Unification of North and South Vietnam into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, North PDF. It was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam.
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South Vietnamese communist force helped by the North. It fought a guerrilla war against the anti-communist forces in the South. The Vietnam War was very controversial, and it was the first war to feature live television coverage. Viet Minh wave their flag over a captured French bunker at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. The French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in the northern part of Vietnam led the Geneva Conference and the resulting partition of Vietnam into north and south at the 17th Parallel. Map of a partitioned Vietnam from a 1964 U.
France began to colonize Vietnam between 1859 and 1862, when they took control of Saigon. By 1864 they controlled all of Cochinchina, the southern part of Vietnam. France took control of Annam, the large central part of Vietnam, in 1874. During World War II, after Nazi Germany defeated the French in 1940, French Indochina was controlled by the Vichy French government, a puppet government approved by Nazi Germany.
After the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Vichy government was no longer in control of France or its territories. The newly formed Provisional Government of the French Republic attempted to take back control of its former colonies in Indochina by force if necessary. But the French efforts at regaining their colony in Vietnam were opposed by a Vietnamese army called the Viet Minh. The Viet Minh had been founded in 1941 by the communist party and was led by Hồ Chí Minh. This led to the First Indochina War between France and the Viet Minh. In July 1954, France and the Viet Minh signed the Geneva Peace Accord. This resulted in dividing Vietnam along the 17th parallel into a northern section, under the control of the communists led by Ho Chi Minh as president, and a southern section led by the Catholic anti-communist Ngo Dinh Diem.
The partition was to be temporary until elections in 1956. The United States supported the anti-communist government in South Vietnam. It began to send military advisors to help train and support the South Vietnamese army. On 2 August 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox was in the Gulf of Tonkin, on an intelligence mission along North Vietnam’s coast.