WHIB Zimbabwe & Vietnam

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Countries in Indochina

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Countries in Indochina

Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos

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Climate of Indochina

  • Rainy season, May - October

  • Hot

  • Humid

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Who colonized Indochina?


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Most important colony in Indochina


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French Indochinese Union

  • 1893

    • Merger of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos

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Chinese Revolution of 1911

Replaced emperor with Republic of China

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French Protectorate in Indochina

  • 1887-93

  • Local leaders as figureheads

  • FR actually in control

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Divide and Rule

French strategy of playing colonies against each other

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Sino-French War

  • 1884-5

  • French wins

  • Gained North Vietnam

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Main Products of French Indochina

  • Rubber

  • Mining

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When did China control Vietnam?

111 BC - 939 AD

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Impact of Chinese control of Vietnam

Gave Vietnam wariness of Chinese control

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Phan Dinh Phung

  • Vietnamese revolutionary

  • Lead 1885-95 revolt in VN

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French Cochinchina

French colony in Southern Vietnam, part of French Indochina

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1916 Cochinchina Uprising

  • Revolt against FR in southern VN

  • Part of the uprising intended to free the mystic Phan Xich Long from prison

  • Failed

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Cao Dai

  • Religion founded in 1921, split apart in 1946

  • Militarily active in both Indochina Wars

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Vietnamese Nationalist Party

  • Started as a publishing house, which failed due to French censorship

  • Party founded 1927

  • Modeled on the Kuomintang of China

  • Assassinated colonial leaders

  • Led Yen Bai mutiny

  • Declined after Yen Bai mutiny

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Bazin Assassination

  • 1929

  • Done by Nationalist Party of Vietnam

  • Alfred Bazin was a hated labor recruiter

  • Led to crackdown on Nationalist Party, many of its leaders were arrested

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Yen Bai Mutiny

  • 1930

  • Vietnamese soldiers in the French army mutinied

  • Failed when other Vietnamese soldiers did not join in

  • Led to executions of Nationalist Party leadership

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Formation of the Viet Minh

  • 1941

  • Founded by Ho Chi Minh and the Indochinese Communist Party

  • Political Leader: Ho Chi Minh

  • Military Leader: Vo Nguyen Giap

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WWII in Vietnam

  • Started as a French-administered territory of Japan

  • 1940: FR allows Japan to station 30k troops in VN

  • 1945: Japan, fearing FR betrayal, ousts FR and allows Bao Dai to declare (nominal) independence

  • 1945: Viet Minh lead August Revolution

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Bao Dai

  • Emperor of Vietnam, 1913-45

  • French puppet, then Japanese puppet (nominally as the Empire of Vietnam)

  • Abdicated in 1945 August Revolution

  • Chief of State for State of VN

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1945 Vietnamese Famine

  • Causes:

    • Flooding (compounded by dike damage after US bombing)

    • French price ceilings on rice (farmers did not make enough to buy new rice)

    • 140k Japanese troops eating the rice

    • US airstrikes on infrastructure

  • Viet Minh encouraged attacking Japanese granaries, gained popularity

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People’s Revolutionary Committees

Groups created during the 1945 famine by the Viet Minh. Took over local administration during and after the August Revolution

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August Revolution

  • 1945, immediately after Japanese surrender in WWII

  • Against Empire of Vietnam and Empire of Japan

  • Led by Viet Minh

  • Resulted in declaration of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

  • Smooth victory in northern VN, but faced challenges in more diverse south

    • Large divisions in south as the Cao Dai, Hoa Hao, and Trotskyists were active there

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US Support for August Revolution

  • Done by Office of Strategic Services (CIA precursor)

  • “Deer Team” trained Viet Minh fighters

  • Airdropped weapons and ammo

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Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV)

  • North Vietnam

  • Governed by the Viet Minh

  • 1945 (August Revolution) - 1976 (end of 2nd Indochina War)

  • Opposed FR-backed State of Vietnam

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1946 North Vietnamese Elections

  • Many parties were barred from participating

  • 2 opposition parties: Viet Quoc and Viet Cach

  • Misinformation

  • Viet Minh won majority

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Causes for Vietnamese resistance to French rule

  • History of resisting foreign rule (Chinese rule until 938)

  • Vietnamese paid for development of French interests

  • The French required taxes to be paid in currency, but Vietnam was largely subsistence farming

  • Forced labor by French

  • French monopolies

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Corvée System

  • System of forced labor for a certain number of days each year

  • French used it in Vietnam to construct infrastructure

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French Monopolies in Vietnam

  • Salt, opium, and alcohol

  • Provided 44% of budget in 1920

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Impact of French Opium Monopoly

Gave French an interest in continuing opium use

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First Indochina War

  • 1946-54

  • GB refused to recognize the DRV

  • FR overthrew local DRV government in Saigon

  • US provided aid to FR

  • Spent a year as an insurgency-style war, before escalating into conventional warfare

