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50 Insane Facts About Vietnam War You Didn’t Know

50 Insane Facts About Vietnam War You Didn’t Know


East vs West, Democracy vs Communism, USA
vs the Soviet Union- unfortunately for the residents of Vietnam they would become the
casualties of a struggle far greater than themselves as two superpowers jockeyed for
global domination, with their nation as one of countless proxy battlefields. How much do you really know about the Vietnam
War though? Hello and welcome to another episode of The
Infographics Show- today we’re taking a look at 50 incredible facts about the Vietnam War. 50. In the region, the Vietnam War was known as
the Second Indochina War, and only one in a series of conflicts between Indochinese
Communists and the US, France, China, and others. 49. The North Vietnamese Army was supported financially
and with war materials by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies, while the
South Vietnamese Army was supported by the USA, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia,
Thailand, and other anti-communist allies. 48. The war lasted 19 years and also caused the
Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, and despite the US’s best efforts would
result in all 3 countries becoming communist states in 1975. 47. Called Viet Cong by english language sources,
these guerilla fighters were actually formally known as the National Front for the Liberation
of South Vietnam. 46. US participation in Vietnam formally began
with support for a French effort to reconquer its former colony in Vietnam, after the nation
declared independence shortly after World War II. 45. When the Japanese invaded during World War
II, the Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh, resisted the invaders and were supported by the US,
the Soviet Union, and China. After Japan’s surrender, Ho Chi Minh initiated
an insurgency against French rule. 44. In January 1950 China and the Soviet Union
recognized the Viet Minh’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam, based in Hanoi, as the legitimate
government of Vietnam, while the US and Great Britain recognized the French-backed State
of Vietnam based in Saigon. The stage for war between north and south
was set. 43. Seeing it as an expansion of communism at
the direction of the Soviet Union, the United States feared a domino effect after the Korean
War that would see nations around the world fall to communism. 42. The French military effort in Vietnam went
very poorly, and by 1954 the US had spent $1 billion in support of the French, shouldering
80% of the cost of the war. 41. Facing mounting defeats, the French requested
the US use three tactical nuclear weapons against North Vietnamese forces, although
there is no indication the US took the proposal seriously. 40. US President Dwight D. Eisenhower was reluctant
of getting involved in yet another land war in Asia, and made any American participation
in the conflict contingent on British support- but the British remained opposed. 39. On May 7th, 1954 the French garrison at Dien
Bien Phu surrendered, and France negotiated a ceasefire agreement with the Viet Minh,
granting independence to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. 38. At the 1954 Geneva peace conference, Vietnam
was partitioned temporarily at the 17th parallel. Ho Chi Minh wanted to continue his military
push into the south, but the Chinese convinced him he could win control by electoral means
instead. 37. Around 1 million northerners- mostly minority
Catholics- fled south during the temporary peace. The CIA enacted a psychological warfare campaign
which exaggerated anti-Catholic sentiment among the Viet Minh and even planted false
rumors that the US was going to drop atomic bombs on Hanoi. 36. The US also funded a $93 million relocation
program to ferry refugees to the south. The end result was a South Vietnam full of
anti-communist Vietnamese. 35. While 1 million fled communism in the north,
only about 52,000 moved from the south to the north. 34. Soon an insurgency in the south broke out,
threatening to tear South Vietnam apart. President John F. Kennedy’s advisors suggested
that US special forces troops be sent to South Vietnam disguised as flood relief workers. 33. The South Vietnamese military was largely
ineffective due to massive corruption, low morale and little training. At the battle of Ap Bac on January 2nd, 1963,
350 Viet Cong guerillas defeated 1,500 South Vietnamese forces. 32. Believing the current regime led by Ngô Đình
Diệm to be ineffective and making the South’s civil war worst by repressing Buddhist minorities,
the US backed a coup attempt by senior South Vietnamese military leaders. Though the coup was successful, South Vietnam
fell into disarray as one military government after another was enacted and then toppled. 31. On August 2nd, 1964, the American destroyer
USS Maddox was on an intelligence mission inside the Gulf of Tonkin when it fired on
several torpedo boats its captain claimed had been stalking it. Two days later a second attack was reported
against the USS Turner Joy and the Maddox again in the same area. 30. The second attack against the USS Maddox and
the Turner Joy prompted congress to approve the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which informally
began the US’s war against North Vietnam. 29. In 2005 a declassified NSA publication revealed
that there had never been a second attack on August 4th, and its likely that the US
fabricated the entire event to have a reason to declare war against a North Vietnam that
was arming and training the guerillas fighting in the South Vietnamese civil war. 28. Between March 1965 and November 1968, Operation
Rolling Thunder dropped a million tons of missiles, rockets and bombs on North Vietnam,
with the goal of forcing the North to cease its support for guerillas in the south. Ho Chi Minh, who saw the opportunity to bring
the entire country under his rule, refused. 27. The use of the Ho Chi Minh trail through Laos
by North Vietnamese forces to avoid US bombs sparked a civil war in Laos, with Laotian
