North & South
Vietnam was the 1st war to receive extensive media coverage in the US due to the advent of TV in homes. Because of this, it's well remembered by Americans, unlike the Korean War.
It's estimated that the Vietnam War cost $200 billion USD.
Graphic media reports bolstered anti-war sentiment in the 60s and contributed to the US's withdrawal from Vietnam and some say, eventual loss of the war.
More bombs were dropped on Vietnam than on Germany, Italy and Japan combined during World War II.
Vietnam is one of the few remaining communist countries today (others are China, North Korea, Laos, Cuba)
Vietnamese people call it the American War, not the Vietnam War. Or, more literally, "the war against America to save Vietnam".
At that time, Vietnam was split into 3 colonial regions:
1883 - 1945: Vietnam was ruled by France.
Along with Cambodia and Laos, this colonial empire was known as Indochina.
Vietnam declared independence from France.
This declaration wasn’t recognized by France or the US.
To help France fight these freedom rebels (AKA the Viet Minh) and regain control over Vietnam, US President Harry S. Truman provided military support.
This was the start of the US's involvement in Vietnam.
Communists in North Vietnam began fighting France for control of Vietnam.
France established the not-communist State of Vietnam in South Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh became leader of the communist Vietnam Worker's Party in the north.
TLDR: The North was communist. The South wasn't.
North Vietnamese Communists and South Vietnamese Communist rebels (AKA Viet Cong) wanted to overthrow the South and unite the country.
The North started helping South Vietnamese rebels fight Southern troops.
This marked the start of the War.
South surrendered to North as Northern troops marched into Saigon, the Southern capital.
This marked the end of the war.
200 000 - 400 000
170 000 - 220 000
400 000 - 1M
CNN Library. “Vietnam War Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 27 Mar. 2018, www.cnn.com/2013/07/01/world/vietnam-war-fast-facts/index.html.
History.com Editors. “Vietnam War.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 22 Feb. 2019, www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-history.
“Vietnam War.” HistoryNet, HistoryNet, 2019, www.historynet.com/vietnam-war.