The Success of the Viet Minh

Topics: Vietnam, Vietnam War, French Indochina Pages: 7 (2668 words) Published: September 4, 2010
Like many other parts of Asia and Africa, Indochina also fell under the control of a European power in the 1800s. By the year 1893, France had established its power over all of Indochina. Over the next century, French imperialists abused the principles of "freedom, equality and fraternity", violated the integrity of land and oppressed the people of Indochina. During this century of French oppression and corruption, Vietnamese nationalism against the French surged and became more intense. The outbreak of World War II in September 1939 provided a real opportunity to end French Control of Indochina. From 1940 onwards, Nazi Germany forces controlled northern France and influenced the nominally neutral Vichy Government that ruled southern France. The Vichy Government lacked the strength to retain control of all of France’s overseas colonies. With the fall of France to Germany in 1940, Japanese forces invaded Vietnam, occupying until 1945. Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese socialist activist saw the Japanese invasion as an opportunity to construct a new nationalist force, one that appealed to all of Vietnamese society. Therefore, in May 1941, he founded the Viet Minh (League for the independence of Vietnam). The Viet Minh (VM) was a national independence movement that was initially formed to seek liberation from the French empire as well as to defeat imperialist Japan. The VM was heavily influenced by nationalists groups across Indochina, especially the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP), which was also founded by Ho Chi Minh. While Ho was the founder and architect of the Viet Minh, the main figure of the military development was Vo Nguyen Giap. Implacable and having great abilities as an organiser, Giap was the ideal choice for a military General. He completely understood the works and writings of Mao, Trotsky, Sun Tzu and Napoleon- and was able to create his own methods and war tactics. General Giap alongside the Viet Minh became very successful and achieved many goals. The outstanding successes of the Viet Minh included: overthrowing Japanese control in Vietnam during World War II, the defeat of France in the First Indochinese War, winning the hearts and minds of the people in Vietnam and gaining Independence of Vietnam. During World War II, Japan had occupied French Indochina in 1940. As well as fighting the French colonists in Vietnam, the VM had started to move against the Japanese. Due to their opposition to the Japanese, the VM received secretly supplied funding and weapons from the United States of America and the Republic of China. Japan eventually surrendered to the war in August 1945. With this, the Japanese handed over control of some public buildings and weapons that had been demanded from the French army to the VM. The VM also recruited more than 600 of the Japanese soldiers, who fought in the war against France until 1954. General Vo Nguyen Giap had an important role in the success of this war. He fought against the Japanese after Ho convinced him to fight using guerrilla warfare and to adopt guerrilla tactics. After Japan's surrender, the VM successfully took control over Hanoi and Cochin China in 1945. For their victory and success against the Japanese, and hence the French, Ho Chi Minh Proclaimed the independence of Vietnam on the 2nd of September 1945. "The French Fled, the Japanese surrendered. Emperor Bao Dai abdicated, our ... and finally our Viet Nam an Independent Country...". However, the French did not accept the declaration of independence and, in October 1945, they returned to re-establish their control of Indochina. in response to this, Ho Chi Minh travelled to France to try to negotiate a compromise with the French representatives in an attempt to prevent the outbreak of war. However, by 1946, it became noticeable that that there would be no compromise Negotiations between the French and VM broke down quickly. What followed was nearly ten years of war between the Vietnamese and the French. This was became...
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