This memorial celebrates the Vietnamese victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam, in May 1954. After Dien Bien Phu the French began negotiations to withdraw from their former colonies in Indochina. The communist Viet Minh, under Ho Chi Minh, led the Vietnamese resistance to the French. The US and its allies, including Australia and New Zealand, feared that a communist takeover of South-East Asia was about to occur. In the early 1950s the Western allies had little understanding of the subtleties of Asian regional politics. They assumed that all communist activities were part of a conspiracy led by the Soviet Union with the assistance of China.
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Photograph by Stephen Levine
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