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WORLD WAR II 1939-1945
11 Mar 38
The German Army entered Vienna citing "acts of provocation" and united Austria and Germany, imprisoning Austrian Chancellor Shuschnigg.
14 Mar 39
Germany occupied Czechoslovakia citing "violent persecutions" against the German minority in Bohemia in the Sudentenland.
1 Sep 39
Germany attacks Poland over the Danzig Corridor to start World War II. France and Britian (and other nations) declare war on Germany and her Axis partner Italy. USA remains its neutrality.
Japan forces occupy Vietnam, restricting local French administrators to figurehead authority.
The communists organize the Viet Minh (Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh, or "League for the Independence of Vietnam") to launch an uprising at the war's end.
10 Jul 40
Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, French Premier, suspends the French constitution and establishes a fascistic government at Vichy in collaboration with Nazi Germany.
Communist activist Ho Chi Minh secretly returns to Vietnam after 30 years in exile and organizes a nationalist organization known as the League for the Independence of Vietnam (Viet Minh).
Japanese troops occupy Vietnam. The Vichy French colonial government is allowed by the Japanese to continue to administer Vietnam. French repression continues.
The Viet Minh resist Japanese occupation with the help of the United States and China. The Chinese Nationalists set up the Vietnam Revolutionary League (Dong Minh Hoi) as an anti-communist movement. The Chinese Nationalists initially imprison Ho Chi Minh as a communist, but he convinces them he is a Nationalist first and fighting teh Japanese is a comon cause. Ho is set free and given command of the Dong Minh Hoi. Ho returns to Vietnam and rejoins the Viet Minh under Vo Nguyen Giap.
1 Sep 41
USA assumes responsibility for trans-Atlantic convoys from Canada to Iceland.
7 Dec 41
The Empire of Japan attacks the U.S. military forces on Oahu in Hawaii, including the naval base at Pearl Harbor. The USA declares war on Japan, Germany and Italy.
The U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS, the forerunner of the CIA) allies with Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Minh guerrillas to harass Japanese troops and to help rescue downed American pilots. Ho Chi Minh becomes "Agent 19" under the supervision of MAJ Archimedes Patti.
3 Sep 43
Italy surrenders to the Allies.
9 Mar 45
Amid rumors of a possible American invasion, Japanese overthrow the Vichy French Decoux Government which had been operating independently as the colonial government and proclaim an "independent" Vietnam, with Emperor Bao Dai as nominal ruler. Premier Tran Trong Kim forms the first Vietnamese government.
30 Apr 45
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies.
30 Apr 45
Major Archimedes Patti US Office of Strategic Services(OSS) meets with Ho Chi Minh who shows his support for America and later asks Patti to take this message back to the American people., ".. . that the Vietnamese loved the Americans; ... tell the Americans that the Vietnamese would never fight the Americans". American arms and instructors support is increased to Ho and Giap.
May-Jul 45
Severe famine strikes Hanoi and surrounding areas eventually resulting in two million deaths from starvation out of a population of ten million. The famine generates political unrest and peasant revolts against the Japanese and remnants of French colonial society. Ho Chi Minh capitalizes on the turmoil by successfully spreading his Viet Minh movement.
8 May 45
Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies.

Following the Nazi defeat, the Potsdam Conference is held by the Allies including the U.S., Britain, and Soviet Union to plan the post-war world. Vietnam is considered a minor item on the agenda; in order to disarm the Japanese in Vietnam, the Allies divide the country in half at the 16th parallel. Chinese Nationalists will move in and disarm the Japanese north of the parallel while the British will move in and do the same in the south. During the conference, representatives from France request the return of all French pre-war colonies in Southeast Asia (Indochina). Their request is granted. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia will once again become French colonies following the removal of the Japanese.

