The Vietnam War was a military campaign launched by North Vietnam against South Vietnam. After World War II Japan withdrew from Vietnam, giving Ho Chi Minh the opportunity to take control. Wiest, Andrew. The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The U.S. never had a strategy to “win” the Vietnam War. Vietnam War - Vietnam War - The fall of South Vietnam: On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. military unit left Vietnam. The truth is that our military won the war, but our politicians lost it. Others argue the United States did not lose the war because all U.S. combat forces had departed South Vietnam by the beginning of 1973, more than two years before the final North Vietnamese victory. In 1965, the United States officially entered the war in response to North Vietnam's attack on a U.S. military ship. By that time the communists and South Vietnamese were already engaged in what journalists labeled the “postwar war.” Both sides alleged, more or less accurately, that the other side was continuously violating the terms of the peace agreements. His forces took over the city of Hanoi and declared it the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The Communists in North Vietnam actually signed a peace treaty, effectively surrendering. In 1975, two years after the last American troops left Vietnam, United States about 2,700,000 men and women from this country fought in the war about 58,000 died. By R. Cort Kirkwood Did the United States win or lose the Vietnam War? Until 1968, most American GIs in Vietnam still rationalized that the war had some good purpose. Triumph Revisited: Historians Battle for the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese civil war began in 1959. Nguyen, Lien-Hang T. Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam. But when they returned to the U.S. after the regular one-year tour of duty, they inclined to turn against the war, in part because they could now think about it without the psychological trauma of admitting they were facing death for no good reason, and in part because by 1968 the antiwar … Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2013. After the end of the Vietnam War, it was widely accepted that the United States had left many POWs behind, but high-ranking members of government said no, despite the evidence. In 1949, France tried to set up the state of Vietnam and chose Saigon as the capital. : 184 The task of the "stay-behinds" was political activism to ensure a victory for Ho Chi Minh in the national elections called for in 1956 in the Geneva Accords. Nearly all of the fighting in the Vietnam War took place in South Vietnam, with some of it in neighboring Cambodia and Laos. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013. 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