1. The French were involved in a war of Indochina prior to the American involvement. Trace the causes of this conflict and describe the key events and general course of the French Indochina War.
Traditionally, the First Indochina war started in the French Indochina in 1946 and ended in 1954. The war was a fighting or conflict between forces from France and their Viet Minh opponents. Numerous factors were involved in the conflict including the French Far East Expeditionary Corps from the French Union led by France. The Vietnamese national army supported the French against the Viet Minh whose leaders were Vo Nguyen Giap and Ho Chi Minh. The large part of this conflict occurred in the northern region of Vietnam called Tonkin, although the fighting engulfed the rest of the nation, spreading to the protectorates of the French Indochina in Cambodia and Laos (Young, 1991).
After the French reoccupation in Indochina after the Second World War, the region being in control of the Japanese, the Viet Minh started a protest or rebellion against the French authority that was in control of a number of French colonies in Indochina. The few initial years of the conflict involved rural uprising that was increasingly low key against the French. Nevertheless, after the communists from China arrived in the Vietnamese northern border in 1949, the fighting took another turn and became a conventional war between two forces that were armed with modern weapons (Jian, 1993).
The forces of the French Union included several forces from the rest of the former empire including Tunisia, Algeria, Laotian, Moroccan, Vietnamese, and Cambodian ethnic minorities. While the plan of pushing the troops of Viet Minh into launching a war on the excellently defended base was validated, the lack of materials for construction, air cover, and tanks prevented an effective defense, leading to a decisive defeat of the French forces. The Geneva conference made a provisional decision to divide Vietnam into two regions, the north, and south. The northern region was the Vietnam democratic republic under Ho Chi Minh, and the south was the Vietnam state under Bao Dai (Jian, 1993).