Ho Chih Minh

“You will kill ten of us, we will kill one of you, but in the end, you will tire of it first.”
― Hồ Chí Minh.

Ho Chih Minh was the leader of Vietnam’s independence movement. He successfully lead Vietnamese forces against France to establish the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He also provided leadership until his death against forces from the USA in a war to unify the country of Vietnam.

Photo: Ho Chih Minh.

Biography of Ho Chih Ming

19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969

Ho Chih Minh was born Nguyễn Sinh Cung. He was the son of a Confucian teacher and district magistrate. At the time, Vietnam was part of French Indochina and Ho Chih Minh received a French education.

At the age of 21, he left for France and applied to the French Colonial Administrative School. However, his application was rejected and he decided to travel the world. From 1911 – 1922 Ho Chih Minh travelled and worked in France, the United States, and United Kingdom. During this period, he took menial jobs for survival. During this period he also became involved in movements for Vietnamese independence.

Between 1923 – 1941, he traveled, studied and taught in the Soviet Union and China. Depending on the political situation, he spent time in other countries as well. However, it was in the Soviet Union and China that Ho Chih Minh became involved in communist organizations.

In 1941, he returned to Vietnam as the leader of the Viet Minh movement for independence. From that time, the Viet Minh were in conflict with Vichy France, then the Japanese, and France. In 1945, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam declared independence and Ho Chih Minh became chairman of the government.

The French forces were finally defeated in 1954.  The opposing forces agreed to the Geneva Accords. This treaty would partition Vietnam with elections to be eventually scheduled that would reunify the country. North Vietnam became a communist state and South Vietnam was non-communist.

However, by 1959 it became clear that the elections would not be held and North Vietnam began to actively support a communist insurgency in South Vietnam. North Vietnam also sent troops into neighboring Laos and began construction of the Ho Chih Minh supply line that transported supplies from the North to the South.

In 1965, American troops arrived to support South Vietnam’s government. Despite the superiority of the American forces, Ho’s strategy of fighting a guerilla war instead of a conventional war eventually lead to the withdrawal of US troops and the reunification of Vietnam.

Contributions

• Ho Chih Minh was a communist leader who lead Vietnam to independence from France.

• After the partition of Vietnam, Ho Chih Minh lead the communist forces in a guerilla war against a superior American military that resulted in the reunification of the country and withdrawal of US troops.

Improving Your Reading and Thinking Skills

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Bibliography

Vietnam War, History.

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