On November 15, 1969, the largest anti-war demonstration in American history took place in Washington, D.C., as over 250,000 Americans gathered peacefully, calling for withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. The South Korean government, under the administration of Park Chung-hee, took an active role in the Vietnam War.From September 1964 to March 1973, South Korea sent some 350,000 troops to South Vietnam.The South Korean Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force all participated as an ally of the United States. The nine-year campaign was so intense that, on average, a planeload of explosives fell every eight minutes, making Laos, per capita, the most heavily bombed nation on earth. Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam. However, they were also being paid off by the United States in the form of economic and military assistance. With his approval ratings dropping in an election year, Johnson called a halt to bombing in much of North Vietnam (though bombings continued in the south) and promised to dedicate the rest of his term to seeking peace rather than reelection. All Rights Reserved. In 1954, Ho’s forces won a decisive victory at Dien Bien Phu and succeeded in evicting the French once and for all. READ MORE: Why Were Vietnam War Vets Treated Poorly When They Returned Home. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001. Vietnam War, (1954–75), a protracted conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam and its allies in South Vietnam, known as the Viet Cong, against the government of South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. Poster entitled "Support Vietnam People," circa 1969, showing China's support of the Communist cause in Vietnam. The war was fought between the North Vietnamese and the South Vietnamese throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. By entering the Vietnam War without a goal to win, Johnson set the stage for future public and troop disappointment when the U.S. found themselves in a stalemate with the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong. Starting off, the U.S. got involved in the Vietnam War in 1950 and the main reason they got involved was because they wanted to take action against communism and communists. All told, the Chinese claimed to have spent over $20 billion in support of North Vietnam and deployed 320,000 military personnel, more than 4,000 of whom died. Vietnamese vs. Vietnamese A North Vietnamese soldier laments how the war pitted Vietnamese against each other. Also known as the Second Indochina War or simply the American War to the Vietnamese, the epic struggle claimed the lives of more than 2 million people, including some 60,000 U.S. personnel and more than a million civilians. With the Cold War intensifying worldwide, the United States hardened its policies against any allies of the Soviet Union, and by 1955 President Dwight D. Eisenhower had pledged his firm support to Diem and South Vietnam. By the end of his second term as president, his approval rates plunged to an all-time low as the end of the Vietnam War was nowhere in sight after the Viet Cong’s Tet Offensive. Many returning veterans faced negative reactions from both opponents of the war (who viewed them as having killed innocent civilians) and its supporters (who saw them as having lost the war), along with physical damage including the effects of exposure to the toxic herbicide Agent Orange, millions of gallons of which had been dumped by U.S. planes on the dense forests of Vietnam. The global context is also important because Cold War tensions between the U.S., the Soviet Union, and China also shaped events related to the Vietnam War. There is no question that few conflicts have been as violent, long lasting and complex as the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War The USA became involved in Vietnam because it feared the spread of communism. After a while, “no one thinks they’re going to win,” says James McAllister, a political science professor at Williams College, “but they’re damn sure a loss is not going to take place under their watch.”, READ MORE: How the Vietnam War Ratcheted Up Under 5 US Presidents. The CIA-sponsored "Secret Army" of Major Gen. Vang Pao at Long Cheng, where the U. S. and Laotian governments permitted newsmen a rare glimpse of the base in 1972. Canadian corporations sold war material to the Americans. War between North and South Vietnam continued, however, until April 30, 1975, when DRV forces captured Saigon, renaming it Ho Chi Minh City (Ho himself died in 1969). On January 31, 1968, some 70,000 DRV forces under General Vo Nguyen Giap launched the Tet Offensive (named for the lunar new year), a coordinated series of fierce attacks on more than 100 cities and towns in South Vietnam. The Vietnam War was an international conflict. The main countries involved in the Vietnam War were North and South Vietnam. Psychologically, the effects ran even deeper. Logevall, Fredrik. By Mark Atwood Lawrence. Was the Vietnam War Necessary? U.S. officials eventually soured on Diem, tacitly approving a 1963 coup that resulted in his death. The Vietnam War was the longest lasting war in the United States history before the Afghanistan War. Important stories could be transmitted directly by satellite from Tokyo. Yet their support for South Vietnam never wavered, no matter who occupied the White House. A Cold War-era billboard in Moscow showing bombs raining down on Uncle Sam reading, 'Aggressors out of Vietnam!' Key