Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese Communist, returned to Vietnam from China and headed a Revolutionary League to regain independence for Vietnam. In 1945, he proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. On December 19, 1946, Vietminh forces attacked the French in Hanoi and the Indochina War--also known as the Vietminh War--began. In 1954, the Vietminh defeated the French at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, and the nation was temporarily divided into two sections, north and south. The North and South began refused to unite the nation and a "civil war" broke out.