The first phase of the Vietnam War started in 1946 when the French tried to take over Vietnam. The French fought Vietnamese because they wanted to control Vietnam. The Vietnamese fought for control of Vietnam. The United States sent 2.5 billion dollars in military equipment, but the Vietnamese defeated the French in 1954. After the war in 1954 Vietnam was divided into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Aid to France for Vietnam later was given to the non-Communist South Vietnamese government. Then in 1957 the United States went to war because of the communists dividing Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam and america had two air bases in South Vietnam and none in North Vietnam.
In 1957 to 1965, it was mainly a struggle between the South Vietnamese army and Communist-trained South Vietnamese rebels known as the Viet Cong. From 1965 to 1969 North Vietnam, The United States and Australia did most of the fighting. New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand were also helping South Vietnam. The war seemed endless and started to withdraw its forces in 1969. The war ended on April 30th,1975 when South Vietnam surrendered. The Vietnam War was the longest war the United States and Australia had fought in. No one knows how long the war lasted. Some people think 18 years or so.
In the spring of 1972 America had only six thousand combat troops remaining in South Vietnam. Later in March 30,000 North Vietnamese troops crossed the Demilitarized Zone. A Demilitarized Zone is where there isn't any milatery action.
In 1972 President Nixon of the United States unleashed the first sustained bombing. The bombing killed at least 100,000 communist troops. Nixon unleased, at Christmas, the final and most devestating bombing of the war on Hanoi and Haiphong.The war started to end on January 8, 1973. North Vietnam and America resume peace talks in Paris. Then in January 28, 1973 all parties in the Vietnam War sign a Cease Fire. At the end of the war almost 58,000 are dead, and over 1,000 are missing in action. About 200,000 were seriously wounded.