Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian HistoryMain MenuGet to Know the SiteGuided TourShow Me HowA click-by-click guide to using this siteModulesRead the seventeen spatial stories that make up Bodies and Structures 2.0Tag MapExplore conceptsComplete Grid VisualizationDiscover connectionsGeotagged MapFind materials by geographic locationLensesCreate your own visualizationsWhat We LearnedLearn how multivocal spatial history changed how we approach our researchAboutFind information about contributors and advisory board members, citing this site, image permissions and licensing, and site documentationTroubleshootingA guide to known issuesAcknowledgmentsThank youDavid Ambaras1337d6b66b25164b57abc529e56445d238145277Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fThis project was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Douglas B-26 Invader
1media/Airplane B26_thumb.png2020-08-07T16:31:26-04:00Michitake Asoc957806dd05559bbe07c540e9ab4cd46aae194d3351Image of US airplane used during the First Indochina Warplain2020-08-07T16:31:26-04:00Vietnam1946-19541951-05-15Aviation magazine, 25Michitake Asoc957806dd05559bbe07c540e9ab4cd46aae194d3
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12019-11-18T15:48:26-05:00Learning from the Korean War41Path A introductory pageplain48012020-08-07T16:42:52-04:00Korea, China, Vietnam1946-1954Michitake Aso
The Korean War (1950-1953) and the First Indochina War (1946-1954) were closely linked. A key event in Asia underlying both wars was the 1949 victory of the communist party, led by Mao Zedong, over the nationalist party and the formation of the People's Republic of China (PRC). With the founding of the PRC, and the subsequent entry of Chinese troops into the Korean War, understandings of the First Indochina War began to shift.
Among United States (US) leaders, the events of 1949 and 1950 recast the fighting on the Indochina peninsula from a colonial war in which the United States opposed the French, to a part of the Cold War in which the two governments shared common interests. Even though French leaders remained intent on keeping at least some of Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam) as part of their empire, they were content to receive American aid that was earmarked as part of the battle against communism. This aid included fighter and bomber airplanes such as the Hellcat, the Bearcat, and the B-26.
Ho Chi Minh and the Việt Minh were likewise careful observers of the Korean War. They quickly understood the implications when the North Koreans and Chinese communists leveled charges of biological warfare against the United Nations forces, led by the United States.
In this path you will first explore the spatial imaginaries that helped shape fears of, and knowledge about, biological warfare in the Korean War. Vietnamese intellectuals and political leaders, for example, were inspired to draw on existing Sinosphere maps. Vietnamese leaders turned to political, intellectual, and cultural connections to China and Korea for relevant experience with biological warfare. Newer maps of the communist world both reinforced Sinosphere maps and placed Vietnam at the center of newer political geographies of revolution. This path then considers an international conference held in Beijing that presented evidence for the charges of US germ warfare in North Korea and China. Finally, it offers some of the images produced in China related to germ warfare, which you can compare to those found in the Việt Minh pamphlet examined in "Resisting Biological Warfare."