The Vietnam War: What Role Did Outside Countries Play?

Soviet Union

The Soviet Union was responsible for supplying North Vietnam with military apparatus – in the form of tanks, helicopters, planes, arms and artillery. They also provided medical supplies. The Soviet union suffered minimally, in terms of human life, when compared with other countries that played a role in the conflict. It's estimated that the number of deaths of Soviet Union citizens would have been in the single digits. After the Soviet Union collapsed, Russian government officials made a statement acknowledging that 3,000 troops were stationed in Vietnam during the conflict.


China's interests in the Vietnam War began in the late 1940's when the communists managed to gain control. The CPC, which stands for the Communist Party of China, assisted Vietnam communists through providing materials and support because of the similar political beliefs that they felt they had. In 1962 their somewhat intangible assistance changed shape when they provided ninety thousand guns and rifles to Hanoi – this was done without charge. China also played a role in rebuilding and defending the infrastructure of North Vietnam, opting to provide anti-aircraft and engineering resources. They repaired roads, railways and undertook other engineering initiatives. In doing this, it is said they freed up troops to pursue the conflict in the South. Over the duration of the war around one third of a million Chinese troops served in Vietnam of which, it's estimated, 1,500 died.

North Korea

Following a decision made by the Korean Workers' Party, in 1966, North Korea dispatched a squadron to support the North Vietnam forces which were defending Hanoi. They stayed through to the year 1968, and are also reported to have provided support in the way of resources. This included clothing, ammunition and weaponry. It has been reported that Kim Sung told his pilots, the darlings of his military infrastructure, that they should “fight in the war as if the Vietnamese sky were their own”.

South Korea

South Korea, after the US, had the largest contingent of soldiers in South Vietnam. The first troop left for Vietnam in 1964, with large combat battalions arriving the following year. South Korean troops developed a reputation for being ruthless soldiers, with little prejudice shown in whom they killed and the way in which the achieved their military targets. In 1973 all South Korean troops were withdrawn, however not before around 5,000 were killed and 11,000 were injured.

About Author

Nick Carter is a veteran who had served the US Marines. He have written articles on Vietnam war and against the wars forced by Americans. He is a great admirer of Bob Miller, America's most controversial writer and author of Kill Me If You Can, You SOB.


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