government forces backed by the US fighting against the Pathet Lao communist guerillas
and their North Vietnamese allies. 26. Trying to deny the use of the Ho Chi Minh
trail to North Vietnam, and to prevent the collapse of the Laotian government, the US
dropped 2 million tons of bombs on Laos- almost equal to the 2.1 million tons dropped by the
US during the entire second world war. 25. Relative to its population, Laos is the most
heavily bombed country in the world. 24. Between 1961 and 1964 the Viet Cong grew from
around 5,000 to 100,000, the North Vietnamese army went from 850,000 to nearly 1 million,
but US forces only grew from 2,000 to 16,500. 23. The American ground war began on the 8th of
March, 1965, with the deployment of 3,500 US Marines to South Vietnam, increasing to
200,000 by December. 22. US troops were initially dispatched on a defensive
mission, but the US military had for decades been trained to act as an offensive force
and observers believe that US commanders were institutionally and psychologically unsuited
to a defensive mission. 21. In 1965 US General William Westmoreland engineered,
and pushed for, a plan to shift the US from its defensive operations to a full-fledged
offensive against the Vietcong and its North Vietnamese supporters. He predicted victory by 1967 and the plan
was approved by President Johnson. 20. Seeking international aid, the US’s South
East Asia allies to include Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and the Philippines all
agreed to send military troops. Most NATO nations however did not. 19. The US’s first major battle against the North
Vietnamese army came in November of 1965 during the Battle of Ia Drang. It would be the first large scale helicopter
assault in history. 18. The battle involved two separate engagements
at two helicopter landing zones, LZ X-Ray and LZ Albany. US forces totaled at around 1,000 and North
Vietnamese were nearly three times as many at 2,500. 17. The battle at LZ X-ray saw far outnumbered
US troops still achieve a 10:1 kill ratio thanks to intense fire support, and resulted
in an overwhelming American victory. 16. The battle at LZ Albany however saw US forces
ambushed at close quarters, and thus denied their fire support. The fighting took place without any air or
artillery support from either side and resulted in a US defeat with US forces suffering an
over 50% casualty rate. 15. The US suffered between 499 and 1,700 casualties
and North Vietnam suffered between 1070 and 1,753 casualties. Because of the two separate engagements, both
sides claimed victory. 14. The battle of the Ia Drang valley would later
become the Mel Gibson led film, We Were Soldiers Once. 13. Throughout the war the Vietcong and NVA forces
would initiate 90% of large firefights, with 80% of them being clear and well-planned operations. Despite overwhelming US force and firepower,
the NVA and Vietcong retained strategic initiative throughout the war. 12. Trying to avoid US air power, the NVA and
Viet Cong both dug hundreds of miles of underground tunnels, which had to be cleared by combat
engineers nicknamed ‘tunnel rats’. 11. Tunnel rats were made up of volunteer soldiers
from the Australian, New Zealand, and US armies, and their motto Non Gratus Anus Rodentum translates
from Latin to english as “not worth a rat’s ass”. 10. Viet Cong tunnel complexes were so massive
they included hospitals, training areas, storage facilities, headquarters, and barracks. 9. Tunnel rats often had to clear tunnels of
enemy soldiers armed only with a flashlight, bayonet, and a pistol. 8. The intense muzzle blast of the standard-issue
.45 caliber pistol would leave tunnel rats temporarily deaf when fired in a tunnel, so
tunnel rats took to using their own personal weapons ranging from .25 caliber automatic
rifles to sawed-off shotguns- with the most in-demand weapon being a .22 automatic pistol
made in World War II! 7. Tunnels were dangerous environments and were
often poorly constructed, leading to frequent cave-ins for tunnel rats. These brave soldiers also had to deal with
bobby traps such as hand grenades, anti-personnel mines, punji sticks, and even venomous snakes
left behind as living booby traps. Tunnels were also constructed with sharp U-bends
that could be flooded easily to drown tunnel rats, and poison gases were sometimes used
to asphyxiate them. 6. Planned US attacks against Viet Cong and NVA
forces made up only 14.3% of all engagements, a shocking statistic that proves how poorly
US commanders performed during the war and how the Viet Cong and NVA routinely outmaneuvered
them. 5. 9,087,000 total military personnel served
on active duty in the US armed forces during the Vietnam era, with 2,709,918 serving in
Vietnam. 4. 240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during
the Vietnam War, the highest honor a US serviceman can achieve and given only in extreme cases
of heroism, gallantry, and self-sacrifice. 3. The first US soldier to die in Vietnam was
James Davis in 1961, serving with the 509thRadio Research Station, a US cryptologist leading
a team of South Vietnamese soldiers which were ambushed. 2. Four US soldiers killed in Vietnam were only
16 years old, the oldest US soldier killed in Vietnam was 62 years old. 1. 58,141 US soldiers were killed in Vietnam,
and 75,000 were severely disabled. Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21. The war in Vietnam was a disastrous affair
for the United States, and marked a rare low point in the performance of its armed forces. Conscription and a war waged with poorly defined
objectives, along with great national resistance against the conflict led to a US military
crippled for years after Vietnam by incompetent leadership and poor morale, and despite its
best efforts the war would see the North triumph and communism reign- yet the dreaded domino
effect theory would never come to be. In the end, the war is mostly remembered as
a pointless, costly affair. What other facts about Vietnam do you know
of? Should the US ever have intervened in the
South’s civil war? And be sure to check out our other video 50
Facts About Cold War You Didn’t Know! Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!


