The Việt Minh pronunciation (help·info) (abbreviated from Việt Nam Ðộc Lập Ðồng Minh Hội, English "League for the Independence of Vietnam") was a national independence coalition formed at Pac Bo on May 19, 1941. The Việt Minh initially formed to seek independence for Vietnam from the French Empire. When the Japanese occupation began, the Việt Minh opposed Japan with support from the United States and the Republic of China. After World War II, the Việt Minh opposed the re-occupation of Vietnam by France and later opposed the United States in the Vietnam War.
During World War II, Japan occupied French Indochina. As well as fighting the French, the Việt Minh started a campaign against the Japanese. Due to their opposition to the Japanese, the Việt Minh received funding from the United States and the Republic of China, although the Chinese Nationalists imprisoned Hồ Chí Minh for more than a year during the fight against the Japanese for being a communist. When Japan surrendered in August 1945, the Japanese handed over control of some public buildings and weapons requisitioned from the French army to the Việt Minh, now led by Hồ Chí Minh, after turning in the Vietnamese nationalist leaders of the Việt Minh to the French colonialists. The Việt Minh also recruited more than 600 of the Japanese soldiers, who fought in the war against France until 1954. After the nationalist organizations proclaimed the independence of Việt Nam, Hồ proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 2, 1945.
However, within days, the Chinese Kuomintang (Nationalist) Army arrived in Vietnam to supervise the repatriation of the Japanese Imperial Army. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam therefore existed only in theory and effectively controlled no territory. A few months later, the Chinese, Vietnamese and French came to a three-way understanding. The French gave up certain rights in China, the Việt Minh agreed to the return of the French in exchange for promises of independence within the French Union, and the Chinese agreed to leave. Negotiations between the French and Việt Minh broke down quickly. What followed was nearly ten years of war against France. This was known as the First Indochina War or, to the Vietnamese, the French War.