The Vietnam War is one of the biggest cold war era conflicts in the history. Conflict is started in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. War was mainly between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. But their political regimes included various countries to war that while communist allies support North Vietnam, anti-communist countries like United States supported South Vietnam. Results of War are varying because while some resources report 1 million civil deaths, some reports it as 3 million. USA reported the total death number as 1,481,047 while Cambodia reported it as 4,008,047. How many years the Vietnam War lasted?
The Vietnam War lasted for 20 years officially. It started in 1 November 1955 and lasted in 30 April 1975. First signs of conflict have been seen in 1850s. French army conquered Vietnam and made the country a colony of French. After World War II, France wanted to exit from Vietnam but anti-communist countries didn’t support this decision and USA supported French Army in Vietnam with US$1 billion. But it couldn’t help to finish the conflict and problem became worldwide when countries started to recognize Vietnam.
People’s Republic of China and other communist nations recognized Viet Minh’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam as the government of country. Party was based on Hanoi. USA and other anti-communist nations recognized State of Vietnam as government. It was based in Saigon.
War started with rare clashes but then USA Congress revealed that there’s possibility of tactical nuclear weapons usage and it made the conflict serious. PRC started to send military forces and weapons to Vietnam and USA replied it with political and military support. After PRC started to set nuclear weapons, USA also gave permission to use its nuclear weapons by carrier aircraft from the Seventh Fleet.
Communist forces in Vietnam used guerrilla tactics and converted labors to guerrillas by a short and strict military course. They were lightly armed but using successful guerrilla tactics. French involvement totally finished after “The Battle of Dien Bien Phu” and Geneva Conference was the place where French government made negotiations for ceasefire. After agreement, French government announced that Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are independent countries by agreement.
After Geneva Conference, Vietnam partitioned. Conference gave a right to all citizens to move which side they want. Right was valid for 300 days. After political movements in years, Viet Minh started a land reform in North Vietnam and executed over 100.000 people after labeled them as class enemies. Some resources reported deaths as 900.000.
After communist party started to take force in all Vietnam, USA declared that Communism will make a “Domino effect” and take other countries into its power.
After 1964 Hotel Brinks bombing, USA claim that North Vietnam forces attacked USA forces in Tonkin Bay. USA Congress gave permission to USA president for attack to North Vietnam. Hundred thousands of American soldiers were sent to area. A big and merciless war started between USA and North Vietnam forces.
It was the era that TV broadcasts became popular and wide in USA. Americans saw war’s effects on civilians especially on children. American society withdraws its support after saw war’s cold face. Especially after 60s, %60 of American society started not to support war. In 30 April 1975, North Vietnam forces entered South Vietnam’s capital city Saigon and they won the war.
Won resulted with over 1.5 million deaths. Also one third of cultivated land in Vietnam became useless because USA forces used chemical defoliants in the war. After war, Russia-China political relations got problematic and in 1975, South Vietnam and North Vietnam reunited after agreements.