The Ultimate Vietnam War Quiz


By: Scott Nordlund

6 Min Quiz

Image: Stocktrek Images/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The Vietnam War was one of the most violent conflicts the United States ever participated in. It took place in three countries - Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos - and lasted twenty years  until America withdrew in 1975. While neither side claimed defeat, it is hard to gauge a victory with the loss of over 58,000 American soldiers. Do you consider yourself a Vietnam War buff? Do you know about the battles, the leaders and their soldiers? Can you navigate the Mekong Delta or fight your way in and out of foxholes? 

The twenty-year war had countless battles but can you identify the event that started the war? Or if that event actually happened? We call the war "The Vietnam War," but what did the Vietnamese call it? You might be familiar with the fact that Vietnam was one of the first conflicts that saw the regular use of SEAL teams one and two, but do you know what their kill ratio was?

These are only a few of the questions you'll come across in this quiz. Do you think you're up for the challenge, soldier? Most people aren't, but you aren't most people, are you? Go ahead and take this quiz! 

To what country did the draft dodgers mainly escape to?

Estimates for how many American dodged the draft by going to Canada range from 50,000 to 125,000. Following the Vietnam War tens of thousands of Vietnamese boat people were also admitted into Canada.


What did the USA enlist during the Vietnam War that lead to massive civil unrest at home?

On December 1, 1969 the US conducted two lotteries determine military service for men born between January 1, 1944 to December 31, 1950. These occurred during the drafts that lasted from 1947 to 1973, the first time a draft had occurred since WWII in 1942.


What recently deceased boxer refused to be drafted?

Ali famously refused to fight on the basis of being a Muslim and conscientious objector though he could still be drafted in a non-combat role. He then requested an exemption because he was a minister. He refused to step forward at the induction center and was later found guilty of draft evasion and given the maximum sentence of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. He was released on bail pending appeal and had his boxing license suspended for three years till 1970 when the New York State Supreme Court ordered his boxing license reinstated, and the following year the US Supreme Court overturned his conviction.


The president of North Vietnam from 1945-1969 was who?

Ho Chi Minh was a leader known for his compassion for his troops and the drive to take on and defeat the largest military in the world.


Viet Cong forces were called what by Americans forces?

Viet Cong forces were called Charlie by American troops due to the shorthand "Victor Charlie" from the NATO phonetic alphabet for VC; the abbreviation for Viet Cong.


What was the famous incident that sparked the war?

The Gulf of Tonkin incident was when a Vietcong boat shot upon a US Navy Vessel. It happened August 2, 1964 and is also known as the USS Maddox incident.


What was the name of the main supply trail used by Viet Cong forces?

Stretching 1000 km (more than 600 miles), this trail supplied forces throughout the war.


What country was the former colonial power that oversaw Vietnam?

The French were active in the region until the mid 1950's where things started to turn hostile towards them.


When did the Vietnam War end?

In April of 1975, the capital of South Vietnam is seized by communist forces and the government of South Vietnam surrenders in what is known as The Fall of Saigon.


What Viet Cong offensive changed the course of the war in 1968?

The Tet Offensive saw 36 cities attacked, and public opinion sway against the US on the home front.


What was the Vietnam War officially called in the US?

There was no declaration of war on the Vietnam government, and thus was referred to the Vietnam Conflict by the government.


Who was the US general in charge of the operation?

William Westmoreland was the commander of US forces from 1964 to 1968 who used a strategy of attrition against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army, attempting to drain them of personnel and supplies. It proved to be politically unsuccessful yet he served as Chief of Staff of the US Army from 1968 to 1972.


At what university were shots fired into a crowd by National Guard members?

On May 4, 1970, Kent State saw violence erupt during a peaceful protest against the Cambodian Campaign, with shots fires by members of the Ohio National Guard in what became known as the Kent State Massacre. Twenty-eight guardsmen fired approximately 67 rounds, killing four students and wounding nine others, all in the span of reportedly about 13 seconds.


The Vietnam War was known as what to the Vietnamese people?

Vietcong, and later the Vietnamese government still refer to this war as The American War.


What did the US air force use to fix rotors on helicopters?

