The Second Indochina War, 1954-1975, grew out of the long conflict between France and Vietnam. In July 1954, after 100 years of colonial rule, France was forced to leave Vietnam. Communist forces under the direction of General V o Nguyen Giap defeated the allied French troops at Dien Bien Phu, a remote mountain outpost in the northwest corner of Vietnam. This decisive battle convinced the French that they could no longer maintain their Indochinese colonies and Paris quickly sued for peace. As the two sides came together to discuss the terms of the peace in Geneva, Switzerland, international events were already shaping the future of Indochina.