French General Jean-Etienne Valluy quickly pushed the Việt Minh out of Hanoi. His French infantry with armored units went through Hanoi, fighting small battles against isolated Việt Minh groups. The French encircled the Việt Minh base, Việt Bắc in 1947, but failed to defeat the Việt Minh forces, and had to retreat soon after that. The campaign is now widely considered as a Việt Minh victory over the well-equipped force of the French.
The Việt Minh continued fighting against the French until 1949, when the border of China and Viet Nam was linked together as the result of the campaign called Chiến dịch Biên giới (Borderland Campaign). The newly Communist People's Republic of China gave the Việt Minh both sheltered bases and heavy weapons with which to fight the French. With the additional weapons, the Việt Minh were able to take control over many rural areas of the country. Soon after that, they began to advance towards the French occupied areas.
Following their defeat at the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ, the French began negotiations to leave Vietnam. As a result of peace accords worked out at the Geneva Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Vietnam was divided into North Vietnam and South Vietnam at the 17th Parallel as a temporary measure until unifying elections would take place in 1956. Transfer of civil administration of North Vietnam to the Việt Minh was given on October 11, 1954. Hồ Chí Minh was appointed Prime Minister of North Vietnam, which would be run as a socialist state. Ngô Đình Diệm, who was previously appointed Prime Minister of South Vietnam by Emperor Bảo Đại, eventually assumed control of South Vietnam. In the words of U.S. President Eisenhower:
It was generally conceded that had an election been held, Hồ Chí Minh would have been elected Premier. Unhappily, the situation was exacerbated by the almost total lack of leadership displayed by the Vietnamese Chief of State, Bảo Đại, who, while nominally the head of that nation, chose to spend the bulk of his time in the spas of Europe rather than in his own land leading his armies against those of Communism.
South Vietnam and its chief supporter, the United States, were not signatories to the 1954 agreement but did agree to respect its conditions. However, later South Vietnam, with the backing of the United States, refused to hold unifying elections, claiming that Hồ Chí Minh could not be trusted due to his affiliation with Communism.
The Việt Nam Ðộc Lập Ðồng Minh Hội is not to be confused with the Việt Nam Cách Mạng Ðồng Minh Hội (League for the Vietnamese Revolution, abbreviated as Việt Cách) which was founded by Nguyễn Hai Than and Hồ Ngoc Lam, and which later joined the Vietnamese National Coalition in 1946.