Reader Comments

  1. The "Domino effect" didn't happen….nobody knew that back then, heck it might have happened if the Vietnam War didn't happen, hindsight is great, eh?

  2. Listen only first 5 “fact” then have to stop. The #44 is completely wrong. In 1950, the USSR is the first government recognized Vietnam is a independent country. The USA denied and supported France to recolonize Vietnam. There is only one Vietnamese government at that time. It’s name is long, the shortcuts is Viet Minh. After France was defeated by Viet Minh force in 1954, the Geneva treaty settles two governments in Vietnam, one in the North and one in the sound. USSR China and other Soviet allies recognized northern government. USA France and other allies recognized southern government . Then the war began. Americans called Vietnam war. Vietnamese called America war. This war is only war that the USA involved but is not a winner.

  3. The history of the entire Indo-China/SE Asian area, from the end of WW I thru 1991, is very interesting. The way the French treated the Laotion, Cambodian, and Vietnamese peoples, is absolutely disgusting. Truly, some of the most savage and inhumane type of garbage, happened at the hands of the French… Then American interference really got going around 1956, starting with the suspension of that key vote to rejoin the two countries back into one. The north had a larger population, and efforts to "civilize" the rural Villages and Villagers, were going about as well as they had gone back when France "controlled" the region. These two factors, combined with very inept and easily compromised South Vietnamese leaders, indicated the very obvious outcome for the upcoming vote. Vietnam was to be a communist state, and would be an autonomous sovereignty… all the Vietnam War accomplished was a roughly 20 year delay of the inevitable.

  4. Ground Troops should NEVER have been used in Vietnam in other than in the defense of Army and Air Force Bases. Air Power, Using Heavy bombers, would have won the war with very few, if any, casualties. We fought the war using WWII and Korean War assumptions.

  5. You forgot to add that the VC forces were all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive…AND…the North Vietnamese forces, invading South Vietnam in 1972, were also destroyed. The end of the American participation in the war ended when B-52's attacked and destroyed much of Hanoi. The Vietnam War was lost 2 years after American forces left Vietnam due to Congress's sellout of the South Vietnamese Army during the 1975 North Vietnamese Invasion.

