published on: 24/09/2020
This month this happened… Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam Independent on September 2nd 1942. But how did this happen? Vietnam before this was a French colony which changed during WW2 was seized by Japan on behalf of Germany in 1940 but allowed the French to administer their own country. With these details, Ho Chi Minh made his way to Vietnam from his home in China in 1941 after 3 decades in exile. Ho and his small army set up in basic living conditions in the jungles of Vietnam's border with China. With his army growing with local people who found themselves identifying with his cause to free Vietnam. This army would soon be called the Viet Minh.
With the tide of the Pacific War changing in favour of the Americans of March 1945, the country was then formally annexed by Japan and removed all foreign aid and military such as France from its land. Viet Minh, they decided to use the confusion to seize further territory which has been a slow process before now. With this success, the Office of the Strategic Services, met up and found interest in Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh and like many things the Americans got involved in, ended up supplying the Viet Minh with radios and small arms in exchange of intelligence and harassment of the Japanese forces and attempted rescue of downed American pilots. This support was furthermore when American forces dropped in North Vietnam in 1945 to support and train the Viet Minh, seeing any similarities yet? And during this time, saved Ho’s life by treating him for his malaria and dysentery. Soon after the Japanese surrender, in mid-August and no form of French forces on the horizon. Ho set foot into the biggest city in the country unopposed and began talks of a coup. Flying the Viet Minh Flags and talks of independence, he did not disappoint.
On the 2nd of September 1945, in front of 100s of thousands. Ho Chi Ming declared Vietnam as an independent nation. With his speech ready, his next goal was attempts to gain American support...
“All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
An Extract from Ho Chi Ming's Speech on 2nd September 1942