Vietnam War Facts

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

1954-75 (U.S. involved, 1961-75)

  • U.S. troops engaged: 8,744,000
  • American battle deaths: 47,410
  • The U.S. helped non-Communist South Vietnam fight invasion by Communist North Vietnam.
  • North Vietnamese torpedo boats reportedly attack U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 2, 1964. President Johnson ordered retaliatory air strikes and Congress approved the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which gave permission for U.S. retaliation.
  • By the end of 1965 the number of American troops in Southeast Asia rose to more than 184,000 and by 1968 stood at more than 525,000.
  • President Nixon begins troop withdrawals from the region in May 1969, as massive demonstrations and protests against the war went on in the United States.
  • The U.S. began a military assault on Cambodia in 1970 and later heavily bombed North Vietnam in order to bring them to discussions about ending the conflict.
  • A cease-fire was signed in Paris, 1973. War broke out again in the region, but North Vietnam's victory in 1975 ended the longest war in which the U.S. had ever been involved.

See Vietnam War for more details about the dates and events of this war.

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