Dates :November 5,1959-April 30,1975
LeadersThe Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam, in Vietnam also known as the American War, Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Mỹ), also known as theSecond Indochina War, was a Cold War-era proxy war that occurred inVietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from December 1956[A 1] to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam—supported by the Soviet Union, China and othercommunist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States and other anti-communist countries. The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a lightly armed South Vietnamese communist common front directed by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The People's Army of Vietnam(a.k.a. the North Vietnamese Army) engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. As the war wore on, the part of the Viet Cong in the fighting decreased as the role of the NVA grew. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery, andairstrikes. In the course of the war, the U.S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam, and over time the North Vietnamese airspace became the most heavily defended airspace of any in the world.