Although the Americans had been involved in Vietnam as early as the 1950s in support of the French during the First Indochina War, there has never been an official date for the start of the Second Indochina War, more commonly known as the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese communists view their war of resistance against the Americans as a continuation of their colonial struggle from 19451 whereas on the American side, the landing of the first combat troops – two marine battalions consisting of 3,500 men landing on the beach of Danang on 8 March 1965 is often considered to be the start of the Vietnam War. More marine units arrived in April. On 24 April 1965, President Johnson officially declared Vietnam a “combat zone” for American forces. In early May the 173rd Airborne Brigade became the first US Army combat unit to be deployed in South Vietnam. On 25 July 1965, President Johnson announced that the US would increase troop level in South Vietnam up to 125,000 men. At the end of July, the 101st Airborne Division moved into South Vietnam.