Vietnam War

By jacklyn
  • Vietminh established

    Vietminh established
    Ho Chi Minh establishes the Vietminh (League for Vietnamese Independance). It was originally formed to seek Vietnam's independence from France, and later on it opposed South Vietnam and the United States in the Vietnam War.
  • Ho Chi Minh declares an independent Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh declares an independent Vietnam
    Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnamese independence from the French and creates the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV).
  • The French are defeated at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu

    The French are defeated at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
    40,000 heavily armed Vietminh lay siege to the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu. The Vietminh used artillery to bomb the airstrip and make it impossible for French supplies to arrive by air. After this defeat, the French lose their resolve to carry on the war and begin to withdraw from Indochina.
  • The Geneva Accords divide Vietnam in half at the 17th parallel

    The Geneva Accords divide Vietnam in half at the 17th parallel
    The Geneva Accords officially ended the war in Indochina. It allowed for the peaceful withdrawal of the French from Vietnam and provided a temporary boundary between North and South Vietnam at the 17th parallel. The United States did not accept the agreement.
  • South Vietnam declares itself the Republic of Vietnam

    South Vietnam declares itself the Republic of Vietnam
    Ngo Dinh Diem becomes the new president and the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) is established. U.S. President Eisenhower promises to support Diem with military aid.
  • Ho Chi Minh Trail

    Ho Chi Minh Trail
    North Vietnam forms Group 559, a specialized army unit, to create a supply route from North Vietnam to Vietcong forces in South Vietnam. North Vietnam begins sending men and weapons into South Vietnam through the trail. The Trail becomes a strategic target for future military attacks.
  • Viet Cong is established in South Vietnam

    Viet Cong is established in South Vietnam
    The National Liberation Front (NLF), also called the Viet Cong, is established in South Vietnam. It is a Communist-sponsored organization that trains Viet Cong guerillas.
  • Agent Orange

    Agent Orange
    The U.S. military spray large areas of forest with Agent Orange, a deadly herbicide, as a part of Operation Ranchhand. The goal is to clear vegetation to make it more difficult for the Vietcong to conceal themselves. Guerrilla trails and base areas are exposed and crops are destroyed.
  • South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated

    South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated
    Diem is overthrown and killed during a military coup. The coup took place with the approval of the United States. Since Diem was unpopular, the U.S. hoped that by overthrowing him, it would strengthen the opposition to the Viet Cong.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Incident

    Gulf of Tonkin Incident
    On August 2, North Vietnamese patrol boats attacked the Maddox, an American destroyer in the international waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. A second attack on a destroyer took place on August 4. This led to retaliatory U.S. air strikes.
  • Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

     Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
    In response to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the U.S. Congress approves the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorizes President Lyndon Johnson to "take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression." The Resolution gives Johnson war-making powers in Vietnam.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder starts

    Operation Rolling Thunder starts
    Johnson authorizes sustained American bombing raids against North Vietnam. It was scheduled to last eight weeks but the continuous air raids went on for three years. The aim was to force North Vietnam to stop supporting the Vietcong in the South.
  • The first U.S. combat troops arrive in Vietnam.

    The first U.S. combat troops arrive in Vietnam.
    3,500 marines, the first U.S. combat troops, arrive in South Vietnam.
  • Operation Starlite

    Operation Starlite
    The first major battle of the Vietnam War was a victory for the United States. Ground forces, artillery, ships and air support allow the U.S. forces to successfully capture Vietcong positions and rout Communist forces.
  • North Vietnamese launch Tet Offensive

    North Vietnamese launch Tet Offensive
    The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launch the Tet Offensive, attacking one hundred cities and towns across South Vietnam, including its capital, Saigon. The large-scale attack catches the US military off guard, but they managed to push them back and recapture most areas. Militarily, it was a defeat for the Communists, but politically, it was a victory. The US military's assessment of the war is questioned and the end of the war seemed far off.
  • My Lai Massacre

    My Lai Massacre
    Hundreds of unarmed South Vietnamese civilians were murderd by a unit of the U.S. Army in the town of My Lai. All of the victims were civilians and most were women, children, and elderly people. Many were raped, beaten, and tortured. When news of the massacre surfaces, it sent shockwaves through the already divided American public, who saw this as another sign of the immorality of the war.
  • Ho Chi Minh died

    Ho Chi Minh died
    Ho Chi Minh dies of a heart attack in Hanoi at the age of 79.
  • "Vietnamization" Announced

    "Vietnamization" Announced
    Nixon announces the policy of "Vietnamization". The objective is to turn over the responsibility of defeating the Communists onto the South Vietnamese and away from the United States, eventually enabling the United States to gradually withdraw all their soldiers from Vietnam.
  • Publication of the Pentagon Papers

    Publication of the Pentagon Papers
    The New York Times begins the publication of the Pentagon Papers, which are secret defense documents that revealed the White House's decisions regarding the Vietnam War. The Papers revealed that the U.S. had deliberately expanded the war by the bombing of Cambodia and Laos and coastal raids on North Vietnam.
  • The Easter Offensive against South Vietnam begins

    The Easter Offensive against South Vietnam begins
    The North Vietnamese crossed the demilitarized zone at the 17th parallel and attacked South Vietnam. North Vietnam aimed to gain as much territory and destroy as many South Vietnamese units as possible. In retaliation, Nixon ordered the mining of North Vietnamese harbors and authorized a massive bombing campaign.
  • Operation Linebacker begins

    Operation Linebacker begins
    Operation Linebacker was from May 9 to October 23, 1972. It was the first continuous bombing effort conducted against North Vietnam since President Johnson's bombing halt. The purpose was to halt or slow the transportation of supplies and materials.
  • Operation Linebacker II (Christmas Bombings)

    Operation Linebacker II (Christmas Bombings)
    American B-52s and fighter-bombers dropped over 20,000 tons of bombs on Hanoi and Haiphong. The bombings forced the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table.
  • Paris Peace Accords signed

    Paris Peace Accords signed
    Paris Peace Accords are signed, officially ending U.S. involvement in the war.
  • The last American combat soldiers withdraw from Vietnam

    The last American combat soldiers withdraw from Vietnam
    The last American combat troops leave South Vietnam, officially ending the war for the United States.
  • North Vietnam launched a large-scale assault on South Vietnam

    North Vietnam launched a large-scale assault on South Vietnam
    North Vietnam launches a long-planned offensive against South Vietnam. The resulting South Vietnamese retreat is chaotic and nearly 60,000 troops are dead or missing.
  • Fall of Saigon

    Fall of Saigon
    Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, is captured by North Vietnam. South Vietnamese President Duong Van Minh broadcats an unconditional surrender. This marked the end of the Vietnam War and lead to the reunification of Vietnam into a communist state.
  • Vietnam is unified as a communist country

    Vietnam is unified as a communist country
    Vietnam is unified as a communist country, and becomes the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.