Impact of the war


  • Approximately 500,000 civilians died.
  • Agent Orange caused birth defects in children and this chemical continues to have a negative effect on Vietnam.
  • The North took over the South in 1976.
  • The destruction of land during the war meant that the country could not produce enough food for the population.


Across the world, the USA's reputation had been tarnished. It was criticised for supporting a corrupt government and the media had shown the world how brutal American tactics were.

Approximately 58,000 American soldiers were killed and another 153,000 were wounded.

The war cost the USA over one hundred billion dollars.

Psychological effects

  • Over 100,000 US troops lost limbs in the war and required treatment.
  • Many civilians treated returning American soldiers as brutal thugs who should be punished or avoided.
  • The fact that the USA had lost to a much weaker country meant there was a loss of confidence in their military abilities.