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The south, meanwhile, constituted the State of Vietnam, with Bảo Đại as Emperor and Ngô Đình Diệm (appointed in July 1954) as his prime minister. Eisenhower wrote in 1954, "I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting, possibly eighty percent of the population would have voted for the Communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader rather than Chief of State Bảo Đại.Neither the United States government nor Ngô Đình Diệm's State of Vietnam signed anything at the 1954 Geneva Conference. Indeed, the lack of leadership and drive on the part of Bảo Đại was a factor in the feeling prevalent among Vietnamese that they had nothing to fight for." According to the Pentagon Papers, however, from 1954 to 1956 "Ngô Đình Diệm really did accomplish miracles" in South Vietnam: "It is almost certain that by 1956 the proportion which might have voted for Ho—in a free election against Diệm—would have been much smaller than eighty percent." In 1957, independent observers from India, Poland, and Canada representing the International Control Commission (ICC) stated that fair, unbiased elections were not possible, with the ICC reporting that neither South nor North Vietnam had honored the armistice agreement From April to June 1955, Diệm eliminated any political opposition in the south by launching military operations against two religious groups: the Cao Đài and Hòa Hảo of Ba Cụt.In December 1960, the National Liberation Front (NLF, a.k.a.the Viet Cong) was formally created with the intent of uniting all anti-GVN activists, including non-communists.President Eisenhower pledged his continued support, and a parade was held in Diệm's honor in New York City.
The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies and the South Vietnamese army was supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. See also: History of Vietnam, Cochinchina Campaign, Cần Vương, Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng, Yên Bái mutiny, Vietnam during World War II, War in Vietnam (1945–46), 1940–46 in the Vietnam War, 1947–50 in the Vietnam War, First Indochina War, Operation Vulture, Operation Passage to Freedom, 1954 in the Vietnam War, First Indochina War, Operation Vulture, Operation Passage to Freedom, and 1954 in the Vietnam War Indochina was a French colony during the 19th century.
The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region, while the People's Army of Vietnam, also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), engaged in more conventional warfare, at times committing large units to battle. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery, and airstrikes. The North Vietnamese government and the Viet Cong were fighting to reunify Vietnam. government viewed its involvement in the war as a way to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam. involvement escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U. destroyer clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft, which was followed by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave the U. When the Japanese invaded during World War II, the Viet Minh opposed them with support from the USA, Russia and China.
As the war continued, the military actions of the Viet Cong decreased as the role and engagement of the NVA grew. They viewed the conflict as a colonial war and a continuation of the First Indochina War against forces from France and later on the United States. This was part of the domino theory of a wider containment policy, with the stated aim of stopping the spread of communism. They received some Japanese arms when Japan surrendered.
Between 19 there was large-scale but disorganized dissidence in the countryside which the Diệm government succeeded in quelling.
In early 1957 South Vietnam enjoyed its first peace in over a decade.
By the 1950s, the conflict had become entwined with the Cold War. The defeat marked the end of French military involvement in Indochina.