A dedicated young citizen, Giap committed to abolishing French rule from his country and began so at the very young age of 14. While still a student in 1926, Giap joined the revolutionary party of young Vietnam, Tan Viet Cach Menh Dang. This party was one of the first Communist movements formed in the midst of Vietnam's early independence movement. Giap was described as a motivated member of the party who dedicated everything to their cause. Giap continued his activities as a member of Vietnam's revolution for the next four years until he was arrested during a student protest by the colonial powers; the French Surete. He was sentenced to three years in jail, however Giap was released on parole after only a few months.
After his release, Giap worked closely with the Indochinese Communist Party with his wife in 1938, until it was prohibited in 1939. During this time, Giap fled to China, (consequently combining forces with Ho Chi Minh who would later form the Viet Minh independence movement party.) Although Giap escaped French powers, his family wasn't nearly as lucky. Giap's wife was sent to jail where she passed away three years later and his sister was guillotined by the French police. As a result, Giap became more dedicated than ever to his goal of Vietnamese independence in order to avenge his relative's deaths. He had the courage to pursue his goals even after these tragedies.
Vo Nguyen Giap, (left) and Ho Chi Minh, (right) the dynamic duo who would be the masterminds behind the Vietnamese revolution.
By 1939, Vietnam's fight for independence was dampened due to the Second World War, (where Japanese forces occupied the country.) Giap spent these years formulating and perfecting his and Ho Chi Minh's plans for a Democratic Republic following the end of the Second World War. He never gave up hope that one day his country could stand alone and prosper; one of the many reasons Giap was so integral in Vietnam's independence. In 1941, Giap formed an important alliance with Vietnamese tribal leader Chu Vu Tan, integrating their forces into a stronger, more effective movement. In the same year, Ho Chi Minh formed the Viet Minh, a liberation front that became Vietnam's hope for freedom.
A French poster critical of Japanese imperialism in Vietnam during World War 2.
Following the end of WW2, (1945) the Japanese granted Ho Chi Minh the ability to form a provisional government. He declare Vietnam a Democratic Republic with General Vo Nguyen Giap as interior minister. This Government was short lived however, as French rule returned with an ignorance for Vietnam's new found patriotism. Unwilling to recognise the country's new government, fighting soon broke out between the French and the Viet Minh.