Vietnam, a nation that had been under French colonial rule since the 19th century. During World War II, Japanese forces invaded Vietnam. To fight off both Japanese occupiers and the French colonial administration, political leader Ho Chi Minh.
In 1945 the defeat in World War II, Japan withdrew its forces from Vietnam, leaving the French-educated Emperor Bao Dai in control. This was seen as an opportunity to gain control; Ho’s Viet Minh forces immediately rose up to take over the northern city of Hanoi and declaring a Democratic Republic of Vietnam with Ho as president.
The Vietnam war and the U.S involvement in the war began in 1954. After Ho’s communist forces took power in North Vietnam , conflict between northern and southern armies continued until the battle at Dien Bien Phu in May 1954 ended in victory for the northern forces.
The subsequent treaty was signed in July 1954 , it splits Vietnam along the latitude known ss 17th parallel, with Ho in control in the North and Bao in the south.
In August of 1964, after North Vietnam torpedo boats attacked two U.S destroyers in Gulf of Tonkin, Johnson ordered the bombing of military targets in North Vietnam. Congress eventually passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This gave Johnson broad war-making powers, and U.S planes began regular bombing raids, which was known as Operation Rolling Thunder, the following year.
By November 1967, the number of American troops in Vietnam was approaching 500,000, and U.S. casualties had reached 15,058 killed and 109,527 wounded. As the war stretched on, some soldiers came to mistrust the government’s reasons for keeping them there.
The later years of the war saw increased physical and psychological deterioration among American soldiers including drug use, PTSD, and attacks by soldiers against officers and noncommissioned officers.
Between July 1966 and December 1973, more than 503,000 U.S. military personnel deserted, and a robust anti-war movement among American forces spawned violent protests, killings and mass incarcerations of personnel stationed in Vietnam as well as within the United States.
Americans on the home front turned against the war, horrific images of the war on their televisions, In October 1967, some 35,000 demonstrators staged a massive Vietnam War protest outside the Pentagon.