During the 30 years of XX century Vietnam was at war. It all started in the 1940’s, when the Communists fought against French colonial rule, and was completed in 1975 with the fall of Saigon.
The period, which the Vietnamese know as the “American War” and the Americans call the “Vietnam War”, lasted from 1965 to 1973, during the time of the U.S. intervention.
The communist leader Ho Chi Minh led his forces based in the north and defeated the French in 1954. Agreements was signed, which divided the country into the pro-American South and communist north, with a demilitarized zone between them.
The population was promised that soon there will be elections that will determine the future of Vietnam, but it never happened. Five years later, the communists began a guerrilla war in the south.
A massive American military contingent were sent to the costly and self-defeating war against the communists, which led eventually to civil disobedience in the United States and lowered the prestige of the country in the international arena.
The U.S. leaders, sending troops to Asia, feared the rapid “communization,” so-called “domino effect,” according to which, if the communist ideology wins in one country, it quickly become successful in others.
The military conflict was long and bloody. According to estimates of Hanoi, in 21 years of fighting in North and South Vietnam, 4 million civilians were killed, and more than a million of those, who fought on the side of the communists.
And, according to the United States statement, reflecting the “American” war period, from 1965 to 1973 in the battles 250,000 soldiers of the South Vietnam were killed and 58,200 U.S. troopers lost their lives or were declared missing.
In 1959, the South Vietnamese was a refuge for Viet Cong – Communist guerrillas. They received the support from Hanoi by secret roads, called the “Ho Chi Minh trail,” as well as from the local population, disaffected with repressive and corrupt regime of Ngo Dinh Diem, who declared himself the president of South Vietnam.
The South Vietnam had been receiving financial and military aid provided by the U.S. since 1954. As the Viet Cong gained the power, this support grew: American helicopters, armored vehicles and thousands of military advisers were sent in Vietnam.
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