Takeaways: U.S. Involvement in Vietnam This is the currently selected item. By 1972, the idea that Vietnam posed a threat to Cold War America was so discredited, it sometimes sounded as if America’s only remaining war aim was to … Heavy bombing by B-52 aircraft or shelling made these zones uninhabitable, as refugees poured into camps in designated safe areas near Saigon and other cities. Not only were the Americans engaged in large-scale military operations in a land far away from their own, but the two major Communist powers, China and the Soviet Union, were also deeply involved. Privately, some Canadians contributed to the war effort. Despite speculation that the victorious North Vietnamese would, in President Nixon's words, "massacre the civilians there [South Vietnam] by the millions," there is a widespread consensus that no mass executions took place. The French loss at the battle ended almost a century of French colonial rule in Indochina. WHAT COUNTRIES WERE INVOLVED IN THE VIETNAM WAR? More than one million Vietnamese soldiers and over 50,000 Americans were killed in the war. In response to these North Vietnamese transgressions, the Americans covertly rained down billions of pounds of bombs on Laos. Determined to prevent South Vietnam from falling into communist hands, the United States propped up Diem with billions of dollars in aid, as well as increasing numbers of military advisers. North Vietnam immediately broke the accord, however, moving troops and supplies through Laos rather than traversing the heavily guarded demilitarized zone that separated it from South Vietnam. The student movement and the antiwar movement. 8. Financial aid, along with a desire to curry favor with the United States, drew in additional countries as well. Besides the troops from South Vietnam, the main participant in the battles (on the ground and in the air) – was the army of the United States.The US losses were at least 58 000 people. Before long, however, Americans grew dissatisfied with America’s continued presence in Southeast Asia. Ho led the North, whereas the U.S.-backed Ngo Dinh Diem took charge of the South. In March of 1975, he ordered for there to be an airlift in Da Nang for 237,000 anti communist Vietnamese refugees, most were brought to the US. The Vietnam War was a long conflict in Southeast Asia. Even as the enemy body count (at times exaggerated by U.S. and South Vietnamese authorities) mounted steadily, DRV and Viet Cong troops refused to stop fighting, encouraged by the fact that they could easily reoccupy lost territory with manpower and supplies delivered via the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Cambodia and Laos. At first the United States only aided France with military aid and advisors, but after the French suffered a major defeat at Dien Bien Phu in the north-western hills, the French pulled out and the United States took over the burden of the war. The Vietnam War had its origins in the broader Indochina wars of the 1940s and ’50s, when nationalist groups such as Ho Chi Minh ’s Viet Minh, inspired by Chinese and Soviet communism, fought the colonial rule first of Japan and then of France. Four years after President John F. Kennedy sent the first American troops into Vietnam, Martin Luther King issued his first public statement on the war. In 1971, the Pentagon Papers were leaked, revealing confidential information about the war. Under a broad free market policy put in place in 1986, the economy began to improve, boosted by oil export revenues and an influx of foreign capital. Overall, though, they pumped only about 3,000 troops into the conflict, far fewer than the Chinese. The bombing was not limited to Vietnam; from 1964-1973, the United States covertly dropped two million tons of bombs on neighboring, neutral Laos during the CIA-led “Secret War” in Laos. There were a number of long-term and short-term reasons to explain why the USA became involved in Vietnam in the late 1950s. The anti-war movement, which was particularly strong on college campuses, divided Americans bitterly. Sovfoto/Universal Images Group/Getty Images. It was fought in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia between North and South Vietnam. Though Vietnamese communists allied with the Khmer Rouge during the Vietnam War, they eventually deposed the regime in 1979. The Vietnam war was a conflict between North Vietnam (backed by the communist countries) and South Vietnam (backed by the capitalist forces). There are two main reasons why Australia got involved in the Vietnam War. Warfare had demolished the country’s infrastructure and economy, and reconstruction proceeded slowly. The next few years would bring even more carnage, including the horrifying revelation that U.S. soldiers had mercilessly slaughtered more than 400 unarmed civilians in the village of My Lai in March 1968. Unsurprisingly, the North Vietnamese likewise moved troops and supplies through neighboring Cambodia, which, though officially neutral, tolerated the communist intrusions. In an attempt to limit the volume of American casualties, he announced a program called Vietnamization: withdrawing U.S. troops, increasing aerial and artillery bombardment and giving the South Vietnamese the training and weapons needed to effectively control the ground war. Vietnam War. The U.S. involvement in South Vietnam stemmed from a combination of factors: France's long colonial history in French Indochina, the US War with Japan in the Pacific, and both Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong's