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First Indochina War

The First Indochina War began as a rebellion by Việt Minh forces against the French colonial government. This collection mainly focuses on the end of the conflict in 1954. See also the Geneva Conference of 1954 and the Vietnam War. (Image: French Marine commandos off the Annam coast, 1950)

Popular Documents

September 22, 1952

Report, Zhou Enlai to the Chairman [Mao Zedong] and the Central Committee

Zhou and Stalin discuss the POW issue, the United Nations and the formation of a new regional organization for Asia, and military cooperation.

June 23, 1954

Record of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Pierre Mendès-France

Mendes-France and Zhou discuss the Indochina issue during their first meeting together. Both men feel they are in agreement with each other regarding several points (establishing a cease-fire before discussing political issues, that no US military bases should be established in Indochina, elections in Cambodia and Laos, cooperation between France and Vietnam and between the two sides in Vietnam). They end on a positive note, both certain that their few differences of opinion will be worked out.

December 15, 1947

Explanation of the Dissolution of the Indochinese Communist Party in 1945

List of reasons for the dissolution of the Indochinese Communist Party by the Viet Minh in 1945. The list was provided by Pham Ngoc Thach while meeting with the Soviet Envoy in Switzerland A. G. Kulazhenkov in September 1947.

September 20, 1952

Report, Zhou Enlai to the Chairman [Mao Zedong], Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi, and the Central Committee

Zhou and Stalin discuss potential meetings with representatives from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Japan.

May 1, 1954

Current Intelligence Bulletin, 1 May 1954

A heavily redacted copy of the CIA's "Current Intelligence Bulletin" for May 1, 1954. Released sections include "Soviet diplomat urges immediate cease-fire in Indochina" and "[Syngman] Rhee reported dis leased with Chiang Kai-shek." Four other sections were withheld in their entirety.