Lasted for 30 years in its final phase. Vietnam was colonized by the french in the 19th century, and french indo- Before this happened, vietnamese nationalists began organizing against the. French had been inspired by russian and chinese revolution to do something similar (led by a communist: fought french and japanese in wwii ironically, us was ally of the. Viet-min (communist rebellionists: tragedy in 1945: vietnamese help beat off japanese and end the war in the pacific, and believe they"re free. What happens: french come back and want to turn vietnam into a colony again. Initially, the viet-min leader writes several letters to the us for the support of the americans (thought it was same situation where americans fought for freedom from the british thought of himself like george washington). French bc cold war had started and idea that vietnam had become a communist country was dangerous idea to usa. 1945-54 french fight brutal war against viet-min resistance.