pledge in 1950 to support Ho Chi … The Kingdom of Thailand, under the administration of military dictator Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, took an active role in the Vietnam War and second Indochina war. While the U.S.S.R. supplied some troops, their biggest contribution was in weaponry.Though it originally took little interest in the Vietnam War, the Soviet Union secretly ramped up its aid to North Vietnam following Nikita Khrushchev’s fall from power. The Vietnam War (also known as Second Indochina War or American War in Vietnam) lasted from 1 November 1955–30 April 1975, (19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day). Despite the concerns of some of his advisers about this escalation, and about the entire war effort amid a growing anti-war movement, Johnson authorized the immediate dispatch of 100,000 troops at the end of July 1965 and another 100,000 in 1966. New York: Free Press, 2002. Johnson’s new tack, laid out in a March 1968 speech, met with a positive response from Hanoi, and peace talks between the U.S. and North Vietnam opened in Paris that May. Not wanting to be seen as going it alone, the Johnson administration pressured other countries to join in the Vietnam War, much as George W. Bush would later form a “coalition of the willing” to fight in the Iraq War. During one, on May 4, 1970, at Kent State University in Ohio, National Guardsmen shot and killed four students. Yet, no matter what they tried, the Americans never succeeded in seriously disrupting North Vietnamese supply lines, nor did they prevent the fall of Laos to the communists in 1975. Seeing an opportunity to seize control, Ho’s Viet Minh forces immediately rose up, taking over the northern city of Hanoi and declaring a Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) with Ho as president. Though the NLF claimed to be autonomous and that most of its members were not communists, many in Washington assumed it was a puppet of Hanoi. Bombs ready to be loaded onto a French aircraft for the long drawn out Dien Bien Phu Battle of the Indochina War on April 10, 1954. Among other weapons, the USSR provided surface-to-air missiles that the Chinese weren’t yet technologically capable of producing. Consider changes to political, social and cultural attitudes. In addition to this Vietnamization policy, Nixon continued public peace talks in Paris, adding higher-level secret talks conducted by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger beginning in the spring of 1968. At another protest 10 days later, two students at Jackson State University in Mississippi were killed by police. The Canadian government did not officially participate in the war. Causes of Vietnam War 1883-1945 - Cochin-China, southern Vietnam, and Annam and Tonkin, central and northern Vietnam, along with Cambodia and … Vietnam War The Vietnam War pitted communist North Vietnam and the Viet Cong against South Vietnam and the United States. These five presidents were Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Newly communist China had supported Ho Chi Minh during the war with the French, and continued to do so during the war with the U.S. by providing weapons, expertise and manpower. The North Vietnamese continued to insist on complete and unconditional U.S. withdrawal—plus the ouster of U.S.-backed General Nguyen Van Thieu—as conditions of peace, however, and as a result the peace talks stalled. There were a couple reasons why Pro-Saigon supporters lost the Vietnam war. By 1972, the idea that Vietnam posed a threat to Cold War America was so discredited, it sometimes sounded as if America’s only remaining war aim was to … Though it originally took little interest in the Vietnam War, the Soviet Union secretly ramped up its aid to North Vietnam following Nikita Khrushchev’s fall from power. The main countries involved in the Vietnam War were North and South Vietnam. But perhaps their biggest role was preemptive: They made it clear that if U.S. ground troops invaded North Vietnam, then they would respond in kind. The United States became involved in the Vietnam War after the defeat of the French forces in 1954. That insurgency drew heavy U.S. bombing. As the original communist state, the Soviet Union aided North Vietnam, with increasing support in the late 1960s. The war had pierced the myth of American invincibility and had bitterly divided the nation. Nonetheless, “if there had been no Chinese or Soviet support, the North Vietnamese could not have won,” he says, pointing out that the U.S. military budget was roughly 30 times greater than the entire gross national product of North Vietnam. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. In December 1960, Diem’s many opponents within South Vietnam—both communist and non-communist—formed the National Liberation Front (NLF) to organize resistance to the regime. Beginning of American Involvement in Vietnam. From 1965 to 1969, the U.S. was involved in a limited war in Vietnam. When the Second Indochina War, or Vietnam War, as it’s known in the United States, began soon after, France stayed well away. It wanted no part of the new conflict. The main participating countries. It was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. It also cost the lives of over two million civilians.. Background. South Vietnam was backed by anti-communist countries and members of the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) which included the United States, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Thailand, Khmer