Start of the Vietnam War


The Vietnam War started in 1954 when Ho CHi Minh and the Viet Minh party rose as a communist power in North Vietnam. Their goal was to unite Vietnam as one communist country, because before, Vietnam was split into two sides, the North and South with communist power in the North and democratic power in the south. This war was part of the cold war as the Soviet Union sided with North Vietnam and the USA sided with South Vietnam. The US was trying to prevent the "domino theory," which was that if one country fell to communism, others would follow.

By 1962, the US had 9,000 military advisers in Vietnam. In 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin, a US destroyer was attacked by a North Vietnamese fast attack craft, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. This gave the U.S. president Lyndon Johnson the ability to increase U.S. military presence in the war. On March 2, 1965, US planes started to bomb targets in Vietnam and the first US troops arrived. That summer, near Chu Lai and in the Ia Drang Valley, US troops were victorious over Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces under General Westmoreland.