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The End of the Vietnam War

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 4, 2012

The End of the War

Kissinger and the North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho had been meeting secretly since 1969, trying to reach a peace settlement agreeable to both sides. In January 1973, after a final fierce bombing assault by the United States had failed to force a surrender, Le Duc Tho and Kissinger agreed on the following terms:

  • A cease-fire
  • U.S. help in rebuilding South Vietnam
  • An exchange of prisoners of war

In 1975, the military government that had been established in South Vietnam collapsed. North Vietnamese troops invaded Saigon. The last remaining Americans, along with more than 100,000 Vietnamese, were evacuated by helicopter. On April 30, 1975, South Vietnam finally surrendered; the two halves of the nation were officially reunited under Communist rule in 1976.

The war was a dreadful disaster for Vietnam. The land was devastated and hundreds of thousands had been killed. Thousands more had been driven from their homes and lost everything they had. Cambodia was in similar distress. Exposure to the poisonous Agent Orange had disabled thousands of civilians, as well as soldiers on both sides.

Practice questions for these concepts can be found at:

The Vietnam War Practice Test
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