Causes of the French Indochina War
The French Indochina war was the first among the various Indochina wars. The conflict between the French and Vietnamese Minh began in 1946 and came to a close in 1954. Before the outbreak of the war, the French had been very keen on the resources that were available across the South eastern region of China. In fact, France had been burning up with desire to conquer the country so as to get an opportunity for harvesting the resources. However, the Viet Minh were opposed to the French invasion leading to the outbreak of the war.
After the Vietnamese forces defeated Japan in 1945 forcing it to withdraw from the territory, their leader, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam’s independence. However, things did not go down as expected by the Vietnamese since they expected to clinch onto power immediately. The authority of the Viet Minh was undermined by British and Chinese troops that were mandated to oversee the withdrawal of Japan. They did this by restoring the colonial rule that had for a long time been imposed on the people by France.
The move by Britain and China in restoring French rule in Vietnam was characterized by heavy military presence across the region. In fact, an estimated 50,000 French troops had been deployed in Vietnam. Within the shortest time of the restoration of the colonial rule, the French forces had captured Saigon. Besides, the troops had also conducted a bombardment on the Northern port city of Haiphong leading to the loss of thousands of lives. All these never impressed the Vietnamese and they retaliated by launching an attack on French forces. By mid December, the two sides were already entangled in a war that would last for the next eight years.
The French Indochina war was principally a battle for power. The Vietnamese had for quite a long time suffered from the yoke of colonial imperialism and were angered when it turned out that France would still continue to oppress them. The Vietnamese forces were committed to ensuring that their independence was well protected against intrusion from any quarter. On the other hand, the French forces had seen a potential need in Vietnam that they were willing to possess by all means. That is the reason why they had to come and re-occupy the territory after the end of World War II.
In the struggle to gain control over the Republic of Vietnam, the French forces had created the State of Vietnam, now called South Vietnam. The state was placed under the leadership of Bao Dai owing to the fact that he had cooperated with the French in the past. However, Ho Chi Minh of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam viewed the move as a plot by France to keep Vietnam as a puppet nation. His government clashed with the state that was formed by France leading to a fully fledged war. Even though the French forces had adequate financial aid and superior weapons, they were finally defeated by the Vietnamese.
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