  • Ended after Battle of Dien Bien Phu

  • Ended with VN split into North and South VN

  • DRV vs FR, Cao Dai, Hoa Hao, and Binh Xuyen

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Battle of Dien Bien Phu

  • 1954 battle at Dien Bien Phu

  • Viet Minh (led by Vo Nguyen Giap) vs FR (w/ US support) and State of VN

  • Viet Minh hauled artillery to the battle

    • Dug tunnels to hide artillery while not firing

  • FR relied on airdropped supplies

    • Believed Viet Minh had no anti-air guns (they were wrong)

  • Viet Minh initially planned an assault, but canceled it and switched to siege tactics

    • Destroyed FR positions w/ artillery

  • Battle ended with a massed charge by Viet Minh

  • Triggered Geneva Conference

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Geneva Accords

1954 accords splitting Indochina

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Hoa Hao

  • Religion founded in 1939

  • Incorporates elements of Bhuddism

  • Founded by Huynh Phu So

  • Fought in both Indochina Wars

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Hyunh Phu So

Founder of Hoa Hao

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Death of Hyunh Phu So

  • Assassinated by the Viet Minh after they realized he would not join them

  • Led to decline of Hoa Hao’s political and military power and factionalism in Hoa Hao

  • Caused Hoa Hao to join FR in 1st Indochina War

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Binh Xuyen

  • Criminal organization

  • Initially fought against FR in 1st Indochina War

  • Switched sides when Bao Dai named non-communist armies independent armies in the national army and gave a rank to its leader Bay Vien

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Bay Vien

Leader of Binh Xuyen during the 1st Indochina War

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State of Vietnam

  • 1949-1955

  • FR-controlled until 1954

  • South VN

  • Chief of State: Bao Dai

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Domino Theory

Theory that if one east Asian country became communist, the rest would

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Republic of South Vietnam

Succeeded State of Vietnam in 1955 after Geneva Accords

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Ngo Dinh Diem

  • President of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1963 (when he was assassinated)

  • Catholic

    • Favored Catholics, leading to conflict with Buddhists

  • US-backed

  • Removed emperor Bao Dai

  • Corruption in his family

    • His brother Can was involved in rice smuggling and the opium trade

  • Eliminated private armies (Cao Cai, Hoa Hao, Binh Xuyen) at great expense

  • Suppressed opposition - Had right to ban candidates from elections

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Phan Quang Dan

Opposition leader under Diem. Allowed to run in 1959 elections, but arrested after victory

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Authoritarianism under Diem

  • Newspaper could not publish independent candidates’ names or policies

  • No political meetings with more than 5 people

  • Candidates threatened with charges of conspiracy with the VC, a capital offense

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Land Reform in North Vietnam

  • 1954-6: Executed 13k+ landowners

  • Collectivized farms

    • Largely unsuccessful

  • Attempted industrialization

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Viet Cong

  • Officially the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam

  • Allied with the Viet Minh

  • Created by Viet Minh in 1960

  • Active in South VN

  • Intentionally left peasants untouched while fighting SVN

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Army of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam’s army)

  • Large

  • Low morale

  • Corruption

  • Dependent on US aid

  • Ill-prepared for counter-insurgency

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South Vietnamese Economy

  • Poor

  • Large landowners

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2nd Indochina War alternate name

Vietnam War

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2nd Indochina War Years

  • Start: 1955

  • First major US deployment: 1965

  • US leaves: 1973

  • War ends: 1975

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Ho Chi Minh Trail

Road network running from North to South that let the VM supply the VC

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Strategic Hamlets

  • 1962

  • Relocated peasants into villages to isolate them from communist influence

  • Ran by Pham Ngoc Thao, who was actually a communist agent and deliberately made the plan fail

  • Failed, alienated peasants

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Pham Ngoc Thao

Communist sleeper agent who ran the Strategic Hamlet program in south VN.

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1960 South Vietnamese Coup Attempt

  • Failed

  • Caused by politicization of the military

  • Diem trapped inside his Independence Palace, but stalled until relief troops arrived

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1962 Independence Palace Bombing

Failed attempt to kill Diem

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Ngo Dinh Nhu

  • Diem’s brother who had no official position, but had immense power

  • Led Xa Loi Pagoda Raids

  • Killed in 1963 coup.

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Xa Loi Pagoda Raids

1963 raids by ARVN special forces on Buddhist pagodas. Orchestrated by Diem’s brother Nhu

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Cable 243

  • 1963

  • Followed the Xa Loi Pagoda Raids

  • US wanted Nhu out of power

  • Gave permission for a coup if Nhu was not removed

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1963 South Vietnamese Coup

  • Diem and his brother Nhu assassinated

  • US-backed

  • Allowed by Cable 243

  • Established military junta

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Buddhist Crisis

1963 unrest by Buddhists, ended with 1963 coup

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Thich Quang Duc

Buddhist monk who burned himself to death during the Buddhist Crisis

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1964 South Vietnamese Coup

  • Ousted junta

  • Bloodless

  • Led by disgruntled generals

  • Surprised US, but portrayed positively by media

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Land to the Tiller Act

South VN land redistribution program in early 1970s

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South East Asia Treaty Organization, fought in 2nd Indochina War

