September: French warships attack Da Nang harbour, in response to the execution of Catholic missionaries in Vietnam.
March 15th: The Treaty of Saigon: Vietnam cedes Saigon and three southern provinces to the French. This marks the beginning of French colonialism in Vietnam.
October: Formation of the Union Indochinoise (Union of French Indochina), a colonial confederation consisting of Cochinchina, Annam, Tonkin and Cambodia.
January: 12-year-old Bao Dai, the last Nguyen emperor of Vietnam, commences his reign.
February 10th: Around 100 Vietnamese soldiers mutiny and kill five French soldiers in Yen Bai, northern Vietnam.
February: The formation of the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP), led by Ho Chi Minh and backed by the Comintern.
September: After months of intimidation and coercive negotiations, Japanese forces invade Vietnam.
May 19th: Nationalist and communist groups in Pac Bo form the Viet Minh, a coalition for Vietnamese independence.
February: Ho Chi Minh writes to US president Franklin Roosevelt, seeking his political backing. The request is ignored.
March: The Japanese occupying forces claim sovereignty over Vietnam, ending French authority.
April: Death of US president Roosevelt. He is replaced by Harry S. Truman.
August 14th: Japan formally surrenders to the Allies. Japanese forces in Vietnam remain in control temporarily.
August 19th: Ho Chi Minh calls for a ‘national uprising’ to wrest control from the French and gain independence.
August 30th: Bao Dai, the Japanese-backed puppet emperor of Vietnam, abdicates.
August: Viet Minh guerrillas occupy Hanoi and proclaim a provisional government.
September 2nd: Japanese delegates sign the Instrument of Surrender on the USS Missouri, ending World War II.
September 2nd: Ho Chi Minh proclaims a declaration of Vietnamese independence, to a crowd of 400,000 in Hanoi.
September 13th: British forces arrive in southern Vietnam to oversee the disarmament and withdrawal of the Japanese.
September: Around 180,000 Chinese nationalist soldiers arrive in Hanoi to accept the Japanese surrender.
September 22nd: 1,400 French soldiers enter Saigon and attack Viet Minh members and civilians.
September 24th: Members of Binh Xuyen, a Vietnamese terrorist group, massacre 200 Europeans in Saigon.
October: 35,000 French soldiers arrive in southern Vietnam to assist with the restoration of French colonial rule.
October: Under pressure from occupying Chinese officials, Ho Chi Minh dissolves the Indochina Communist Party.