The war in Vietnam lasted many years and involved France, China, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, Japan and the United States. The involvement of the United States was at first an advisory role in the late 50’s, but by 1965 the situation had escalated and troops began arriving for combat.
The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964 was the start of a brutal 10-year war. By the end of 1966 there were nearly 400,000 soldiers in Vietnam. The U.S had a hard time with the guerilla tactics of the Viet Cong and often resorted to unconventional weapons like napalm or Agent Orange.
Over the course of the war more than three million soldiers served in the war resulting in more than 58,000 casualties. The Vietnamese casualties were in the millions. The Tet Offensive in 1968 was a huge blow to the U.S military's morale and even though it was a tactical victory for the U.S., this marks a turning point in the war for anti war sentiment.
The United States wanted to aid the South Vietnamese to become more powerful and to be able to hold off the North on their own, so locals were given weapons and training to aid their cause. An official cease-fire was called in 1973 and all the troops were pulled out.
The war ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, and all of Vietnam returned to a communist state.
Top images provided courtesy of the Archival Research Catalogue, National Archives, USA. Bottom image provided courtesy of Tom Faunce.