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The Indochina Wars (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia from 1945 to 1991, between communist Indochinese forces against mainly French, South Vietnamese, American, Cambodian, Laotian and Chinese forces. The term "Indochina" originally referred to French Indochina, which included the current states of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In current usage, it applies largely to a geographic region, rather than to a political area. The wars included:

  • The Third

    • Khmer Rouge–Vietnamese
    • Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia from 1945 to 1991, between communist Indochinese forces against mainly French, South Vietnamese, American, Cambodian, Laotian and Chinese forces. The term "Indochina" originally referred to French Indochina, which included the current states of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In current usage, it applies largely to a geographic region, rather than to a political area. The wars included:

      • The First Indochina War (called the Indochina War in France and the French War in Vietnam) began after the end of World War II in 1945 and lasted until the French defeat in 1954. After a long campaign of resistance against the French and the Japanese, Viet Minh forces had claimed a victory (the August Revolution) after Japanese and Vichy French forces surrendered in the North on 15 Au

        French colonization and occupation of the region was a consequence of missionary work of the 16th century, which had resulted in Catholics forming a converted minority. While Gia Long tolerated Catholicism, his successors Minh Mạng and were orthodox Confucians, admiring ancient Chinese culture. They forbade Catholic proselytism, as it was usually the religious arm of colonization[1] and they resisted European and American attempts to establish colonial trade posts, which France tried to impose against the laws of the country. This was seen by colonial powers as "provocative".

        Confucian isolationist policy led the Vietnamese to refuse industrial modernization, so that they were not able to resist military power of a French invasion. In August 1858, Napoleon III ordered the landing of French forces at Tourane, (present-day Da Nang), beginning a colonial occupation that was to last almost a century. By 1884, the French had complete control over the country, which now formed the largest part of French Indochina. It took the Vietnamese people almost a century to expel the last colonial influence in their country.

        Indochina during World War II

        A continuous thread of local resistance began with Hàm Nghi, then to Phan Đình Phùng, Phan Bội Châu and lastly to Ho Chi Minh, who returned to Vietnam from France and helped to create the Viet Minh national independence coalition in 1941. A founding member of the French Communist Party, Ho Chi Minh had de-emphasised his communist ties and dissolved the Indochinese Communist Party, in order to unite the country. When the Vietnamese famine broke out in 1945 causing 2 million deaths, after French and Japanese colonial administration continued to export food to France in a post war economy, the Viet Minh arranged a massive relief effort, consolidating popular support for their nationalist cause. Ho Chi Minh was elected Prime Minister of the Viet Minh in 1945.

        When World War II ended, the August Revolution expelled the Japanese colonial army and gave control of the country to Viet Minh. The Japanese surrendered to the Chinese Nationalists in North Vietnam. Emperor Bảo Đại abdicated power to the Viet Minh, on August 25, 1945. In a popular move, Ho Chi Minh made Bảo Đại "supreme adviser" to the Viet Minh-led government in Hanoi, which asserted its independence on September 2 as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) and issued a Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In 1946, Vietnam had its first constitution.

        In 1948, France tried to regain its colonial control over Vietnam. In South Vietnam, the Japanese had surrendered to British forces, who had supported the Free French in fighting the Viet Minh, along with the armed religious Cao Đài and Hòa Hảo sects and the Bình Xuyên organized crime group. The French re-installed Bảo Đại as the head of state of Vietnam, which now comprised central and southern Vietnam. The ensuing war, between the French-controlled South and the independent Communist-allied North, is known as the First Indochina War. It ended in a resounding defeat of the French Colonial Troops (Troupes coloniales) by the People's Army of Vietnam at Dien Bien Phu.

        First Indochina War

        In the First Indochina War, the Viet Minh, supported by the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union, fought to gain their independence from the French, supported initially by the remaining troops of the Japanese Army after its surrender to Britain, also by the French-loyalist Vietnamese Catholic minority, and later by the United States in the frame of the Cold War. This war of independence lasted from December 1946 until July 1954, with most of the fighting taking place in areas surrounding Hanoi. It ended with the French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and French withdrawal from Vietnam after the Geneva Agreements.

