President "to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the U. The stated goal by the U. To this end, over 58, U. The first U. This war would be unlike any other we had fought. There were no "front lines" or "rear areas". This was a guerrilla war , and small unit tactics would play a pivotal role. Special units such as the U. During the war, U. Names such as Hamburger Hill , Hue City, Plei Mei, and Khe Sanh would become forever enshrined with tales of heroism in the face of a formidable enemy.
Many of our troops were taken prisoner by the enemy, enduring unspeakable acts, poor rations, little medical attention and extreme torture during captivity. However, the U. While we defeated the Viet Cong during the Tet Offensive in , our exit was imminent. A week later, the enemy we fought for almost twenty years overcame the capital city of Saigon. The Vietnam era saw many changes in the world. The U. Kennedy was assassinated.
The nation was in turmoil and the presidency would change four times during this war with President Lyndon B. Johnson not seeking a second term, President Richard M. Nixon resigning while in office and President Ford issuing a pardon to President Nixon only to see the U. Kennedy gunned down before our very eyes. Even the Space Race was wrought with anxiety and worry when Soviet Union cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to travel in space. Throughout the war, this environment contributed tragically towards the U. This legacy is perhaps the most damaging event to the U.
Unlike other wars, most returning U. While some of the Vietnam War Veterans were spat upon and subjected to insults such as "baby-killer". These U. In , the U. Congress authorized the building of a national memorial dedicated to the Vietnam War Veterans. This provided a place for Vietnam War Veterans and the public to reflect upon and grieve for the loss of life resulting from the war 1. The Vietnam War Memorial is a simple, but moving symbol of a time when many young U. Almost a decade after the end of the Vietnam War, political pressure began to mount for the designation of another unknown soldier.
Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii. In , it was determined that he would receive the honor of becoming the next U. Kellogg, Jr. During the journey across the Pacific Ocean, the casket of the Vietnam Unknown was positioned in the helicopter hangar, under a constant "death watch" by the crew and U. Marines of the USS Brewton. This Unknown would never be alone again.
It took seven days to cross the Pacific Ocean and arrive at the Alameda U. Naval Air Station in California on May 24, While a military band played a hymn and a gun salute was fired, a joint armed forces casket team carried the casket to a waiting funeral coach for transfer to Travis U.
Approximately , South Korean soldiers were sent to Vietnam,  each serving a one-year tour of duty. Maximum troop levels peaked at 50, in , however all were withdrawn by South Korea claimed to have killed 41, Viet Cong. Thai forces saw much more action in the covert war in Laos between and , though Thai regular formations there were heavily outnumbered by the irregular "volunteers" of the CIA-sponsored Police Aerial Reconnaissance Units or PARU, who carried out reconnaissance activities on the western side of the Ho Chi Minh trail.
Both nations had gained experience in counterinsurgency and jungle warfare during the Malayan Emergency and World War II, and their governments subscribed to the Domino theory. New Zealand was, however, a reluctant participant. Officials expected a foreign intervention to fail, were concerned that they would be supporting a corrupt regime, and didn't want to further stretch their country's small military which was already deployed to Malaysia. Australia began by sending advisors to Vietnam in , and combat troops were committed in Around 50, Australian personnel were involved during the course of the war, of which were killed and more than 3, wounded.
Australia, with decades of experience from both the Malayan Emergency and its AATTV role in , recognised the necessity of a true counter-insurgency , which relied on providing village-level security, establishing civilian trust and economic incentives and improving ARVN capabilities. Some 10, Filipino troops were dispatched to South Vietnam and were primarily engaged in medical and other civilian pacification projects. The naval base at Subic Bay was used for the U. Seventh Fleet from until the end of the war in Beginning in November , Taiwan secretly operated a cargo transport detachment to assist the United States and South Vietnam.
Brazil , under a U. Canada, India and Poland constituted the International Control Commission , which was supposed to monitor the ceasefire agreement. There was an active strategy of recruitment and favorable treatment of Montagnard tribes for the Viet Cong , as they were pivotal for control of infiltration routes. This provoked a backlash from the Montagnards, some joining the NLF as a result.
Following Vietnamization many Montagnard groups and fighters were incorporated into the Vietnamese Rangers as border sentries. A large number of war crimes took place during the Vietnam War. War crimes were committed by both sides during the conflict and included rape, massacres of civilians, bombings of civilian targets, terrorism , the widespread use of torture, and the murder of prisoners of war. Additional common crimes included theft, arson, and the destruction of property not warranted by military necessity. A probable war crime that was neither investigated nor brought to charge was the Thuy Bo massacre , while the Son Thang massacre warranted investigation, and its perpetrators faced court martial and served less than a year in prison.
