Interesting Facts on the Vietnam War

Updated on April 6, 2018
BigBrains2 profile image

Since completing university, Paul has worked as a bookseller, librarian, and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

Interesting facts on the Vietnam War: Burning building.  Over the ten year war, Operation Ranch Hand sprayed around eleven million gallons of Agent Orange on the South Vietnamese landscape.
Interesting facts on the Vietnam War: Burning building. Over the ten year war, Operation Ranch Hand sprayed around eleven million gallons of Agent Orange on the South Vietnamese landscape. | Source

Over the decades since the conflict ended, the Vietnam War has become an integral part of American cultural history, featuring in numerous movies, books, songs, and television documentaries.

Although, the war was a resounding military defeat for the USA and caused a great deal of political turmoil and personal trauma in the US, some historians argue that it succeeded in helping to prevent the spread of communism in the Indochina Peninsula.

Here are some interesting facts on the Vietnam War:

  • The Vietnam War began on 1 November 1955 and ended with the fall of Saigon 30 April 1975, lasting 19 and 1/2 years.
  • From the end of the 19th Century up until the 1940s Vietnam had been a French colony and formed part of French Indochina.

  • Most of the conflict took place in Vietnam, but later the fighting spilled over into neighboring Laos and Cambodia in the early 1970s.

American Casualties

The U.S. military suffered more than

47,000 personnel killed in action

11,000 noncombat deaths

More than 150,000 wounded

10,000 missing

  • The conflict took place during the Cold War, the global struggle for supremacy between two superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union. It was essentially a war between communist and anti-communist forces. The USA was concerned that if the whole of Vietnam became communist, it would spread to other countries in the region - this idea was known as the “Domino Effect” - and the war for the US was about preventing this from happening.

Young American soldier in the Vietnam War.  There is a myth that the average age of US soldiers killed in Vietnam was 19 years of age, but the true figure is actually 22.  Still young, but not teenage.
Young American soldier in the Vietnam War. There is a myth that the average age of US soldiers killed in Vietnam was 19 years of age, but the true figure is actually 22. Still young, but not teenage. | Source
  • The Communist North Vietnamese forces were supported by the Viet Cong in South Vietnam, the People's Republic of China, and the Soviet Union. The anti-Communist forces consisted of Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), the USA, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Laos.

Quotes About The Vietnam War

"No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now." Richard M. Nixon

"The Vietnam War was like a wound that would never heal." Ed Sanders

"I thought the Vietnam war was an utter, unmitigated disaster, so it was very hard for me to say anything good about it." George McGovern

  • The leader of the North Vietnamese was called Ho Chi Minh. He led the independence movement from 1941 onwards, established Communist rule in 1945, and although he offically stepped down from power in 1965, he remained a figurehead throughout the war.
  • North Vietnam and its allies had around 500,000 fighters. The forces of South Vietnam and its allies peaked at approximately 1,830,000 in 1968.

  • More than 3 million people died in total. The U.S alone suffered 58,220 deaths in action. North Vietnam plus the Viet Cong had 1,100,000 soldiers and up to 2,000,000 civilians killed.
  • The average age of Americans that died was just over 23 years. 11,465 of the personnel who were killed were under the age of 20.

Non-US Casualties

Apart from the USA, many other countries suffered casualties in the war:

South Vietnam had 300,000 soldiers killed, and as many as 3,000,000 civilians.

North Vietnam and Viet Cong suffered 1,100,000 soldiers killed, and 2,000,000 civilian deaths.

More than 200,000 Cambodia civilians died.

Laos experience around 30,000 dead.

South Korea - 5,099 dead.

China suffered 1,446 dead.

Thailand lost 1,351 people.

Australia had 521 dead.

New Zealand suffered 37 deaths.

Soviet Union lost 16 people.

  • 12,000 American helicopters saw action in the conflict.
  • Between 1962 and 1971, the US sprayed a herbicide called Agent Orange over large areas of forest in an attempt to reduce hit and run attacks by pro-communist forces, causing 400,000 people to be killed or injured, and 500,000 children to be born with birth defects.

  • The conflict was also financially costly. Between 1965 and 1975, the US spent $111 billion on the war.
  • President Nixon started reducing troop numbers in 1969, as massive anti-war demonstrations and protests took place in the US, with the public bitterly divided over the conflict.

More Quotes About The Vietnam War

"The Vietnam War required us to emphasize the national interest rather than abstract principles. What President Nixon and I tried to do was unnatural. And that is why we didn't make it." Henry A. Kissinger

"I got my head bashed in at a demonstration against the Vietnam War. Police were losing control because they were up against a world they really didn't understand." Terry Gilliam

  • A cease-fire to end the war was signed in Paris in 1973, but it didn’t hold and hostilities broke out again.
  • North Vietnam's victory in 1975 meant that the war had ended for good.

Richard Nixon with Elvis Presley in 1970.  Nixon played a politically controversial role in the Vietnam War.  Elvis served in the army between 1958 and 1960. He spent most of his time in Germany, and never went to the developing Vietnam conflict.
Richard Nixon with Elvis Presley in 1970. Nixon played a politically controversial role in the Vietnam War. Elvis served in the army between 1958 and 1960. He spent most of his time in Germany, and never went to the developing Vietnam conflict. | Source

Questions & Answers

  • What was the Vietnam war all about?

