Hundreds of battles and wars have been fought ever since the beginning of time. Like any wars, there are losers, winners, victims and villains. Along with this bloodshed, are lives that are torn apart, at the same time, it changes the course of history of mankind. Its impact to the rest of the world is very pronounced.
One of the bloodiest wars of the 20th century is the war in Vietnam but when did the Vietnam War start and finish?
According to history, this war was initiated on1959 up to April 30, 1975. It is also considered as the longest military assault that the United States’ ever fought. The Vietnam War goes by different names, such as the American War in Vietnam, War against the Americans to Save the Nation, Second Indochina War, and Vietnam Conflict.
Years before the Vietnam started, the Vietnamese were engaged in battles with foreign occupants, the French and the Japanese. After long struggles the Vietnamese successfully defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu, thereby, droving the foreign invaders out from their country in 1954.
In 1954 during the Geneva Conference, it was stipulated that Vietnam would be temporarily divided into North (communist) and the South (non-communist) Vietnam. Further, a general election was to be conducted in 1956 to unite the nation. However, the United States did not agree with election, for fear that communist side would win. In the process, might cause the spread of communism ideology in Asian regions. As such, the Americans supported South Vietnam, then, held election in that area alone. Ngo Dinh Diem won the election, but his leadership was so bad that he was assassinated.
During Diem’s term, the south Vietnamese sympathizers formed the National Liberation Front (NLF) popularly know as the Viet Cong. When Viet Cong troops targeted the two U.S ships international waters, the American involvement to the war was escalated.
Even though the war took place in Vietnam, many nations have been involved to resolve the conflict, particularly the Americans. The war was initially fought between two dividing nations; South Vietnam and the communist North Vietnam. The struggle to unify the warring sides under one communist government was very costly and bloody one.
Millions of Americans lost their lives in battles, as well as, about 2 million Vietnamese were killed. The Vietnam war was not popular among Americans, and viewed as a ‘no win’ situation, not to mention, an endless one.
On April 30, 1975, South Vietnam ultimately succumbed to the communist North Vietnam. It was not until July 2, 1976 that Vietnam was unified under one rule, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.