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By Ronald H. Spector

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Although these measures effecti vely removed the immed iate threat to colo nial rule represented by the VNQ DD, the long-term consequ ences would prove disastrous to the Fre nch in later yea rs . For into the vacuum created by the destruction of the VNQDD stepped the Communists. 3I The Communist movem en t in Vie tnam d ated from the mid-1920s when the Tonkinese Ho Chi Minh had fo rmed the Vietnam Revolu tionary Youth League among a group of Vietnamese exiles living in Can ton, China. Al tho ug h then only about thirty-five, Ho had alread y established himself as a veteran revolutionary.

23Ltr, Wedemeye r to Ma j Cen Cla ire L. Che n na u lt, 27 Dec 44, Wedemeyer files, RG 332. 24Memo, Roosevelt fo r Secy of State (Stett in iu s), 1 Jan 45, Department of State, Foreigll Relatiolls of tile Ulliled Stales, 1945, vol. 6, Tile British Commol/wenllll ami 'lie Far East (Wash ington, 1969), p. 293. 25fn late Jan uary 1945, a group described as "the Free French under-g rou nd" prov ided the Navy and the Fourtee nth Air Force wit h "pinpoi nt targets in the Sa igon area," see records of G - 2, 14th AF Indochi na fi le, 14th AF records.

The conduct of the legionnaires was especially reprehe nsible. A French court d ete rmined, for JOFor detail s of these even ts, see the foll ow ing: M cA li ster, Vie /Mill: Origills of Revoirllioll, pp. 80 - 9 1; R. B. Smit h, "The Deve lopment of Opposit ion to French Rule in Southern Viet nam, 1880 - 1940," Past {/ ml PrescII/ 54 (February 1972): 11 7 - 2 1; Bu ttinger, Vietnam: A Dragoll Em/J{ltllt'd, 1:214- 20; and Thompson, Frellc/' Illdochi1la, pp. 487 - 89. The bombing of Co Am is in Louis Roubaud, Viet1lam: La Tragedie ll1dochilloise (Paris: Va lois, 193 1), p.

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Advice and Support - The Early Years [US Army in Vietnam] by Ronald H. Spector


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