Duct Tape was used to quickly fix rotor blades in the field and get a chopper up and running.


What was the first Hollywood film based on the Vietnam War?

"The Green Berets" starring John Wayne and Jim Hutton was released in 1968 and based on the 1965 novel by Robin Moore. It's known for its strongly anti-communist and pro-Saigon point of view with John Wayne ensuring it had a pro-military position in the midst of anti-war sentiments at the time.


The Vietnam War allowed what on the front lines?

Media were allowed on the front lines to broadcast the horrors of war. Part of the reason the war was so unpopular was people saw the horrors first hand.


What other superpower was active in the Vietnam War, providing the Viet Cong armaments and equipment?

The USSR supplied the Viet Cong army throughout the war.


What was the last battle of the conflict?

With a loss at Saigon, US forces officially pulled out of the Vietnam Conflict for good.


Where did one of the largest war crimes ever committed by US forces take place?

The My Lai Massacre occurred March 16, 1968 where US troops murdered between 300 and 500 unarmed South Vietnamese civilians. Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offenses, but only platoon leader Lieutenant William Calley Jr. was convicted.


According to declassified documents, did the Second Gulf of Tonkin incident​ happen?

In 2005, the NY Times reported that Robert J. Hanyok, a historian for the U.S. National Security Agency, came to that conclusion that the NSA distorted intelligence reports passed to policy makers regarding the Second Gulf of Tonkin incident that allegedly took place August 4, 1964. He claims they purposely skewed the evidence to make it appear as if an attack had occurred.


Due to the draft, how many Americans fled the country as draft dodgers?

More than 125,000 Americans fled to Canada to escape the draft.


US forces invaded what country in 1970?

Cambodia was invaded to destroy supply centers as part of the Cambodian Campaign, further driving the American public against President Johnson.


In what year did the US begin ground operations in Vietnam?

It was 1865, two years after Air Force troops were deployed when 3500 Marines were sent to provide security for US Air Force bases.


What children's toy was used for radio communication by American troops?

Slinkys were used as antennas to increase radio efficiency in the field.


How many days of conflict did the average soldier experience?

The average infantryman in Vietnam experienced about 240 days of combat in a year due to the mobility of the helicopter.


Name the two NATO nations that famously refused to send troops along with the US.

Canada and the UK did not send troops, but did offer humanitarian aid.


What US ship pushed $10 million worth of aircraft into the sea to allow a plane full of evacuees to land on its deck?

Operation Frequent Wind was carried out April 29–30 1975 as final phase of evacuations of American civilians and Vietnamese from Saigon, South Vietnam who were at risk with a total of more than 7000 people. The Cessna O-1 Bird Dog that landed on USS Midway is now on display at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida.


When did the Vietnam War begin?

French had been fighting the insurgent communist-dominated Viet Minh in 1954 and were losing. The US began to replace France as the main foreign power involved in South Vietnam in late 1855. Meanwhile, China and the Soviet Union began to provide economic assistance to North Vietnam.


What was the kill ratio of US Navy Seal Team 1 and 2?

It was 200:1, the highest ration of any war for active Seal teams.


What did Vietnam sign in 1954 to divide the country in half?

Signed in 1954, the Geneva Accords saw the North and South of Vietnam be divided into the Democratic South, and Communist North.


Which other conflict in US history did Vietnam partake in?

The Vietnam War was an extension of the Cold War into the Asian Pacific.


What was included in the Nixon Doctrine?

The Nixon Doctrine, also known as the Guam Doctrine, saw a troop reduction start in the summer of 1969 in an attempt for "Vietnamization" to end US involvement in the Vietnam War by training South Vietnamese forces.


What was the name of the chemical agent that US military forces used on Viet Cong forces?

Napalm was initially used in incendiary bombs and about 388,000 tons of napalm bombs were reportedly dropped in Vietnam between 1963 and 1973.


What song became the anti-war anthem?

This infamous song by Country Joe and the Fish became the unofficial anti-war anthem as the war dragged on. Country Joe was a Navy veteran who said he wrote it not as a pacifist anthem but as a soldier's song with lyrics loaded with GI humor.


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