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Undoubtedly, America's attempt to push back communism in Vietnam is the most well-known war fought in Asia since 1945. However, it was preceded by a conflict between French and Vietnamese forces that resulted in the deaths of over 75,000 members of France's armed forces from December 1946 to July 1954. The First Indochina War was a particularly brutal conflict fought by the French for similar reasons as the United States in later years. Led by Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese forces sought to impose communist doctrines in Vietnam, a move that France deemed unacceptable and warranted a large-scale military engagement. Vietnam was considered an integral part of Indochina and France itself, and the spread of communism in the region was not to be permitted, nor were Ho Chi Minh's attempts to gain independence for Vietnam through these means. This volume, the first in a three-part series, examines the first phase of the First Indochina War, which lasted from 1946 to 1949.
Drawing on a variety of historical documents, this book provides readers with a comprehensive historical perspective on the French presence in Vietnam, the United States' support for France, the ideology and tactics of the insurgents in Vietnam, as well as a detailed account of the battles, strategies, machinery, and personnel employed by both sides to achieve their objectives during the conflict.
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