The truth is that our military won the war, but our politicians lost it. Vietnam War - Vietnam War - The fall of South Vietnam: On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. military unit left Vietnam. The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. North Vietnam left behind in South Vietnam 8,000 to 10,000 covert civilian and military personnel, most of them members of the communist party. The Vietnam War was a military campaign launched by North Vietnam against South Vietnam. Did the United States win or lose the Vietnam War? Misalliance: Ngo Dinh Diem, the United States, and the Fate of South Vietnam. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013. Nguyen, Lien-Hang T. Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam. His forces took over the city of Hanoi and declared it the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Others argue the United States did not lose the war because all U.S. combat forces had departed South Vietnam by the beginning of 1973, more than two years before the final North Vietnamese victory. By that time the communists and South Vietnamese were already engaged in what journalists labeled the “postwar war.” Both sides alleged, more or less accurately, that the other side was continuously violating the terms of the peace agreements. The Communists in North Vietnam actually signed a peace treaty, effectively surrendering. Until 1968, most American GIs in Vietnam still rationalized that the war had some good purpose. In 1965, the United States officially entered the war in response to North Vietnam's attack on a U.S. military ship. Nearly all of the fighting in the Vietnam War took place in South Vietnam, with some of it in neighboring Cambodia and Laos. Triumph Revisited: Historians Battle for the Vietnam War. We are taught that it was a resounding loss for America, one that proves that intervening in the affairs of other nations is usually misguided. In 1949, France tried to set up the state of Vietnam and chose Saigon as the capital. By R. Cort Kirkwood The Vietnamese civil war began in 1959. But when they returned to the U.S. after the regular one-year tour of duty, they inclined to turn against the war, in part because they could now think about it without the psychological trauma of admitting they were facing death for no good reason, and in part because by 1968 the antiwar … Wiest, Andrew. In 1975, two years after the last American troops left Vietnam, United States about 2,700,000 men and women from this country fought in the war about 58,000 died. 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