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After World War II conflict arose between the French and Communist revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh and his established group the League for Independence of Vietnam Viet Minh In August 1945 Viet Minh guerillas captured the capital city of Hanoi in Indochina Bao Dai the emperor of Indochina was renounced and that region of Indochina changed into the independent nation of North Vietnam led by President Ho Chi Minh On July 1 1949 Bao Dai with the help of the French founded South Vietnam and named the new capital of that country Saigon In spring of 1954 the Viet Minh attacked the French fortification of Dien Bien Phu After fighting for fifty-five days the French surrendered On October 24 1954 President Dwight D Eisenhower offered North Vietnam direct economic aid for their loss to the North Within a couple months US military advisers were called to train South Vietnamese Army Forces The Saigon government was continually helped by the Americans even after Bao Dai was overthrown and on October 23 1955 South Vietnam was a republic headed by the president Ngo Dinh Diem Saying that his government would turn down to hold reunification elections was one of his first actions This was based on the people of North Vietnam not being able to express their own free will which led to many falsified ballots As a result of this war more than 2 million Vietnamese were killed 3 million wounded and hundreds of thousands of children orphaned Shortly after that over 12 million Indochinese people became refugees By boat around 500000 tried to leave Vietnam but about 10 to 15 percent of the people died Over 55000 Americans were killed in the eight years of warfare and over 150000 were wounded During the agreement of ending the war there were 587 US military and civilian prisoners of war Not too
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