The Vietnam War was the longest war ever fought by the United States. It lasted more than 15 years, from 1959 to 1975. It was also the first war that the United States lost.
WHY THE WAR WAS FOUGHT
The United States entered the war to stop the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia. American leaders feared that Communist forces would gain control of Vietnam.
Ten million men from 32 countries died fighting in the war of 1914-1918. It was called the Great War. We know it now as World War I.
World War I pitted the Allied Powers against the Central Powers. At the start of the war, the Allied Powers included Britain, France, and Russia. Germany and Austria-Hungary were the Central Powers. Other countries later joined each side. The United States entered the war on the side of the Allied Powers in 1917.
In 1945, World War II ended. It was the most terrible war in history. Much of Europe and Asia lay in ruins. About 55 million people had been killed in only six years. More than half of them were civilians (nonmilitary). But many people in many countries felt that they had met and destroyed a great evil.
World War II began in 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. Britain and France then declared war on Germany. The United States entered the war in 1941, after Japan bombed a U.S. Navy base in Hawaii. The United States was on the side of Britain and France.
AN ANGRY PEACE
World War I helped cause World War II. World War I had ended with the defeat of Germany in 1918. Afterward, people in Germany were bitter. They believed that they had been unfairly blamed for the war. They were being made to pay money to victorious Britain and France. They were forbidden to rebuild their army.