August Revolution of 1945 in Vietnam

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

August Revolution of 1945 in Vietnam


a national people’s democratic revolution that overthrew the hegemony of the imperialists in Vietnam and established a popular democratic rule. The August revolution resulted from the development of a national liberation movement in Vietnam against the French colonialists who had subjugated the country in the 1850’s through the 1880’s and against the Japanese invaders who had occupied it in 1940.

On May 19, 1941, in accordance with the resolution of the eighth plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Indochina (the GPI; from 1951, the Workers’ Party of Vietnam, WPV), a united national liberation front was created, the Vietminh (the League for the Independence of Vietnam), which rallied all the patriotic forces of the country. Through the Vietminh, the CPI conducted extensive propaganda in 1941–44 and began creating bases and armed detachments. On Dec. 22, 1944, the first detachments of the Vietnamese Liberation Army (now called the People’s Army of Vietnam) began to form in Cao Bang Province.

After the coup of Mar. 9, 1945, in which the Japanese imperialists liquidated the French administration, the Vietminh mounted a broad guerrilla war against the Japanese invaders. In April 1945 a Vietminh military-revolutionary conference was held which prepared a plan for the general uprising. On June 4 a liberated area whose center was in the village of Tan Trao in Tuyen Quang Province was formed on the territory of Northern Vietnamese provinces. The CPI held a national conference on Aug. 13–15, 1945, and adopted a resolution on the initiation of a general uprising in Vietnam, the goal of which would be complete independence and the establishment of a popular-based rule. A committee of insurrection was created to lead the uprising. On August 16 a Vietnamese national congress of the Vietminh was held in Tan Trao; it approved the decision on the commencement of a general uprising, chose the National Committee for the Liberation of Vietnam, headed by Ho Chi Minh, and charged this committee with the functions of a provisional government. In response to the summons of the CPI, the people rose up in insurrection throughout the country during August 16–26. On August 19 armed masses seized Hanoi; on August 20 the People’s Revolutionary Committee of North Vietnam was created in the capital. Everywhere the rebellious people took power into their own hands. On August 24, under the pressure of the revolutionary masses, the emperor Bao Dai was forced to renounce the throne. On Sept. 2, 1945, at a meeting of 500,000 people on Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, in the name of the provisional government, solemnly proclaimed Vietnam’s declaration of independence and the formation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV).

The August revolution came about under the hegemony of the working class allied with the peasantry, the national bourgeoisie, and other patriotic forces rallying under the leadership of the CPI in the unified national liberation front, the Vietminh. It took place amid the destruction of German fascism in Europe by the Soviet Union and the victorious war of the Soviet Union against Japan, which made it easier for the Vietnamese people to achieve victory in their struggle against the French colonialists and Japanese aggressors. The August revolution cleared the way for broad social and economic transformations in Vietnam and greatly influenced the development of the national liberation movement in Southeast Asia, first and foremost in Laos and Cambodia.


Razob’em okovy: Dokumenty Avgustovskoi revoliutsii 1945 g. vo V’etname. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from French.)
Ho Chi Minh. Izbr. stat’i i rechi. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from Vietnamese and French.)
Tridtsat’ let bor’by partii i rabochego klassa V‘etnama. Hanoi 1961.
III s”ezd Partii trudiashchikhsia V’etnama. Moscow, 1961. Pages 11–13. (Translated from Vietnamese.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.