The Viet Minh and their impact on Indochina.

Essay by GottoHigh School, 11th gradeA-, August 2004

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"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

Sentiments such as this stated by Mao Zedong (leader of the Chinese Communists) were the philosophies of the Viet Minh belief system and the motivation for the Viet Minh's everlasting passion for independence.

The Viet Minh, in full, Vietnam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi (League for the Independence of Vietnam), nationalist organization in Vietnam, led the struggle for independence from French colonial rule. Founded by Ho Chi Minh, Pham Van Dong, Vo Nguyen Giap, Truong Chinh, and others, in 1941, the Viet Minh enjoyed unflagging success throughout the Indo-Chinese war by mobilizing diverse elements of the Vietnamese nation, including peasants, urban workers, intellectuals, and sectors of the landowning and business classes. This was illustrated convincingly when the Viet Minh utterly defeated French troops at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.

The success of the Viet Minh can be attributed to many aspects of their strong beliefs and tactics.

Military or paramilitary operations conducted in enemy-held territory by irregular forces, often groups indigenous to that territory, known as Guerrilla Warfare, was a devastating aspect of the Viet Minh regime. Lacking the numerical strength and weapons to oppose a regular army in the field, the guerrillas avoided pitched battles. Instead, they operated from bases established in remote and inaccessible terrain, such as forests, mountains, and jungles, and depended on the support of the local inhabitants for recruits, food, shelter, and information. The armies led by Mao Zedong were not guerrilla forces in the traditional sense, but they used guerrilla-like tactics until they were strong enough to engage and defeat the Nationalist armies in pitched battles. This strategy was then adopted by the Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh in his fight against the French government in Indochina. That is...