A war in Southeast Asia , in which the United States fought in the 1960s and 1970s. The war was waged from 1954 to 1975 between communist North Vietnam and noncommunist South Vietnam, two parts of what was once the French colony of Indochina . Vietnamese communists attempted to take over the South, both by invasion from the North and by guerrilla warfare conducted within the South by the Viet Cong . Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy sent increasing numbers of American military advisers to South Vietnam in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Kennedy's successor, President Lyndon Johnson , increased American military support greatly, until half a million United States soldiers were in Vietnam.
Ho spent the summer in Paris trying to lock in the agreement, but the French government was purposely evasive, as it was conspiring to undermine Vietnamese independence. Ho was nevertheless well received in the French media. A French reporter who met him noted his “engaging manner and extraordinary gift for making contact,” which “at once brought a warm and direct exchange of views and gave a startlingly fresh ring to commonplace words.”  Ho returned to Vietnam in October and appealed to the Vietnamese people for patience. The French, however, showed their hand on November 22, 1946. Using a dispute over control of customs in Haiphong as a pretext, French warships bombarded the unprotected port city, killing at least 6,000 and wounding some 25,000. On December 19, Ho issued a call for “nationwide resistance”:
From an Australian perspective, one of the most famous engagements in the war was the Battle of Long Tan which took place on 18 and 19 August 1966. During the battle a company from 6 RAR , despite being heavily outnumbered, fought off a large enemy assault of regimental strength. 18 Australians were killed and 24 wounded, while at least 245 Viet Cong were killed. It was a decisive Australian victory and is often cited as an example of the importance of combining and coordinating infantry, artillery, armour and military aviation. The battle had considerable tactical implications as well, being significant in allowing the Australians to gain dominance over Phuoc Tuy Province, and although there were other large-scale encounters in later years, 1 ATF was not fundamentally challenged again.  Regardless, during February 1967 1 ATF sustained its heaviest casualties in the war to that point, losing 16 men killed and 55 wounded in a single week, the bulk of them during Operation Bribie . 1 ATF appeared to have lost the initiative and for the first time in nine months of operations the number of Australians killed in battle, or from friendly fire, mines or booby traps, had reversed the task force's kill ratio .