50 RARE AUTHENTIC PHOTOS THAT SHOW A SIDE OF VIETNAM WAR YOU DONT USUALLY SEE PART 1



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The Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955[A 1] to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, and other anti-communist allies. The war, considered a Cold War-era proxy war by some, lasted 19 years, with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, which ended with all three countries becoming communist in 1975.

The conflict emerged from the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U.S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military support for the South Vietnamese state. The Việt Cộng, also known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF (the National Liberation Front), a South Vietnamese common front under the direction of North Vietnam, initiated a guerrilla war in the south. North Vietnam had also invaded Laos in the mid-1950s in support of insurgents, establishing the Ho Chi Minh Trail to supply and reinforce the Việt Cộng. U.S. involvement escalated under President John F. Kennedy through the MAAG program from just under a thousand military advisors in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. By 1963, the North Vietnamese had sent 40,000 soldiers to fight in South Vietnam. North Vietnam was heavily backed by the USSR and the People’s Republic of China. China also sent hundreds of PLA servicemen to North Vietnam to serve in air-defense and support roles.

The scale of fighting was enormous. By 1970, the ARVN was the world’s fourth largest army, and the PAVN was not far behind with approximately one million regular soldiers. The war exacted an enormous human cost: estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed range from 966,000to 3.8 million.Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians,20,000–62,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict, and a further 1,626 remain missing in action.

The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War. Conflict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, and the newly formed Democratic Kampuchea began almost immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge, eventually escalating into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War. Chinese forces directly invaded Vietnam in the Sino-Vietnamese War, with subsequent border conflicts lasting until 1991. Insurgencies were fought by the unified Vietnam in all three countries. The end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the larger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw millions of refugees leave Indochina (mainly southern Vietnam), with an estimated 250,000 of whom perished at sea. Within the U.S, the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with the Watergate scandal contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s.

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