Viet Minh and Indochina

The role the Viet Minh's leadership played in the defeat of the French in thefirst Indochina War can be identified by examining several relevant pieces of information. Firstlythe personal strength of the three key figures leading the Viet Minh, secondly the weakness of the French both in Indochina and domestically combined with their use of unsound, badly thought-out tactics. This was coupled with the large scale support of the Viet Minh by the Peoples Liberation Army (PLC) of China, in conjunction with a breakdown in post-war colonialism worldwide. All these factors must be examined to correctly identify the significance of the role of the Viet Minh's leaders.
Ho Chi Minh, the man who established the Viet Minh (VM) in May 1941, probably played the greatest role of anybody in the war, between 1946-54 and is now by far the most well known character of the period. Ho played a cameo role in the VM's military success however he knew basic guerilla warfare tactics, was extremely knowledgeable in most areas of the war and was fiercely determined.
“You (the French) will kill 10 of our men and we will kill one of yours. But in the end it will be the French, and not us, that will tire of it.”- Ho Chi Minh (1946)
He did not even play a large role in the political leadership of the Viet Minh. Ho's main role was to unite the Vietnamese people under a nationalist banner belying a communist régime. He knew that to gain sufficient support he would have to appeal to the peasants who made up 90% of the population. This was not difficult as the peasants were fed up with the steep land taxes, inhumane working conditions and the egotistic attitude of French leaders. They saw the VM's objective as a nationalist movement rather than a communist one.
It was also Ho Chi Minh that gained the support of the PLA, which ultimately changed the outcome of the war and the Viet Minh's victory over the French was …

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