        Second Indochina War

        A truck-mounted Quad .50 at Khe Sanh Combat Base, during the Battle of Khe Sanh

        The Second Indochina War, commonly known as the Vietnam War, pitted the recently successful Communist Vietnam People's Army (VPA or PAVN, but also known as the North Vietnamese Army or NVA) and the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam (Vietnamese NLF guerrilla fighters allied with the PAVN, known in America as the Viet Cong, meaning 'Communists Traitor to Vietnam')[2] against United States troops and the United States-backed by South Vietnamese Government ARVN (Republic of Vietnam soldiers).

        During the War, the North Vietnamese transported most of their supplies via the Ho Chi Minh Trail (known to the Vietnamese as the Truong Son Trail, after the Truong Son mountains), which ran through Laos and Cambodia. As a result, the areas of these nations bordering Vietnam would see heavy combat during the war.

        For the United States, the political and combat goals were ambiguous: success and progress were ill-defined and, along with the large numbers of casualties, the Vietnam War raised moral issues that made the war increasingly unpopular at home. U.S. news reports of the 1968 Tet offensive, especially from CBS, were unfavorable in regard to the lack of progress in ending the

        Confucian isolationist policy led the Vietnamese to refuse industrial modernization, so that they were not able to resist military power of a French invasion. In August 1858, Napoleon III ordered the landing of French forces at Tourane, (present-day Da Nang), beginning a colonial occupation that was to last almost a century. By 1884, the French had complete control over the country, which now formed the largest part of French Indochina. It took the Vietnamese people almost a century to expel the last colonial influence in their country.

        A continuous thread of local resistance began with Hàm Nghi, then to Phan Đình Phùng, Phan Bội Châu and lastly to Ho Chi Minh, who returned to Vietnam from France and helped to create the Viet Minh national independence coalition in 1941. A founding member of the French Communist Party, Ho Chi Minh had de-emphasised his communist ties and dissolved the Indochinese Communist Party, in order to unite the country. When the Vietnamese famine broke out in 1945 causing 2 million deaths, after French and Japanese colonial administration continued to export food to France in a post war economy, the Viet Minh arranged a massive relief effort, consolidating popular support for their nationalist cause. Ho Chi Minh was elected Prime Minister of the Viet Minh in 1945.

        When World War II ended, the August Revolution expelled the Japanese colonial army and gave control of the country to Viet Minh. The Japanese surrendered to the Chinese Nationalists in North Vietnam. Emperor Bảo Đại abdicated power to the Viet Minh, on August 25, 1945. In a popular move, Ho Chi Minh made Bảo Đại "supreme adviser" to the Viet Minh-led government in Hanoi, which asserted its independence on September 2 as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) and issued a Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In 1946, Vietnam had its first constitution.

        In 1948, France tried to regain its colonial control over V

        When World War II ended, the August Revolution expelled the Japanese colonial army and gave control of the country to Viet Minh. The Japanese surrendered to the Chinese Nationalists in North Vietnam. Emperor Bảo Đại abdicated power to the Viet Minh, on August 25, 1945. In a popular move, Ho Chi Minh made Bảo Đại "supreme adviser" to the Viet Minh-led government in Hanoi, which asserted its independence on September 2 as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) and issued a Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In 1946, Vietnam had its first constitution.

        In 1948, France tried to regain its colonial control over Vietnam. In South Vietnam, the Japanese had surrendered to British forces, who had supported the Free French in fighting the Viet Minh, along with the armed religious Cao Đài and Hòa Hảo sects and the Bình Xuyên organized crime group. The French re-installed Bảo Đại as the head of state of Vietnam, which now comprised central and southern Vietnam. The ensuing war, between the French-controlled South and the independent Communist-allied North, is known as the First Indochina War. It ended in a resounding defeat of the French Colonial Troops (Troupes coloniales) by the People's Army of Vietnam at Dien Bien Phu.

        In the First Indochina War, the Viet Minh, supported by the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union, fought to gain their independence from the French, supported initially by the remaining troops of the Japanese Army after its surrender to Britain, also by the French-loyalist Vietnamese Catholic minority, and later by the United States in the frame of the Cold War. This war of independence lasted from December 1946 until July 1954, with most of the fighting taking place in areas surrounding Hanoi. It ended with the French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and French withdrawal from Vietnam after the Geneva Agreements.

        Second Indochina War