Vietnam War

  • Jan 1, 1428

    Le Loi's Rebels

    Le Loi was a Vietnamese military leader who used guerrilla warfare to defeat the Chinese invaders. By 1428, the rebels had driven the Chinese from the country and won independence for Vietnam.
  • Vietnamese Lost Independance

    French military power had won out the Vietnamese, and they were forced to give France control of the country. This displeased the Vietnamese similarly to how the Chinese had before, when they fought back and regained independance.
  • Japanese in the Mix

    The Japanese took control of the French colonial government in place in Vietnam. No changes were made aside from them now being in control.
  • France and Vietminh go to War

    As France and the Vietminh locked into battle, President Truman put U.S. support behind the French rather than the Vietnamese, because France would make a better ally. This greatly decreased U.S. popularity in Vietnam.
  • U.S. Struggle With North Korea

    Communistic North Korea had invaded South Korea, so predictably, the U.S. was out on Korean soil backing up South Korea in attempt to deter the spread of communism.
  • Vietminh Defeated the French

    After the Korean War, the U.S. was reluctant to get invovled in another Asian war, so they backed out their support for France. As a result of this, the Vietminh defeated the French and forced them to surrender at Dien Bien Phu.
  • The Geneva Conference

    At an international conference, representatives of the French and the Vietminh tried to map out Indochina's future. Communist China hoped ot limit U.S. influence in the region, and didn't want Vietnam to be a strong country. The U.S., however, didn't want Vietnam to just be handed over to the communists.
  • Diem Seizes Power in the South

    Diem became president of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) in 1955 through a rigged election. Since he knew he wouldn't win in an election against Ho Chi Minh, he refused to call an election in July 1956, when the date set by the Genebea Conference came. He was already unpopular in Vietnam, this only made it worse.
  • Military Assistance for the Vietminh

    Military assistance started flowing from the north to the Vietminh who had stayed in the south.
  • U.S. Doubt

    The year 1962 was when people started arguing that the war was not being won and could not be won as long as America supported Diem, because he was unpopular and corrupt. Criticism from the U.S. public started brewing.
  • Diem Murdered

    U.S. leaders gave some secret encouragement to a group of young South Vietnamese army officers who planned to overthrow Diem. In November 1963, the plotters struck, murdering both Diem and his brother. A murder wasn't quite what the U.S. had in mind, but it would cernatinly do.
  • U.S. Ships Attacked

    Presidet Johnson announced that U.S. ships had been attacked twice in the Gulf of Tonkin. He claimed the attacks were unprovoked, but it was later found that one of the ships had been engaged in spying on North Vietnam and had fired first. Even so, the U.S. public was wound up.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder

    President Johnson had hoped to use air power to secure a quick victory. Operation Rolling Thunder was a campaign against military targest in the North. He claimed he kept close watch of the operation, saying "they can't even bomb an outhouse without my approval."
  • American Forces in Vietnam

    The Selective Service notified 13,700 draftees, and by December some 40,000 had recieved "greetings" from their local draft boards. This was all to get more soldiers enlisted in the armed forces. Most of the 2.6 million people that served throughout the war were professional soldiers, but as demands for soldiers grew, more and more draftees were sent to Vietnam.
  • Antiwar Movement

    The first national antiwar demonstartoin was held in Washington, D.C. Over 20,000 people participated, from then on antiwar groups grew, so not everyone was as patriotic and supportive as the government hoped they would be.
  • The Tet Offensive

    As the South Vietnamese and the Americans slept, NLF guerrillas and North Vietnamese troops snuck up and attacked over 100 cities, and 12 U.S. military bases. Heavy fighting ensued and a lot of damage was dealt. Not only were many lives lost, but there was a tremendous political effect in the U.S. as more people questioned whether or not we should be at war.
  • Strategies for Peace

    President Nixon introduced a plan called Vietnamization, which invovled turning over the fighting to the South Vietnamise as U.S. troops were gradually pulled out. This strategy was meant to bring peace along with honor, rather than just pulling out all at once. But secretly, Nixon planned to widen the war into Cambodia, then remove U.S. troops.
  • Antiwar Protest Increases

    There was a huge antiwar demonstration wen toff at Kent State Universit in Ohio. National Guard troops were sent to keep control, but ended up firing into a group of students, killing four and injuring nine. Some of whom were just trying to walk to class. This angered the public greatly and increased the antiwar support.
  • Tonkin Gulf Resolution

    In question to Nixon's consitutional right to extend the war, Congress repealed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. But Nixon still insisted he had supreme authority to carry on with the war. Congress responded by making plans to end funding to the army once U.S. troops were withdrawn. This put Nixon in a bit of a pickle for the war.
  • More antiwar

    The New York Times published a collection of secret government documents that related to the war, which were known as the Pentagon Papers. They showed that the government had been misleading the American people about the course and intent of the war. People felt they had been lied to constantly and disapproval of the government and everthing it was doing increased even more.
  • Staged Invasion

    North Vietnam staged a huge invasion of the South in hopes of revealing the weakness of Ninxon's Vietnamization strategy. Nixon responded by ordering heavy bombing of the north. Even with the retaliation, the North still held more territory than ever.
  • Cease-fire

    Negotiators in Paris announced a cease-fire. It allowed each side to claim a diplomatic victory. The U.S. agreed to withdraw its remaining forces and help rebuild Vietnam. However, the cease-fire said nothing about the political future of Vietnam, which was the main problem.
  • North Vietnamese overran South Vietnam

    Two years after U.S. forces withdrew, North Vietnamese troops overran the northern part of South Vietnam. As South Vietnamese troops retreated, new waves of refugees poured into Saigon. The U.S. military then hastily evactuated.
  • Saigon Government Surrenders

    The Saigon Government officially surrendered unconditionally. This meant that for the Americans, the Vietnam War was over.