What follows is an accurate timeline of the events leading up to, during and following the Vietnam War.
- The Japanese establish an independent Vietnam under the leadership Emperor Bao Dai between March 9 and 11.
- On August 15, the Japanese surrender and thus ending World War II.
- On September 5, Ho Chi Minh leads the Vietminh to Hanoi and declares a Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
- On September 15, British forces begin to disarm Japanese forces and restore power to the French.
- France recognizes the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as an independent state within the Indochinese Union.
- On November 23, Haiphong is shelled by French warships.
- On October 1, the People's Republic of China is established.
- Both the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China recognize Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam as legitimate.
- On July 26, President Truman grants the French $15 million of aid for their war effort in French Indochina.
- Cambodia gains its independence from France on November 9.
- The Geneva Conference of 1954 convenes to solve the Korean War and help to establish peace in French Indochina.
- On March 13, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu begins.
- On May 7, French forces surrender at Dien Bien Phu.
- On July 21, the Geneva Accords are signed thus ending the First Indochina War and dividing Vietnam at the 17th Parallel.
- On September 8, the South-East Asia Treaty Organization(SEATO) is established.