Vietnam Timeline

By deew212
  • Ho Chi Minh declares independence

    Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam's independence. The French refuse to acknowledge this and reoccupy Indochina as a colony.
  • French Army forces battle at Dien Bien Phu

    The French Army occupies the valley of Dien Bien Phu in order to force a battle with the Viet Minh
  • Siege in Dien Bien Phu begins

    General Giap accommodates the French by surrounding the base with fifty thousand Viet Minh soldiers. The valley is isolated and the siege begins
  • France and Viet Minh end hostilities

    France and the Viet Minh agree to end hostilities and to divide Vietnam temporarily into two zones at the 17th parallel. In the North, Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh establish a Communist government, with its capital at Hanoi. French forces withdraw to the South, along with hundreds of thousands of anti-communist civilians. Ngo Dinh Diem establishes an anti-Communist state -- the Republic of Vietnam (RVN).
  • Control of overland infiltraton

    Infiltrators from the North became important to communist efforts in the South. Hanoi activates a special military transportation unit to control overland infiltration through Laos and Cambodia. The North Vietnamese Army (NVA), together with Laotian Communist forces, consolidated their hold on areas adjacent to both North and South Vietnam through which passed the network of jungle roads called the Ho Chi Minh Trail. As a result, it became easier to move supplies south to support the Viet Cong.
  • Guerilla Warfare revived

    Hanoi creates the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (the Viet Cong). The revival of guerrilla warfare in the South found the 700 man US Military advisory group, the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN), and Diem's government ill prepared to wage an effective campaign
  • MACV established

    The US Joint Chiefs of Staff establish the United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), in Saigon
  • Kennedy increases economic aid to S. Vietnam

    John F. Kennedy becomes President of the US. He sharply increased military and economic aid to South Vietnam to help Diem defeat the growing insurgency. By 1963 the US has 16,000 servicemen in Vietnam
  • Diem gov. topples

    A US supported coup d' etat topples the Diem government. Diem and his brother are killed. Kennedy also assassinated
  • Southeast Asia Resolution passed

    In international waters of the Gulf of Tonkin North Vietnamese patrol boats attacked U.S. naval vessels engaged in surveillance of North Vietnam's coastal defenses. The Americans promptly launched retaliatory air strikes. At the request of President Johnson, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Southeast Asia Resolution—the so-called Gulf of Tonkin Resolution—authorizing all actions necessary to protect American forces and to provide for the defense of the nation's allies in Southeast Asia
  • First US ground combat units in Vietnam

    A few days after ROLLING THUNDER (a campaign of sustained, direct air strikes of the North) began, the 9th Marine Regiment went ashore in South Vietnam to protect the large airfield at Da Nang. They are the first US ground combat unit in Vietnam.
  • Johnson plan to deploy extra combats units

    President Johnson announced plans to deploy extra combat units and to increase American military strength in S. Vietnam to 175,000. The Army already was preparing hundreds of units for duty in Southeast Asia, among them the newly activated 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Other combat units were either ready to go or already on their way to Vietnam. Together these combat units constituted the first phase of the build-up during the summer and fall of 1965
  • Enemy threatens to cut nation into two

    Spearheaded by at least three NVA regiments, Communist forces mounted a strong offensive in South Vietnam's Central Highlands during the summer of 1965, overrunning border camps and besieging some district towns. Here the enemy threatened to cut the nation in two. To meet the danger, Westmoreland introduced the newly organized Army airmobile division, the 1st Cavalry Division, with its large contingent of helicopters, directly into the highlands.
  • Cause of Ia Drang Battle

    Less than a month later the newly arrived airmobile division received its baptism of fire. The North Vietnamese Army attacked a Special Forces camp at Plei Me; when it was repulsed, Westmoreland directed the division to launch an offensive to locate and destroy enemy regiments that had been identified in the vicinity of the camp. The result was the battle of the Ia Drang valley, named for a small river that flowed through the area of operations. Eventually enemy returned to bases in Cambodia.
  • 25th Infantry protects western border

