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The Vietnam War

This section is about the history of the Vietnam War. If you are looking for firearms, infantry weapons, uniforms and other military gear, or military vehicles, please click on the links or use the Olive-Drab.com Site Map to discover and explore those and other sections.

Water break, Duc Pho, Vietnam, 1967-1968
Water break, Duc Pho, Vietnam, 1967-1968. Note details of equipment such as canteens, M16 rifle, and M1 helmet.

Today in WW II: 25 Oct 1943 American and New Zealand troops land at Mono and Stirling, Treasury Islands, south of Bougainville [25-27 Oct].  More 
25 Oct 1944 First operation by the Japanese Kamikaze Special Attack Force: 55 kamikazes strike 7 carriers and 40 other ships, sinking six, off Leyte, Philippines.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Samar [Leyte]: US Admiral Sprague skillfully prevents a loss to the stronger Japanese force under Japanese Admiral Kurita.
25 Oct 1944 Battle off Cape Engaño (Leyte): lopsided naval battle resulting in the loss of most of Japanese Northern Force to US Admiral Halsey's carrier planes and battleships [25-26 Oct].
25 Oct 1944 Soviet Red Army enters Kirkenes, the first town in Norway to be liberated from the Germans.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Vietnam War History

The history of the Vietnam War goes deep into the past, but the modern era began with the defeat of the Japanese after World War II. The French attempted to reassert their pre-war colonial power in the region, backed by the U.S. but failed after a painful nine year struggle that ended with the Geneva Accords of 1956 and partition of the country. The peace of those accords was an illusion and soon Communist forces backed by Ho Chi Minh's government in North Vietnam were at work attempting to undermine the regime in the South.

Ultimately the U.S. was drawn into a major commitment to the defense of South Vietnam, compelled to do so by the region's history and by the need to oppose further Communist gains in Asia. The escalation of the war on the ground in Vietnam, over adjacent borders, and with a major bombing campaign did not defeat the Communist forces but did suppress their efforts and gave the South Vietnamese time to build their own army and gain the ability to defend themselves. However, as the South Vietnamese successfully dealt with the internal Communist Viet Cong insurgency, North Vietnam increasingly took over conduct of the war as a conventional invasion by outside forces.

Ultimately, the U.S. withdrew under the pretext of a new agreement with North Vietnam signed in January 1973, forced to leave prematurely by political pressure on the home front that undermined U.S. ability to vigorously prosecute the war. North Vietnam had agreed not to increase its strength in the South, but in December 1974 North Vietnam invaded and the U.S. did not intervene. ARVN, the army of South Vietnam, initially fought hard but were overwhelmed. Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, fell in April 1975 allowing the Communists to control the entire country. Neighboring Cambodia and Laos fell to Communist forces in the same year.

These pages of Olive-Drab.com develop the history of the Vietnam War in more detail:

Recommended Books about the Vietnam War

Books about the Vietnam War are found on the linked page in the Olive-Drab.com section on Military Books.

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