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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
English
100Level, Nigeria.


A long war which began in 1955 and didn’t end
until 1979, the Vietnam War is one of the
most well-known conflicts of recent years.

There are many interesting facts about the
Vietnam War which many people don’t know –
let’s explore some of the lesser-known facts
about this period of history.

The war had a huge impact on civilians.


Although international law has many measures
and regulations in place to prevent injuries and
deaths to civilians, the sad reality is that it is
often innocent civilians who pay the price for
war.

The Vietnam War was a conflict between the
North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, and the
South Vietnamese and the United States of
America. However, Vietnamese civilians on
both sides of the conflicts were killed, both
combatants and civilians.

By 1995, Vietnam had realized the full scale of
civilian harm during the war. Over 2 million
civilians from both the North and South had
been killed, with over a million soldiers killed
between all armies involved.

The Vietnam War left a legacy of unexploded bombs.


The Vietnam War was primarily between the
North and South of Vietnam, but it didn’t end
there. Laos and Cambodia were heavily
involved in the war, which meant their
civilians paid a large price too.

Laos is thought to be the most heavily bombed
country in the world per capita, with an
estimated 30% of cluster bombs remaining
unexploded.

When the United Nations set the 2030 Agenda
for the Sustainable Development Goals, they
included an extra goal for Laos – to rid the
country of dangerous unexploded items.

The Vietnam War started in a bid to
unite the country.



Prior to the Vietnam War, the North of the
country was governed by a communist
government, while the South was governed
separately by a government which sought to
align itself further with the West.

Since the Northern government wanted to
unite the country, the Vietnam War started out
as a civil war, seeking to bring the North and
South together and create a united Vietnam.

However, the North sought help from the Viet
Cong from the South, while the South brought
in help from the United States of America.

The fall of Saigon in 1975 was an important
milestone, and the North was able to bring
together the country at last with Ha Noi as the
capital.

Vietnam fought back against the
French rule.



France had colonized Vietnam, Laos and
Cambodia, a group of nations which had
become known as French Indochina.

The Democratic Republic of Vietnam had come
into power in 1945 and was seeking to gain
independence from France .

Since the Northern Vietnamese government
wanted to make the country united and a
communist state, the West grew worried at the
prospect of yet another communist country,
following in the footsteps of the Soviet Union
and China.

States including France and Japan were
concerned that if one country became a
communist nation, other neighboring and
nearby countries would follow closely behind.

In 1950, the United States supported the
France army by sending aid and supporting the
South Vietnamese troops.

A United Nations conference was held in Geneva to try and bring peace.


In 1954, countries came together at the United
Nations in Geneva to explore how the French
could withdraw from the country peacefully.

They agreed to hold a general election two
years later in 1956, which would seek to unite
the country in a democratic manner rather
than through warfare.

The United States, however, would not agree to
Vietnam holding a general election, since they
feared the communist party in the north of the
country might win. The Viet Cong, a party from
the South which supported the North, was not
established until 1960, and plagued the South
with guerrilla warfare.

The United States wanted to support South Vietnam’s efforts.


In March 1965, after the North Vietnamese
had fired at two United States army vessels,
President Lyndon Johnson decided it was time
to step up their efforts to help South Vietnam
overcome the North.

According to historians, the United States did
not want to take over Vietnam, but rather give
enough support so that the South Vietnamese
army could take on the North Vietnamese
communists, and defeat them.

As a result, the United States during the late
1960’s didn’t invade the North or seek to
cause further damage through attacks, but
rather they focused on South Vietnam and how
they could multiply the efforts of the Southern
troops.

Continue reading below

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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
English
100Level, Nigeria.
The Vietnam War saw a lot of guerrilla warfare.


Although guerrilla warfare was not a new
tactic, it was used heavily by the Viet Cong in
support of the northern government.

This made it difficult for their enemy to find
them, and involved setting up hundreds of
booby traps which caused injuries and deaths
to their opponents.

One of the main tactics of guerrilla warfare
was to make it difficult for the enemy to
discover their opponents. This caused anger
and frustration among many of the enemy
troops in the South, who became unaware of
who their enemies were and lost trust in their
neighbors.

President Nixon had a different plan for the war.


When Richard Nixon became President of the
United States in 1969, he wanted to bring the
US troops out of Vietnam and leave the
fighting to the Vietnamese soldiers.

However, many US citizens did not approve of
the move to invade Laos and Cambodia,
promoting protests up and down the country.

North Vietnam eventually won the war.


While many people know about the Vietnam
War, not everybody knows how it ended. After
peace talks in Paris, the fighting in Vietnam
continued, until the South surrendered to the
communist North in 1975.

This was partly due to the United States troops
withdrawing two years previously, leaving the
South too weak to continue on its own with
any great strength or power to overcome the
enemy.

In 1976, Vietnam was united as the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam.

Sadly, the Vietnam War caused devastation and
harm for thousands of civilians and soldiers,
and continues to be remembered as one of the
world’s longest and most deadly wars.

Nowadays, Vietnam attracts plenty of tourists,
many of whom come to pay tribute to those
who lost their lives or visit the memorials, but
also to see the beauty of the country despite
the historic conflict and tragedies.

www.thefactsite.com/vietnam-war-facts/

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