Published on August 13, 2008
Viet Minh 1940 - 1954 David Brown
Background Information The Viet Minh or League for the Independence of Vietnam were a liberation movement formed in 1941 by Ho Chi Minh. Their objectives were to ensure that Vietnam could become a republic by opposing the French colonialists and fighting the Japanese who were invading during World War 2. Viet Minh Flag Viet Minh Soldiers Performing Drill Viet Minh Soldiers Making Their Way Along a River
Ho Chi Minh was born in Vietnam in May of 1890. As far as anyone knows his mother was a housewife who was kept busy by raising her 4 children (Ho Chi Minh included). His father was a Confucian Scholar, a teacher and later on an imperial magistrate. Ho Chi Minh grew up with a French education and later traveled to France, the US, England, Russia and China; all the time gaining knowledge and experience. He spent much of his time studying western literature and newspapers to familiarise himself with Western Politics and to generally develop his own political outlook. In 1941 Ho Chi Minh returned to Vietnam to lead the Vietnamese independence movement against the French and the Japanese. To do this he needed and organisation and an army. This was when the Viet Minh was formed. Ho Chi Minh Viet Minh Guard of Honor Ho Chi Minh in 1945
WW2 The Second World War saw the Japanese attempt to occupy French Indochina. The Viet Minh were already rebelling against the French colonialists but decided it was also necessary to start a campaign against the Japanese. This turned out to be a good move. The Chinese and the US backed the Viet Minh and provided them with arms and equipment. To spite this the Chinese imprisoned Ho Chi Minh for 1 year during the fight against the Japanese because he was a believer of the communist ideology. A Collection of Viet Minh Artillery Provided by the US during WW2 A Japanese Soldier Threatens a Vietnamese Civilian
Ho Chi Minh Declares Democratic Republic of Vietnam Japan surrendered in August of 1945. Shortly after this they handed over public buildings in Hanoi to the Viet Minh, but not before they had also handed over nationalist leaders of the Viet Minh to the French. On September 2 1945 Ho Chi Minh Declared the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to half a million people in Hanoi as a communist provisional government. Tribute to Ho Chi Minh Ho Chi Minh Delivering the Declaration of Independence to 500 000 People in Hanoi
First Indochina War Just days after Ho Chi Minh had Declared independence the Chinese arrived to supervise the withdrawal of the Japanese Army. This was because the new Democratic Republic of Vietnam existed only on paper. No territory had been claimed or taken by force from the Japanese. Negotiation then began between the Viet Minh, the Chinese and the French. At the end of the negotiations it was decided that the Chinese would leave and that the French could return to Vietnam as long as the Vietnamese people could have independence. However, these peaceful negotiations between the French and the Viet Minh did not last long. Almost 10 years of fighting against the French was to follow in what would go down in history as The First Indochina War . Viet Minh Flag Flag of French Indochina Chinese Flag
Dien Bien Phu & the End of the War The First Indochina War continued until March of 1954 when the Battle of Dien Bien Phu broke out. The battle went from March 13th to May 7th in which time there were 23 000 casualties, almost 2 300 of them being losses of life. The Battle was won by the Viet Minh who made the tactical decision to occupy the hills around Dien Bien Phu and fire down on the French before a series of sieges and over runs of French positions ensued. French numbers were significantly reduced and towards the end of the battle French soldiers fled into the wilderness to prevent being killed or captured. The Viet Minh, although having sustained large casualties rallied their remaining forces and pursued the French into the wilderness where they caught them and effectively ended the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Shortly after the battle had ended the war ended with the Geneva Accords, under which the French agreed to leave Vietnam. However, the Geneva Accords also split the country in two which caused rival Vietnamese settlements to fight and ended up starting the Second Indochina War (better known as The Vietnam War). The Fall of Dien Bien Phu
References Information References Wikipedia. Viet Minh. Introduction & Chapters 1, 2 & 3. [Internet] Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viet_Minh Wikipedia. Ho Chi Minh. Introduction & Chapters 1-8 & 10. [Internet] Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh Wikipedia. Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Introduction. [Internet] Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dien_Bien_Phu Image References (in order of appearance on slide) Viet Minh Mausoleum in Honor of Ho Chi Minh (opening slide). http://gap.zetamu.com/Hanoi/HoChiMinh%20mausoleum.jpg Viet Minh Flag (slide #2). http://www.flags.net/images/largeflags/VIET0001.GIF Viet Minh Forces Performing Drill (slide #2). http://www.photius.com/countries/vietnam/national_security/vietnam_national_security_the_armed_forces.html Viet Minh Soldiers in Riverboat (slide #2). http://hometown.aol.com/canedo/myhomepage/vietminh.jpg
Image References Continued Ho Chi Minh with Microphone (slide #3). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ho_Chi_Minh_1945.jpg Viet Minh Guard of Honor (slide#3). http://cache.viewimages.com/xc/3331369.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d= 4DAA13B573E1BD2F0F09F0521A805928A55A1E4F32AD3138 Japanese Soldier and Vietnamese Civilian (slide #4). http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/001/001XNM-5022484.jpg Viet Minh Artillery Collection (slide #4). http://akgeographers.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html Red and Yellow Art of Ho Chi Minh (slide #5). http://www.peacebuttons.info/IMAGES/0902_Ho-Chi-Minh.jpg Ho Chi Minh Delivering Declaration of Independence (slide#5). (http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/whc/2.2/images/gilbert_fig01a.jpg Flag of French Indochina (slide #6). http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9f/Flag_of_Colonial_Vietnam.svg/300px- Flag_of_Colonial_Vietnam.svg.png Flag of China (slide#6). http://www.topnews.in/files/China-flag.gif Fall of Dien Bien Phu (slide #7). http://images.encarta.msn.com/xrefmedia/sharemed/targets/images/pho/t053/T053060A.jpg
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