Vietnam War (1955 – 1975)

Occurring during the administrations of five United States presidents and over the course of 19 years, the Vietnam War was a complicated conflict that involved many opposing ideologies. North Vietnam was lent support by their communist allies, including the Soviet Union and China, while South Vietnam received aid from the United States, South Korea and Australia, among others. Adding to the warring opponents were the Viet Cong (a.k.a. the National Liberation Front), who – although South Vietnamese – sided with the North because of their link to communism and a shared desire to see Vietnam unified. Fighting spread to Cambodia and Laos, which eventually were placed under communist control. The long-fought and controversial war resulted in the reunification of North and South Vietnam into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Estimates of causalities and losses on all sides vary greatly; and many of those who fought in the conflict remain missing in action.