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Gulf of Tonkin Incident

  • 1964

  • Confrontation between US and VM

  • US falsely claimed a second incident occurred

  • Led to Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and escalation of the war

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Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

1964 US resolution supporting US involvement in 2nd Indochina War

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Operation Rolling Thunder

  • 1965-8

  • US bombing campaign

  • Intended to boost South VN morale and hurt VM’s capability to support VC

  • Countered when VM received Soviet anti-air defenses, such as surface-to-air missiles

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US Search and Destroy Tactics

  • Seal off areas and saturates them with troops

  • Failed

  • Hurt civilians

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Australian Counterinsurgency

  • Provided civic programs and aid

  • Effective, but limited in scope

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MiG-21s in 2nd Indochina War

  • Soviet interceptor aircraft

  • Given to VM in 1967

  • Countered Operation Rolling Thunder

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Cambodian Campaign

  • VM and VC had bases and troops in Cambodia

  • 1970 campaign

  • US and ARVN operations in Cambodia

  • Mostly failed

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Battle of Khe Sanh

  • 1968 siege (5 months)

  • VC attacked a US base meant to block Ho Chi Minh Trail

  • Technically a VC victory, but they took 10-15k KIA

  • Distracted from buildup to Tet Offensive

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Tet Offensive

  • 1968 VC offensive

  • Massive and widespread

  • Tet (the new year) is a time of truce

  • ARVN held out until reinforced by US

  • “Failed,” as VC attempted conventional warfare

  • Turned US opinion against the war and led to peace talks

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Reasons for Low US Morale

  • VC had placed many traps

  • Increasing casualties

  • Growing drug use

  • Increase in fragging (killed unpopular officers with a frag grenade)

  • Increase in desertion

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My Lai Massacre

  • 1968

  • 400-500 civilians dead

  • Grew VC support

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General William Westmoreland’s Requests

  • 200k more troops

  • Attacks on Cambodia and Laos

  • Rejected

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Peace Talks in 2nd Indochina War

  • 1968-1973

  • US stops bombing in 1968 but resumes in 1971 to encourage negotiation

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Nixon in 2nd Indochina War

  • Took office 1969

  • Planned to withdraw

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  • US plan to make South VN self-sufficient

  • Nixon’s withdrawal plan

  • Failure

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1972 VC & VM Change in Strategy

Switched to conventional warfare

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1975 Spring Offensive

  • Final VC campaign

  • Victorious

  • Chaotic South VN retreat

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Marxist for developing nations

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People’s War

Maoist military strategy for protracted war. Adapted by Vo Nguyen Giap

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3 Stages of People’s War

  1. Preparation

  2. Guerrilla warfare

  3. Conventional warfare, capture geographic and political objectives

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  • Standard issue US rifle from 1957-67

  • Heavy and long → unwieldy

  • Wooden stock swelled in Vietnamese jungles → hurting accuracy

  • Could fire full auto, but unusable when doing so due to recoil

  • Replaced by M16

  • Outclassed by AK-47s

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  • US standard issue rifle after 1967 (including M16A1)

  • Replaced M14

  • Lighter than M14, no wooden parts

  • Military version of the AR15

  • Mass-produced

  • Unreliable during early use

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  • Supplied to North VN by USSR

  • Standard VC rifle

  • Cheap

  • Outclassed M14s

  • Superseded by AKM (also used in 2nd Indochina War, though less often)

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Cambodian-Vietnamese War

  • 1978

  • Vietnam vs Khmer Rouge (led by Pol Pot)

  • Vietnam stopped Cambodian Genocide

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Sino-Vietnamese War

  • 1979

  • Vietnam vs China

  • Response to Cambodian-Vietnamese War

    • China wanted VN out of Cambodia

  • ~1 month long

  • Harmed relations between the 2 countries

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Reeducation in Vietnam

300k South Vietnamese sent to reeducation camps

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Cong An

Vietnamese secret police

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Art & Literature in Post-Reunification Vietnam

  • Pre-1975 works banned to counter western influence

  • New works commissioned by government

  • Government controlled media

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Collapse of the USSR

  • 1991

  • USSR was biggest trade partner

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Religion in Post-Reunification Vietnam

  • Only state-run churches allowed

  • Land seized from Protestant Montagnards and Hoa Haoists

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Boat People

  • 1975-90

  • 1M+ people left on boats

  • Used so many boats it hurt the fishing industry

  • 1990: Ended when gov allow emigration

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Demographics of Post-Reunification Vietnam

  • 90% same ethnic group

  • 80% rural peasants

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Elections in Post-Reunification Vietnam

  • Elected legislature

  • Candidates chosen by Communist Party

  • Had experienced leaders

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Centralized Economy Post-Reunification

  • 1975-85

  • Heavy industry and state-owned farms

  • Businesses nationalized

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