Interesting Vietnam War Facts

Today we want to bring to you some interesting facts and information on the Vietnam War. We’ll mention its timeline, dates, and important Vietnam War facts and figures.

The Vietnam War was initially known as the Second Indochina War. It started in 1954 and ended in 1975. The communist regime of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong fought against the following: South Vietnam and the US. The Viet Cong (or Việt Cộng) started as an army and political organization. It was based in South Vietnam and Cambodia. The United States were also helped by members of the SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization).

For 3 years (1865-1968), the US were the ones to direct this war. That happened because they had the most important military presence at the time. As a result, Vietnamese call the Vietnam War “the American War.”

Let’s see why the war actually began!

During 1883-1945, these were part of the colonial empire French Indochina: southern Vietnam, Cochin-China, central and northern Vietnam, Laos,  Annam and Tonkin, and Cambodia. 1 year later, a fight breaks between communists in the north (forces called Viet Minh) and France. The former wanted to take control of the country. The First Indochina War lasted till 1954. In 1949, the State of Vietnam was created. France established it in the country’s southern half.Vietnam-War-helicopters

The Vietnam Worker’s Party was known as Dang Lao Dong Vietnam. Their leader, called Ho Chi Minh, was instated in 1951 in this function. South Vietnam wasn’t a communist region; North Vietnam was. However, the South had many communist rebels. These united forces with the ones in the North. The two allies wished to see the government of South Vietnam abolished. In fact their end plan was to reunify Vietnam. This is when the war started; the year was 1954.

US forces were pulled back in 1973. This happened under the order of then president Richard Nixon. That’s when another Vietnam war started; it was known as the third one. This time, no Americans were involved. After the withdrawal, the North Vietnam communists took complete control of Saigon on April 30, 1975. The Vietnam War ended then with the surrender of South Vietnam. In 1976, Vietnam became the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

After the war in Afghanistan, the Vietnam War is the second longest one in the history of the United States. It’s also highly regarded as America’s first lost war. That’s due to the fact that the U.S. didn’t manage to protect Vietnam against communists in the north of the country.

Numerous facts and figures exist about the Vietnam War. One of them: costs reached $200 billion. There is no exact number of Vietnamese people (both North and South) who lost their lives in this war. According to the communist government, 1.1 million North Vietnamese died between 1954-1975. 600,000 suffered wounds. 2 million civilians are estimated to have died. As for South Vietnam, approximately 415,000 civilians (the lowest estimate) were killed. 500,000 combatants were wounded and 110,000 died. But this is only an estimate.Vietnam-War

South Vietnam were helped by these allies (besides the US): the Republic of Korea, Australia, Thailand, and New Zealand. Among these, it is estimated that 350 Thai soldiers were killed, while the Republic of Korea sustained 4,400 deaths. More than 80 New Zealanders died and more than 400 Australians shared the same fate; 2,400 were wounded.

Another interesting fact: during the war, the U.S. had 2,709,918 Americans who served in uniform. The first of them to die was called James Davis. It happened in 1961. Many suffered amputations, severe disabling, and lost limbs. The youngest people to see their deaths were 16 years old; the oldest man to die in the war was only 62 years old.

Among Vietnam Veterans, 91% don’t regret having served in the war; 74% say they’d do it again, no matter the outcome. Vietnam Veterans are held in very high esteem by 87% of US citizens. 85% of Vietnam Veterans didn’t have problems readjusting to a civilian life.

There are many misconceptions about the Vietnam War. One of the most popular ones:

  • a Vietnam Veteran had to be drafted. Only 2/3 went through a drafting; 2/3 were volunteers. Also, some 70% of combatants who died had volunteered to participate in the war;
  • troops were made of people lacking education. According to US Wings’ official page, the people who took part in the Vietnam War weren’t uneducated. 79% of them had finished high school.

According to the same website, 12.5% of the men who died in the war were black, 86% were Caucasians, and 1.2% belonged to another race.

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