1890-05-19 to 1969-09-02
Vietnam - Russia - France - Thailand - ChinaHồ Chí Minh was a Vietnamese revolutionary and politician. He served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1945 to 1955 and then its President from 1945 to 1969. Ideologically a Marxist-Leninist, he served as Chairman and First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Vietnam.
The steamer departed on 5 June 1911 and arrived in Marseille, France on 5 July 1911. The ship then left for Le Havre and Dunkirk, returning to Marseille in mid-September. There, he applied for the French Colonial Administrative School, but his application was rejected and he instead decided to begin traveling the world by working on ships and visited many countries from 1911 to 1917.
While working as the cook's helper on a ship in 1912, Thành (Ho) traveled to the United States. From 1912 to 1913, he may have lived in New York City (Harlem) and Boston, where he claimed to have worked as a baker at the Parker House Hotel.
From 1919 to 1923, Thành (Ho) began to show an interest in politics while living in France, being influenced by his friend and Socialist Party of France comrade Marcel Cachin. Thành claimed to have arrived in Paris from London in 1917, but the French police only had documents recording his arrival in June 1919.
In December 1920, Quốc (Ho) became a representative to the Congress of Tours of the Socialist Party of France, voted for the Third International and was a founding member of the French Communist Party. Taking a position in the Colonial Committee of the party, he tried to draw his comrades' attention towards people in French colonies including Indochina, but his efforts were often unsuccessful.
He began to write journal articles and short stories as well as running his Vietnamese nationalist group. In May 1922, he wrote an article for a French magazine criticizing the use of English words by French sportswriters.
In 1925–1926, he organized "Youth Education Classes" and occasionally gave socialist lectures to Vietnamese revolutionary young people living in Canton at the Whampoa Military Academy. These young people would become the seeds of a new revolutionary, pro-communist movement in Vietnam several years later. According to William Duiker.
In April 1945, he met with the OSS agent Archimedes Patti and offered to provide intelligence to the allies provided that he could have "a line of communication with the allie". The OSS agreed to this and later sent a military team of OSS members to train his men and Hồ Chí Minh himself was treated for malaria and dysentery by an OSS doctor.
Following the August Revolution (1945) organized by the Việt Minh, Hồ Chí Minh became Chairman of the Provisional Government (Premier of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and issued a Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
In Saigon, with violence between rival Vietnamese factions and French forces increasing, the British commander, General Sir Douglas Gracey, declared martial law. On 24 September, the Việt Minh leaders responded with a call for a general strike.
In the final days of 1946, after a year of diplomatic failure and many concessions in agreements, such as the Dalat and Fontainebleau conferences, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam government found that war was inevitable.
When Chiang forced the French to give the French concessions in Shanghai back to China in exchange for withdrawing from northern Indochina, he had no choice but to sign an agreement with France on 6 March 1946 in which Vietnam would be recognized as an autonomous state in the Indochinese Federation and the French Union. The agreement soon broke down.
The bombardment of Haiphong by French forces at Hanoi only strengthened the belief that France had no intention of allowing an autonomous, independent state in Vietnam. The bombardment of Haiphong reportedly killed more than 6000 Vietnamese civilians. French forces marched into Hanoi, now the capital city of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
In February 1950, after the successful removal of the French border blockade, he met with Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong in Moscow after the Soviet Union recognized his government. They all agreed that China would be responsible for backing the Việt Minh. Mao Zedong's emissary to Moscow stated in August that China planned to train 60,000–70,000 Viet Minh in the near future.
In 1954, after the crushing defeat of French Union forces at Battle of Dien Bien Phu, 2300 French soldiers died during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu more than 10000 french soldiers have surrendered to Vieth Minh. France gave up its fight against the Việt Minh, losing 70,000 soldiers from the eight years of the First Indochina War.
By the afternoon of 20 July, the remaining outstanding issues were resolved as the parties agreed that the partition line should be at the 17th parallel and the elections for a reunified government should be held in July 1956, two years after the ceasefire.
At the end of 1959, conscious that the national election would never be held and that Diem intended to purge opposing forces (mostly ex Việt Minh) from the South Vietnamese government, Hồ Chí Minh informally chose Lê Duẩn to become the next party leader.
North Vietnam invaded Laos in July 1959 aided by the Pathet Lao and used 30,000 men to build a network of supply and reinforcement routes running through Laos and Cambodia that became known as the Hồ Chí Minh trail. It allowed the North to send manpower and materiel to the Việt Cộng with much less exposure to South Vietnamese forces, achieving a considerable advantage.
To counter the accusation that North Vietnam was violating the Geneva Accord, the independence of the Việt Cộng was stressed in Communist propaganda. North Vietnam created the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam in December 1960 as a "united front", or political branch of the Viet Cong intended to encourage the participation of non-Communists.
With Hồ Chí Min's permission, the Việt Cộng planned a massive Tet Offensive that would commence on 31 January 1968, with the aim of taking much of the South by force and administering a heavy blow to the American military. The offensive was executed at great cost and with heavy casualties on Việt Cộng's political branches and armed forces.