Vietnam War Casualties
in the conflict is extremely difficult. Many of those killed were literally blasted to
pieces by bombs. It is difficult to say exactly what counts as a "Vietnam war
casualty"; people are still being killed today by unexploded ordinance, particularly
cluster bomb-lets. For many years the North Vietnamese suppressed the true
number of their casualties for propaganda purposes. Environmental effects from
chemical agents and the colossal social problems, caused by a devastated
country with so many dead, surely caused many more lives to be shortened.
The lowest casualty estimates, based on the now-renounced North Vietnamese
statements, are around 1.5 million Vietnamese killed. Vietnam released figures on
April 3, 1995 that a total of one million Vietnamese combatants and four million
civilians were killed in the war. The accuracy of these figures has generally not
been challenged. 58,226 American soldiers also died in the war or are missing in
action. Australia lost almost 500 of the 47,000 troops they had deployed to
Vietnam and New Zealand lost 38 soldiers.