General Navarre tried to coax the Vietminh and their General out of their covered positions in order to crush them with the superior firepower. In late 1953 French paratroopers took control of Dien Bien Phu and built a fortified garrison with an inner ring of strongpoints. Navarra assumed that the Vietminh would not be able to move heavy artillery into positions on the hills surrounding the plateau, but they did, using 50,000 peasants to move 200 pieces of artillery and 25,000 shells. On 13th March 1954 the siege of Dien Bien Phu began. The Vietminh guerrillas quickly overran the outposts and for over a month concentrated all their firepower on the French base.
In December of that year, Vietnamese nationalists established the League for the Independence of Vietnam, (or Viet Minh), “using the turmoil of the war as an opportunity for resistance to French colonial rule” (Nixon, 24). When Japan would not cooperate, the U.S. and Viet Minh formed an alliance against them. The U.S. sent in militia, and the Viet Minh began guerrilla warfare. The Viet Minh troops rescued downed U.S. pilots, located Japanese prison camps, helped U.S. prisoners to escape, and provided valuable intelligence to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Ho Chi Minh, the principal leader of the Viet Minh, was even made a special OSS agent.
France occupied all of Vietnam by 1884. Independence was declared after World War II, but the French continued to rule until 1954 when communist forces under Ho Chi Minh, who took control over the north, defeated them. Eisenhower’s advisers believed that Ho Chi Minh’s powerful communist-nationalist appeal might set off a geographical chain reaction. As Ho Chi Minh’s government established itself in North Vietnam, Eisenhower supported a noncommunist government in South Vietnam and ordered covert operations and economic programs to prevent Ho Chi Minh from being elected the leader of a unified Vietnam. The Vietnam War was a military struggle fought in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975.
North Vietnam was to be under Chinese control, and the South would be under British control. However, in 1946 it was agreed that the French would be allowed to take over again. This led to a guerrilla war started by the Vietminh, against the French. The French were struggling to win this war, and found it even more difficult in 1949 when the Chinese decided to help the Vietminh after becoming communist under Mao Zedong, after the USA had spent $2 billion dollars supporting anti-communists. This was also the year in which the USSR exploded its own atom bomb, which meant the USA was no longer the only nuclear power.
Vietnam During World War II Between 1939-1945 The Vietnamese guerrillas (Viet Minh) had been fighting the French and the Japanese. Before the Second World War the French ruled Vietnam, then the Japanese took over, when this happened the communist leader Ho Chi Minh who set up the Vietminh in 1945 fought the Japanese and defeated them. When the Japanese were defeated the French tried to rule Vietnam again, Ho Chi Minh fought them also, however the Americans supported the French because they did not want Vietnam to become communist under Ho Chi Minh. However Ho Chi Minh also overcame the French. The VietMinh was set up in Vietnam by Ho Chi Minh in 1941.
Some Vietnamese adapted to the French way of life and worked with the French government to control the 30 million people living in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, an area that France now called Indochina. In September 1940, during the Second World War the Japanese army invaded Indochina. With Paris already occupied by Germany, the French troops decided they were unable to protect their empire so they surrendered to the Japanese, who took control of all Vietnams resources. During the war a strong resistance movement known as the Vietnam revolutionary league (Vietminh) was set up under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh. In 1930 he founded the Indochinese Communist Party, which inspired the Vietnamese to fight for an independent Vietnam without the French.
Why the United States Became Increasingly Involved in the War in Vietnam The Vietnam conflict originated from a struggle against the colonial rule from France. Vietnam, previously known as Indochina, had been part of the French empire up until 1940, when France was defeated in the Second World War by Germany. During the German occupation of France, Japan seized control of Vietnam and it’s main resources like coal, rice and rubber. While the war was still being fought however, a strong anti-Japanese movement known as the Viet Minh emerged under the leadership of Communist Ho Chi Minh. This group fought against Japanese rule, and by the end of the Second World War, had successfully taken control of North Vietnam while still determined to declare Vietnamese independence across the whole country.
Vietnamese Communists leader Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Minh movement organized strong resistance against the Japanese and in 1945 declared Vietnam an independent republic. Fearful of the spread of communism, the United States supported restoration of French rule over Vietnam. When fighting erupted between France and the Viet Minh in 1947 the Americans aided the French and backed the French sponsored government of Emperor Bao Dai. By 1953 the US was providing 80 percent of the cost of France’s war effort. This small village along the border of Laos and North Vietnam was chosen as a forward fire base by the French to draw the Viet Minh into a set piece battle, one they felt certain they would win.
It touches on subjects like the, how the privileged were not drafted, the split between the rich, and working class, and how the government will war support as black mail against it’s own citizens. Although, how did the United States end up in Vietnam in the first place? It all started with the French fighting a war against all of Indochina, and the U.S providing aid to the French in the late 1940’s. Even with the aid of America, Ho Chi Minh defeated the French in 1954, but America decided to become officially involved in an attempt to defeat the North Vietnamese communists. Eisenhower, addressed the United States with what he called the “Domino Effect,” basically stating that if we allow communism it will spread all over the world.
In 1965, the United States of America officially enter the war against North Vietnam. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident where North Vietnamese attacked two U.S. ships on August 2nd and 4th, 1964, this event was a chance for U.S. President Lyndon Johnson to give authority for U.S. to enter war in Vietnam. United State involvement in Vietnam War was an approach to seize the communist aggression. A campaign authorized by President Johnson called “Operation Rolling Thunder” which started on February 24th, 1965 is a series of extensive bombing directed towards the North Vietnamese predicted to be eight weeks long until the North Vietnamese surrender to U.S. power. However, this campaign lasted two years longer than expected.