The Vietnam War was a Cold War military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from November 1, 1955 , to April 30, 1975 when Saigon fell. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the United States and other capitalist nations. The Viet Cong, a lightly-armed South Vietnamese communist-controlled common front, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The North Vietnamese Army engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery and airstrikes.