26 Jul 45
The Allies at the Potsdam Conference offer Japan an opportunity to end the war by an unconditional surrender.

6 Aug 45

At 8:15 am the USA exploded the 15 kiloton "Little Boy" atomic bomb over the Urakimi district of Hiroshima. It was dropped from the Enola Gay, a B-29 flown by LTC Paul Tibbets. By the end of 1945, the death toll from Little Boy stood at approximately 140,000, and an estimated 60,000 later died from delayed effects of the bombing.
9 Aug 45
At 11:02 am the USA exploded the 21 kiloton "Fat Man" atomic bomb over the Urakimi district of Nagasaki. By the end of 1945, the death toll from Fat Man stood at 73,884 with another 74,909 injured. 6.7 million square meters were levelled, with 18,409 homes destroyed.
9 Aug 45
The Soviet Union declares war on Japan.
10 Aug 45
Japan surrenders unconditionally by stating, "The Japanese Government are ready to accept the terms enumerated in the joint declaration which was issued at Potsdam on July 26, 1945..." However, the Japanese response contained a condition affirming the perogatives of the Emperor as a sovereign ruler.
11 Aug 45
James F. Bryne, U.S. Secretary of State, responded to the Japanese that the surrender was to be unconditional, per the Potsdam declaration.
14 Aug 45
The Japanese Government agree to unconditional surrender per the Potsdam terms.
19 Aug 45
At a spontaneous non-communist meeting in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh assumed a leading role in the movement to wrest power from the French. With the Japanese still in control of Indochina, Bao Dai went along because he thought that the Viet Minh were working with the OSS and could guarantee independence for Vietnam..
Aug 45
Vietnam's puppet emperor, Bao Dai, abdicates.
Aug 45
Ho Chi Minh's guerrillas occupy Hanoi and proclaim a provisional government in the North of Vietnam.
2 Sep 45
On the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Japanese representatives sign the Instrument of Surrender proclaiming their unconditional surrender.
2 Sep 45
Chinese Nationalists accept surrender of Japanese Occupation Forces north of the 16th parallel.
2 Sep 45
The British are to accept surrender south of the line under British Major General Douglas Gracey's 20th Indian Division, some 26,000 men in all. British General Gracey arrives in Siagon (South Vietnam) which is in turmoil.
2 Sep 45
The Communist dominated Viet Minh Independence League with support from United States officials seizes power: Ho Chi Minh establishes the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (GRDV) in Hanoi, and issues his Declaration of Independence, drawing heavily upon the American Declaration of Independence as well as Sun Yatsen's "Three-people Doctrine".
2 Sep 45
Emperor Bao Dai abdicates
2 Sep 45
Ho Chi Minh writes several letters to US President Harry Truman requesting recognition, citing the Atlantic Charter and then the United Nations Charter on self-determination. He received no response.
Sep 45
The head of the OSS mission in Saigon, COL Peter Dewey, is shot by the Viet Minh, becoming the first American to die in the Viet Nam war.
22 Sep 45
The British release 1,400 French Paratroop POWs from Japanese camps around Saigon. With some of the 20,000 French citizens living there, the French riot, killing Viet Minh suspects and ordinary Vietnamese civilians in Saigon. The defeated Japanese forces are re-armed to assist and restore order. The Viet Minh respond by calling a national strike and organize a guerrilla campaign against the French.
23 Sep 45
French troops return to Vietnam and clash with Communist and Nationalist forces and seize power in the south, with British help.
24 Sep 45
General Jacque Philippe Leclerc arrives in Siagon and declares, " We have come to claim our inheritance". The first Indo-China War of 1946 - 1954, had begun.
Oct 1945
October A purely bilateral British/French agreement recognizes French administration of the southern zone.
Oct 45
In the North 180,000 Chinese troops go on a "rampage". Ho's Viet Minh are hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with it. Ho Chi Minh accepts an Allied compromise for temporary return of 15,000 French troops to rid the North of anti-Communists. The Chinese troops of Chiang flee to Taiwan, looting as they depart.
As World War II ends, starvation kills over 1 million Vietnamese.
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