Vietnamese revolution, war and all you can imagine with that fun stuff
Vietnam is honestly one of the most anti imperialist nations I can think of historically. so for pretty much like a few thousands years they tried to resist Chinese imperialism of all kinds.then the Europeans show up SO THEY REINVENT THEIR ENTIRE WRITING SYSTEM to use latin characters with diacritics to give China a middle finger for making them use Chinese characters.
of course France then does the whole imperialism jig. in 1885 there was a 10 year rebellion against the French, obviously failed but it was still a huge thing that is sort of the precursor revolt to the later one. in 1930 they had another rebellion, this was an organised one buy soldiers and that too failed but it was monarchist so shit either way tbh
then in 1940 France falls to Germany and Vichy France. Japan sorta occupied French Indochina in 1940 but sorta not, either way by 1945 they had fully occupied it to integrate it into the co-prosperity sphere. since like the late 30s the Viet Minh had been organising and when the Japanese came to town they opened a full on Guerilla campaign against them, the Viet Minh where the Vietnamese communists lead by Ho Chi Mihn.
come the end of the Pacific theater in 1945 the Viet Minh were very popular, nationalist sentiment was running high and they controlled large parts of the rural areas. The US said after the war France was not to get French Indochina back, that being Vietnam Laos Cambodia and parts of Thailand, the French decided actually it's our colony and we're keeping it. BUT. in 1945 the Japanese didn't just hand it over, the occupying Japanese forces stayed there, and the Chinese nationalist government lead by Chiang Kai Sheik, invaded and kicked them out.
so now in late 1945 the Viet Minh are still going around being like "bro... this is Vietnam, China and France fuck off", and the Chinese then hand the keys over the France if France gives back the parts of China it owns, France agrees. so Ho Chi Mihn says fuck this, and declares independence from France, and forces the puppet French emperor to abdicate. the British, French and JAPANESE all then destroy the Viet Mhin government and restore French Indochina.
so this whole time we have our classic Vietnam going on, the Viet Mihn are in the hills and the trees, fucking the French sideways because they're treating this like a conventional war of capturing strategic points like towns and forts. however, in 1949 something happens to the north, Mao wins and the PRC if formed, and both the PRC and the USSR recognise the Democratic Republic of Vietnam that the Viet Mihn are fighting under, so they let them come and go in the Chinese-Vietnamese boarder and arm the fuck out of them. then in 1953 Cambodia also declares independence and starts their own war against France in the region too
1954 is where it all ends for France in one huge fuck up, Dien Bien Phu. the French wanted to lay some bait to draw the Viet Mihn out of the hills so they could strike them a huge decisive blow and win some ground in the war, which they really needed by this point. so the French had this huge multi part fort complex to cut of Viet Mihn supply routes with patrols and search and destroy operations to draw them out to attack the fort or just surrender that whole region. the thing with Dien Bien Phu, and north Vietnam in general, is it's very mountainous and the fort complex was in a valley, completely surrounded by mountains. the French couldn't supply the area by convoy so they thought to use aircraft because there's *no way* the Viet Mihn, a bunch of farmers, could take down the French airforce right.... right? :)
so the Viet Mihn pretty much have to take on the fort complex, but they can't just run at it, they'll be shot to pieces. so what they do is they drag fucking artillery through the mountains, sometimes with fucking men with ropes. they dig all these complex tunnel networks in the mountains all around the complex, and they blast the ever loving shit out of the French. they also have something else, they bring out all these anti-air guns they have completely fucking blasting the only French supplies out of the sky. the French tried to use their own artillery but it just didn't work, the Viet Mihn positions were so dug into the mountains they could just move their guns inwards and not lose them, where the French were in such an open position, the commander of the artillery was so ashamed that he couldn't hit the Viet Mihn he fucking commuted suicide that's how bad it was.
having soften up the defenses the Viet Mihn started slowly creeping forwards with trenches all around all of the complex, just slowly strangling the French as the blasted them with the heavy guns and shot down all their air supplies and support. the Viet Mihn then totally over ran Dien Bien Phu and although some French troops escaped most were captured. France then realised they'd just had their balls kicked in and decided to pull out of Indochina in general.
