October 10: A Vietnamese Victory?


Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

October 10, 1954 C.E. After a long and bloody struggle against colonial French forces, the revolutionary leader of a Vietnamese national independence movement enters Hanoi after a retreat by French troops. Beginning on the 19 December, 1946, the First Indochinese war pitted French and Nationalist Vietnamese forces against the communist revolutionaries led by Ho Chi Minh and Võ Nguyên Giáp. A colony of France since the late nineteenth century, Vietnamese nationalist sentiment grew rapidly until the outbreak of World War II. With the French firmly under the boot of Hitler’s Germany, the Vietnamese saw an opportunity to rebel. Supported by communist Russia and China, Vietnamese revolutionaries utilized the southern Chinese provinces as a staging ground for the assault on Northern Vietnam. Ending in the defeat of colonial French forces, the First-Indochinese war resulted in a split between communist North vietnam, and the capitalist south, as well as the independence of Laos and Cambodia. Despite relieving the Vietnamese people from oppressive colonial forces, the split in ideologies which resulted from the first war would only result in another war, which would ravage Vietnam once more.