Vietnam War

Following World War II, Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese nationalist leader, led a war against France for the independence of his country and all of French Indochina.  The French lost in 1954.

Following the French defeat, Indochina was broken up into Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Vietnam was divided in half, with Ho Chi Minh in control of the North with a communist government supported by the Soviet Union and a democratic government supported by the United States in the South.  After a civil war broke out between North and South Vietnam, the United States began to take an active role in supporting the South.  

The Vietnam War followed the basic Cold War ideology of the United States known as the "Domino Theory." It was believed that if Vietnam became communist, then all of South East Asia could fall to communist regimes.

The Vietnam War eventually cost over 58,000 American lives, with over 3 million Vietnamese deaths.  In 1975, North Vietnam won the war, uniting all of the country under a communist regime.

This is another example of a "proxy war." Although the United States was not directly fighting the Soviet Union, they were fighting a North Vietnamese army that was supported by the Soviet Union.

French soldiers fighting in Indochina, 1952
(Public Domain)

American bomber in Vietnam
(Public Domain)

American tank convoy in Vietnam