Of the war crimes that were reported to military authorities, sworn statements by witnesses and status reports indicated that incidents had a factual basis. Simons as "a severe violation of the laws of war". Rummel estimated that 39, were killed by South Vietnam during the Diem-era in democide from a range of between 16, and , South Vietnamese civilians; for to , Rummel estimated a total of 50, killed in democide, from a range of between 42, and , Thus, the total for to is 81,, from a range of between 57, and , deaths caused by South Vietnam.
Torture and ill-treatment were frequently applied by the South Vietnamese to POWs as well as civilian prisoners. Hawkins and William R. Anderson witnessed detainees either confined in minute "tiger cages" or chained to their cells, and provided with poor-quality food. A group of American doctors inspecting the prison in the same year found many inmates suffering symptoms resulting from forced immobility and torture. South Korean forces were accused of war crimes as well. Ami Pedahzur has written that "the overall volume and lethality of Viet Cong terrorism rivals or exceeds all but a handful of terrorist campaigns waged over the last third of the twentieth century", based on the definition of terrorists as a non-state actor, and examining targeted killings and civilian deaths which are estimated at over 18, from to Some mines were set only to go off after heavy vehicle passage, causing extensive slaughter aboard packed civilian buses.
During the Vietnam War, American women served on active duty performing a variety of jobs.
Anatomy of US and South Korean Massacres in the Vietnamese Year of the Monkey, 1968
Although a small number of women were assigned to combat zones, they were never allowed directly in the field of battle. The women who served in the military were solely volunteers. They faced a plethora of challenges, one of which was the relatively small number of female soldiers. Living in a male-dominated environment created tensions between the sexes. By , approximately 7, women had served in Vietnam in the Southeast Asian theater. To address this problem, the ANC released advertisements portraying women in the ANC as "proper, professional and well protected.
Although female military nurses lived in a heavily male environment, very few cases of sexual harassment were ever reported. Unlike the American women who went to Vietnam, both South and North Vietnamese women were enlisted and served in combat zones. Women were enlisted in both the North Vietnamese Army NVA and the Viet Cong guerrilla insurgent force in South Vietnam, many joining due to the promises of female equality and a greater social role within society.
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All-female units were present throughout the entirety of the war, ranging from front-line combat troops to anti-aircraft, scout, and reconnaissance units. Some, like in the WAFC, served in combat with other soldiers. Others served as nurses and doctors in the battlefield and in military hospitals, or served in South Vietnam or America's intelligence agencies. During the war more than one million rural people migrated or fled the fighting in the South Vietnamese countryside to the cities, especially Saigon. Among the internal refugees were many young women who became the ubiquitous "bargirls" of wartime South Vietnam, "hawking her wares—be that cigarettes, liquor, or herself" to American and allied soldiers.
Women also played a prominent role as front-line reporters in the conflict, directly reporting on the conflict as it occurred. The French-speaking Australian journalist Kate Webb was captured along with a photographer and others by the Viet Cong in Cambodia and travelled into Laos with them; they were released back into Cambodia after 23 days of captivity.
The experience of American military personnel of African origin during the Vietnam War had received significant attention. For example, the website "African-American Involvement in the Vietnam War" compiles examples of such coverage,  as does the print and broadcast work of journalist Wallace Terry. Terry's book Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans , includes observations about the impact of the war on the black community in general and on black servicemen specifically.
Points he makes on the latter topic include: the higher proportion of combat casualties in Vietnam among African American servicemen than among American soldiers of other races, the shift toward and different attitudes of black military careerists versus black draftees, the discrimination encountered by black servicemen "on the battlefield in decorations, promotion and duty assignments" as well as their having to endure "the racial insults, cross-burnings and Confederate flags of their white comrades"—and the experiences faced by black soldiers stateside, during the war and after America's withdrawal.
As a result, by the war's completion in , black casualties had declined to During the early stages of the war, the Viet Cong mainly sustained itself with captured arms; these were often of American manufacture  or were crude, self-made weapons  used alongside shotguns made of galvanized pipes.
They relied on ambushes, superior stealth, planning, marksmanship, and small-unit tactics to face the disproportionate US technological advantage. By , they had fully transformed from the strategy of mobile light-infantry and using the people's war concept used against the United States. The US service rifle was initially the M14 until it was replaced by the M16 rifle. For a period, the gun suffered from a jamming flaw.
