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Vietnam War overview

Tue, 27 May 2014. Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:43

Vietnam War is seen as the most severe war in Vietnam. It is a protracted struggle between Vietnam communist government and the United States (with government of South Vietnam) who tried to erase the growth of communism.

Vietnam War is a lengthened and costly-armed struggle lasting from 1955 to 1975. This struggle is the conflict between communist government in Northern Vietnam (Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and Liberation Army of South Vietnam (National Liberation Front) against Republic of South Vietnam and America. Vietnam War is the most severe period in Indochina War (1945-1979). In one side, it is the powerful combination of Republic of South Vietnam with its ally, the United States, and other allies as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand and The Philippines directly joining the war. While other side consists of Liberation Army of South Vietnam and Democratic Republic of Vietnam which were led by Communist Party of Vietnam with the support of weapon and advisors from socialist nations, especially China and Russia. This war, although, is called as Vietnam War since it occurred mainly in Vietnam, the war spread in all Indochina, along with the participation of Laos and Cambodia. That is the reason why Vietnam War is the Second Indochina War. This war ended on April 30, 1975 when Duong Van Minh, the president of Republic of South Vietnam, surrendered the soldiers of Liberation Army of South Vietnam. The power was handed to Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam.


Causes of the Vietnam War

President Ngo Dinh Diem at Washington National Airport


After the victory in Northern Vietnam against Japan, Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) was born with Ho Chi Minh as president. Then, the great victory of Dien Bien Phu Battle in 1954 forced French invaders to totally withdraw its forces in Vietnam. Northern Vietnam regained independence. While in the south of Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, who totally disagreed communism, overthrew Bao Dai and became the president of Republic of South Vietnam (RSV). The United States backed Ngo Dinh Diem’s regime, took part in politics and military in Vietnam, to conduct the anti-communist policy in accordance with “Domino Theory” with the purpose of preventing communism and holding on the control of economy and natural resources in Southeast Asia. The RSV declared not to miss any chance to unify Vietnam in freedom and peace, but it refused to negotiate or elect the DRV, and implement anti-communist policy. Hopping to regain independence and autonomy, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front (NLF) attempted to defeat the new colonialism of the United States in Vietnam.


Development of Vietnam War

In 1955, Dwight D. Eisenhower, president of the United States came to Southern Vietnam and started to support Ngo Dinh Diem’s regime. By 1957, Viet Cong (Vietnamese Communists) and other foes of Ngo Dinh Diem’s government launched their attacks on officials of government and other targets. After 5 years, by 1962, the number of military force of the United States in South Vietnam mounted 9,000 troops, while in the 1950s the figure was about 800.


A Soldier of Viet Cong


By 1964, the Gulf of Tonkin incident marked the escalation of the United State in Vietnam War, followed by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This resolution favored the American president’s power increasing U.S. military presence in Vietnam. By 1965, U.S. combat troops were redistributed. In areas of borders between Vietnam – Laos and Vietnam – Cambodia, U.S. armed forces bombed seriously, especially in 1968, in the same year, the Communist side operated the Tet Offensive. The Tet Offensive failed to overthrow the government of South Vietnam, but it was a remarkable point in Vietnam War. Henceforth, the armed forces of U.S were steadily withdrawn as part of Vietnamization policy, which aimed to end the U.S involvement in the war. However, the fighting did continue for two years, despite the Paris Peace Accords signed in 1973.


Vietnam War result

In April 30, 1975, Vietnam War ended by Saigon seized by Vietnamese Communists, which resulted in the reunification of North and South Vietnam as the later Socialist Republic of Vietnam. It is estimated that there were from 800,000 to 3.1 million of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed. Besides, some 200,000 – 300,000 Cambodians, 20,000 –200,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. soldiers died in the war. The victory of Democratic Republic of Vietnam under the guideline of Communist Party of Vietnam expelled the expeditionary forces from Indochina.

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