    There were competing ideas over what the war was about. In some ways, it was a civil war between North and South Vietnam, which had different political systems. The USA and its allies generally perceived the war as a fight to stop the spread of communism and supported the South Vietnamese. The communist North Vietnamese saw it more as a revolutionary war of liberation against colonialism and interference from Western powers.

  • How did the Vietnam War end?

    The beginning of the end was President Nixon declaring in 1969 that the USA would now be following a new program called “Vietnamization.” This involved the South Vietnamese military being built up so that American forces could gradually withdraw. The fighting continued, however, despite the gradual American withdrawal, and in 1972 the North Vietnamese launched a massive invasion of South Vietnam. The Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973, and the remaining U.S. forces were all withdrawn. The fighting between the Vietnamese continued until April 1975 when Saigon fell to the communists.

  • How did the Vietnam War change the world?

    Proponents of the Vietnam War argue that it blunted the expansion of Communism in Asia by showing the seriousness and commitment of the USA. Detractors argue that the war showed the limitations of American military power and effectively emboldened its enemies.

© 2014 Paul Goodman


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Vietnam Never Forgotten 1955-1975

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      this helped me alot with my research project. Thank you!!!

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      Vietnam was a crucial war in American history and to all the people who don't realize it those Men that fought for us over there went through total Chaos for the U.S. Be proud that we have people to do that for us and we don't have to die ourselves through war and in balance of political stand point of the Nations.

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      damn this cray cray

    • profile image

      Ur mom 

      12 months ago

      Y can’t life b eezy?

    • profile image


      13 months ago


    • profile image


      14 months ago

      This website is very useless and has nothing of great importance. I hate it.

    • profile image

      big boy chan 

      15 months ago

      this website was interesting but useless

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      Using some of this for my project, Thanks.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      19 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      Wars will never end, so do not participate. Move instead. Do something constructive.

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      wars will never end and thx for the information

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      thank you this really helped me on my project

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      My uncle was in the car and has no injuries he has six adpoted kids. And he was a police officer after the war.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      It was so fun learning all these facts i wish to know more.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      thx great advice

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      This helped so much on Vietnam assignment.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      How are orangutans related to Vietnam

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Nice that helped me a lot.

    • profile image

      Gabriel Waincroft 

      2 years ago

      This helped

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      this helped on my project thank you

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Nice website :)

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Let people resolve not to kill or harm another person.

      Thou shalt not kill, harm or torture.

      If there is violence, move out of the way.

      Do Not run to trouble.

      Love one another and help them.

      We are all of One Body.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      this website didn't teach me anything you seem like a nice man so I would make your facts short and easy but apart from that it was ok I would rate it a 5 out of 10

    • profile image

      Boomer Music Man 

      3 years ago

      Very interesting facts about the Vietnam war. Superb writing. Kudos.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful layout. Visually the facts were really easy to peruse.

      Great job.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I am in Hanoi now and staying right beside the Hoa Lo prison. I know of Vietnamese families who have lost loved ones. I asked one of them how it felt then, and she just said they had to do what they had to do. The Americans still look for the missing. I just takes to the ones doing this work. They have had not much success recently. It is sad. Thanks for doing this hub. Well done!

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      5 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Very good hub. Korea was the same way, then there is Iraq and Afghanistan. It is better for individuals and the nation to refuse to go to combat overseas. The US needs to learn to stay out of trouble, not run to trouble. Teach your children to walk away from a fight.

    • Hooks and Needles profile image

      Hooks and Needles 

      5 years ago

      One of my cousin's died in that war. He was 19 or 20 at the time. What a shame. Many more young men I knew came home with wounds or mental problems or both. What a shame and what a waste.

    • biblicaliving profile image


      5 years ago from U.S.A.

      I know several Vietnam Veterans. One of them hated the place and volunteered for permanent guard duty. Another Vet (a Marine) loved it and actually signed up for a second tour. Yet two other Vet's that I know have died from medical complications due to agent orange exposure. Sadly enough, the Vietnam conflict's true cost will never be known, nor appreciated.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      5 years ago from Taos, NM

      Congratulations on HOTD! This is a very interesting and informative hub. I remember the war years but the statistics of the war I did not remember. You have done an excellent comprehensive look at this sad time in our history. I just read or heard recently that there are still 1600 soldiers unaccounted for from the war and are still considered MIA's. Amazing. This is still a sore spot in our national history. How sad!

    • profile image

      Janice Horner 

      5 years ago

      This was really interesting. I remember the war well. I reside in the UK. I lived near an American air base, RAF Chicksands in Shefford, Bedfordshire. There was a young couple called Suzanne and Art who many of us come acquainted with. I remember Suzanne, mentioning that Art was going to Vietnam, and I wondered if he ever came back. Many like you say lost their lives, it must have been a horrendous time for families whose loved ones were out there.

      Brilliant hub, voted up, and congratulations on your article being put has hub of the day.

    • mySuccess8 profile image


      5 years ago

      You have picked some of the most interesting facts on one of the top biggest and bloodiest wars in history, the Vietnam War. This is well-supported by a good selection of great videos. Congrats on Hub of the Day!

    • TheFisherMan531 profile image


      5 years ago from Los Angeles County

      Congrats on getting Hub of the day!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      5 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      One interesting fact is that while New Zealand sent troops the government of New Zealand told the US in the early sixties that it was a war they believed the US couldn't win


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)