From 1945 onwards ( Indochina- Cochinchina, Annam and Tonkin)
- The French representative in Vietnam launched a campaign against the Vietminh in 1945 by 1946 he had re-established control of southern Vietnam
- October 1946 Ho chi minh was declared president of the DRV (democratic republic of Vietnam-north). This was after the declaration of Vietnam as a free state with a French union in March.
- Due to Ho’s weak political direction from Paris (he went to implement the March agreement) left Vietnam drifting towards war. A French ship killed 6,000 Vietnamese through bombardment by a ship in Haiphong. The French later took over Hanoi.
- USA offered mediation but viewed communist- dominated Vietminh as an unacceptable replacement for French colonialism. “We cannot afford to assume that Ho is anything but Moscow directed”
- Vietminh controlled rural northern and central Vietnam while French controlled major cities
- So that the French could limit war costs and casualties, they gave Vietnam limited independence with French union under puppet emperor- Bao Dai
- 1947, US abducted the ‘containment policy’ concerning Vietnam and its communist underlyings. American interest grew.
- Ho chi Minh’s government was in the North, French blockade in the south.
- 1949 communist victory in Chinese civil war heightened fears of the Vietminh ( during Truman)
- The above coupled with the breakout of the Korean war emphasised the need for military involvement (and spending) for the French-Vietminh war.
- Domino theory also hardened the need to undermine Ho’s Vietminh this in the USA’s eyes outweighed support for French colonialism.
- Even though the French had lost key victories in northern Vietnam to the Vietminh and even though the Chinese were aiding the Vietminh in training. USA under Truman rejected ideas of injecting ground troops to another ‘Asian land war’.
- The French wanted to beat...
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