Why is Vietnam so hard to success conquer for basically everybody?

Nov 2014
421
ph
Why is Vietnam so impossible to conquer for any length of time for everybody from the Chinese to the Mongols? Even Northern Vietnam is basically unconquerable, and unlike Japan or Java, it is not an island, so a land invasion from Southern China is possible, and simpler logistically than invading Japan or Java. I know that terrain and climate has been used as a reason, but Northern Vietnam's terrain and climate is not that much different from places like Guangxi, the Sichuan Basin, and Fukien, which the Northern Chinese and the Mongols did eventually manage to conquer. Korea in comparison is also a very tough nut to crack, but unlike Vietnam, the Mongols did manage to conquer and subjugate it, as it also did with most of Burma, which was also a very tough place to conquer, as Chien Lung found out.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,990
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
The OP forgets tat there was a historic era before any Vietnamese lived in Vietnam. So obviously the Vietnamese had to invade Vietnam and conquer Vietnam slowly over decades, centuries, and millennia.

The state of Champa existed in what is now Vietnam from AD 192 to the 17th century. Champa | ancient kingdom, Indochina The answers of Tullius and Vaderfan mention other conquests of Vietnam.
 
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May 2017
1,194
France
Cochinchina was occupied since 1860-1864,but for the Tonkin,it was another story......After the occupation of Annam,very easy,the conquest of Tonkin was a bloody expedition:1882-1890.The colonial troops (RIMA and RAMA) the troops of the army of Africa (foreign legion,2d and 3d BILA) have lost more than 20 000 men.French conquerors had four enemies:the chinese army,the "black pavillons",the "yellow pavillons" and the worse,the yellow fever....
To provocate the chinese retreat,it was necessary (1885) to occupy Formose:expedition of the amiral Courbet.But with the battles of the "table" and the "circus" where chinese troops were expulsed,we lost 2000 men.The fight against the piracy,specially in the beautifull "Along bay",finished in 1890....
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,746
SoCal
The OP forgets tat there was a historic era before any Vietnamese lived in Vietnam. So obviously the Vietnamese had to invade Vietnam and conquer Vietnam slowly over decades, centuries, and millennia.

The state of Champa existed in what is now Vietnam from AD 192 to the 17th century. Champa | ancient kingdom, Indochina The answers of Tullius and Vaderfan mention other conquests of Vietnam.
Yep, Vietnam engaged in a historical expansion to its south:



One can say that North Vietnam's victory in the Vietnam War was the second Nam tien, albeit with a Communist flavor this time around.

It was a French colony between the 19th and the 20th centuries. Some areas were occupied since the campaign that begun in 1858/9. So “impossible” seems the wrong word here.

Basically we are beginning a thread with a wrong premise.
Yep, France held onto Vietnam for almost a century. So, Vietnam is certainly not unconquerable.
 

Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,503
Malaysia
You have to give the Vietnamese due credit for being a quite combative people, having fought & won against Chinese, Cham, Mongols & Americans.

Maybe they're also good at assymmetric warfare. Exploiting their own country's climate & terrain to the full fighting when against stronger invaders.