Image: Timâ Page/Corbis
About This QuizThe Vietnam War claimed millions of lives, spurred worldwide protests and forever changed the lives and government of Vietnamese citizens. Take our Vietnam War quiz to see how much you know about one of the most controversial conflicts in history.
How long did the Vietnam War last?
20 years plus
The Vietnam War started in 1954 when Northern forces invaded the South and ended more than two decades later when South Vietnam surrendered in 1975.
Which country ruled Vietnam for decades prior to the Vietnam War?
France maintained rule over Vietnam for decades until 1945, when Vietnam declared its independence and the pre-war unrest began.
What line marked the division between North and South Vietnam starting in 1954?
The Geneva Accords, signed in July 1954, divided Vietnam along the 17th parallel and brought temporary peace to the region.
What type of government did the North Vietnamese want when the war started?
At the start of the war, North Vietnam was controlled by the communists, while the South was ruled by anti-communist leaders.
Who were the Viet Cong?
The Viet Cong was a group of guerilla forces in South Vietnam. By 1964, this group had more than 35,000 fighters in South Vietnam.
U.S. troops in Vietnam
What spurred full-scale U.S. involvement on the ground in Vietnam?
assassination of President Kennedy
events at My Lai
Gulf of Tonkin incident
After North Vietnamese forces fired on a U.S. ship in the Gulf of Tonkin, Congress authorized full-scale U.S. intervention in Vietnam.
There was never more than a maximum of 100,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam.
U.S. ground forces peaked in 1969 with more than 543,000 American troops fighting alongside South Vietnamese forces.
Who was the U.S. president when the U.S. sent its first combat troops to Vietnam during the war?
Although the U.S. presence in Vietnam started well before this point, the first actual combat troops, the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, were sent in 1965. Lyndon Johnson was president.
Ho Chi Minh was a communist official who led South Vietnam during the war.
Ho Chi Minh is known for leading the North Vietnamese to victory during the war. Anti-communist Ngo Dinh Diem ruled South Vietnam from 1955 through 1963.
What happened when America pulled all ground troops out of Vietnam in 1973?
the North and South kept fighting
The last American troops left Vietnam in March 1973. While the North and South kept right on fighting, American involvement in the war had ended for good.
the war ended
Canadian troops took their place
What event signaled the end of the Vietnam War?
The Fall of Saigon
The war ended when North Vietnamese forces seized control of Saigon in 1975, causing the South to surrender.
What happened to Vietnam after the war?
it became one unified country
After the war, Vietnam became the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a unified, independent nation.
it split into two nations
it became a U.S. territory
What year did North Vietnam launch the Tet Offensive?
On January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive. This event, named for the Lunar New Year, consisted of dozens of coordinated attacks on the South.
Saigon was renamed as Ho Chi Min City after the War?
After the North seized control of Saigon, it renamed it after the famous communist leader.
Who is Kim Phuc?
a former Vietnamese leader
wife of Vietnam's first post-war president
a girl in a famous photograph
Kim Phuc is the name of a young girl captured on film running naked in the streets after she was burned by napalm. Her photo remains one of the most iconic images of the war.
Total tonnage of bombs dropped on North Vietnam surpassed those dropped on Japan, Italy and Germany during WWII.
North Vietnam suffered heavy attack from the air during the War, but still managed to push on to victory.
How long did future U.S. Senator John McCain spend as a POW in Vietnam?
McCain spent more than four years as a POW, where he was tortured regularly before eventually winning his freedom and going on to have a long career in U.S. politics.
Why did President Nixon want to draft 150,000 more U.S. soldiers in April 1970?
to invade China
to invade Japan
to invade Cambodia
Nixon announced a plan to draft 150,000 additional soldiers to send to Cambodia in hopes of cutting off supply chains to North Vietnam.
Actress Jane Fonda directly caused the death of numerous POWs in Hanoi.
While Fonda did tour Hanoi in 1972, the rumors that she turned on potential POWs, leading to their deaths, is not supported by any actual evidence.
What happened at My Lai?
first U.S. group battle in Vietnam
massacre of civilians
U.S. troops massacred 400 innocent Vietnamese civilians at My Lai, and only one soldier was ever convicted of a crime for his role in the event.
final battle of the War
How many student protesters died at Kent State University in 1970?
Nationals Guardsmen shot four student protesters at the Ohio college on May 4, 1970.
How many people lost their lives during the Vietnam War?
Around 3 million people died in Vietnam and roughly half of these were Vietnamese civilians.
How many people showed up in Washington D.C. to attend a massive anti-war protest on November 15, 1969?
A quarter of a million people protested the war on that date in 1969 — the largest anti-war protest in U.S. history.
What was Agent Orange designed to do?
Agent Orange was a powerful herbicide designed to kill trees and crops. More than 19 million gallons were sprayed over Vietnam between 1961 and 1972.
Which future film director won several medals for his bravery in Vietnam?
Oliver Stone won a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts for his efforts in Vietnam. He later went on to direct such films as "Born on the Fourth of July."
More Americans were drafted into Vietnam than any previous war.
While around 1.8 million Americans were drafted into service in Vietnam, this pales in comparison to the 10 million men drafted during WWII.
Which president officially pardoned all Vietnam draft-dodgers?
On his second day in office, Jimmy Carter officially pardoned all Americans who avoided the draft or failed to register for service in the Vietnam War.
How much did the U.S. spend on the war?
The U.S. spent $120 billion on the war. While WWII spending proved to be an economic boom, the Vietnam War was followed by inflation and an oil crisis.
The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. was funded entirely by private funds.
It took $8.4 million in donations from private donors to create the famous D.C. monument.
Who designed the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.?
a college student named Maya Lin
An unknown student architect designed the famous monument after beating 1,400 other designers for the honor.