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Timeline of Vietnam, 1946-1950

First Indochina War and U.S. McCarthy Era

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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.

Nov. 1946- French shell Haiphong Harbor, 6,000+ Vietnamese civilians killed

Dec. 16, 1946- First Indochina War begins, Viet Minh attack French at Hanoi

Oct. 7 to Dec. 22, 1947- French Operation Lea, attack Viet Minh

Oct. 1949- Mao's Communists win Chinese Civil War. U.S. policy of "containment"

Jan. 1950- USSR and PRC recognize Ho Chi Minh's government

Feb. 1950- U.S. and U.K. recognize Bao Dai's government in South Vietnam

Feb. 7, 1950- McCarthy Era begins in U.S., anti-communist hysteria

1950- U.S. gives French forces in Vietnam $15 million; China supplies Viet Minh

Aug. 3, 1950- first 35 U.S. military advisors arrive in Saigon

Sept. 16, 1950- France suffers heavy defeat, loses 6,000 men and many supplies

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