The Vietnam War pittedAmerica against communism and was a classic example of Cold War conflict. The western allies had been victorious in Berlin, but communism had taken root in China. EasternEurope remained under Russian control and in Vietnam the American feared threat of the spread communism seemed to be real.
Before World War Two, Vietnam had been part of the French Empire. During the war, the country had been overrun by the Japanese. When the Japanese retreated, the people of Vietnam took the opportunity to establish their own government lead by Ho Chi Minh. However, after the end of the war, the Allies gave back south Vietnam to the French while the north was left in the hands of the non-communist Chinese. The Chinese treated the north Vietnamese very badly and support for Ho Chi Minh grew. He had been removed form power at the end of the war. The Chinese pulled out of north Vietnam in 1946 and the party of Ho Chi Minh took over - the Viet Minh.