So, Ho Chi Mihn and the Viet Mihn had won, right? France was defeated and Vietnam was free under the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, right? no... the French did withdraw and the DRV became North Vietnam and the South became South Vietnam which then was propped up by a US backed dictator who vowed to defeat the communist North. this all then sets the stage for something else...
Vietnam war, death and all that jazz, oh jeez this is a long one
So, one thing to say off the bat about the Vietnam war is that people view it in the totally wrong way. the US didn't invade a sovereign Vietnam, the US didn't occupy Vietnam like say Germany was occupied in 1945. the direct conflict is a lot more messy to understand than just America turns up and tries to shoot the commies, loses, goes home. The 'Vietnam war' is also bigger than just Vietnam, the US was indirectly and directly involved in neighboring Laos and Cambodia with support from the PRC and USSR, the US on the other hand also had the support of South Korea, Australia and Thailand. now, that said, lets kick of Indochina part two America strikes back.
as the first part says, in 1954 there is now 2 Vietnams. the North Vietnam is a communist state, add as many inverted commas as you think I being a left communist would add there, and the South Vietnam was a dictatorship by a US backed dictator. the US backed South Vietnam was a sovereign state, that said the US was directly backing the nationalists due to this being the cold war and all, and thus this is still imperialism.
the US and their greedy mits where all over Vietnam long before the formal establishment of North Vietnam. during the French war against the Viet Mihn, the US had been sending advisors into Vietnam to help with the war effort due to the now cold war in 1945. as much as the US was about decolonisation in this era, they were about the disestablishment of formal colonies like British India and French Indochina in favor of sovereign nations where the economic imperialism can continue.
Prior to 1954 South Vietnam did exist, it was the French possession. come the withdrawal of France from the region, South Vietnam's military and finances where then entirely supported by the US. the reason that the US was propping up South Vietnam was due to their cold war policies and this was done to such a degree because of active communists in South Vietnam.
the Viet Cong were not soldiers from North Vietnam, the Viet Cong where rebels in South Vietnam who wanted a common series of demands, the total withdrawl of the Americans and other nations, the unification of Vietnam and what they called socialism. the Viet Cong where a disorgansed group of people, VC means as much as Antifa does, anybody who says their VC is VC and that's part of why it works so well. the Americans had no idea who was and who wasn't Viet Cong when they went blasting in, because it's not a formal structure with a formal uniform.
so, the US is attempting to remove the Viet Cong from South Vietnam so their anti-communist dictatorship can be stable and be open to US economic imperialism.
the Viet Cong, as where the Viet Mihn before them, an irregular Guerrilla force, they did not sit around with an established fron't line pushing eachother back and forth to take over the country , the Viet Cong operated on small scale harassment of the opposition forces. imagine it as a death by 1000 paper cuts, they thought if they did enough small scale harassing that they could get the yankies to fuck off.
these harassments weren't just shooting US soldiers on patrol, though that was a big part too. the Viet Cong laid all sorts of traps, spike pits, rolling logs, poisoned traps, sniper in trees where the Americans had no fucking way to know where they were being shot from. one thing that the Viet Cong also did was that they would position themselves right infront of the US lines when shooting, at point blank range, so that when the Americans called in an airstrike of napalm or artillery on that positions, they often ended up killing just as many of their own men with these attacks. the Viet Cong were very good at using underground tunnels as positions to attack from and escape to when needed, they also often became key supply routes
the Americans on the other hand undertook search and destroy operations, where they would use intelligence they had to go to what might be a Viet Cong stronghold or weapons cache. this mostly meant that they went into local villages, harassed the people who lived there, waved their guns about looking for suspected Viet Cong members and made everybody in the village fucking hate them, driving them right into the arms of the Viet Cong. the Americans also often went on patrol in small units where they'd pretty much aimlessly walk around the jungle and rice fields, sort of hoping they'd walk into some Viet Cong. the Americans would also look for the tunnels that the Viet Cong used, but the problem was that the Viet Cong knew if they were coming and would bobby trap the fuck out of them, this is is the significantly bigger US G.I with his gear on could even fit into the tunnel.
