Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Thursday, 16 November 2000

Vietnam 1945 to 1975: timeline

Key events in the background to the Vietnam war:

1945 - Viet Minh - a broad front of Vietnamese patriots and nationalists controlled by the Communist Party - seize power. Ho Chi Minh announces independence.

1946 - French forces attack Viet Minh in Haiphong in November sparking the war of resistance against France.

1950 - Democratic Republic of Vietnam is recognised by China and USSR.

1954 - At Geneva Conference, Vietnam is split into North and South at the 17th Parallel.

1956 - South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem begins campaign against political dissidents.

1957 - Beginning of communist insurgency in the South.

1959 - Weapons and men from North Vietnam begin infiltrating the South.

1960 - American aid to Diem increased.

1962 - Number of US military advisers in South Vietnam rises to 12,000.

1963 - Viet Cong, the communist guerrillas operating in South Vietnam, defeat units of ARVN, South Vietnamese Army. President Diem overthrown.

1964 - US destroyer allegedly attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats. This triggers start of pre-planned American bombing raids on North Vietnam.

1965 - 200,000 American combat troops arrive in South Vietnam.

1966 - US troop numbers in Vietnam rise to 400,000, then to 500,000 the following year.

1968 - Tet Offensive - a combined assault by Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army on US positions - begins. More than 500 civilians die in My Lai massacre.

1969 - President Nixon draws back US ground troops from Vietnam.

1970 - Nixon's National Security adviser, Henry Kissinger, and Le Duc Tho, for the Hanoi government, start talks in Paris.

1973 - Ceasefire agreement in Paris, US troop pull-out completed by March.

1975 - North Vietnamese troops invade South Vietnam and take control of the whole country after South Vietnamese President Duong Van Minh surrenders.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific