- 1946 French promise to recognise
the newly created Democratic Republic of Viet Nam
broken and French naval bombardment of Hai Phong kills 6,000
civilians and starts First Indo China War. War rages until 1954.
- 1954 French defeated at Dien Bien
Phu and withdraw from Indo China.
- 1957 Beginning of communist
insurgency in South Vietnam
- 1959 Weapons and men from North
Vietnam begin infiltrating the South
- 1960 US aid to the South Vietnamese
President, Ngo Dinh Diem, increased
President John F Kennedy
provides US military advisers to South Vietnam (12,000 by end of
- AATTV committed with 30
Viet Cong, the communist
guerrillas operating in South Vietnam, defeat units of ARVN, the
South Vietnamese army.
- President Diem overthrown
- 1964 North Vietnamese patrol boats
fire on the US destroyer USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin, triggering
start of US bombing raids on North Vietnam
US troops in Vietnam number
23,000 at start of year
- 1RAR committed in
- 1966. 400,000 US troops in Vietnam,
rising to 500,000 in 1967.
Tet Offensive - a combined
assault by Viet Cong and North Vietnamese army on US positions -
- More than 500 civilians die in My Lai massacre
1968 March 31 President Lyndon
Johnson announces on television that bombing north of
the 20th parallel will stop and that he will not seek re-election in
- Hanoi responds by de-escalating its insurgency efforts,
and in October Johnson orders total halt to bombing.
- US and Hanoi
agree to preliminary peace talks in Paris
- 1969 President Nixon draws back US
ground troops from Vietnam
- 1970 Nixon's national security
adviser, Henry Kissinger, and Le Duc Tho of the Vietnamese Politburo
start talks in Paris
- 1972 D Company 4RAR last
Australian Infantry Unit to leave SVN.
Ceasefire agreement with
guarantees of no further attacks on the sovereign nation of SVN by
NVN. "Peace with Honour"
Withdrawal of US troops completed by March.
- 1975 North Vietnamese troops invade
South Vietnam and take control of the whole country after South
April Last members of US
embassy staff evacuated by helicopter from roof of embassy
Human toll 3,000,000 military and civilian
Vietnamese. 58,000 Americans. 500 Australians