With an originally declared purpose of obtaining independence of Indochina (now Vietnam), then a French colony, the "League for the Independence of Vietnam" (Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi, Viet Minh for short) was formed in 1941.  The key leadership, especially Ho Chi Minh and Truong Chinh, were members of the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP), and had a long-term goal of class warfare and Communist government for a unified Vietnam. In the short term, however, they accepted nationalists of all persuasions. These included members of the Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang (VNQDD, Vietnamese Nationalist Party, Vietnamese Kuomintang) and the Dong Minh Hoi, which were nationalist but anticommunist.
Another organization, the League for the National Union of Viet Nam (Hoi Lien Hiep Quoc Dan Viet Nam,Lam Viet) was established on May 27, 1946. Ho had disbanded the ICP on November 11, 1945. Eventually, the Lam Viet absorbed the Viet Minh in 1951.?
In practice, the Communist opposition to the French were still called the Viet Minh; the Viet Minh are credited with winning the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The Communist underground in South Vietnam were generally called Viet Minh until the formation of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF) in December 1960. At that time, the military arm tended to be called Viet Cong, by all except its leadership. Douglas Pike has observed that for some reason he never understood, Vietnamese Communists are perfectly willing to discuss Marx and Lenin, but dislike being called "Communist", and "Cong" is informal for "Communist".
- Cima, Ronald J., ed. (1987), Establishment of the Viet Minh, Vietnam: A Country Study, Library of Congress
- Patti, Archimedes L.A. (1980), Why Viet Nam? Prelude to America's Albatross, University of California Press, pp. 524-525
- Patti, pp. 513-514
- Douglas Pike (1969), War, Peace and the Viet Cong, MIT Press