Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of History

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 414 pages) : illustrations, maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Richard S Fogarty

Committee Members

Michitake Aso, Ryan Irwin, Brian Nussbaum


Bernard Fall, First Indochina War, Indochina, Insurgency, Revolutionary Warfare, Second Indochina War, Indochinese War, 1946-1954, Vietnam War, 1961-1975, Revolutions, Vietnam Conflict

Subject Categories

History | International Relations | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies


What accounts for Bernard Fall’s understanding and description of Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare in Indochina? How did formative experiences during and after the Second World War actuate Fall’s thought on the political nature of warfare in Indochina? What distinguished Fall’s thought on revolutionary warfare from others? Bernard Fall and Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare in Indochina addresses these questions through an intellectual history and contextual biography of Bernard Fall’s scholarship on the First and Second Indochina Wars. Bernard Fall, an authority on Vietnamese history, society, and the First Indochina War, began to explain in 1957 that subsequent war in Vietnam could not be won through military means because political legitimacy could not be achieved through intervention. War in Vietnam was a political and social conflict and Vietnamese communists used Revolutionary Warfare to succeed. The only effective response to this form of politically-oriented warfare was wide-spread acceptance of the Republic of Vietnam’s legitimacy among a majority of Vietnamese. As Fall knew, and as became increasingly evident in the later 1950s, the Republic’s legitimacy could not compete adequately with that of the Viet Minh and its government, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Bernard Fall and Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare in Indochina describes how Fall identified and described the Viet Minh’s efforts to undermine its competitors’ legitimacy, and that of its ally, the United States, towards the attainment of its goal of political victory.