indochina: links to imperialism in french indochina & the background to the US war in vietnam   

Site Network: café historia - our news site | who we are | site map | terms | cookies | image use | contact us | click to see who is online with you!

   General Giap, national hero and confidante of late president Ho Chi Minh casahistoria - web site for students of modern history!

  on this page
Browse down the page or just click one of these sections.... 
1. Background to the French in Indochina
2. Biographies
Ho Chi Minh | Giap | Bao Dai, last Vietnam Emperor | Who's Who
3. The French conflict before 1945
Background | The end of World War 2
4. The French War, 1945-54: The Armies
French Forces | Viet Minh
5. French War II: Campaigns & Ðiên Biên Phú
6. Laos, Cambodia & the French
7. Geneva Accords & 
     background to US intervention
General outlines linking the French & US war
Kennedy and Vietnam
Other core casahistoria indo china pages:
  Vietnam War
  Related casahistoria sites
Imperialism · Decolonisation · China & the West ·
The Cold War · The Korean War



casahistoria is recommended by many sites including:




1. Background to the French in Indochina
go to top of page

See these casahistoria sites for further background:
Imperialism: Go to this casahistoria site for the European Empire building context context of the French  in indo china.
Vietnam War: Go to this casahistoria site for the later US Involvement and campaigns


French involvement with China


Imperialism in the Far East go to this site for links to Commodore Perry & the emergence of Japan. Click for the Boxers in China.





2. Biographies
go to top of page

Ho Chi Minh
  • Time Asia 100: The Most Influential Asians of the Century - Ho Chi Minh Vietnam's independence leader was a hero to his countrymen, a wise uncle to friends and a monster to enemies .... By Bui Tin
  • Ho Chi Minh. A brief bio and timeline from Moreheroes site. Reasonable balanced conclusion.
  • Ho Chi Minh, an Appreciation By Wilfred Burchett, whose exclusive dispatches from Korea, Indochina, Japan; People's China and the Paris peace talks have been appearing in the pages of the Guardian for 20 years. It was in the pages of the Guardian that Ho Chi Minh first learned the details of the antiwar and resistance movement in the U.S. After the middle of the month the site exceeds its limit and is usually closed.....
  • Ho Chi Minh A four-page biography from Time Magazine . By Stanley Karnow.
  • Ho Chi Minh Useful 2000 'Salon' book review of the 'Ho Chi Minh' biography by William J. Duiker
  • Ho Chi Minh Bio from Spartacus site
  • Ho Chi Minh's rhetoric for revolution Difficult. A scholarly article on the themes of character, collectivity and cultural heritage in Ho Chi Minh's speeches. By Peter A. DeCaro of Buena Vista University.
  • Vietnam's independence and Ho Chi Minh This article questions the importance of Ho Chi Minh's role in gaining Vietnamese independence from France. From VietNam Quoc Dan Dang, the Vietnamese National Party
Ideas Vo Nguyen Giap Bao Dai, Last Emperor of Vietnam General 
  • Who's Who Brief biographies of the key players in the war; includes Americans, Cambodians, and Vietnamese. Produced by Vietnam Online, developed to accompany Vietnam: A Television History, an award-winning television series produced by WGBH Boston.  §


3. The French conflict before 1945

go to top of page

  • World War II This is perhaps the most complex period to get your head around but this chronology from  Ray Sarlin's excellent set set of detailed chronologies of the Vietnam War Timetable will help you a great deal! use it together with these two pdf's....
  • Indochina and Vietnam: Causes of French & US involvement, events of each conflict, outcomes.  A casahistoria netguide in lecture note format. PDF file  and requires adobe reader. For more casahistoria netguide revision go to IB/Alevel/K12 revision in the young casahistoria section.
  • World War 2 in Indochina - a casahistoria netguide diagram. PDF file  and requires adobe reader. For more casahistoria netguide revision go to IB/Alevel/K12 revision in the young casahistoria section.
  • The anti-colonial struggle A comprehensive article on the struggle against French influence in Indochina from Veterans with a Mission. Well written and detailed.
  • Background to the Vietnam wars Covers the conquest of Vietnam by France, the emergence of the Viet Minh, the first Indochina war, the Geneva Accords and their aftermath and the Vietnam War. By Edwin E. Moise, History Department, Clemson University, South Carolina.  §
  • The Origins of the Indochina War & Words from "Uncle Ho" Two articles from the Indochine site
The End of World War 2


4. The French War, 1945-54 -  I: the Armies
go to top of page

Decolonisation: Go to this casahistoria site for the end of Empires context of the French conflict in indo china.
The Cold War This casahistoria site will provide links on the Cold War background
The Korean War Go to the casahistoria site on the other far eastern Cold War conflict taking place during  the time of the French wars in indo china.

