Timeline of the Vietnam War: Key Events and Political Leaders

Certainly the vietnam war was a protracted conflict that lasted from 1955 to 1975 and remains one of the most significant and controversial events in modern history the war began as a struggle for independence by the communist led viet minh against french colonial rule but quickly escalated into a cold war era proxy war between the united states which supported south vietnam s anti communist government and the soviet union and china which backed north vietnam the conflict claimed millions of lives both military and civilian and left lasting political social and economic impacts on vietnam and the united states in this table we will explore some of the key events and political leaders that shaped the vietnam war including battles treaties and major figures such as presidents and military commanders

S. No.Key EventsYearPolitical LeadersResults
1Geneva Accords1954Ho Chi Minh (Viet Minh)Divided Vietnam into North and South
2Gulf of Tonkin Resolution1964Lyndon B. Johnson (US), Nguyen Van Thieu (South Vietnam)Increased US involvement in Vietnam
3Tet Offensive1968Ho Chi Minh (North Vietnam)Turning point of the war
4Paris Peace Accords1973Henry Kissinger (US), Le Duc Tho (North Vietnam)Ceasefire and US withdrawal
5Fall of Saigon1975Nguyen Van Thieu (South Vietnam)Communist victory, unification of Vietnam
6Ho Chi Minh’s Death1969Ho Chi Minh (North Vietnam)New leadership for North Vietnam
7Operation Rolling Thunder1965-1968Lyndon B. Johnson (US)Intense bombing campaign in Vietnam
8My Lai Massacre1968William Calley (US)War crime, tarnished US reputation
9Easter Offensive1972Le Duan (North Vietnam)Massive attack on South Vietnam
10Kent State Shootings1970Richard Nixon (US)Anti-war protests turned deadly
11Agent Orange1961-1971Dwight D. Eisenhower (US), Richard Nixon (US)Toxic chemical used as defoliant
12Hanoi Hilton1954-1973Ho Chi Minh (North Vietnam), John McCain (US)Infamous POW camp
13Operation Ranch Hand1962-1971John F. Kennedy (US), Lyndon B. Johnson (US)More chemical defoliation of Vietnam
14Buddhist Crisis1963Ngo Dinh Diem (South Vietnam)Protests against discriminatory policies
15Domino Theory1950s-1970sDwight D. Eisenhower (US), Richard Nixon (US)Fear of communism spreading globally
16Gulf of Tonkin Incident1964Lyndon B. Johnson (US)Pretext for increased US involvement
17Operation Cedar Falls1967William Westmoreland (US)Large-scale search and destroy mission
18Operation Linebacker II1972Richard Nixon (US)Intense bombing of North Vietnam
19Battle of Hue1968Vo Nguyen Giap (North Vietnam)Fierce urban combat in South Vietnam
20Kent State Shootings1970Richard Nixon (US)Anti-war protests turned deadly
21Cambodian Campaign1970Richard Nixon (US)Expansion of war into Cambodia
22Paris Peace Talks1968-1973Henry Kissinger (US), Le Duc Tho (North Vietnam)Attempt to negotiate end to war
23Christmas Bombings1972Richard Nixon (US)Continued bombing despite peace talks
24Battle of Khe Sanh1968William Westmoreland (US)Lengthy and costly siege in South Vietnam
25Operation Game Warden1965-1971Nguyen Van Thieu (South Vietnam)US naval operation in Mekong Delta
26Operation Prairie1966William Westmoreland (US)Search and destroy mission in South Vietnam
27Paris Peace Accords1973Henry Kissinger (US), Le Duc Tho (North Vietnam)Ceasefire and US withdrawal
28National Liberation Front1960sHo Chi Minh (North Vietnam)Guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam
29Operation Attleboro1966William Westmoreland (US)Search and destroy mission in South Vietnam
30Pentagon Papers1971Daniel Ellsberg (US)Secret documents leaked to press
31Easter Offensive1972Vo Nguyen Giap (North Vietnam)Large-scale invasion of South Vietnam
32Agent Orange use1960s-70sUS militaryHerbicide use caused lasting health effects
33Fall of Saigon1975Nguyen Van Thieu (South Vietnam), Gerald Ford (US)Communist victory and reunification of Vietnam
34Tet Offensive1968Vo Nguyen Giap (North Vietnam)Coordinated attacks during Vietnamese New Year
35Ho Chi Minh Trail1959-1975NVA and Viet CongSupply route from North to South Vietnam
36Operation Phoenix1965-1972US militaryCounterinsurgency program in South Vietnam
37My Lai Massacre1968William Calley (US)Mass killing of civilians in South Vietnam
38Operation Rolling Thunder1965-1968Lyndon B. Johnson (US)Intense bombing campaign in North Vietnam
39Battle of Hamburger Hill1969William Westmoreland (US)Costly battle in South Vietnam
40Tet Offensive leads to US withdrawal1968-1973Richard Nixon (US)Public opinion turns against war
41Operation Menu1969-1970Richard Nixon (US)Secret bombing of Cambodia
42Laotian Civil War1953-1975Royal Lao Government, Pathet Lao, US, NVACommunist victory and takeover of Laos
43Geneva Accords1954Dwight D. Eisenhower (US)Ceasefire and partition of Vietnam
44Battle of Ia Drang Valley1965Hal Moore (US)First major US ground engagement
45Operation Junction City1967William Westmoreland (US)Largest US operation of the war
46Gulf of Tonkin Resolution repealed1971US CongressLimits presidential power in war-making
47Operation Freedom Deal1969-1970Richard Nixon (US)Bombing campaign in eastern Cambodia
48Operation Lam Son 7191971Nguyen Van Thieu (South Vietnam)Failed ARVN offensive in Laos
49Paris Peace Accords signed1973Henry Kissinger (US), Le Duc Tho (North Vietnam)US troop withdrawal and ceasefire
50Battle of Hanoi1972Vo Nguyen Giap (North Vietnam)US bombing campaign halted

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