Republic (later overthrown by Khmer Rouge), Kingdom of Laos and Republic of China (Taiwan). For some young people, the war symbolized a form of unchecked authority they had come to resent. Oct. 15, 1969: The first Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam, a … In 1976, Vietnam was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, though sporadic violence continued over the next 15 years, including conflicts with neighboring China and Cambodia. Seeking to regain control of the region, France backed Emperor Bao and set up the state of Vietnam in July 1949, with the city of Saigon as its capital. What effect did American military intervention have on nearby Cambodia between 1969 … ...read more. Vietnam, a nation in Southeast Asia on the eastern edge of the Indochinese peninsula, had been under French colonial rule since the 19th century. Congress soon passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave Johnson broad war-making powers, and U.S. planes began regular bombing raids, codenamed Operation Rolling Thunder, the following year. For the most part, the Chinese stayed in the background, rebuilding areas destroyed by U.S. bombs and manning anti-aircraft batteries. France had been a long-time occupier of Vietnam before 1954. Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam in 1975, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. READ MORE: Why Were Vietnam War Vets Treated Poorly When They Returned? Although there were aerial bombings of the North, President Johnson wanted the fighting to be limited to South Vietnam. Nixon ended draft calls in 1972, and instituted an all-volunteer army the following year. Against the background of the Cold War, the Vietnam War embroiled the United States, South Vietnam, and regional allies in a long and costly conflict against the regular forces of North Vietnam and the Communist Viet Cong guerillas. In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was unveiled in Washington, D.C. On it were inscribed the names of 57,939 American men and women killed or missing in the war; later additions brought that total to 58,200. https://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-history. Nixon sought to deflate the anti-war movement by appealing to a “silent majority” of Americans who he believed supported the war effort. What he needed to do was to remove the remaining American soldiers in Vietnam. President Nixon believed his Vietnamization ...read more, The Vietnam War was ostensibly a civil war between the communist North and pro-Western South. A coup by some of his own generals succeeded in toppling and killing Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, in November 1963, three weeks before Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. (The two countries were undergoing a bitter split at the time.). Both sides wanted the same thing: a unified Vietnam. The United States’ presence and involvement in the Vietnam War were something that many people felt very strongly about, whether they be American citizens, Vietnamese citizens, or global citizens. In addition to the United States, South Korea, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand also committed troops to fight in South Vietnam (albeit on a much smaller scale). According to a survey by the Veterans Administration, some 500,000 of the 3 million troops who served in Vietnam suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, and rates of divorce, suicide, alcoholism and drug addiction were markedly higher among veterans. The Vietnam War had considerable effects on Canada, but Canada and Canadians also affected the war.. The war ended when U.S. … On 2 July 1976, North and South Vietnam were merged to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Between July 1966 and December 1973, more than 503,000 U.S. military personnel deserted, and a robust anti-war movement among American forces spawned violent protests, killings and mass incarcerations of personnel stationed in Vietnam as well as within the United States. The bombing campaign was meant to disrupt the flow of supplies across the Ho Chi Minh trail into Vietnam and to prevent the rise of the Pathet Lao, or Lao communist forces. Known as the Christmas Bombings, the raids drew international condemnation. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam that is located in the north of the country. U.S. bombs killed tens of thousands of Cambodians, which, some historians contend, may have increased popular support for the Khmer Rouge, a communist insurgency group that initiated a brutal genocide upon taking power in 1975. Miller, Edward. The invasion of these countries, in violation of international law, sparked a new wave of protests on college campuses across America. i dont want explinations about federal nations and immigration and stuff, just give me a simple list of the countries invlved, and if you can, please tell me who were allies and who were against eachother! Bombarded by horrific images of the war on their televisions, Americans on the home front turned against the war as well: In October 1967, some 35,000 demonstrators staged a massive Vietnam War protest outside the Pentagon. In 1968 and 1969, there were hundreds of protest marches and gatherings throughout the country. The North was supported by China and the Soviet Union while the South was supported by the United States, Thailand, Australia, and South Korea. First of all, the United States could not expand the war. The election … Introduction