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When Did the Vietnam War start?

The Vietnam War was a Cold War military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to 15 May 1975 when the Mayaguez Incident concluded and two weeks after the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. The Mayaguez incident involving the Khmer Rouge government in Cambodia on 12-15 May 1975, marked the last official battle of the United States (U.S.) involvement in the Vietnam War. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the United States and other anti-communist nations.

The Viet Cong, a lightly-armed South Vietnamese communist-controlled common front, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The North Vietnamese Army engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery and airstrikes.

The United States government viewed involvement in the war as a way to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam and part of their wider strategy of containment. The North Vietnamese government viewed the war as a colonial war, fought initially against France, backed by the United States, and later against South Vietnam, which it regarded as a US puppet state.United States military advisors arrived beginning in 1950. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with U.S. troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962. U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations spanned borders, with Laos and Cambodia heavily bombed. Involvement peaked in 1968 at the time of the Tet Offensive. After this, U.S. ground forces were withdrawn as part of a policy called Vietnamization. Despite the Paris Peace Accords, signed by all parties in January 1973, fighting continued.

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Why Collect Vietnam War Relics

Collecting Vietnam War relics allows the collector to come into physical contact with history and with those who participated in it. It is an interesting experience to read on a certain aspect of Vietnam War history and then be able to hold or own an item that was actually there. Information is contained in war relics. Owning an item is part of the learning experience - it helps bring history alive.

But why collect artefacts from the Vietnam War? Since the Vietnam War was a significant conflict in 20th Century history, and since we all still live, to a degree, with the consequences of it today, the fascination is understandable. Understanding the Vietnam War and the events that took place around it helps us understand why many things are as they are today. For many, there is an immediate or personal family connection to the war - collecting can preserve the memory of their family's contributions, it can also help them connect and reconcile events that were directly or indirectly significant in their personal histories.

For others, collecting Vietnam War Relics is a way of connecting personal interest and business. As with all types of antiques, there is no certainty that a Vietnam War Relic will appreciate in value - what's desirable today may be out of favour tomorrow when a collector decides to sell, and speculating and knowing the form is part of the fun. However based on today's market demands, and the very limited supply of original relics, Vietnam War Relics are becoming great antiques to invest in.

Whatever the motivations, collecting Vietnam War relics is a great way to spend your time and a great way to remember the sacrifices of all those who were involved. Whether it is Vietnam War helmets, uniforms, medals, weapons or photos, you can usually find it on the open market. So get started, browse the categories and see what Vietnam War relics you can hunt down.

 
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