After the 2nd World War America intervened in Vietnam to stop the spread of communism. Ultimately the Communist North Vietnam emerged victorious.
Timeline Of The Vietnam War:
1945: The occupying Japanese forces surrender to the Allies. The Vietminh (an indigenous Vietnamese group) led by Ho Chi Minh assumed power. The nation was called Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
1946: The first Indochina War began.
1947: The French fail in their attempt to destroy the Vietminh.
1949: The Elysee agreement is signed between the French and former Emperor Bo Dai.
1950: The People’s Republic of China recognized the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The US sent military aid to the French in Vietnam.
1954: The Vietminh defeated the French in the battle for Dien Bien Phu. This weakened the French resolve to continue the war. The French negotiated a ceasefire agreement with the Vietminh at the Geneva Conference. The country was partitioned into two states. President Eisenhower quotes the Domino Theory regarding Southeast Asia. According to the theory if Vietnam becomes communist all of Southeast Asia will follow suit.
1955: Ngo Dinh Diem assumed the Presidency of South Vietnam. Diem was an avowed anti-communist. He launched military operations against the Buddhist Hoa Hao and the Cao Dai religious sects.
1956: The French left Vietnam.
1957: The Vietminh launched an insurgency in South Vietnam. Local government officials and schoolteachers were targeted.
1959: A North Vietnamese Army Unit was established to create a supply route from North Vietnam to Vietcong (a communist army based in South Vietnam) forces in South Vietnam. The route was called the Ho Chi Minh trail.
1960: John F Kennedy became the US President. There was a coup attempt against Diem.
1961: President Kennedy pledged more support for the South Vietnamese government. Vice President Lyndon B Johnson visited Saigon. American helicopters arrived in South Vietnam.
1962: The Americans used ‘Agent Orange’ (an herbicide containing the deadly chemical Dioxin) on vegetation. President Kennedy ordered a build-up of American forces in Thailand.
1963: President Kennedy was assassinated in the US. President Diem was toppled in a coup and killed. The Vietcong defeated the American and South Vietnamese solders at the hamlet of Ap Bac.
1964: The USS Maddox fired upon and damaged several enemy torpedo boats along the coast of North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. Vietcong attacked Bien Hoa Airbase near Saigon. The Gulf of Tonkin resolution was passed in the US Congress. General Nguyen Khanh took over South Vietnam in a bloodless coup.
1965: Vietcong forces captured Binh Gia, a village 40 miles from Saigon. The US armed forces started Operation Rolling Thunder and Operation Flaming Dart. The US Congress allocated 2.4 billion US dollars for the Vietnam War operations. US troop levels crossed 200,000. 3500 US Marines were sent to South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese forces suffered heavy casualties in the battle of the La Drang.
1966: Operation Crimp is launched by the US. 1300 North Vietnamese soldiers are killed near Con Thein. Operation Attleboro was launched in Tay Ninh province by the US and South Vietnamese in which 150 Americans and over 100 Vietcong soldiers were killed. American troop levels in Vietnam reach 385,000.
1967: Martin Luther King opposed the Vietnam War. Nguyen Van Thieu became the President of South Vietnam. Operation Cedar Falls was launched by the US and South Vietnam. US attacked North Vietnamese airfields.
1968: The North Vietnamese army launched the Tet offensive. Peace talks started between the Democratic republic of Vietnam and the US. Operation Pegasus was launched. Operation Rolling Thunder ended. Nixon won the US Presidential election. American troops killed civilians including women and children in the village of My Lai. This became known as the My Lai Massacre.
1969: Operation Menu was launched in which the North Vietnamese and Vietcong bases within Cambodia were bombed. The Vietcong attacked the American Bases all over South Vietnam in which 1,140 Americans were killed. President Nixon met the South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu. He declared that 25,000 US troops would be withdrawn immediately.
1970: South Vietnam launched an attack on the Vietcong bases in Cambodia. There were secret talks between Henry Kissinger and Le Duc of North Vietnam.
1971: The Pentagon Papers were leaked to The New York Times, which contained the top-secret history of US involvement in Vietnam. Lt Calley was convicted for the My Lai Massacre. Operation Proud Deep was launched in which the US carried air strikes on North Vietnam.
1972: Nixon’s National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger held secret negotiations with North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho. Nixon reduced US troops in Vietnam by 70,000. North Vietnam attacked the city of Hue.
1973: North Vietnamese Foreign Minister Le Duc Tho and US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger signed The Paris Peace Accord. They both were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The last American troops left South Vietnam.
1974: President Nixon resigned over the Watergate Scandal. Ford became US president. US Congress cut aid to South Vietnam. North Vietnam captured Dong Xoai.
1975: The US officially announced the end of the Vienam War on April 23. North Vietnam captured Phuoc City. They launched an attack in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese captured Hue, South Vietnams third- largest city. The last American civilians were evacuated from Saigon. The North Vietnamese captured Saigon on April 30.