Was it the Vietnam War or the Civil War?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki commons

About This Quiz

Two wars that ripped apart America: One took place in the dusty annals of history, and the other is still fresh in our minds. Was it the Vietnam War or the Civil War?

States' rights were a major contributing factor to which conflict?

In the 19th century, Southern states had very different ideas regarding states' rights, and they wanted a different future than the one laid out for them by the Republic. So, they rebelled and started the Civil War.


Which war was fought first?

The Civil War took place in the 1860s; the Vietnam War raged about a century later. Both conflicts took a toll not only on the soldiers but on the home front, too.


During which war did more troops wind up as prisoners?

Thousands of men were captured in Vietnam. But during the Civil War? Hundreds and hundreds of thousands -- perhaps more than 600,000 total. Many of them were subsequently released because no one wanted to deal with the burden of prisoners.


Communism was a major theme during which war?

Following World War II, America became obsessed with halting the spread of Communism. It set out to help South Vietnam stop the North Vietnamese, who followed a Communist philosophy.


In which war did more American military personnel serve?

Although they were fought a century apart, the numbers were very similar. About 2.7 million Americans served during both the Vietnam and Civil Wars; during the latter, of course, many of those men fought each other.


Which war featured troops of a HIGHER average age?

Union troops in the Civil War had an average age of more than 25 years old. American troops in Vietnam were far younger, at an average of 22.


Which war began with a battle at Fort Sumter?

The Confederates began attacking Fort Sumter, in South Carolina, in April of 1861. The Union was forced to surrender, an act that found the North losing one of its very few Southern strongholds.


Black soldiers made up a higher percentage of troops during which war?

Roughly 10 to 12 percent of troops were black during both wars. During the Civil War, black troops often fought in segregated units and were treated with scorn -- until they showed their gallantry in battle.


Which war had more casualties?

This one's not even close. Roughly 620,000 troops died in the Civil War. About 59,000 died in Vietnam. More Civil War POWs died in prison than all Vietnam deaths combined.


Which war featured the first-ever battle between ships shielded by iron plates?

In 1862, during the Civil War, two "ironsides," the Merrimack and the Monitor, fought the world's first battle between iron-plated ships. The result was indecisive, but it sparked a revolution in shipbuilding.


Which war featured a formal declaration of war?

Neither war featured a formal declaration of war. Vietnam was an "extended military engagement," and the Civil War wasn't a "war" because the Union didn't recognize the Confederacy as a legitimate entity.


Volunteers made up almost all of the soldiers fighting in which war?

Almost all Union troops were volunteers -- many were eager to preserve the republic. And although Vietnam is often portrayed as a war of reluctant draftees, that image is false. About two-thirds of American troops were volunteers.


Which conflict was influenced heavily by the Cold War?

After World War II, America and the Soviet Union spent decades facing off in the Cold War, a clash of political ideologies. The Soviets backed the Communist North Vietnamese, while the U.S. aided the more democratic South Vietnamese. It was, in many ways, a proxy war.


Which war lasted longer?

The Civil War raged from 1861 to 1865. The Vietnam War was often a simmering conflict, but it lasted much longer, with fighting occurring on and off for 20 years.


A famous song named "Dixie" was used as a rallying cry for troops during which war?

"Dixie" was an unofficial anthem of sorts for Confederate troops. It both steeled them for battle and provoked an intense longing for home .. and peace.


During which war did Britain actively join the United States in fighting?

Britain remained officially neutral during both wars. During the Civil War, though, the Brits did provide some supplies to the Union.


The Battle of Antietam was a bloody clash during which war?

In September 1862, the North and South clashed near Sharpsburg, Maryland. It turned out to be the bloodiest battle in the history of American warfare. There were more than 22,000 total casualties.


The "Hanoi Hilton" was a famous prison during which conflict?

The North Vietnamese operated about 13 prisons. One of the most notorious was the so-called "Hanoi Hilton," where American troops suffered unimaginable horrors.


The Battle of Hamburger Hill happened during which war?

In May 1969, American troops were ordered to capture a heavily-fortified (but insignificant) hill guarded by the North Vietnamese. After waves of frontal assaults, they finally won the objective. And then, to their chagrin, they were ordered to abandon it.


A whopping 2 percent of the nation's population died during which war?

With about 620,000 deaths, the Civil War was a man-eating machine. It killed 2 percent of the young country's entire population.


During which war did a terrible siege happen at a place called Vicksburg?

In May of 1863, the Union laid siege to Vicksburg, Mississippi, the Confederacy's last fort on the mighty river. The siege lasted from May until July, costing thousands of casualties and causing immense civilian suffering, too.


During which war did a "domino theory" have a great impact?

The domino theory addressed the idea of the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia. If South Vietnam fell to Communism, said the theory, then like dominoes, other countries in the area would also fall prey to Communism. America wanted to halt the domino effect.


Conscription (the draft) was used during which war?

The draft was used by the government in both wars, and in both eras, conscription created a huge public uproar. In the Vietnam era, many young men dodged the draft by fleeing the country.


The capture of Saigon effectively ended which war?

In 1975, the North Vietnamese ran the Americans out of Saigon, ending the war and sending a global superpower packing. Vietnam is still regarded as a humbling experience for the United States.


Diseases killed more troops during which conflict?

Battlefield medicine and even basic hygiene were still rudimentary during the Civil War. Two men died from disease for every one killed in combat. In Vietnam, fewer than 1,000 troops died from illnesses.


A U.S. president was assassinated during which war?

Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed just weeks before the end of the Civil War. And John F. Kennedy met the same fate in 1963; some historians think the Vietnam experience may have ended differently had JFK survived.


The "Tet Offensive" was a turning point of which war?

In early 1968, the North Vietnamese launched a huge series of coordinated attacks that became known as the Tet Offensive. Although the offensive was repelled, it resulted in a major propaganda and political victory for the North.


Hand grenades were a weapon during which war?

American troops used hand grenades during both conflicts. Those manufactured during the Civil War were substantially trickier to use than those made for the Vietnam War.


The measles played a large part in decimating forces during which war?

No one understood that droplets of bodily fluids caused the spread of measles during the Civil War. Often, whole camps -- and hundreds of men -- would die from the awful disease.


The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was a primary factor in escalating which war?

In 1964, an American ship in the Gulf of Tonkin reported an attack by three North Vietnamese ships. American President Lyndon Johnson used the attack as an excuse for the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which allowed him to ramp up America's military action in the region.


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