The early days - 1000 years of chinese domination- Liberation from china - China bites back - Le lo enters the scene - The coming of the europeans - Lording it over the people - Tay son rebrllion - The last of the nguyens - The french takeover - Independence aspiration - WWII breaks out - A false dawn - War with the french - A separate south vietnam - A new north vietnam - The north south war - Enter the cavalry - The turing point - Nixon his doctrine- Other foreign involvement - The fall of the south - Reunification of vietnam - Opening the door - Vietnam today


By the spring of 1945 the Viet Minh controlled large parts of the country, particularly in the north. In mid-August, Ho Chi Minh formed the National itineration Committ ee and called for a general uprising, later known as the August Revolution, to l ake advantage of the power vacuum. In central Vietnam, Bao Dai abdicated in favor of the new government, and in the Sou th the Viet Minh soon h eld power in a shaky coalition with noncom-monist groups. On 2 S eptember 1945 Ho Chi Minh declared independ ence at a rally in Hanoi's Ba Dinh Square. Throughout this period, Ho wrote no fewer than eight letters to US president Harry Truman and the US State Department asking for US aid, but received no replies. A footnote o il the agenda of the Potsdam Conference of 1945 was the disarming of J apanese occupation forces in Vietnam. It was decided that the Chinese Kuomintang would accept the Japanese surrender north of the 16th Parallel and that the British would do the same to the south. When the British arrived in Saigon, chaos reigned. The Japanese were defeated, the Fr ench were vulnerable, the Viet Minh was looking to assert itself, plus private m ilitias were causing trouble. In order to help the Brits restore order, defeated Japanese troops were turned loose. Then 1400 armed French paratroopers were released from prison and, most likely looking for vengeanc e after Ho Chi Minh's declaration of independence, immediately went on a rampage around the city, breaking into the homes and shops of the Vietnamese and indiscriminately clubbing men. women and children. The Viet Minh responded by calling a general strike and by launching a guerrilla campaign aga inst the French. On 24 September French general Jacques Philippe Lecher arrived in Saigon, pompously declaring. 'We have come to reclaim our inheritance '. The end of the war had brought liberation for France, but not, it seemed, for its colonies. In the north, Chinese Kuomintang troops were fleeing the Chinese co rn- munists and pillaging their way southward towards Hanoi. Ho tried to placate the Viet Minh received them, but as the months of Chinese occupation dragged on, he decided 'better funding and arms from the devil you know ' and acc epted a temporary return of the French. For the the US Office of Strate gic Vietnamese, even the Fr ench colonizers were better than the Chinese. The Services (OSS, the CIA French were to stay for f ive years in return for recognizing Vietnam as a free today). When Ho Chistate within the French Union.