}} 1,687 missing; 303,635 wounded
South Korea Republic of Korea
5,099 dead; 10,962 wounded; 4 missing
Australia Australia
521 dead; 3,000 wounded
New Zealand New Zealand
37 dead; 187 wounded
Thailand Thailand
1,351 dead
Laos Kingdom of Laos
30,000 killed, wounded unknown Total dead: 315,384 � 412,000
Total wounded: ~1,490,000+
Date1 November 1955 � 30 April 1975 ( )
LocationSouth Vietnam, North Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
ResultNorth Vietnamese victory * Withdrawal of American forces from Indochina * Dissolution of South Vietnam * Communist governments take power in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos
Unification of North and South Vietnam under North Vietnamese rule.
Anti-Communist forces: South Vietnam
United States
South Korea
New Zealand
Cambodia Khmer Republic
Laos Kingdom of Laos
Republic of China
Supported by:
Communist forces: North Vietnam
Republic of South Vietnam NLF
Cambodia Khmer Rouge
Laos Pathet Lao
China People's Republic of China
Soviet Union
North Korea Supported by:
South Vietnam Ngô Đình Diệm
South Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Thiệu
South Vietnam Nguyễn Cao Kỳ
South Vietnam Cao Văn Viên
US Lyndon B. Johnson
US Richard Nixon
US William Westmoreland
US Creighton Abrams
South Korea Park Chung Hee
South Korea Chae Myung Shin
Cambodia Lon Nol
...and others
North Vietnam Hồ Chí Minh
North Vietnam Lê Duẩn
North Vietnam Võ Nguyên Giáp
Republic of South Vietnam Hoàng Văn Thái
North Vietnam Văn Tiến Dũng
Republic of South Vietnam Trần Văn Trà
Republic of South Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Linh
Republic of South Vietnam Nguyễn Hữu Thọ
Cambodia Pol Pot
...and others
~1,830,000 (1968)
South Vietnam: 850,000
United States: 536,100
Free World Military Forces: 65,000
Republic of Korea: 50,000
Australia: 7,672
Thailand, Philippines: 10,450
New Zealand: 552
North Vietnam: 287,465 (Jan 1968)
PRC: 170,000 (1969)
Soviet Union: 3,000
DPR Korea: 300 � 600
South Vietnam South Vietnam
220,357 (low est.) � 316,000 dead (highest est.); 1,170,000 wounded
United States United States
58,220 dead;{{#Tag:Ref|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 CRS (Congressional Research Service) Report for Congress, American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics, dated February 26, 2010, and the book Crucible Vietnam: Memoir of an Infantry Lieutenant. Some other sources give different figures (e.g. the 2005/2006 documentary Heart of Darkness: The Vietnam War Chronicles 1945 � 1975 cited elsewhere in this article gives a figure of 58,159 U.S. deaths, The 2007 book Vietnam Sons: For Some, the War Never Ended gives a figure of 58,226.)|name=USd&w|group=A}} 1,687 missing; 303,635 wounded
South Korea Republic of Korea
5,099 dead; 10,962 wounded; 4 missing
Australia Australia
521 dead; 3,000 wounded
New Zealand New Zealand
37 dead; 187 wounded
Thailand Thailand
1,351 dead
Laos Kingdom of Laos
30,000 killed, wounded unknown Total dead: 315,384 � 412,000
Total wounded: ~1,490,000+
North VietnamRepublic of South Vietnam North Vietnam & NLF
1,176,000 dead or missing (highest est.); 600,000+ wounded
China P.R. China
1,446 dead; 4,200 wounded
Soviet Union Soviet Union
16 dead Total dead: ~1,177,462 (highest est.)
Total wounded: ~604,200+
Vietnamese civilian dead: ~200,000 � 2,000,000
Cambodian civilian dead: 200,000 � 300,000*
Laotian civilian dead: ~20,000 � 200,000*
Total civilian dead: ~420,000 � 2,500,000
Total dead: ~1,912,846 � 3,992,846 * indicates approximations, see Casualties below
For more information see Vietnam War casualties

     Home | Military Conflict | Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the United States and other anti-communist nations. The Viet Cong, a lightly armed South Vietnamese communist-controlled common front, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The Vietnam People's Army (North Vietnamese Army) engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery and airstrikes.

The U.S. government viewed involvement in the war as a way to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam as part of their wider strategy of containment. The North Vietnamese government viewed the war as a colonial war, fought initially against France, backed by the U.S., and later against South Vietnam, which it regarded as a U.S. puppet state. U.S. military advisors arrived beginning in 1950. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with U.S. troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962. U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations spanned borders, with Laos and Cambodia heavily bombed. Involvement peaked in 1968 at the time of the Tet Offensive. After this, U.S. ground forces were withdrawn as part of a policy called Vietnamization. Despite the Paris Peace Accords, signed by all parties in January 1973, fighting continued.

U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case � Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress. The capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese army in April 1975 marked the end of the Vietnam War. North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities (See: Vietnam War casualties). Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from less than one million to more than three million. Some 200,000 � 300,000 Cambodians, 20,000 � 200,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict.

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