How many American soldiers were killed by deadly snakes in Vietnam? Unofficially, there have been 10,786 non-hostile fatalities. Of these, 10,314 were due to firearms and 72 were caused by venom from poisonous snakes.
The number of soldiers who died from snake bites is unknown. However, since most deaths due to snake bites do not receive media attention, it can be estimated that about 1 in 100 people who were bitten by a snake in Vietnam survived.
Snakes are common in Vietnam. The majority of deaths from snake bites occur after the person has received medical care elsewhere and is being returned home when another person takes them back into the forest where they originally saw the snake. Since people are usually unaware of this secondary migration, it can be said that many more cases of snake bite occur in Vietnam than are reported by authorities.
In the United States, there are only two species of venomous snakes that are capable of killing a human being: the rattlesnake and the copperhead. In Vietnam, four different species of venomous snakes are capable of killing a man: the cobra, the krait, the mamba, and the coral snake.
During the Vietnam War, which lasted from 1964 to 1975, an estimated 47,434 American servicemen were killed in action. An additional 10,786 people died in the theater of conflict but not in battle, for a total of 58,220 deaths. More than one-third of these casualties were younger than 25 years old.
The number of deaths is so high because war is a terrible thing. People die in wars, both during them and after they end. As you can see, Vietnam was a very bad place for so many people involved in it.
Of the 47,434 men who died, 95% were volunteers (38,542). The remaining 5% included prisoners of war and those forced into service against their will (8,392).
Almost all the deaths (96%) occurred in Vietnam. The most fatal battles were: Ia Drang (12,789 dead); Hamburger Hill (6,071); Hue City (4,515); Khe Sanh (4,279); Lang Vei (2,500); and Tan Son Nhut (2,300).
Over half of the deaths (27,564) happened before January 1, 1973 when President Nixon announced his Vietnamization policy. Under this plan, the United States would withdraw its troops while South Vietnam would be left to fight its war against North Vietnam and Cambodia.
The American military recorded 58,220 casualties. Although North Vietnamese and Viet Cong casualty figures vary greatly, it is widely assumed that they sustained much more casualties than Americans. About 4% of all American soldiers killed in action during the Vietnam War died at the hands of Vietnamese revolutionaries.
The most fatal single incident for Americans was the My Lai massacre in 1968. In that one incident, which was never officially acknowledged by the United States government at the time, over 500 Vietnamese men, women and children were executed by members of the U.S. Army.
The war ended with the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. America's role was taken up by its allies, especially South Korea and Taiwan. The final tally for Americans dead stands at 3,846.
In addition, there are still a large number of veterans from the Vietnam era who suffer from mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many have committed suicide because of difficulties adjusting to life after combat. In 2010, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that 20 million Americans had been directly affected by a mental illness created or exacerbated by their involvement in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War or other wars. This represents about one in five adults aged 18 and older.
Vietnam announced its official estimate of the number of persons died during the Vietnam War in 1995: up to 2,000,000 civilians on both sides and around 1,100,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers. According to the US military, between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers killed. Other estimates are that the total death toll was 3 million on both sides.
The real figure is likely far higher than these estimates because many deaths went unreported or unrecognized. The vast majority of the deaths were innocent villagers who had nothing to do with the war that murdered their relatives and friends. But some also included members of the armed forces and paramilitary groupings which fought against the North and South Vietnam states, respectively.
How did the Viet Cong achieve such success? They used terror as a weapon against the South Vietnamese government and its supporters in the community. This allowed them to win over much of the population without actually having to fight a full-scale war.
The Viet Cong conducted numerous attacks against schools, hospitals, and other institutions. These massacres were often used as tools for propaganda purposes; the VC wanted to show that they were willing to kill anyone to achieve their goals.
On their first day in Vietnam, 997 troops were slain. Over the next nine years, more than 53,000 Americans would lose their lives in that conflict.
The largest single day death toll was suffered on August 8, 1966: 3,629 soldiers lost their lives. They were all veterans between 19 and 27 years old.
Almost half of those who died in Vietnam had not yet reach the age of 21. Almost one-fifth were younger than 18.
These are the same ages as today's U.S. military personnel. So, if anything, this list shows that you can still die at a young age in the military today as it did then.
Additionally, there were also many older people who died in Vietnam. At least 39 men over the age of 40 were killed in action or died of wounds received in Vietnam. Another 2,085 veterans over the age of 50 sustained injuries that led to their deaths.
Finally, there were also many women who died in Vietnam. Although they didn't serve in traditional combat roles, they worked in support positions or served in medical facilities.
75 local cops were slain and abducted in the fourth quarter of 1957. Casualties in the United States escalated in direct proportion to the country's expanding military participation in Vietnam. The United States' soldier strength in Vietnam peaked at roughly 540,000 in 1968, which also occurred to be the worst year, with 16,899 deaths. Between 1955 and 1973, more than 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam.
The number of abductions of American servicemen increased as well. In the early years, there were only about 20 cases a year; but by 1967, that number had risen to nearly 1,200. Most of those taken hostage were pilots who had flown dangerous missions over North Vietnam; they were often released after several months if no ransom is demanded or paid. But some were held longer; one such case involved 21 sailors who were imprisoned for two years before being freed under terms of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.
In addition to soldiers killed in action or through other means and civilians on both sides of the conflict, the war claimed many lives who could not be classified as combatants. This includes people who suffered from malnutrition, disease, abuse, and execution while serving as slaves or porters within Vietnamese camps or prisons, as well as those who met their deaths at the hands of the communist regime that took power after Nixon's visit to China in 1972.
Finally, there are the suicides.