The French Indochina War

  • Battle of Hanoi

    Viet Minh soldiers set off explosives in a Hanoi electric plant. French regained control of the city and drove the enemy out.
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    The Great Purge

    Viet Minh begin to execute leaders of nationalist Vietnamese groups thought to be dangerous/powerful to the Vietnamese Communist Party.
  • Negotiations Between French and Vietnamese

    French military forces landed in Haiphong and began negotiations allowing Vietnam to become a part of French rule.
  • Signing of the Primary Agreement

    The French landed military force at Haiphong, and negotiations started stating Vietnam would become a part of the French Union.
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    Ho Chi Minh asks France for Independence

    Ho Chi Minh spent a number of months in France, negotiating for full independence. He failed to obtain said independence
  • Haiphong incident

    The French bombard Haiphong, and killed 6,000 Vietnamese civilians. Ho asks the US for the last time to support Vietnamese independence
  • Haiphong Incident

    The French bombarded Vietnam, killing 6,0000 citizens, and Ho asked the US, one last time, for support of independence.This conflict led to French control of the Haiphong port.
  • Trigger of the Indochina War

    30,000 Viet Minh attack French troops stationed at Haiphong, but the attack fails because the French have superior firepower. French clears Haiphong of communist within a week.
  • Ho announces "The National Resistance to War"

    Ho leads the Viet Minh to the mountains at Tan Trao in order to begin "the struggle".
  • General Võ Nguyên Giáp & forces retreat to Tan Trao

    General Giap's Viet Minh forces join Ho at Tan Trao. The French send attacks to his bases, but Giap refuses to battle them- he and his troops continuously avoided the French forces.
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    Operation Lea

    French tried to use paratroopers to take Viet Minh, didn't actually destroy its leadership or capture Ho Chi Minh and his key lieutenant, just caused 9,000 casualties.
  • Emperor Bao Dai

    French bring in Emperor Bao Dai in order to form and lead a Vietnamese government.
  • Vietnam is recognized as an independent state

    Bao Dai becomes its leader in June, but although Vietnam became independent, it had limited powers.
  • The French establish the South Vietnamese National Army

  • Laos gains independence

    Ties to France existed
  • Cambodia gains independence

    With French ties
  • Republic of Vietnam is recognized

    The People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union recognize Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
  • Guerilla warfare ends, counter-offensive by Viet Minh begins

    China sends troops and weapons to Viet Minh, and gives Giap the assurance he needs to being counter-offensive towards the French.
  • Bao Dai's government is recognized

    The US and Britain give recognition to the South Vietnamese government.
  • Attacks on French outposts

    Viet Minh lead attacks against French ports in North Vietnam.
  • US aid is sent to French-led states

    US sent financial aid to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. An initial price was 10 million, but as the war continued the price increased.
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    First Counteroffensive against the French

    General Giap launches his first attack, ending in the loss of 6,000 troops, 900 machine guns, 125 mortars, 13 heavy guns, and 2,000 rifles.
  • Main attacks against French outposts

    General Giap sends his main attack on French ports, and cause 6,000 French casualties.
  • MAAG is formed

    The U.S. creates the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) in Saigon in order to help the French Army.
  • Jean De Lattre de Tassigny is appointed

    Tassigny is appointed commissioner AND Commander in Chief of Indochina, and he orders that French forces adopt a more offensive attacks by using more airborne attacks.
  • First Use of Napalm in Vietnam

    First Vietnamese use of napalm is against the Viet Minh at Tien Yen
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    Viet Minh Air attack

    Two Viet Minh divisions lead an air attack against 8,000 French troops. The Viet Minh retreat suffering approximately 9,000 casualties.
  • Red River Delta Attacks

    General Giap orders 20,000 Viet Minh to attack French positions on the Red River Delta. Under new command of Jean de Lattre, 6,000 Viet Minh are killed during the French assault. Giap withdrew.
  • Withdrawl of French Forces

    General Salan withdraws the French from the Black River.
  • Viet Minh withdraw of Red River Delta

    After many attempts, and many failure, Giap begins to withdraw from the Delta.
  • Battle at Hoa Binh

    French forces meet at Hoa Binh, and General De Lattre attempts to lure General Giap into a battle. However, De Lattre set up too many posts for his forces, and suffered heavy casualties.
  • General De Lattre is replaced by General Raoul Salan

    General De Lattre dies of cancer, and is replaced by Salan.
  • Tu Vu Attacks

    General Giap attacks the French outpost at Tu Vu on Black River, and wages "hit and run" attacks, with the hope cut French supply lines.
  • French supply lines are cut

    Supply lines along Black River Route Coloniale 6 are cut
  • Fan Si Pan attacks

    Giap tried to draw the French from the De Lattre Line and attacks the Fan Si Pan mountains.
  • Nghia Lo attacks

    General Giap's troops attack Nghia Lo, and eventually overrun French position, as well as their posts.
  • Operation Lorraine

    The French, in retaliation, target Viet Minh supply bases. The goal was to draw the Viet Minh into a full battle, but Giap ignores their maneuvers and stays in position.
  • Operation Castor

    Operation Castor consisted of constructing outposts to protect the air base in Dien Bien Phu. The French hoped to draw the Viet Minh into a battle. 800 French paratroopers landed in Dien Bien Phu and built up protections; meanwhile, General Giap starts to send Viet Minh troops into the area. They are both ready for battle.
  • Communist forces invade Laos

    Communist forced begin to invade Laos, but Giap deploys his troops. He later on withdraws but the Viet Minh gained freedom to move around northern Laos and also could control the Black River territory.
  • Dien Bien Phu air base attacks begin

    50,000 Viet Minh attack the base, and outnumber the French greatly.
  • Dien Bien Phu falls

    10,000 French soldiers surrendered at Dien Bien Phu, and led to the lack of negotiating power France held at Geneva.
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    Prisoner marches

    French survivors are marched for up to 60 days to prison camps and almost half die during the march or in captivity.