The 20-year war in Vietnam claimed about 2 million lives but the fight for independence was worth it in the end. But why did the Vietnam war start? In this post, we will look at some of the factors which caused a big country to be divided into two.
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Why Did The Vietnam War Start?
Vietnam had been under French Colonial rule since the 19th century. So what happened was that, during World War II, Japanese forces invaded the country.
Seeking independence was a priority so they invited China and the Soviet Union to help defeat the French Colonial administration and the Japanese forces. So, they formed the Viet Minh or the League for the independence of Vietnam. After the end of World War 2, Japan withdrew from Vietnam leaving behind the French and its emperor Bao Dai.
This was a good opportunity so the Viet Minh forces easily captured the Northern part of the country and declared the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and a president known as Ho. When this happened, the French also prepared to retake the lost territory. In the end, the French recaptured the North but the North again fought and defeated the French taking over the whole country.
With the Cold War at its peak, the United States joined the conflict giving its support to the Southern side. Despite several deaths, the North fought back.
Years of war led to the death of over 3 million people. In January 1973, the United States and North Vietnam concluded a final peace agreement, ending open hostilities between the two nations. The war between North and South Vietnam continued, however, until April 30, 1975, when DRV forces captured Saigon, renaming it Ho Chi Minh City (Ho himself died in 1969).