Vietnam War, military struggle fought in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975. It began as a determined attempt by Communist guerrillas (the so-called Vietcong) in the South, backed by Communist North Vietnam, to overthrow the government of South Vietnam. The struggle widened into a war between South Vietnam and North Vietnam and ultimately into a limited international conflict. The United States and some 40 other countries supported South Vietnam by supplying troops and munitions, and the USSR and the
showed first 75 words of 722 total
showed last 75 words of 722 total
deposed, in a referendum on October 23, 1955, and South Vietnam was made a republic, with Ngo Dinh Diem as president. One of Diem's first acts was to announce that his government would refuse to hold reunification elections, on the grounds that the people of North Vietnam would not be free to express their will and because of the probability of falsified votes (although Diem and other South Vietnamese officials were also accused of fraudulent election practices).