the Viet Cong were just farmers, they had no way to manufacture or import arms, so how did they arm themselves? the suply route that came down from North Vietnam to arm the Viet Cong was called the Ho Chi Mihn trail, an ever shifting road that fanned out in untold directions to supply local areas with caches of Chinese and Soviet arms, these would then be moved about through tunnels and all sorts as they were fanned around the Viet Cong in an area. the US would constantly be trying to work out where the fuck the Ho Chi Mihn trail was this week, and they bombed the fuck out of it, or where they thought it was, constantly to try to cut off supplies to the Viet Cong, this of course totally won them the support of the local population who could see US bombers on constant bombing runs and napalm runs to burn the jungle down.
as time went on the US could really see they weren't winning, so successive presidents had the smart idea to just throw more men into the meat grinder. Vietnam was a hellhole for the average G.I and not many people were volenteering to go charge head first into a spike pit, so concription was used. nobody likes conscription, nobody likes it when the man to their left is blown up by their own artillery because the enemy position to be shelled is 5m in front of you, nobody likes it when they step on a shit covered spike and have to have their leg amputated. this lead to a few things, the huge animosity of men on the ground, and them taking that out on the local population, further driving them into the arms of the Viet Cong.
I could list the statistics and estimates of rapes, murders and all sorts that the Americans committed on the people of South Vietnam but I don't think that does justice to the sheer pigs they were.
this is so long I'm gonna wrap the war up in part 3
Vietnam war part 3, death and all that jazz
the press in the US had a feild day with the horror stories coming out of Vietnam from G.Is, and the fact that in this modern war it was possible to just send in a camera crew who could go on the ground and film the place. all of this lead to so much more public anti war sentiment.
by 1968 the US had strong doubts the war could be won at all, there was over 160,000 US troops in Vietnam and the Viet Cong STILL had the capabilities to thwart the US, G.Is were still coming back in body bags by the plane load, the public was hating the war more and more. then comes actually quite an interesting event, the tet offensive.
the Viet Cong and army of North Vietnam conducted a full on offensive, a conventional war offensive where they tried to take cities, air fields and all that. the Tet offensive was supposed to be a huge surprise attack in Tet, Vietnamese new year, to capture Vietnam and force the Americans out. pouring over the borders of North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos the VC and NVA had around a million troops commit this huge attack.
however, this played right into the Americans hands. this is the kind of war the Americans know how to fight, and even with such huge numbers, the VC and NVA just didn't have the airpower, armored vehicles, training and ect to fight the US in an open war. the Tet offensive was a total failure militarily for the communist forces, but it showed after ALL this time that such a huge mass of soldiers were out there against the US, that this entire time since 1954 they had gone nowhere. so really now on the US homefront people started to ask why the fuck are we still in Vietnam? what are we even fighting for? the communist forces had tunnels that went into Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, where they attacked so, on the propaganda end of things the communist forces really came out on top of Tet.
after this, the US begin to significantly scale things back, hand over to the South Vietnamese and train them to continue the war, with less and less US ground troops, but the South Vietnamese were never going to be win this on their own, and the US knew this. in 1973 the US finally pulled out entirely, by 1975 Saigon had failed to the NVA and Vietnam was free, finally, after an unending war since the Viet Mihn dared to ask for independence.
so uhhh, yeah, that's like... the whole Vietnam war abridged basically. I didn't touch on the actual socialism of the Viet Mihn, North Vietnam and the Viet Cong because it's sorta messy and gets too much into theory. was and is Vietnam socialist? no, and it never would have been. that said, I support the Viet Mihn and Viet Cong in their war for national liberation against imperialists
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