Map of Vietnam. Here, retired Colonel William C Haponski, co-author of ‘Autopsy of an Unwinnable War: Vietnam’, explains that the British were in fact one of five main players in early post-World War 2 Vietnam. It was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Kissinger and North Vietnamese representatives drafted a peace agreement by early fall, but leaders in Saigon rejected it, and in December Nixon authorized a number of bombing raids against targets in Hanoi and Haiphong. By June, 82,000 combat troops were stationed in Vietnam, and military leaders were calling for 175,000 more by the end of 1965 to shore up the struggling South Vietnamese army. THE WAR IN VIETNAM was one of the 20 th Century’s most intractable conflicts. By November 1967, the number of American troops in Vietnam was approaching 500,000, and U.S. casualties had reached 15,058 killed and 109,527 wounded. A regional approach to the Vietnam War is important because U.S.-Vietnam relations and the Vietnam War did not occur in a vacuum. Following its 1945 defeat in World War II, Japan withdrew its forces from Vietnam, leaving the French-educated Emperor Bao Dai in control. Vietnam eventually fell completely to communism. Invasion of Panama: United States vs. Panama: 1990–1991: Persian Gulf War: United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq: 1995–1996: Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina The Vietnam War and active U.S. involvement in the war began in 1954, though ongoing conflict in the region had stretched back several decades. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. All Rights Reserved. The war also consumed hundreds of billions of dollars, scarred the landscape of … The Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was ostensibly a civil war between the communist North and pro-Western South. Additionally, supported by aid from China and the Soviet Union, North Vietnam strengthened its air defenses. South Vietnam : was backed by anti-communist countries and members of the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) which included the United States, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Thailand, Khmer Republic (later overthrown by Khmer Rouge), Kingdom of Laos and Republic of China (Taiwan). In May 1968, Johnson announced formal peace talks would soon begin in Paris. While some citizens believed that maximum force was necessary to quickly squash the opposition, others believed that the conflict in Vietnam was a civil … Kennedy wished to overthrow Prime Minister Ngo Sinh Diem, the leader of Vietnam, but was assassinated before he could do so. 7. Trade and diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the U.S. resumed in the 1990s. Why Were Vietnam War Vets Treated Poorly When They Returned? Anti-war marches and other protests, such as the ones organized by ...read more, Of the nearly 1 million Americans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War era (1964-75), many were or went on to become famous in diverse fields such as politics, entertainment, sports and journalism. Who Was Involved in the Vietnam War on the Side of South Vietnam. “The Koreans sent more troops and much more aggressive troops [than other U.S. allies],” Moise says. Opponents of the war argued that civilians, not enemy combatants, were the primary victims and that the United States was supporting a corrupt dictatorship in Saigon. By the end of June 1972, however, after a failed offensive into South Vietnam, Hanoi was finally willing to compromise. By the time American forces finally withdrew in 1973, about 2.7 million U.S. soldiers had served in Vietnam, more than 58,000 had died, and the nation had racked up a staggering bill of at least $111 billion (plus billions more in non-military costs). Vietnam War - Vietnam War - The United States enters the war: Between the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the U.S. presidential election in November 1964, the situation in Vietnam had changed for the worse. Ford was ready to end US involvement in the Vietnam War once and for all. By 1962, the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam had reached some 9,000 troops, compared with fewer than 800 during the 1950s. America and South Korea were the biggest supporters of Saigon. Thailand was the third-largest provider of ground forces to South Vietnam, following the Americans and South Koreans. Following France’s defeat in the First Indochina War, an international agreement divided Vietnam in two. 10 POINTS FOR THAT! The Philippines, Taiwan and Spain likewise aided the U.S. war effort, whereas on the communist side North Korea and Cuba purportedly sent token support. That is what had happened in Eastern and Central Europe after World War II, and the West was worried that with communist governments already in place in North Korea and North Vietnam, a failure to come to the aid of South Vietnam would mean the collapse of that country as well as all its neighbors—Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, perhaps even Japan. Other Countries Involved: 1. Every war is caused by the decisions of the people involved; and the war in Vietnam was no different from the rest. Nov. 5, 1968: Nixon is elected president, promising to end the war in Vietnam. Eisenhower began the United States' involvement with the Vietnam War by creating the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization to help squelch communist uprisings in the area. 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