The MAC machine pistol was supplied to many special forces troops in the midpoint of the war. The AC was a heavily armed ground-attack aircraft variant of the C Hercules transport plane, while the Huey is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine; approximately 7, UH-1 aircraft saw service in Vietnam.
Ground forces also had access to B and F-4 Phantom II and other aircraft to launch napalm , white phosphorus , tear gas , chemical weapons , precision-guided munition and cluster bombs. The Vietnam War was the first conflict where U. The National Security Agency ran a crash program to provide U. However, limitations of the units, including poor voice quality, reduced range, annoying time delays and logistical support issues, led to only one unit in ten being used.
On a per capita basis, the 2 million tons dropped on Laos make it the most heavily bombed country in history; The New York Times noted this was "nearly a ton for every person in Laos. Former U. Air Force official Earl Tilford has recounted "repeated bombing runs of a lake in central Cambodia. The Bs literally dropped their payloads in the lake. Ten percent of the population of Ho Chi Minh City was suffering from serious venereal diseases when the war ended, and there were 4 million illiterates throughout the South.
By , the Viet Minh had lost influence over the Cambodian communists. Under the leadership of Pol Pot , the Khmer Rouge would eventually kill 1—3 million Cambodians out of a population of around 8 million, in one of the bloodiest genocides in history. The relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia, then ruled by the Khmer Rouge communist party, escalated right after the end of the war.
In response to the Khmer Rouge taking over Phu Quoc on 17 April and Tho Chu on 4 May , and the belief that they were responsible for the disappearance of Vietnamese natives on Tho Chu, Vietnam launched a counterattack to take back these islands. In response, China invaded Vietnam in The two countries fought a brief border war, known as the Sino-Vietnamese War. From to , some , ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat as refugees or were expelled.
The Pathet Lao overthrew the monarchy of Laos in December , establishing the Lao People's Democratic Republic under the leadership of a member of the royal family, Souphanouvong. The change in regime was "quite peaceful, a sort of Asiatic ' velvet revolution '"—although 30, former officials were sent to reeducation camps, often enduring harsh conditions for several years.
The conflict between Hmong rebels and the Pathet Lao continued in isolated pockets. The millions of cluster bombs the US dropped on Southeast Asia rendered the landscape hazardous. In Laos alone, some 80 million bombs failed to explode and remain scattered throughout the country, rendering vast swathes of land impossible to cultivate and killing or maiming 50 Laotians every year.
Most Asian countries were unwilling to accept these refugees, many of whom fled by boat and were known as boat people. China accepted , people. Included among their ranks were "about 90 percent" of Laos's "intellectuals, technicians, and officials. Agent Orange and similar chemical substances used by the U. Scientific reports have concluded that refugees exposed to chemical sprays while in South Vietnam continued to experience pain in the eyes and skin as well as gastrointestinal upsets. In one study, ninety-two percent of participants suffered incessant fatigue; others reported monstrous births.
There is substantial evidence that the birth defects carry on for three generations or more. In the post-war era, Americans struggled to absorb the lessons of the military intervention. We thought that we were going into another Korean War , but this was a different country.
Who was Ho Chi Minh? Nobody really knew. So, until we know the enemy and know our allies and know ourselves, we'd better keep out of this kind of dirty business. It's very dangerous. According to a Gallup poll, 62 percent of Americans believed it was an unjust war. Failure of the war is often placed at different institutions and levels. Some have suggested that the failure of the war was due to political failures of U.
Yet in Vietnam the Army experienced tactical success and strategic failure A new humility and a new sophistication may form the best parts of a complex heritage left to the Army by the long, bitter war in Vietnam. Others point to a failure of U. As he remarked, "I still doubt that the North Vietnamese would have relented. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote in a secret memo to President Gerald Ford that "in terms of military tactics, we cannot help draw the conclusion that our armed forces are not suited to this kind of war.
Even the Special Forces who had been designed for it could not prevail. Hanoi had persistently sought unification of the country since the Geneva Accords, and the effects of U. The costs of the war loom large in American popular consciousness; a poll showed that the public incorrectly believed that more Americans lost their lives in Vietnam than in World War II.
More than 3 million Americans served in the Vietnam War, some 1. Westheider wrote that "At the height of American involvement in , for example, there were , American military personnel in Vietnam, but only 80, were considered combat troops. As of , the U. By war's end, 58, American soldiers had been killed, [A 3] more than , had been wounded, and at least 21, had been permanently disabled. As the Vietnam War continued inconclusively and became more unpopular with the American public, morale declined and disciplinary problems grew among American enlisted men and junior, non-career officers.
