After WWII the French reclaimed their colony of Indo-China from Japanese occupation. The Communist Viet Minh had been fighting the Japanese from 1941 and carried on their campaign for independence against the French. These wars culminated in the epic battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and created the independent countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. This conflict was a precursor to the American intervention in Vietnam. At the base of the Viet Minh's pyramidal structure were the 'popular forces' (Tu Ve), where promising men would be recruited into the next level and become full-time regional troops (Bo Dai Dia Phuong). These formed district companies that waged guerrilla warfare from hidden camps, as well as having a mobile battalion for more ambitious operations. Above these was the 'regular' army (Chu Luc) who were the main forces intended for mobile operations.
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