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The Vietnam War , also known as the Second Indochina War, and known in Vietnam as Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies and the South Vietnamese army was supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies and the war is therefore considered a Cold War-era proxy war.

Vietnam War
Part of the Indochina Wars and the Cold War
Clockwise, from top left: U.S. combat operations in Ia Drang, ARVN Rangers defending Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive, two A-4C Skyhawks after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, ARVN recapture Quảng Trị during the 1972 Easter Offensive, civilians fleeing the 1972 Battle of Quảng Trị, burial of 300 victims of the 1968 Huế Massacre.
Date 1 November 1955 – 30 April 1975 (1975-04-30)
(19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day)
Location South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos

North Vietnamese victory

Reunification of North and South Vietnam into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

 South Vietnam
United States United States
 South Korea
 New Zealand
 Khmer Republic
 Kingdom of Laos
Philippines Philippines

Military support:
 Republic of China

 North Vietnam
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam Viet Cong
Cambodia Khmer Rouge
Laos Pathet Lao
China People's Republic of China
 North Korea

Military support:
 Soviet Union

Commanders and leaders
South Vietnam Ngô Đình Diệm †
South Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Thiệu
South Vietnam Nguyễn Cao Kỳ
South Vietnam Cao Văn Viên
South Vietnam Ngô Quang Trưởng
United States John F. Kennedy
United States Lyndon B. Johnson
United States Richard Nixon
United States Robert McNamara
United States William Westmoreland
United States Creighton Abrams
United States Frederick C. Weyand
South Korea Park Chung-hee
Thailand Thanom Kittikachorn
Australia Robert Menzies
Australia Harold Holt
Australia John McEwen
Australia John Gorton
Australia William McMahon
Philippines Ferdinand Marcos
New Zealand Keith Holyoake
New Zealand Jack Marshall
New Zealand Norman Kirk
and others
North Vietnam Ho Chi Minh
North Vietnam Lê Duẩn
North Vietnam Võ Nguyên Giáp
North Vietnam Văn Tiến Dũng
North Vietnam Lê Trọng Tấn
North Vietnam Phạm Văn Đồng
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam Hoàng Văn Thái
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam Trần Văn Trà
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Linh
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam Nguyễn Hữu Thọ
and others

≈1,830,000 (1968)
 South Vietnam: 850,000 (1968)
1,500,000 (1974–75)

 United States: 536,100 (1968)
 South Korea: 50,003
 Thailand: 11,586
 Australia: 7,672
 Philippines: 2,061
 New Zealand: 552


 North Vietnam: 287,465 (January 1968)
Viet Cong: 108,000–114,000 (estimated in 1964)
 China: 170,000 (1965–69)
 North Korea: 200
Casualties and losses

 South Vietnam
195,000–430,000 civilian dead
220,357–313,000 military dead
1,170,000 wounded
 United States
58,315 dead; 303,644 wounded
 South Korea
5,099 dead; 10,962 wounded; 4 missing
500 dead; 3,129 wounded

351 dead; 1,358 wounded
 New Zealand
37 dead; 187 wounded
9 dead; 64 wounded

Total dead: 479,668–807,311
Total wounded: ≈1,490,000+

North Vietnam & Viet Cong
65,000 civilian dead
444,000–1,100,000 military dead or missing
600,000+ wounded
≈1,100 dead and 4,200 wounded
 North Korea
14 dead

Total dead: 510,114–1,166,114
Total wounded: ≈604,200

Vietnamese civilian dead: 627,000–2,000,000
Vietnamese total dead : 966,000–3,812,000
Cambodian Civil War dead: 240,000–300,000*
Laotian Civil War dead: 20,000–62,000*
Non-Indochinese military dead (sum): 65,425
Total dead (sum): 1,291,425–4,211,451
For more information see Vietnam War casualties and Aircraft losses of the Vietnam War

* indicates approximations, see Casualties below