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Timeline of the Vietnam War: 1930-1945

Background: Late French Colonial Era and World War II

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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 the Vietnamese had other plans.

1930- Ho Chi Minh establishes Indochinese Communist Party to Oppose France

1932- Bao Dai becomes French-sponsored puppet emperor of Vietnam

1940- Japanese occupy Indochina (but French colonial administration remains)

1941- Japanese move into southern Vietnam; Allies impose oil embargo on Japan

1941- Ho Chi Minh returns to Vietnam, fights the Japanese alongside Americans

March 9, 1945- Japan ousts French government, reinstalls Bao Dai as Emperor

Summer 1945- famine hits Hanoi, 2 million + starve, peasants revolt

August, 1945- Ho Chi Minh founds Viet Minh; uprising against French & Japanese

August, 1945- Japan surrenders to Allied Forces. Bao Dai abdicates throne.

August, 1945- Liberated France granted control of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam

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