TheVietnam War was fought during the Cold War from 1955-1975 between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. It was the longest war in the history of Unites States. At least three million Vietnamese soldiers were approximately killed, along with several thousand soldiers from places like Laos, Cambodia and even USA. An estimated two million civilians lost their lives as well. North and South Vietnam reunified a year after the war ended. Two out of three Americans judge the Vietnam War to have been a mistake. Over 50 % do not have a clear idea what the war was about. It was the first “living room war.” People watched footages of combat on nightly news. It was the first war where television played a significant role. Background of the war:
Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which earlier formed ‘Indochina’ was ruled by France until World War II. After the war, the French wanted to regain their rule over these places, which were now Communist. Ho Chi Minh, who was the national leader in China and had declared Vietnam as an independent country, had to fight the French in a war along with his followers. This war ended with the French losing and Vietnam getting divided into two parts. The communists reigned over the northern part and the French supporters continued to rule over the southern region. However, the government of South Vietnam was extremely poor and people were against it too. Due to this, the North Vietnam army began attacking South Vietnam. This was during Cold War and America was against communism, therefore John F. Kennedy, the then president of USA sent his troops in South Vietnam to help them in the war foreseeing that if South Vietnam also turned Communist then slowly the whole region would also transform into the same. Believing that their modern technology and ammunition would help them win, over the years, many American soldiers were sent to Vietnam to fight the war. However, the style of counter attacking by the North Vietnam army and the Viet Cong (a political organization in South Vietnam that fought against its own army and the US troops) was different. They used guerrilla tactics and attacked them by surprise. They also had the benefit of being more familiar with the territory. End of the war:
The American population, for the first few years of the war were in full support of the decision to be anti-communist. However, when they realized that more and more of their soldiers were getting sacrificed in this bloodshed, they slowly retracted their decision. Moreover, due to the continuous coverage of the war by media, Americans sitting at home could see the non-stop carnage taking place in Vietnam. By 1968, almost everyone at home wanted to stop sending more troops to Vietnam. Anti-war protests started taking place all over the country. By 1968, Americans had made it clear that they did not want their country to be anti-communist and support the war. President Lyndon Johnson called back most of the troops. Also, USA supported South Vietnam who was clearly losing out on the war due to lack of a good army or government and also the incessant attacks by Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army. Finally, in 1973, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Viet Cong and the United States of America he signed a peace treaty. North Vietnam and Viet Cong however did not abide by it and continued to attack South Vietnam. Civilians fled from there to escape the attacks. The war was officially over in 1975 when Saigon was captured by the North Vietnam communist troops causing South Vietnam to surrender. In 1976, North and South Vietnam rejoined forces under a communist government. This was the first time in history that USA had lost a war. Media coverage of the war:
The media, as always, played a pivotal role in shaping the public opinion during the course of the war. This war began around the same time when television became a necessity in the American household. Everyone was glued to their TV screens...
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