Essay on Conflict in Indochina

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Conflict in Indochina – Draft Essay Assess the importance of nationalism to the Vietnamese up to 1965. A clear desire for nationalism and self-nationalism in Vietnam was evident as early as the 15th century, when historian Nguyen Trai stated “although we have been at times strong, and at times weak, we have always been Vietnamese and this will never change.” The importance and significance of nationalism and establishing a sense of self-determination was of vital concernment to the Vietnamese, in both the North and South of the country. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North) and the Republic of Vietnam (South) were both driving forces in the ambition of self-determination and their established sense of nationalism regardless of the…show more content…
Ho Chi Minh used the analogy of “the elephant and the tiger” frequently during his presidency. Minh applied this theory to the war between the Vietnamese and French, claiming that the French were the elephants and the Vietminh troops were tigers, reinforcing the guerrilla warfare tactics that the Vietminh used to great success. Minh stated that time and resources were not of issue, the war was a fight for nationalism and self-determination, regardless of the duration of the war or the amount of troops and resources lost, the Vietnamese would come out as victors. Ho Chi Minh said at a speech in Paris in 1946 “you can kill 10 of our men for every one we kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and we will win” and “we have a secret weapon, don’t smile when I tell you this, our secret weapon is nationalism” which emphasizes the desire and desperation the North Vietnam were willing to go to in order to self-determine. The battle at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 was the culmination of the First Indochina War and as a result of North Vietnam’s victory, French forces left and a sense of nationalism was prevalent. The Vietnamese were at war with the French due to the Communist forces in the North of Vietnam desiring the expulsion of French forces and colonisation to promote nationalism and self-determination. In March 1954, General Giap, the principal commander of the Vietminh army at the time, ordered a siege against

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