vietnam war

  • #1

    On March 6th, France recognizes the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) as a free state within the Indochinese Federation and French Union. Rejecting this as a phony independence the Viet Minh initiate the eight-year First Indochina War in December with attacks on French troops in the North. Using U.S. vessels the French bombard the port of Haiphong, killing 6,000 civilians, then occupy the port and the city of Hanoi
  • #2

    The Truman Doctrine is issued, promising U.S. support for armed opposition to communists across the globe.
  • #3

    The Cold War with the Soviet Union opens most dramatically with the Berlin Airlift ordered by President Truman. The communist government of East Germany, with the direction and backing of the Soviet Union, blockaded access to West Berlin in an effort to remove the joint British, French, and American zone of control in the city. Washington initiates funding for the French war against the Viet Minh.
  • #4

    In March France recognizes an “independent” state of Vietnam; Bao Dai becomes its leader in June. During July, Laos is also recognized as an independent state with ties to France. In November the same status is accorded to Cambodia. Chinese communists proclaim the People’s Republic of China.
  • #5

    Communists from Thailand, Laos, and North Vietnam meet in March. As a result an agreement is reached whereby the Vietminh are allowed to use areas in Laos along the border with Vietnam for the staging of equipment and men in their war against the French. During the later American war this will become part of the “Ho Chi Minh” Trail.
  • #6

    Four hundred U.S. advisers and supply personnel are serving in Vietnam. Toward the end of the year the French casualties approach 90,000. General Giap begins to develop a strategy to draw the French out to the Laotian border by conducting a show of strength with a march into Laos to the outskirts of Luang Prabang, the royal capitol.
  • #7

    The U.S. is providing increasing support for the French effort in Indochina, supplying 80% of the dollar cost. A December Viet Minh offensive cuts Vietnam in two near the 17th parallel. Prince Norodom Sihanouk gains independence for Cambodia from France.
  • #8

    On January 3, 1957 the International Control Commission declares that both North and South Vietnam had failed to comply with the Geneva Agreements.
  • #9

    In January the Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins hearings questioning the legality of the U.S. military operations in Vietnam. Elements of the media begin to refer to a “credibility gap” between the administration's statements and the public's willingness to believe them. By the end of the year General Westmoreland commands over 1 million troops in Vietnam, including 385,300. U.S. servicemen. Over 5,000 U.S. troops are killed in this year, and 30,000 wounded.
  • #10

    In August Nixon resigns as a result of Watergate, and is replaced by Gerald Ford (Spiro Agnew, who had been vice president had earlier been forced to resign in 1973 in a corruption scandal.). Ford immediately pardons Nixon for “any and all” crimes he may have committed while in office.