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The Vietnam War

Learn more about the Vietnam War (Second Indochina War), as well as the events that lead up to the conflict.

The Vietnam War (American War) in Photos
The Vietnam War, also known as the American War or Second Indochina War, in photographs

The Battle of Dien Bien Phu, 1954
The crushing Viet Minh victory over French colonial forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 marked the end of France's direct involvement in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (formerly French Indochina). The peace turned out to be only a lull before the Second Indochina War, also known as the Vietnam War, between Ho Chi Minh's forces and the United States.

A Quick Guide to the Vietnam War
A quick guide to facts on the Vietnam War; when did it happen, who was involved, who won the war, and how many people died?

Timeline of the Vietnam War: 1930-1945
In the early 20th century, France's colonial holdings in Indochina (Southeast Asia) were becoming restive. When Japan occupied the region that is now Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos during the Second World War, the Japanese encouraged anti-colonial sentiment. After Japan's defeat, the French assumed that they would get the colonies back... But...

Timeline of Vietnam: 1945-1946
After World War II, former colonial power France assumed that it would be given control over Southeast Asia (Indochina) once more. However, the people of Southeast Asia had other ideas. Chaos ensued as different armed groups sought to clean-up after the World War, reimpose French rule, or resist Vietnam's return to colonial status.

Timeline of Vietnam, 1946-1950
After World War II, France and Vietnam fought the First Indochina War. Meanwhile, the United States succumbed to anti-Communist hysteria in the McCarthy Era.

Timeline of Vietnam, 1951-1958
Even as France realized that it would lose the First Indochina War, and have to give up its colonial presence in Southeast Asia, the United States became more and more involved in events in the region. Anti-communist feelings in America, and the U.S. government's policy of "containment," led the U.S. to intervene against Ho Chi Minh's communist forces.

Timeline of the Early Vietnam War, 1959-1962
The Vietnam War (Second Indochina War) began in 1959, with the United States and its ally, the corrupt South Vietnamese President Diem, pitted against Ho Chi Minh's North Vietnamese Communist forces.

Timeline of the Vietnam War, 1963-1964
The Vietnam War took a turn for the worse in 1963-1964. Both President Kennedy and South Vietnam's President Diem were assassinated, and a string of Viet Cong victories turned the war's momentum decidedly in the communist force's favor. The United States was not fully committed to fighting the war, but refused to walk away from it, either.

Timeline of the Vietnam War: 1964-1965
Vietnam War Timeline - The Gulf of Tonkin Incident and Escalation: In 1964, the United States government was looking for a pretext to escalate U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. A U.S. destroyer, the U.S.S. Maddox, was gathering intelligence off the North Vietnamese coast when it was fired upon (no damage done). The Pentagon reported the incident as an unprovoked attack, and fabricated a second…

Timeline of the Vietnam War: 1965-1966
U.S. public opinion began to turn against the war after graphic TV news coverage of Marines attacking Da Nang, plus news that downed U.S. pilots were being paraded through the streets of Hanoi, N. Vietnam. Anti-war rallies gathered tens of thousands of protestors in cities across the country and around the world.

Timeline of the Vietnam War: 1967-1968
U.S. General Westmoreland begged for more troops as the Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive, a coordinated attack on more than 30 sites in South Vietnam. Anti-war protests grew ever larger and louder; the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. denounced the war. Then, U.S. troops commited a hideous war crime, slaughtering 300-500 unarmed Vietnamese...

Timeline of the Vietnam War: 1968-1969
Despite committing nearly half a million U.S. troops to Vietnam, the U.S. government gradually realized it was an unwinnable war. Meanwhile, protestors at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago were brutally assaulted by police and National Guard troops, and Richard Nixon became president. Public anger erupted over the loss of 46 U.S. troops in the Battle for Hamburger Hill- needless dea…

Timeline of the Vietnam War: 1969-1971
Even as the U.S. was drawing down its forces in Vietnam, President Nixon ordered secret invasions of Cambodia and Laos. At home, 250,000 anti-war protestors descended on Washington in the largest demonstration yet, and National Guardsmen killed four students at Kent State University in Ohio. The U.S. death toll in the war passed 45,000.

Timeline of the Vietnam War: 1971-1975
The U.S. withdraws and leaves South Vietnam to its fate. POWs are repatriated, and the Southern capital at Saigon falls in 1975. Vietnam is unified as the Independent Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a communist nation.

Vietnam War Stories - Personal Memories of the Vietnam War
Were you in the Vietnam War? Tell us the story of your personal memories from that conflict.

Timeline of the Vietnam War
Timeline of the Vietnam War (Second Indochina War). After World War II, France assumed that it would retake control of its colonial holdings in Southeast Asia. The Southeast Asian people had different ideas, however. After France's defeat by the Vietnamese in the First Indochina War, the U.S. became embroiled in a second war, which Americans...

Vietnam War Photo Gallery
Vietnam War photo gallery, featuring pictures of U.S., South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese soldiers and civilians.

The Tet Offensive | Vietnam War

What Was the Ho Chi Minh Trail?
The Ho Chi Minh Trail served as a vital supply line for communist forces during the Vietnam War. Learn more about this famous supply route here.

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