Until the Second World War Vietnam had been part of a French colony, however the communistic Vietnamese had gained independence in 1954. Subsequently the French retreated from Vietnam until the division of Vietnam into two separate states was decided at the Geneva ConferenceIts purpose was to attempt to find a way to settle outstanding issues on the The Geneva Conference took place in 1954. Its aim was to attempt to find a way to settle outstanding issues on the Korean peninsula and discuss the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina.
The communists managed to establish their power in the north and politically approached the People’s Republic of China. Additionally the Soviet Union agreed to supporting the north financially.
The USA occupied the South and fostered the anti communistic regime under Diem in SaigonNgo Dinh Diemwas the first president of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1963 even though it was rather unpopular within the population. When Diem was killed in a military coup led by the communists in 1963, South Vietnam was reigned by a military dictatorship1.
Course of the war
When American battle ships were attacked by torpedo boats from North Vietnam in the so called Tonkin- incidentThe Tonkin-incident is the name given to two separate confrontations involving North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. In 2005 the NSA published that there were no North Vietnamese Naval vessels present during the incident in 1964 the American president JohnsonLyndon B. Johnson was the American president from 1963 to 1969 announced America’s official engagement in the Vietnam War.
Thereafter the US troops destroyed strategically important areas and the North Vietnamese infrastructure. While the American government remained open for negotiations in 1965 the North Vietnamese adhered to war. Especially the VietcongVietcong was a political organization and army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War rebels proofed to be an immense challenge for the USA. In 1968 American occupying forces were surprised with a counter attack of the North Vietnamese troops, thereafter the USA had to fight against an enhanced offensive of the Vietcong. It is quite remarkable that the USA did not manage to defeat the radical partisans even though it was militarily and financially superior.
In the consequent course of the war many tyrannical massacres in small villages inhabited by innocent civilians took place, which were regarded as war crimes internationally as well as within the American population.
The USA eventually abandoned the airstrikes against North Vietnam in 1969. The continuing ground warfare however did not cease until the armistice agreement of Paris in 19732.
The retreat of the American troops caused a plummet in the international standing of the USA. Vigorous protest movements illustrated how controversially the war was contemplated within American society.
As they considered the involvement of US troops as colonial imperialism, detested by the communists the North Vietnamese partisans put up strong resistance. Simultaneously the South Vietnamese government rejected the American intervention and thus resorted to similar terroristic methods as used in the North. After the withdrawal of the American troops in 1975 the socialist Republic of Vietnam was founded.
This illustrated the lack of effect the American warfare had had on the country as it was henceforth governed similar to the Soviet model.