From the late 19th century, the area now known as Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam was governed as a French Colonial territory. “French Indo-China” came to be occupied by the Imperial Japanese after the fall of France, at the onset of WWII. There arose a nationalist-communist army during this period, dedicated to throwing out the Japanese occupier. It called itself the “League for the Independence of Vietnam”, or “Viet Minh”.
France re-occupied the region following the Japanese defeat ending World War 2, but soon faced the same opposition from the army of Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap.
What began as a low level rural insurgency later became a full-scale modern war when Communist China entered the fray, in 1949.
The disastrous defeat of French forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1953 led to French withdrawal from Vietnam, the Geneva Convention partitioning the country into the communist “Democratic Republic of Vietnam”…
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