The Vietnam War was a fight between North and South Vietnam and lasted from 1955 to 1975. North Vietnam was communist and was supported by other communist countries: Soviet Union (Russia), China, and North Korea. South Vietnam was supported by the United States, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. These were capitalist countries.
The Viet Cong was a South Vietnamese communist force helped by the North. It fought a guerrilla war against the anti-communist forces in the South, hiding and ambushing, using lots of surprises. The People’s Army of Vietnam (also known as the North Vietnamese Army) used a more conventional war, sending large forces into battle.
Vietnam had been a colony of France. After WWII, France tried to take it back. A leader in the South made an agreement with them. This divided the country in half.
The United States supported the anti-communist government in South Vietnam. It began to send military advisers to help train and support the South Vietnamese army. On 7 August 1964, the US president was given the power to run large-scale military operations in Southeast Asia without declaring war. The US sent hundreds of thousands of soldiers and many people died on both sides.
In 1968 the U.S. started to withdraw many soldiers and bring them home. The war was unpopular at home and people protested and wanted it to end. By 1973, 95 percent of the American troops were gone.
A peace treaty was signed in Paris in January 1973 by all the parties, but fighting continued until 1975.