US Involvement in the Vietnam War

Timeline created by tifftiffsl
In History
  • Vietnam Declares Independence

    Ho Chi Minh announced Vietnam's independence on the same day that Japan formally surrenderred to the Allies. Ho Chi Minh began his speech with words from the Declaration of Independence. He ended his speech with words that might have stirred the hearts of the original American patriots.
  • US Military Aid To French Indochina

    Truman wanted to block any further communist advance in Asia, so he called for an increase in military aid to French Indochina. By 1954, the U.S. was paying 80 percent of the cost of the war in Indochina.
  • Battle of Dien Bien Phu

    The Dien Bien Phu battle was first launched by the Viet Minh when they attacked a large French military base without warning at Dien Bien Phu. They soon surrounded the base. A loss at Dien Bien Phu might knock the French out of the war.
  • Geneva Accords

    The French and Viet Minh signed the Geneva Accords, an agreement to stop the fighting. Vietnam was divided temporarily along the 17th parallel. The Viet Minh moved north of that line, while the French withdrew to the South. National elections to reunify Vietnam were scheduled under the accords.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Incident

    President Johnson approved covert attacks on radar stations by using electronic surveillance along North Vietnam's coast. On August 2, in response to the raids, NVA patrol boats struck back by firing machine guns and torpedoes at a US destroyer(the ship wasn't damaged). LBJ did not respond to their attack but instead send a letter to Hanoi that further "unprovoked" attacks would bring "grave consequences."
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

    LBJ asked Congress to approve air strikes and to give him the power to deal with future threats from Vietnam. Two days later, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, allowing the president to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the U.S and to prevent further aggression.
  • "Doves" argue against involvement

    Doves was against escalating the conflict further by sending in US combat troops:
    1) it would not guarantee victory(they thought the war was unwinnable, waste resources)
    2) involvement in the war was not in US' interest(the US had no business becoming entangled in other nations' civil war)
    3) US involvement might draw China or USSR into the conflict(both countries were supplying North Vietnam military aid+China was building an air base there)
  • Hawks argued for involvement

    Most of LBJ's political advisers favored expanding US military involvement in Vietnam:
    1) it was crucial in the wider struggle to contain Communism
    2) they believed the fall of Vietnam would cause nearby countries to fall
    3) Argued against Policy of Appeasement: feared the result would end up like Hilter
    4) stressed on American credibility on the idea that politicians were expected to take a hard line against the communist threat.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder

    After the Viet Cong attacked US air base in the south, LBJ responded by ordering the bombing in areas of north of the 17 parallel.
    The bombing raid led to Operation Rolling Thunder. Most of president advisers believed that this action was needed to give a boost to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and to avoid the collapse of South Vietnam.
    This event killed a lot of Vietnamese but it did not stop the flow of men and military materials from north, so did the war.
  • Americanization of the war

    The U.S took over the main responsibility for fighting the war: take key cities along the coast and transform them into modern military bases. They would then use those bases to launch search and destroy missions against the Viet Cong. This change in strategy represented the Americanization of the Vietnam War.
  • US Troops Arrive in Vietnam

    The first U.S. combat troops arrived ashore at a beach at South Vietnam. They began to dig foxholes on the beach to defend a Viet Cong attack.
  • Operation Starlite

    There was an air war intensifying, and the pace of ground war accelerated. The operation starlite was the first major assault by the U.S ground troops, against 1500 Viet Cong, who were attacking U.S air basenear the coast.