Nguyễn Hải Thần

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In this Vietnamese name, the family name is Nguyen. According to Vietnamese custom, this person should properly be referred to by the given name Than.

Nguyễn Hải Thần (; born Nguyễn Văn Thắng in Dai Tu village, Thường Tín District, Hà Đông Province, circa 1878; died 1959; also known as Vũ Hải Thu[citation needed]) was a leader of the Việt Nam Cách Mạng Đồng Minh Hội and a political leader during the Vietnamese Revolution. In 1905, he left Vietnam to study at military academies first in Japan then in China as part of Phan Bội Châu's Đông-Du Movement (Travel to the East).[1] In 1912, he joined Châu's Vietnam Restoration League (Việt Nam Quang Phục Hội) and became one of its representative in Kwangsi[2] and one of its most capable military leaders.[3]

After Châu's capture in 1925 that led to the league's demise, Thần and other revolutionaries in China founded the Việt Nam Cách Mạng Đồng Minh Hội. Thần was respected by many Chinese officials and overseas Vietnamese revolutionaries, and his views were usually held in high regards.[4] Using his good relationship with Chiang Kai-shek, he lobbied for the release and pardon of Hồ Chí Minh when the latter was in jail waiting to be executed for "crimes against the French colonial government".

In September 1945, Hồ and the Communists seized the government from Emperor Bảo Đại and founded the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Thần briefly joined Hồ's coalition government that comprised several non-Communist party leaders. After Hồ signed a modus vivendi Marius Moutet (Minister of Overseas France and her Colonies), France was able to return to its former colony. The move bought Hồ precious time to deal with the non-communist military forces. As soon as the Chinese troops that had entered Vietnam to disarm the Japanese were replaced by French expeditionary forces, Hồ's Việt Minh attacked all non-communist bases in the country. Thần, who opposed Hồ's communist connections, fled to Nanjing, China where he remained until his death in 1951.[5]


  1. ^ Hoang, van Dao; Huynh, Khue (2008). Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang, a contemporary history of a National Struggle: 1927-1954. Pittsburgh: RoseDog Books. ISBN 978-1434991362. 
  2. ^ Phan Boi Chau(translated by Dao Trinh Nhat to Vietnamese from a Chinese script in the 1940s and reprinted in Australia in 1983) (1983). Nguc Trung Thu [Book written from jail] (in Vietnamese). Nha in Vi Nuoc. 
  3. ^ Chuong Thau (translated to Vietnamese from a Chinese script in 1950) (2008). Phan Boi Chau, Tu Phan [Phan Boi Chau, Self-Judgement] (in Vietnamese). Thanh Hóa. 
  4. ^ Hoang Van Dao (1970). Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang [Vietnam Nationalist Party] (in Vietnamese). Tan Dan. 
  5. ^ Dommen, Arthur J. (2001). The Indochinese Experience of the French and the Americans: Nationalism and Communism in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-33854-9.