Ho Chi Minh Biography - The Secrets of His Life During The Vietnam War
Once the arms arrived, the Americans showed the Viet Minh most were recently civilians how to fire the American M-1 rifle and M-1 carbine, and how to use mortars, grenades, bazookas and machine guns. For training, they used U. Army field manuals, and focused on guerrilla warfare.
Realizing its training mission was over, the Deer Team issued arms to the soldiers and prepared to leave the following day.
The Americans left camp on August 16 and traveled on foot with Giap and his troops to Thai Nguyen, the French provincial capital. There, the guerrillas fought the French and the Japanese until the French governor capitulated, on August 25, and the Japanese, finally realizing their homeland had surrendered, accepted a truce the next day. During this fighting, Giap had arranged for the Deer Team to stay hidden away in a safe house on the outskirts of town.
About 30 delegates from Vietnam, Thailand and Laos had assembled in the village to discuss their concerns. Over the next several days, amid political uncertainty, several of the delegates had attempted to seize control. Ultimately Ho Chi Minh claimed leadership and was elected president of the provisional government on August They proposed and voted on a new national anthem, and a new national flag with a gold star on a red background, which would become intimately familiar to most U.
A week later, on September 2, the same day General Douglas MacArthur received the formal Japanese surrender aboard the battleship Missouri , Ho Chi Minh was in Hanoi and declared Vietnamese independence from all colonial powers, using the American Declaration of Independence as his template. Peter Dewey, the nephew of two-time presidential candidate Thomas Dewey, arrived in Saigon.
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As the month wore on in Saigon, the British, free from hostilities with the Japanese, became politically involved, chaos ensued and civil war raged. Dewey was ordered out of Vietnam by the British, who suspected him of working with the Viet Minh. On September 26, two days after the Viet Minh led a national strike in response to British-imposed martial law, Dewey was ready to depart Saigon. Leaving in an unmarked jeep for the airport, he was ambushed and killed a few yards from an OSS house, thus becoming the first American casualty in Vietnam, nearly two decades before full U.
Although there was wide speculation on the shooters, ranging from conspiracies involving allies to cases of mistaken identities, an investigation failed to produce an answer. The night before leaving, Major Thomas had his private dinner with Ho and Giap. First, working with individuals or organizations that did not share American values or interests was not uncommon, particularly during World War II. Perhaps the best example was the U. Second, the United States needed to reach out to an established and recognized organization within Indochina.
There was no natural indigenous U. No, but neither was it completely free of such responsibility. Ho manipulated the inexperienced leader of the Deer Team as well as U. Having a personal photo of Chennault or having OSS agents stand by his side demonstrated his international standing among the Vietnamese. If you look back in history, Vietnamese emperors and leaders looked to China for models of how to do farming, how to modernize their society, and so on.
They readily adopted Confucian values and institutions. I should add that the Chinese-Vietnamese relationship wasn't a simple one of teacher-student. There's another side to the picture, full of tension and friction.
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The Chinese gave Ho Chi Minh and his movement a lot of support, but this didn't mean he was China's puppet. He was his own master and set his own agenda. Sometimes this conflicted with what China had in mind.
The clearest example of this occurred following the Geneva Conference of After that conference, the French withdrew from Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh had the dream of expanding his success from north to south and unifying the country. This worried the Chinese. They feared it might trigger an American intervention. After all, China had just fought the Korean War against the Americans, and this had placed enormous stress on its economy. So when the French withdrew from Vietnam in , the Chinese very much wanted a relaxation of tensions in Southeast Asia. They didn't want to fight another Korean War in Vietnam.
The Soviets shared the Chinese instinct for preventing another war in Asia. They argued that if Ho Chi Minh would be willing to wait a couple of years [the Geneva Conference agreement said there would be a national election in two years], he could win the election and reunify the country. Otherwise, the Americans would jump in and complicate the picture.
As it turned out, the national election promised at the Geneva Conference did not take place. The government in South Vietnam, supported by the Americans, ignored the agreement, refusing to hold elections. As a result, the country remained divided, with two mutually hostile governments. The Vietnamese later accused the Chinese of betraying their interests at this critical juncture.
This is a major example of the friction between the two countries. There are other instances, too. For instance, the Chinese who came to advise the Vietnamese in the early s had trouble getting along with Vietnamese commanders, who saw them as arrogant and condescending. This of course fits the historical pattern -- Vietnam is eager to learn from China but is also afraid of losing its independence. The two countries have a classic love-hate relationship.
China towers over Vietnam -- it's a much bigger country with a more advanced civilization -- and this makes the Vietnamese feel insecure; they resent living in China's shadow. I found ample evidence of this ambivalent Vietnamese attitude in the newly released Chinese documents. During that period of Sino-Vietnamese alliance, the Chinese often complain about the Vietnamese, saying, they don't trust us fully, they're too guarded.
So the picture of Sino-Vietnamese relations at this time is complex. The Vietnamese were weak -- but not meek.
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They set their own agendas and tried to protect their interests. Critics say that Johnson allowed his fear of China to impede his handling of the war. When he escalated the war in Vietnam, he gradually expanded the bombing from south to north as he was afraid of incurring China's wrath. Like the Chinese side, Johnson remembered the Korean War and wanted to avoid another confrontation. He remembered that during the Korean War, the U. This time, Johnson and his advisers paid close attention to the Chinese role. They were afraid that if the United States pushed too hard or attacked North Vietnam without restraint, they would have a replay of the Korean War.
Johnson's critics later said that China was just bluffing, that the Chinese weren't serious about intervening. Harry Summers and other military writers criticized Johnson for allowing his fear of Chinese intervention to undermine his bombing campaign. However, the new evidence from China suggests that Mao was seriously prepared to intervene. There was a secret agreement between Hanoi and Beijing that if the Americans launched a ground invasion of North Vietnam at that time, the United States had restricted itself to a bombing campaign , China would send ground troops into North Vietnam and would not allow the United States to defeat Hanoi.
If the Americans bombed North Vietnam, China would match the American military action by taking measures to protect North Vietnamese cities and to rebuild roads and bridges. They would also send anti-aircraft artillery units and army engineers to support North Vietnamese troops and help them deal with the air bombing pressure. Details if other :.
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Who's Ho Chi Minh? He was a great leader who brought the Vietnam's independence from the French colonists.
This book is going to show you in action how he handled tough situations and what decisions he made to become a great leader so many people admire today. You are going to learn about his life from early childhood until death. What he learned during his trips around the Who's Ho Chi Minh? What he learned during his trips around the world and how that shaped him as a person? You are going to witness his story and all incredible challenges he went through to become what most people consider a man with revolutionary vision.
You'll discover secrets most people would never know about his life. Grab your copy now! Get A Copy.
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