Friday, October 04, 2013

Giap's army, known as the Viet Minh, now a formidable guerrilla force, fought both Japanese occupiers and French colonialists during World War II. Giap hoped the United States would support Vietnam's bid for independence and told a crowd in Hanoi in 1946 to regard the United States as a "good friend" because "it is a democracy without territorial ambitions." 
But the war between North Vietnam and France started in earnest that year, and between then and 1954, when France surrendered at Dien Bien Phu—ending 71 years of colonial rule—Washington backed France with $4 billion in military aid.

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