The Vietnam War was a military struggle starting in 1959 and ending in 1975. It began as an attempt by the Vietcong (Communist Guerrillas) to overthrow the Southern Vietnam Government. This research paper will discuss the Vietnam War, US involvement in this war, and significant battles. Following the surrender of Japan to the Allies in August 1945, Vietminh guerrillas seized the capital city of Hanoi and forced the abdication of Emperor Bao Dai. On September 2 they declared Vietnam to be independent and announced the creation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, commonly called North Vietnam, with Ho Chi Minh as president. France officially recognized the new state, but the subsequent inability of the Vietminh and France to reach satisfactory political and economic agreements led to armed conflict beginning in December 1946. "Northern Vietnam was determined to gain it's freedom" (Davis 12). With French backing Bao Dai set up the state of Vietnam, commonly called South Vietnam, on July 1, 1949, and established a new capital at Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). "Where as the Southern Vietnam government seemed content to be a sort of a colony" (Davis 12). The following year, the U.S. officially recognized the Saigon government, and to assist it. President Harry S. Truman dispatched a military assistance advisory group to train South Vietnam in the use of U.S. weapons. In April 1961, a treaty of amity and economic relations was signed with South Vietnam, and in December, President John F. Kennedy pledged to help South Vietnam maintain its independence. Subsequently, U.S. economic and military assistance to the Diem government increased significantly. In December 1961, the first U.S. troops, consisting of 400 uniformed army personnel, arrived in Saigon in order to operate two helicopter companies; the U.S. proclaimed, however, that the troops were not combat units as such. A year later, U.S. military strength in Vietnam stood at 11,200....
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