  6. LZ X-ray was a US Defeat, as the US withdrew, leaving the NVA in control of the mountains and NVA losses were only 3 times the US losses. NVA troops from LZ X-ray would then help destroy 2nd Battalion at LZ Albany. Don't rely solely on US sources, cross check them with NVA records.

  7. I was 15 when America got out. To us, it seemed like the eternal war whose beginning was forgotten and whose end was nowhere in sight. Everyone was afraid they'd be drafted and sent to die. It made everyone wonder if we had any future in this life. Victory seemed out of the question – so what was the purpose? Nobody knew. Some 82,000 Americans died there, and now I wear sneakers made in communist Vietnam. 82,000 Americans are gone, and it made absolutely no difference! Nothing could be more disgusting!!!

  8. how about 1400 Filipino Soldiers vs 40000 Chinese Soldiers in Korean War? the number sounds interesting 40/1… would like to watch your documentation about it… please….

  9. Some of this info is questionable I doubt the Us Military was "crippled" and the military that was there was more competent than the video is portraying.

  10. Next episode, The Hanland will occupied the Viet-land with Russo assistance, North for the Han & South for the Russo. Then the Viets will turn to Uncle Sam for assistance? Meanwhile, In the occupation process, millions more will be killed and maimed on both sides. Centuries old Karma repeats for ruthless war on Champa Kingdom & people.

  11. The Vietnamese tacticians read military history, especially that of the American Revolutionary War, the Mexican American War, the American Civil War.
    We, alas, did not read their history, such as that the Vietnamese twice defeated the forces of the Mongol Khans.

    The artillery pieces hauled to the heights overlooking Dien Bien Phu were American Pack Artillery supplied to the Nationalist Chinese Government in World War ll, acquired by the Chinese Communists, lent to the Vietnamese, with the spares and the munitions and the Chinese instructors trained by the Americans. The Vietnamese used the same methods as had Robert E Lee in moving artillery to the "unscaleable" heights at the battle of Cerro Gordon of the Mexican American War.

    We underestimated our enemy. Meanwhile our Military Industrial Complex learned that profitability is not tethered to victory.
    And so here we are.

    The soil and DNA of the people's of IndoChina Poisoned, the DNA of Vietnam veterans and progeny poisoned, a capitalist economy of Vietnam controlled by the Vietnamese Communists, the United States de-industrialized, the basic trust of the American Government by the citizen still shattered.

    But Robert (I was always secretly against the war) McNamara did not get drowned in Boston Harbor.

  12. HEAR IS A FACT RUSSIA FIRST IN PROVIDING MEDICAL FOOD HOUSING LARGEST FINANCIAL FORE EVERY DAY EXPENDITURES UNITED STATES NOT EVEN IN TOP 5 DUE TO RELIGOUS REASONS OF MEDICAL AND FDA OF US RELIGIONS THAT CONTROLL IN ACTUALL NORTHERN UNITED STATES

  13. When you travel to Vietnam, don’t worry about the trees speaking Vietnamese
    It’s just the kids that’s climbing the tree, they are friendly and completely harmless!
    Tree: holds up a gun to my head
    Me: whisper I forgot I was from South Vietnam

  14. In 0:45 Why is Finland made to be part of Soviet Union here? We have never been part of Soviet Union.. Neither did we have anything to do with this war.. 😏

  15. Welcome to the rice field🌾 🌾 🌾 🌾 motha fcka 😂 😂 . Well we trying and successful trade by blood and many resources . And the damaged still available here (toxic gas victims) clear to said : chất độc màu da cam 🍊 ) but hey let it go we just wanna live happy have Full stomach . warm clothes and now we like 4rd generations now not anger or hating much 😀

  16. Fact 51: more than 1/2 of current Vietnamese were born after the war, have no idea what it was like, and are happily moving forward with their lives.

