General Giap

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General Vo Nguyen Giap is perhaps the most important figure in the early history of communist Vietnam -- with the exception of Ho Chi Minh. General Giap’s skills and expertise of were an essential element of the French defeat in 1954. However General Giap cannot be held solely responsible, the political skills of Ho Chi Minh (the leader of the Viet Minh independence movement) cannot be underestimated. There were many reasons for the French defeat in Vietnam, abundant mistakes were made and the Viet Minh were lead by two of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. Giap orchestrated the defeat of the French and was particularly important in the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Ho Chi Minh was an experienced revolutionary and passionate nationalist infatuated by a single goal: independence for his country. He was a central figure in the movement to free Asia from the restraints of colonialism. Ho Chi Minh was ultimately working towards the liberation of Vietnam from French colonial rule and “unity of views between the army and the people”. Ho Chi Minh was a founding member of the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP). The goals of the ICP included the overthrow of the French; establishment of an independent Vietnam ruled by a peoples' government; “help people in production, anti-literacy, sanitation and disease prevention”. General Giap was the Commander and Defence Minister of North Vietnam from 1944-1980 and was an integral component in the unravelling of French control in Vietnam. Previously, on the outbreak of World War II, Giap fled to China to join Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh, which led to the formation of the Vietnamese Independence League, abbreviated to Viet Minh. In 1945, armed propaganda teams under Giap’s command became the People's Liberation Army. Subsequently in 1945, Giap served as interior minister in Ho Chi Minh’s revolutionary government created to defeat the French. Giap’s strength lay as a military commander and his scrupulous...
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