Is it true that Ho Chi Minh wanted to develop N. Vietnam before capturing the South?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,980
SoCal
I have heard on AlternateHistory.com that Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap (two very prominent figures in Northern Vietnam) wanted to develop North Vietnam before capturing South Vietnam whereas people such as Le Duan wanted to first conquer South Vietnam. I have also heard that Le Duan's faction ultimately ended up winning this debate in North Vietnam and that this is the reason that North Vietnam quickly began infiltrating the South and trying to conquer it.

Anyway, what I am curious is this--is this information true? In other words, were there genuinely two factions in North Vietnam--a "North First" faction and a "South First" faction?
 

heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,513
China
not heard of.
i heard of viet nam leaders were all eager to liberate the south (at least according to them, it is "liberate").
it was settled before Geneva conference that viet nam would not immediately do that, under a suggest of china and soviet union. the main problem is the other two countries felt too risky to push the US. also china found it difficult to continuously support viet nam with all kinds of materials. this was a sacrifice (delay of liberation) to viet nam understanding.

indeed, if no major countries (US) got involved, the north had decisive power to overcome the south. so all three countries felt betrayed from the Geneva agreements after the establishment of SEATO. especially viet nam considered that the suggestions of china and soviet union made it lost a time window which would have to fight decades to win back.
 
Jan 2015
1,309
meo
I have heard on AlternateHistory.com that Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap (two very prominent figures in Northern Vietnam) wanted to develop North Vietnam before capturing South Vietnam whereas people such as Le Duan wanted to first conquer South Vietnam. I have also heard that Le Duan's faction ultimately ended up winning this debate in North Vietnam and that this is the reason that North Vietnam quickly began infiltrating the South and trying to conquer it.

Anyway, what I am curious is this--is this information true? In other words, were there genuinely two factions in North Vietnam--a "North First" faction and a "South First" faction?
Never heard about that. :eek:
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,980
SoCal
not heard of.
i heard of viet nam leaders were all eager to liberate the south (at least according to them, it is "liberate").
it was settled before Geneva conference that viet nam would not immediately do that, under a suggest of china and soviet union. the main problem is the other two countries felt too risky to push the US. also china found it difficult to continuously support viet nam with all kinds of materials. this was a sacrifice (delay of liberation) to viet nam understanding.

indeed, if no major countries (US) got involved, the north had decisive power to overcome the south. so all three countries felt betrayed from the Geneva agreements after the establishment of SEATO. especially viet nam considered that the suggestions of china and soviet union made it lost a time window which would have to fight decades to win back.
Thanks for all of this information! :)

Also, two questions:

1. Without large-scale U.S. involvement in Vietnam, how long do you think that South Vietnam could have held out?

2. Was most of the fighting in favor of the Communists in South Vietnam done by pro-Communist locals or by Northern Vietnamese volunteers and troops?
 
Jan 2015
1,309
meo
Thanks for all of this information! :)

Also, two questions:

1. Without large-scale U.S. involvement in Vietnam, how long do you think that South Vietnam could have held out?

2. Was most of the fighting in favor of the Communists in South Vietnam done by pro-Communist locals or by Northern Vietnamese volunteers and troops?
1. One week.

2. Majority of Vietcong were not communist.
 

heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,513
China
Thanks for all of this information! :)

Also, two questions:

1. Without large-scale U.S. involvement in Vietnam, how long do you think that South Vietnam could have held out?

2. Was most of the fighting in favor of the Communists in South Vietnam done by pro-Communist locals or by Northern Vietnamese volunteers and troops?
1. i ain't really sure. the south would fail, i can be sure on this.
2. the so called guerrilla forces answer to communist of viet nam, as an extended branch of the organization.
 
Dec 2010
183
Well it was a bit more complicated, but what you've been told was mostly right.
The reason the Le Duan faction won in the end, was that the economy of North Vietnam was collapsing. Like anywhere else, Land Reform and Nationalization in North Vietnam had eliminated the most productive class of peasants and small factory owners.
They had had 5 years from 1954 to 1959 to enjoy what they had "confiscated" from the bourgeoisie, but beyond that starvation was looming.
And the people were still warlike, after 9 years of constant fighting with the French. So they more or less opted for a fight instead of giving up. The first thing to do was to go China and ask for financial aid and arm supply.
The cause of the 1979 war was more or less that Hanoi "forgot" that debt.
 
Dec 2010
183
Thanks for all of this information! :)

Also, two questions:

1. Without large-scale U.S. involvement in Vietnam, how long do you think that South Vietnam could have held out?

2. Was most of the fighting in favor of the Communists in South Vietnam done by pro-Communist locals or by Northern Vietnamese volunteers and troops?
1/ Not for long. Cochinchina(South Vietnam) was always the only part of Indochina where the French could reap some profit. The 4 other parts were always a loss to l'Hexagone.
And "somewhat" richer people made bad fighters. As Kissinger noticed instantly when going to Hanoi for negotiation(aka abandoning South Vietnam): "Damn! We chose the wrong horse!"
He felt it!
2/ The problem with South Vietnamese people is that they never quite support The Government, any Government, Communist or not. So of course you have some "patriotic" people who joined the war for a cause against The Government, but most people were quite apathetic. I dare say that they thought they were spectators in this war between the US and the Vietcong. And if they helped anyone in this war, they would help "people who look like them".
Btw, that "A Vietnamese" guy up there is a North Vietnamese. You can see his attitude about the war.