  • Indochine 1945-54 This site was set up by two French war-gamers and amateur military historians, with the intention is to include some overviews of the two military systems (French and Vietnamese) in action, with pieces on particular unit types, operations/battles, important factors controlling the actions of either side, specialist equipment/tactics developed during the war, and scenarios/ideas for war-gaming the various aspects of the Indochina War. The authors both have long-standing interests in the Indochina War, and have produced a useful site which has provided many of the links in this section. Also includes a Glossary to hopefully help you make sense out of all the abbreviations and strange words.
  • The First Indochina War from the excellent set of detailed chronologies of the Vietnam War Timetable compiled by Ray Sarlin. Use this to put the campaigns in chronological sequence!
  • Cold War in the Far East Lecture which gives a brief, but valuable overview of the impact and influence of the Cold war in the Far east and its contribution to conflicts there, of which Vietnam is the last. By Professor Gerhard Rempel, Western New England College.
French Forces Viet Minh




5. The French War, 1945-54 - II: Campaigns & Ðiên Biên Phú

go to top of page

  • Hoa Binh Campaign At Hoa Binh, the watershed of the First Indochina War, the Viet Minh succeeded in bottling up the French in the Red River Delta. By Shaun M. Darragh
  • Battle for Colonial Road 4 October, 1950. Interesting personal recollection by George Moore. Written Phnom Penh, March, 1997  §
  • Setting the Stage David T. Zabecki writes that beaten in the Red River delta, in the 1950-51 campaign the Viet Minh proved at Hoa Binh they had learned their lesson, a lesson that would win them the war. (§ currently put offline by but the article is linked here from the Wayback Archive, but be patient - slow to load!)
  • Showdown at Nghia Lo - Northern Indochina, October 1-15, 1951 by Wild Bill Wilder
  • Operation Lorraine (29th Oct - 8th Nov 1952) : Salan Strikes At Giap's Supply Lines
  • Indochina War Films - Film reviews from Indochine. Good reviews of Hollywood and French films on the French & US wars. Select your Blockbuster movie from their list!
  • Links The excellent Indochine link site to web sites on most aspects of the war and Dien Bien Phu
Ðiên Biên Phú
  • CNN Cold War - Spotlight: Dien Bien Phu Good, clear CNN page from the Cold War series.  §
  • Dien Bien Phu. Straightforward and basic account with diagrams by Stephen Kirchhoff. Published in American Military Experience, November 2003
  • Dien Bien Phu – A Fatal Gamble by Wild Bill Wilder. Well written, clear account.
  • Dien Bien Phu: A Battle to Remember by Bernard B. Fall. He wrote this article in 1964, prior to the publication of Hell in a Very Small Place. Fall was born in 1926 and grew up in France. Both his parents were killed by the Nazis in World War II. He gained firsthand guerrilla warfare experience while fighting in the French Underground from 1942 to 1944. With the Allied invasion of Europe, Fall joined the French army, serving in the infantry and pack artillery of the 4th Moroccan Mountain Division.
  • Battle of Dien Bien Phu Shaped Southeast Asia Vietnam: Account of the battle. By George Esper, Associated Press. Published on the Australian Involvement in Vietnam Site
  • An Analysis Of The French Defeat At Dien Bien Phu by Major Harry D. Bloomer, USA, who argues that at Dien Bien Phu the French violated nearly all of the principles of war at every level of war--strategic, operational, and tactical.  These violations contributed significantly to the French defeat. Page layout is frustrating, but is well detailed.
  • Dien Bien Phu Infos In French but most useful for its maps of the Dien Bien Phu strongpoints. §
  • New Perspectives on Dien Bien Phu New Perspectives on Dien Bien Phu. Pierre Asselin. From "Contributions to the History of Dien Bien Phu," Vietnamese Studies 3 (1965): 51.
  • Ðiên Biên Phú Complete with suitably grave music(!) and calling itself the official site of the battle. This is a multimedia site first and foremost but has interesting miscellany on the battle....
  • Dien Bien Phu: A Vietnamese Perspective Review of a recently released a revised and supplemented edition of Dien Bien Phu, an account of the battle penned by General Giap


6. Laos, Cambodia & the French 

go to top of page

  • French domination of Laos From "Refugees from Laos: historical background and causes" by Gary Yia Lee. Article focuses on the historical background and causes of population displacement from Laos, within context of the Indochina War. Original article based on research on the impact of the Indochina War on Laos conducted in 1971-72, with supplementary field research in refugee camps in Thailand during 1985. Revised in 1992, updated 2008.
  • The War in Laos - Red Princes, Opium Farmers and Elephants From the Indochine site. Very details article by Danny O'Hara with campaign maps and clear layout
  • Khmer Issarak - The War in Cambodia 1945-53 From the Indochine site. "Of all the Indochinese regions, Cambodia probably saw the least fighting during the French Indochina War. That is not to say that nothing happened in the country during this period - in fact, many seeds of the later struggles were sown during this time. Political activity was more important than - but did not entirely replace - military guerrilla action in Cambodia." A detailed chronology
  • Useful outline histories from ASEAN Focus where the emphasis is on the colonial and immediate post colonial period:


7. Geneva Accords & background to US intervention 

go to top of page


General outlines linking the French wars with the US war Kennedy and Vietnam

  For extensive links to the US war in Vietnam go to the casahistoria sites:
Vietnam War, Part One: US Involvement and campaigns 
Vietnam War, Part Two: opposition, contagion & US withdrawal 



  café historia - our news site | who we are | site map | terms | cookies policy | image use | contact us | online visitor map



Google Analytics Alternative