Republic of Vietnam / South Vietnam (1955-1975)
Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) was a country that existed from 1955 to 1975 and comprised the southern of Vietnam. It was bounded by North Vietnam to the north, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand across the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia. The capital was Saigon, nowadays called Ho Chi Minh City.
The Republic of Vietnam had many political changes during its existence. The former Emperor Bảo Đại served as Head of State, but he was unpopular. In 1955, the South changed from a monarchy to a republic.
After the twenty years of conflict, the Vietnam War started on November 1, 1955. The main issue between the north and the south was that the Communist government of North Vietnam, under Ho Chi Minh, sought the reunification of the two countries. The North led a guerrilla war by the Viet Cong against anti-communist Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam. The United States entered the conflict to halt the spread of Communism in Indochina.
The Vietnam War ended in victory for the North after American troops were withdrawn in 1973, and South Vietnam was completely taken over by communist forces in 1975.
The highest award is the title National Order of Vietnam. This Order was conferred by the Government of Vietnam, upon Vietnamese and foreign civilians and Commissioned Officers in recognition of exceptional civil or military merit.