    The Army's 25th Infantry Division arrived in the spring. The Division took up a position protecting the western approaches to Saigon, chiefly Route 1 and the Saigon River. Around the key highland towns South Vietnamese and U.S. forces had created enclaves. Allied forces protected the few roads that traversed the highlands, screened the border, and reinforced outposts from which the irregulars and Army Special Forces sought to detect enemy cross-border movements
  • Reassement of strategies

    The border battles of 1967 led to a reassessment of strategy in Hanoi. Undeviating in their long-term aim of unification, the leaders of North Vietnam recognized that their strategy of military confrontation had failed to stop the American military buildup in the South or to reduce U.S. military pressure on the North
  • Viet Cong and NVA suffer huge defeat

    The Viet Cong and NVA had suffered a major military defeat, losing thousands of experienced combatants and seasoned political cadres and seriously weakening the insurgent base in the South. Americans at home saw a different picture. Dramatic images of the Viet Cong storming the American Embassy in the heart of Saigon and the North Vietnamese Army clinging to Hue obscured the assertion that the enemy was defeated. Doubts on the conduct of the war prompted reassessment of American policy/strategy
  • Communists plan for violence

    Communist plans called for violent, widespread, simultaneous military actions in rural and urban areas throughout the South—a general offensive. But as always, military action was subordinate to a larger political goal. By focusing attacks on South Vietnamese units and facilities, Hanoi sought to undermine the morale and will of Saigon's forces. Through a collapse of military resistance, the North Vietnamese hoped to subvert public confidence in the government's ability to provide security.
  • Battle of 'Hamburger Hill' begins

    A battalion of the 101st Airborne Division climbing Hill 937 in the A Shau found the 28th North Vietnamese Regiment waiting for it. The fight for "Hamburger Hill" raged for ten days and became one of the war's fiercest and most controversial battles. Entrenched in tiers of fortified bunkers with well-prepared fields of fire, the enemy forces withstood repeated attempts to dislodge them. Supported by intense artillery and air strikes, Americans made a slow, tortuous climb, fighting hand to hand.
  • Vietnamization in effect

    The last phase of American involvement in South Vietnam began under a broad policy called Vietnamization. Its main goal was to create strong, largely self-reliant South Vietnamese military forces. Vietnamization also meant the withdrawal of a half-million American soldiers. Until the weakened Viet Cong forces could be rebuilt with NVA forces, both guerrilla and regular Communist forces played the defensive roles
  • South Vietnamese advance towards Laos

    South Vietnamese mechanized column advanced down Highway 9 toward Laos. Facing the South Vietnamese were elements of five NVA divisions, as well as a tank regiment, an artillery regiment, and at least nineteen antiaircraft battalions. The result was near-disaster. Army helicopter pilots trying to rescue South Vietnamese soldiers from their besieged hilltop fire bases encountered intense antiaircraft fire. Panic ensued when some South Vietnamese units ran out of ammunition.
  • Congress promises to cease fire

    The United States, North and South Vietnam, and the Viet Congress signed an armistice that promised a cease-fire and national reconciliation. Between 1973 and 1975 South Vietnam's military security further declined through a combination of old and new factors. Plagued by poor maintenance and shortages of spare parts, much of the equipment provided Saigon's forces under Vietnamization became inoperable. American military activities in Cambodia and Laos ended in 1973 when Congress cut funds
  • Saigon falls to communists

    South Vietnamese leaders waited in vain for American assistance, Saigon fell to the Communists
  • Socialist Republic of Vietnam proclaimed

    The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is officially proclaimed
  • Foreign investment laws mark new beginning

    A law on foreign investments marks the beginning of the liberalization of the economy
  • Vietnam finally un-involved in war

    Withdrawal from Cambodia. This is the first time for half a century that Vietnam is not engaged in any war
  • Relationships normalized with China

    Relationships are normalized with China
  • Relations with US normalized

    Diplomatic relationships are fully normalized with the US, one year after the end of the US embargo