Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese: Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh;, commonly and formerly officially known as Saigon (Vietnamese: Sài Gòn; [sàj ɣɔ̀n] (listen) or [ʂàj ɣɔ̀ŋ] (listen)), is the largest city in Vietnam, situated in the south. In the southeastern region, the city surrounds the Saigon River and covers about 2,061 square kilometres (796 square miles).
Prior to Vietnamese settlement in the 17th century, the city was a scarcely populated area that had been part of historic empires of Funan, Chenla, and Cambodia. With the arrival of Vietnamese, the area became more populated and officials began establishing the city from 1623 to 1698. After it was ceded by the last Vietnamese dynasty to the French in 1862, the name Saigon was adopted and the city underwent urbanization to become a financial center in the region. The city was the capital of South Vietnam until the end of the Vietnam War with North Vietnamese victory in 1975. In 1976, the government of a unified Vietnam renamed Saigon in honor of Hồ Chí Minh, the first President of North Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City in "Last Flight of the Swan of the East"
At the outbreak of the Great War, Saigon was a key city in French-governed Indochina. In September 1914, Karl von Müller, captain of the German leviathan SMS Emden, oversaw a successful attack on French oil stores just outside of Saigon.
- Leviathans: Armored Skies, pgs. 324-328, loc. 4670-4731, ebook.