For Part 4 in our podcast series on the First Indochina War, this episode covers the events of 1952 and most of 1953. We will look at the battles in northwest Vietnam, as the Viet Minh invade this area. Then we will see the opening of a second front in Laos, which will start an on-and-off civil war that will last for the next 22 years. Finally, we will learn how Laos and Cambodia achieved full independence from France.
I could have sworn I posted the announcement for Episode 65 when it was uploaded, last April 16. Was it deleted? Anyway, here it is again, just in case.
In Episode 65 we begin covering the events of the First Indochina War, waged between the French and the Vietnamese communists, then called the Viet Minh. Here we go from 1946 to 1950. For most of this time the struggle was a stalemate, with the French controlling all cities in Vietnam, while the Viet Minh roamed the countryside. Then in 1950 the Viet Minh won a key battle in the area northeast of Hanoi; this is now considered the turning point of the war.
Episode 66 is the third in our Indochina War series. Here we will look at the campaigns of 1951. In response to the successful Viet Minh (Vietnamese Communist) offensive of 1950, the French send in their best general, Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. It was only during the eleven months when de Lattre was in command (December 1950 – November 1951) that the French felt they had a good chance of winning.