  17. I can't tell what he's saying at 8:17. I'm hearing "saw far outnumbered" but that's not making any sense to me

  18. Fact #51- The United States should have never been there to begin with. JFK style!👍🏻🇺🇲🇺🇲

  19. Everyone: How could you killed millions of innocent civillians
    Vietnam war veteran: Easy ! You just need to round em up in one place and let the flamethrower do the rest

  20. Các bạn bôi bác lịch sử quá, việt nam chiến tranh với mỹ, chế độ việt nam công hòa xưa do mỹ lập ra để chia cắt việt nam, và người dân việt nam đã chiến thắng để thống nhất đất nước. Lịch sử các bạn nên tôn trọng . Xin cảm ơn

  21. For anyone think US army don't lost.

    You spend billions of billions of dollars, consuming a lot of weapons more than the weapons use in the world war 1 and world war 2 combine, but you can't do anything remarkable but indignation disappointed and non-human .If you're fired because your boss is impatient with you. That's your fault. If you're constantly losing money and being withdrawn by investors, you've failed. Vietnam winning the US comprehensively in terms of media, military, economic, political and humanitarian.

    -Hey, give us an extra $ 100 billion and more weapons we will win against those farmers. Trust me.

    -This is the 12th time I've heard you say that. Shut up, admit defeat and go home now

  22. It's foolish to start studying Vietnamese history since 1954. History is a series of events that causes and results. To understand why the United States should never be in Vietnam and understand why the United States lost the war. Let's start at least since 1900.not 1954

  23. George W. Bush was fighting the Vietnam war in Texas National Guard!!!… Due to his high lQ..😷💀🔫🇺🇸

  24. Despite how its displayed as horrible and how every veteran hated it,my grandfather loves it.
    He talks frequently about his guns,how he killed the vietnam,all that.
    He loved it,and it genuinely surprised me.

  25. 11:50 yet people still call it a “civil” war. I guess the Americans just only had a trip in Vietnam and died“accidentally”…

  26. it is not our civil war, it is a fight to evict Americans from Vietnam, we just want to live in peace and peace, how many bombs and bullets our people have received enough

  27. Fact #51: About 3-5 millions Vietnamese died, our country was devastated, millions still suffering for the country is now ruled by a extremely corrupted communist dictatorship who cares for nothing but money, for most of us are still living in poverty, for no freedom of speech and no human rights.
    Fact #52: in VN the communist government call this "War of resistance against American invader".

  28. The Vietnam War was based on lies and all those soldiers died in vain! Horrible truth but we must realize this because if we don’t we will repeat history and we have with Afghanistan. Endless capitalist wars based on lies must stop!

  29. South vietnam was supported by S.korea. seriously?? S.korea have been PET-ing by USA all the time.
    It's an order not support.

  30. The world is probably laughing at Vietnam people for letting super powers used their place and human casualties to fight "cold war" that they had nothing to do with it. 🙁

  31. Haven't watched the vid but I'm thinking "ah yes, what do the American ego strokers have to say about a war the USA so clearly lost"

  32. the US being typically American: poking their nose into some other country's business. On a continent that's opposite to them.

  33. **1979**
    China: Ha ha, Vietnam loser, we are stronger than you, we will invade you.
    Bonus: we help you so it’s time you help us on this.(*whisper to vietnam*)
    Vietnam: Hello Russia…
    China: Okay, goodbye motherf*cker and never see you again, bye.
    Btw, this event is literaly part of the Vietnam War.

  34. I believe Vietnam is going to change from Communist to Capitalist because everyone wants freedom and Capitalism is better

  35. Boring. Most of these facts aren't that insane or interesting as I was expecting. These facts know everyone who is interested in VW. Also everyone, who has internet, can find almost all of these on wikipedia.

  36. Over whelming US force?? The Vietcong had full support of China and the Soviet’s. They had tons of weapons of all kinds and training. They also were in there back yard and well able to use the terrain to their advantage. Truth the war was yet another human tragedy. The US actually won almost every ground battle and over came enemy forces above or below ground.
    In the end did the USA truly loose? Well look at Vietnam today! And the position and strength of the US dollar throughout Asia. Depending on how you look at it. The USA did not loose the war. It was an unconventional war with an unconventional victory. The USA pulled out militarily as the true objectives were complete. Those objectives are classified and the means to get them are as well. Just look at Laos and what happened there. Entire people groups were erased. In the end the world went in the direction of the designers. The Vietnam war formed that region of the world to what it is today. Smart people do not call the results a lose but a complete victory..

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