Drug use, racial tensions, and the growing incidence of fragging —attempting to kill unpopular officers and non-commissioned officers with grenades or other weapons—created severe problems for the U. By , a U. Army colonel writing in the Armed Forces Journal declared: "By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains in Vietnam is in a state approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers and non commissioned officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited where not near mutinous The morale, discipline, and battle-worthiness of the U.
Armed Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at any time in this century and possibly in the history of the United States. Army recorded more than attacks by troops on their own officers. Eighty-three officers were killed and almost were injured. The Vietnam War called into question the U. Army doctrine. Marine Corps general Victor H. Krulak heavily criticised Westmoreland's attrition strategy, calling it "wasteful of American lives… with small likelihood of a successful outcome.
Furthermore, throughout the war there was found to be considerable flaws and dishonesty by officers and commanders due to promotions being tied to the body count system touted by Westmoreland and McNamara. Ron Milam has questioned the severity of the "breakdown" of the U. Investigating one combat refusal incident, a journalist declared, "A certain sense of independence, a reluctance to behave according to the military's insistence on obedience, like pawns or puppets The grunts [infantrymen] were determined to survive The last conscript was inducted into the army in One of the most controversial aspects of the U.
They were used to defoliate large parts of the countryside to prevent the Viet Cong from being able to hide their weapons and encampments under the foliage. These chemicals continue to change the landscape, cause diseases and birth defects, and poison the food chain. Early in the American military effort, it was decided that since the enemy were hiding their activities under triple-canopy jungle, a useful first step might be to defoliate certain areas.
This was especially true of growth surrounding bases both large and small in what became known as Operation Ranch Hand. Corporations like Dow Chemical Company and Monsanto were given the task of developing herbicides for this purpose. American officials also pointed out that the British had previously used 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D virtually identical to America's use in Vietnam on a large scale throughout the Malayan Emergency in the s in order to destroy bushes, crops, and trees in effort to deny communist insurgents the concealment they needed to ambush passing convoys.
Kennedy on 24 November , that "[t]he use of defoliant does not violate any rule of international law concerning the conduct of chemical warfare and is an accepted tactic of war. Precedent has been established by the British during the emergency in Malaya in their use of aircraft for destroying crops by chemical spraying. The defoliants, which were distributed in drums marked with color-coded bands, included the " Rainbow Herbicides "— Agent Pink , Agent Green , Agent Purple , Agent Blue , Agent White , and most famously, Agent Orange , which included dioxin as a byproduct of its manufacture.
About 11—12 million gallons Navy patrol boats were vulnerable to attack from the undergrowth at the water's edge. In and , the Kennedy administration authorized the use of chemicals to destroy rice crops. Air Force sprayed 20 million U. Another purpose of herbicide use was to drive civilian populations into RVN-controlled areas. Vietnamese victims affected by Agent Orange attempted a class action lawsuit against Dow Chemical and other U. Weinstein dismissed their case.
In some areas of southern Vietnam, dioxin levels remain at over times the accepted international standard. In , Anh Duc Ngo and colleagues of the University of Texas Health Science Center published a meta-analysis that exposed a large amount of heterogeneity different findings between studies, a finding consistent with a lack of consensus on the issue on the effect of Agent Orange in Vietnam. There is data near the threshold of statistical significance suggesting Agent Orange contributes to still-births, cleft palate, and neural tube defects , with spina bifida being the most statistically significant defect.
Veterans Administration has listed prostate cancer , respiratory cancers , multiple myeloma , Diabetes mellitus type 2 , B-cell lymphomas , soft-tissue sarcoma , chloracne , porphyria cutanea tarda , peripheral neuropathy , and spina bifida in children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
Estimates of the number of casualties vary, with one source suggesting up to 3. The military forces of South Vietnam suffered an estimated , killed between and and additional deaths from to and in Defense Department officials believed that these body count figures need to be deflated by 30 percent. Between ,  and ,  Cambodians were estimated to have died during the war including between 40, and , combatants and civilians from US bombings.
Unexploded ordnance , mostly from U. According to the Vietnamese government, ordnance has killed some 42, people since the war officially ended. The Vietnam War has been featured extensively in television, film, video games, music and literature in the participant countries. In Vietnam the diary has often been compared to The Diary of Anne Frank and both are used in literary education.
