Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang

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Under French colonial rule, a number of nationalist parties developed, such as the Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang (VNQDD, or, in English, Vietnamese Nationalist Party. Founded on Christmas 1927 by a teacher, Nguyen Thai Hoc,[1] the party was revolutionary and quite willing to resort to violence to eject the French. For context, the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP) was formed in 1930. These two parties became the main anti-French parties before WWII. "Each played a role in the Vietnamese resistance against the Vichy French and the Japanese during World War II: the ICP as the nucleus of the Viet Minh, and the VNQDD as the principal component of the Chinese Nationalist-sponsored Dong Minh -Hoi." [2]

The VNQDD drew inspiration and some financial support from the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang). It had opened the Vietnam Hotel in Hanoi, which it opened in 1928, as the party headquarters and a source of funds. Unfortunately for the VNQDD, however, French intelligence easily penetrated it. [3]

Before WWII, the VNQDD attempted, without success, to form a united front with Thanh Nien and other independence organizations. Eventually, it joined a broad front, which the Communists eventually controlled and purged the VNQDD.

Pre-WWII VNQDD activism

Before the Second World War, its activism challenged the more radical communists to push the Vietnamese Communist Party to be more militant toward the French.[4]

An assassin, known to be affiliated with the VNQDD, killed a French official in February 1929. The French immediately arrested several hundred VNQDD leaders and imprisoned seventy-eight. [3]

While the key VNQDD leaders, Nguyen Thai Hoc and Nguyen Khac Nhu escaped, but most members of the Central Committee were captured. The remainder decided they had to act, and the majority suppressed internal disagreement. They both stockpiled weapons and put agents into French garrisons.

Its strongholds were in Tonkin and Annam, where its members clandestinely penetrated French garrisons. The Yen Bai garrison. in the Hanoi area mutinied and killed its French officers on February 9-10,1930. The French restored control and executed 13 rebels on June 17. Other attacks had been planned, but failed. The Yen Bai uprising was disastrous for the VNQDD.[3] Subsequently, the VNQDD was suppressed, and those not executed or imprisoned emigrated to China until 1945

If we do not succeed, we still make a good cause — Nguyen Thai Hoc

Pro-Japanese split

A faction, generally called the Dai Viet, broke off in 1940, taking a position that cooperation with the Japanese was in the long-term of Vietnamese resistance to the French.[5]

Viet Minh amd VNQDD

In 1941, the VNQDD and the VCP joined in a broad anti-French front formed the Vietnamese Revolutionary Allied League (Viet Nam Cach Menh Dong Minh Hoi, VNCMDMH or Viet Minh), of which the Vietnamese Communist Party was a member. [2] Until 1945, the group primarily existed as exiles in China, supported by the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang).[6]

Eventually, non-communist elements were purged, and the VNQDD took back its own identity as an anti-Japanese force. The U.S. Office of Strategic Services mission, under MAJ Archimedes Patti. had been in contact with Ho, as with the other anti-Japanese groups including the VNQDD.[7]

A few days later, Ho wanted Patti to send a message to President Truman, cautioning him that if the VNQDD were allowed back in power, it would be the start of Chinese domination of Vietnam.[8] Ho argued that the Allies were not concerned with the fate of the Vietnamese, but Patti said that at the Cairo Conference, Tehran Conference, and Yalta Conference, President Roosevelt had spoken to Churchill and Stalin about wanting Indochinese self-determination. Patti further said he had no authority to send a message to Truman; Patti observed that Ho might be using fear of China as a lever on the U.S.

Becomes part of alliance

Still before the end of the Second World War, the VNQDD became part of the Chinese-organized Dong Min Hoi, formed in 1942. The Viet Minh became part of this coalition, but later split away, leaving it VNQDD-dominated.

Purged by Ho's alliance with the French

"On 6 March 1946, Ho Chi Minh signed an Accord with the French providing for French re-entry into Vietnam for five years in return for recognizing the DRV as a free state within the French union.

"This Accord taxed Ho’s popularity to the utmost, and it took all Ho's prestige to prevent open rebellion. On 27 May 1946, Ho countered these attacks by merging the Viet Minh into the Lien Viet, a larger, more embracing "national front." Amity within the Lien Viet, however, lasted only as long as the Chinese remained in North Vietnam." The Chinese were the key allies of the VNQDD.

After the Chinese withdrew in mid-June, Ho purged the Dong Minh Hoi and the VNQDD from the Viet Minh, as "enemies of the peace." Those two groups were the only serious opposition to Ho, who now controlled North Vietnam.

Post-1954

After the 1954 partition, VNQDD members belonged to Popular Forces in South Vietnam during the war, especially in Central Vietnam.

References

  1. "Viet Quoc: the History", Viet Quoc Homepage
  2. 2.0 2.1 , Chapter I, "Background to the Crisis, 1940-50", Section 4, The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Cima, Ronald J., ed. (1987), [Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Movement Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Movement], Vietnam: A Country Study, Library of Congress
  4. Leary, Kevin C. (2005), The Impact of Technology on the Command, Control, and Organizational Structure of Insurgent Groups, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College pp. 23-24
  5. Patti, Archimedes L. A (1980). Why Viet Nam?: Prelude to America's Albatross. University of California Press. , pp. 504-505
  6. Encyclopædia Britannica Online (2008), Vietnam
  7. Patti, p. 212
  8. Patti, pp. 232-3