What is the importance of Vietnamization

timeline The Vietnam War - the most important dates

March 02, 1965: Operation Rolling Thunder starts

The US President Lyndon B. Johnson orders an intensification of the air strikes. Operation Rolling Thunder begins. By October 30, 1968, the American Air Force had flown 304,000 sorties in North Vietnam. The defoliant "Agent Orange" is also used. This dangerous plant killer is destroying rice fields and poisoning water reservoirs. The chemical weapons of mass destruction affect not only the communist liberation army, but mainly the civilian population. The notorious napalm bombs used by the Americans are also causing terrible losses among the civilian population.

March 8, 1965: US combat troops enter South Vietnam

For the first time since the Korean War, American combat troops are returning to Asian soil. 3,500 Marines go ashore in Da Nang. Hanoi speaks of an "open declaration of war".

January 31, 1968: Tet offensive starts

The North Vietnamese People's Army starts the so-called Tet Offensive against South Vietnam. The guerrilla units temporarily take parts of Saigon and advance to the presidential palace, although around 500,000 US soldiers are stationed in South Vietnam.

March 16, 1968: Massacre in Mỹ Lai

A massacre of hundreds of villagers in Mỹ Lai becomes known and shakes the credibility of the USA. American soldiers kill and rape women, children and old people. US President Johnson is under pressure from the global public to stop the bombing north of the 20th parallel and urges peace negotiations.

October 31, 1968: end of the US bombing raids

US President Johnson announces the end of bombing raids against North Vietnam.

July 1969: The Nixon Doctrine

The new US President Richard M. Nixon proclaims his new doctrine: "Vietnamization". This means withdrawal of American troops. At the same time, his security advisor Henry Kissinger is examining the possibility of a decisive strike against North Vietnam, including the use of nuclear weapons.

March 1970: invasion of Cambodia

Nixon orders the invasion of neutral Cambodia. This leads to the largest anti-war demonstration in the United States.

March 1972: Invasion of South Vietnam

After the final withdrawal of the American ground troops from South Vietnam, the North Vietnamese troops are advancing further and further into South Vietnam.

January 27, 1973: Armistice agreement is signed

After almost five years of peace negotiations, North and South Vietnam sign a ceasefire agreement, which is not being respected. The fight continues, but the US is no longer involved.

April 30, 1975: End of the Vietnam War

After troops of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army occupy Saigon, South Vietnam surrenders. Saigon is renamed Ho Chi Minh City. This ends the Vietnam War after eleven years.