Do you know why the Viet Nam war started, or when it really began?
Well, it may surprise you to know that the war actually began shortly after the end of World War II.When WWII ended many countries had taken control of smaller countries in Asia.Vietnam was controlled by the French, but after WWII Vietnam wanted it's independence.France did not want to give up it's colonies because they needed the extra income to help rebuild it's country after WWII.
A man named Ho Chi Minh, who declared their independence from the French after the end of WWII, led Vietnam.His resistance force wasfirst called the Viet – Minh, which stood for the Vietnam Independence League (DRV). Ho Chi Minh formed a government called the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, although he was a true communist.Vietnam became divided into North and South Vietnam, with the French controlling South Vietnam and the DRV the North.As the French moved into North Vietnam fighting broke out and the French became involved in a new kind of war.The General in charge of the DRV, a man named Giap used "guerrilla warfare" to defeat the French.In this type of war the General used small groups of men to kill or wound French soldiers and then run away into the jungle before the French could use a large army to fight back.
This fighting lasted for years and the people in France did not like having French soldiers killed again as in WWII.
By 1954 the French knew that they could not win a war against the DVR.They were defeated in a big battle at Dien Bien Phu and quickly left Vietnam.After this defeat a meeting was held in Geneva Switzerland and Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam along the 17th parallel of latitude.This was supposed to last two years and then the people of Vietnam would vote on whether to reunite the country and what kind of government all the people wanted.