In American popular culture, the "Crazy Vietnam Veteran", who was suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder , became a common stock character after the war. The modern classical composer George Crumb composed a string quartet, a threnody , regarding the war in titled Black Angels. Myths play a central role in the historiography of the Vietnam War, and have become a part of the culture of the United States. Much like the general historiography of the war, discussion of myth has focused on US experiences, but changing myths of war have also played a role in Vietnamese and Australian historiography.
Recent scholarship has focused on "myth-busting",  attacking the previous orthodox and revisionist schools of American historiography of the Vietnam War. This scholarship challenges myths about American society and soldiery in the Vietnam War. Kuzmarov in The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs challenges the popular and Hollywood narrative that US soldiers were heavy drug users,  in particular the notion that the My Lai massacre was caused by drug use.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For a full history of wars in Vietnam, see List of wars involving Vietnam. For other uses of "Nam", see Nam disambiguation. This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. The readable prose size is kilobytes. Please consider splitting content into sub-articles, condensing it, or adding subheadings.
January Supported by:. Kennedy Lyndon B. Weyand Paul D. Momyer John S. McCain Jr. Vietnamese civilian dead : ,—2,,    Vietnamese total dead : ,  —3,,  Cambodian Civil War dead : ,—,    Laotian Civil War dead : 20,—62,  Non-Indochinese military dead : 65, Total dead : 1,,—4,, For more information see Vietnam War casualties and Aircraft losses of the Vietnam War. Indochina Wars. Military engagements during the Vietnam War.
Massacres of the Vietnam War. Further information: Terminology of the Vietnam War. Main articles: Viet Cong and War in Vietnam — Main article: Joint warfare in South Vietnam, — Main article: Gulf of Tonkin incident. Further information: Credibility gap. Play media. Main article: Laotian Civil War.
Main article: Fall of Saigon. Further information: Operation Frequent Wind. See also: Russell Tribunal and Fulbright Hearings. See also: China in the Vietnam War. See also: Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. Main article: South Korea in the Vietnam War. Main article: Thailand in the Vietnam War. Main article: Republic of China in the Vietnam War. Main article: Canada and the Vietnam War. See also: List of massacres in Vietnam. Main article: Weapons of the Vietnam War. Further information: Mayaguez incident and Indochina refugee crisis. Main article: Vietnam War casualties.
See also: Vietnam War body count controversy. Vietnam portal United States portal War portal s portal s portal s portal. Fitzgibbon's family the start date of the Vietnam War according to the US government was officially changed to 1 November Retrieved 20 July Similar Swedish aid was to go to Cambodian and Laotian civilians affected by the Indochinese fighting.
Synonyms and antonyms of camouflaged in the English dictionary of synonyms
This support was primarily humanitarian in nature and included no military aid. Area Handbook for Brazil , p. University of Malaya Student Repository. Retrieved 17 October Archived PDF from the original on 16 October The Tunku had been personally responsible for Malaya's partisan support of the South Vietnamese regime in its fight against the Vietcong and, in reply to a Parliamentary question on 6 February , he had listed all the used weapons and equipment of the Royal Malaya Police given to Saigon.
These included a total of 45, single-barrel shotguns, armoured cars and smaller numbers of carbines and pistols. Writing in , he revealed that "we had clandestinely been giving 'aid' to Vietnam since early Published American archival sources now reveal that the actual Malaysian contributions to the war effort in Vietnam included the following: "over 5, Vietnamese officers trained in Malaysia; training of U. It is undeniable that the Government's policy of supporting the South Vietnamese regime with arms, equipment and training was regarded by some quarters, especially the Opposition parties, as a form of interfering in the internal affairs of that country and the Tunku's valiant efforts to defend it were not convincing enough, from a purely foreign policy standpoint.
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First, this decree was issued in for the rent and interest reduction campaign that preceded the far more radical land redistribution and party rectification campaigns or waves that followed during — Second, the decree was meant to apply to free areas under the control of the Viet Minh government , not to the areas under French control that would be liberated in — and that would experience a far more violent struggle. Thus the number of 13, executed people seems to be a low-end estimate of the real number.
In this paper Moise 7—9 modified his earlier estimate in his book which was 5, and accepted an estimate close to 15, executions. Moise made the case based on Hungarian reports provided by Balazs, but the document I cited above offers more direct evidence for his revised estimate. This document also suggests that the total number should be adjusted up some more, taking into consideration the later radical phase of the campaign, the unauthorized killings at the local level, and the suicides following arrest and torture the central government bore less direct responsibility for these cases, however.
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