August Revolution

August Revolution

On August 19, 1945, the Việt Minh under Hồ Chí Minh began the August General Uprising [Tổng Khởi Nghĩa] , which was soon renamed the August Revolution ( _vi. Cách mạng tháng Tám). Whether or not we should call this series of events a "revolution" is disputable; what is clear is that, from August 19th onwards, demonstrations and uprisings against French colonial rule broke out in cities and towns throughout Vietnam. Given that Japan had surrendered to the allies at the end of World War II, the Japanese forces in Indochina stepped aside and allowed nationalist groups to take over public buildings in most of the major cities. While the Japanese allowed the nationalist groups free run of the country, they kept former French officials imprisoned.

This uprising is also referred to as the uprising by the Indochinese Communist Party.

Given minor supplies by the United States of America, the Việt Minh were tactically allied with American forces against the Japanese during World War II in Indochina.

March to August

On March 9, 1945, the Japanese overthrew the Vichy French Decoux Government. French officials and soldiers were arrested. They reinstated Bảo Ðại as Emperor and created a nominally independent puppet government.

On April 30, 1945, the cooperation between American officials and the Vietnamese Communists was demonstrated when Major Archimedes Patti, of the US Office of Strategic Services, met with Hồ Chí Minh and received a message of warmth and solidarity from Hồ, and increased shipments of arms and instructors. The American OSS officer Lieutenant Colonel A. Peter Dewey was killed in Sàigòn at a Việt Minh roadblock on September 26, 1945, though the Việt Minh claimed they had thought he was French, as he had approached them speaking French. Why the Việt Minh were executing French speakers at roadblocks has never been explained.

On August 14, 1945, the Japanese surrendered to the Allies. In Indochina, the Japanese officials took advantage of the situation to cause additional problems for the Allies. Violating the surrender agreements, they helped Việtnamese nationalist groups including the Việt Minh to take over public buildings in various cities. On August 25, 1945, Bảo Ðại was forced to abdicate in favour of Hồ and the Việt Minh.

Proclamation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

Hồ Chí Minh proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on (September 2, 1945). However, only a few days later Chinese forces under General Lu Han began to occupy Việtnam north of the 16th parallel. The Việt Minh did not resist the Chinese militarily. In Việtnam south of the 16th parallel, a British occupation force arrived in October 1945. Both forces of occupation had been specified by the Potsdam Conference.

Hồ Chí Minh and the Việt Minh began negotiations with the French in late 1945. The Việt Minh were willing at this point to negotiate for something less than independence. They were also more willing to see the French in Việtnam than the Chinese army, remembering that the Chinese had occupied Việtnam for centuries. In early 1946, the French army returned to northern Vietnam with the initial cooperation of the Việt Minh and rapidly reestablished its authority.

Relations between Hồ Chí Minh and the French gradually broke down. The Việt Minh then set about launching the rural insurrection that began the First Indochina War.


* William J. Duiker, "Ho Chi Minh: A Life".
* Marr, David G. (1995) "Vietnam 1945: The quest for power", Berkeley & Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.

See also

*Vietnam in the time of the Second World War
*Indochina Wars

External links

* []
* []

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