Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Resin, Albo

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of History


Southeast Asia; Soviet Union--Foreign relations--Vietnam; Vietnam


During this period the tactics of Soviet policy in Southeast Asia seemed to fluctuate between cooperation with and rebellion against the governments of the countries newly liberated from colonialism, but the policy in Europe remained steadfast: disrupt the attempts to unite the Western alliance and block the remilitarization of Germany. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which Soviet policy toward Indochina and toward France's role in the Western alliance reciprocally affected each other. A short history of Soviet policy in Southeast Asia shows that the Soviet line has zig-zagged since the Second Congress of the Communist International adopted Lenin's thesis on the national and colonial question. After the conclusion of World War II, Soviet policy had returned to that of cooperation with the colonial governments. But in 1948 this policy was revoked and open revolts were called for in the Southeast Asian countries. Since 1946, the French had been fighting a national liberation movement led by the Communist influenced Vietminh organization. Ho Chi-minh, native leader of this organization, carried on a successful guerrilla war against the French from 1946 through 1954. Because of the threat of another world war, the major powers, the united States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, France and Communist China with others gathered at Geneva to end the Vietnam and Korean wars. During the conference the French suffered a crushing military defeat at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam and the Laniel-Bidault government a political defeat in Paris. Mendes-France, the new prime minister who was an opponent of the proposed European Defense Community, pledged to arrange a truce in Indo-China by July 20th or resign. Agreements were reached on July 20th at Geneva to end the Indo-China conflict. The French were given a favorable truce in Vietnam by the Communist side led by the U.S.S.R., which assumed that the Geneva agreements would strengthen the hand of Mendes-France so that he could proceed next to rejecting the European Defense Community. This calculation proved correct. Thus Soviet involvement at Geneva was to a great extent European oriented, fir the Soviets sought and gained the rejection of the E.D.C. as well as a further extension of Communist frontiers in Southeast Asia.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [51]-55)


55 pages




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