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Encyclopedia > Battle of Dien Bien Phu
Battle of Dien Bien Phu
Part of the First Indochina War

French Union paratroops dropping from an United States Air Force-lent "Flying Boxcar".
Date March 13May 7, 1954
Location Vicinity of Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam
Result Decisive Viet Minh victory
Combatants
Flag of France French Union
Flag of North VietnamViet Minh
Commanders
Flag of FranceChristian de Castries #
Flag of FrancePierre Langlais #
Flag of FranceRené Cogny
Flag of North VietnamVo Nguyen Giap
Strength
As of March 13:
10,800[1]
As of March 13:
48,000 combat personnel,
15,000 logistical support personnel[2]
Casualties
2,293 dead,
5,195 wounded,
10,998 captured[3]
7,950 dead, 15,000 wounded
First Indochina War
Hanoi – Cao Bang – Namdinh – Papillon – Lea – Valentine – Onoine – Pegase – Dong Khe – RC4 – Vinh Yen – Mao Khe – Hoa Binh – Lorraine – Na San – Bretagne – Atlante – Adolphe – Camargue – Hirondelle – Brochet – Mouette – Castor – Dien Bien Phu – Mang Yang Pass

The Battle of Dien Bien Phu (French: Bataille de Diên Biên Phu; Vietnamese: Chiến dịch Điện Biên Phủ) was the climactic battle of the First Indochina War between French Union forces of the French Far East Expeditionary Corps, and Vietnamese Viet Minh communist revolutionary forces. The battle occurred between March and May 1954, and culminated in a massive French defeat that effectively ended the war. Dien Bien Phu was "the first time that a non-European colonial independence movement had evolved through all the stages from guerrilla bands to a conventionally organized and equipped army able to defeat a modern Western occupier in pitched battle."[4] Combatants French Union France State of Vietnam Viet Minh Commanders Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque (1945-46) Jean-Étienne Valluy (1946-8) Roger Blaizot (1948-9) Marcel-Maurice Carpentier (1949-50) Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (1950-51) Raoul Salan (1952-3) Henri Navarre (1953-4) Ho Chi Minh Vo Nguyen... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Established by the French constitution of October 27, 1946, the French Union (French: Union Française) was a political entity created to replace the old French colonial system, the French Empire (Empire français). ... The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare branch of the United States armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services. ... The Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar was a U.S. military transport aircraft developed from the World War II Fairchild C-82 Packet, designed to carry cargo, personnel, litter patients, and mechanized equipment, and to drop cargo and troops by parachute. ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 127th day of the year (128th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Dien Bien Phu (Điện Biên Phủ) is a small town in northwestern Vietnam in the province of Điện Biên. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Established by the French constitution of October 27, 1946, the French Union (French: Union Française) was a political entity created to replace the old French colonial system, the French Empire (Empire français). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_South_Vietnam. ... Motto: None Official language Vietnamese Capital Saigon First Chief Emperor Bao Dai Last Chief Ngo Dinh Diem Rule Area South Vietnam (1954-) Independence  - Provisional  - Declared  - Recognised  - Dissolved From Franch rule May 27, 1948 June 14, 1949 1954 October 26, 1955 Currency Piastre National anthem Call to the Citizens Caution: The... Languages Hmong/Mong Religions Shamanism, Buddhism, Christianity, others The terms Hmong (IPA:) and Mong () both refer to an Asian ethnic group whose homeland is in the mountainous regions of southern China. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_North_Vietnam. ... The Viet Minh (abbreviated from Việt Nam ộc Lập ồng Minh Hội, League for the Independence of Vietnam) was formed by Ho Ngoc Lam and Nguyen Hai Than in 1941 to seek independence for Vietnam from France. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Christian de la Croix de Castries (August 11, 1902 - July 29, 1991) was the French commander at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. ... Balian of Ibelin surrendering the city of Jerusalem to Saladin, from Les Passages faits Outremer par les Français contre les Turcs et autres Sarrasins et Maures outremarins, ca. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Pierre Charles Albert Marie Langlais (born December 2, 1909) was the ad-hoc commander of the French garrison at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. ... Balian of Ibelin surrendering the city of Jerusalem to Saladin, from Les Passages faits Outremer par les Français contre les Turcs et autres Sarrasins et Maures outremarins, ca. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... René Cogny (April 25, 1904 – September 20, 1968) was a French Général de division, World War II veteran and later commander of the French forces in Tonkin, North Vietnam during the First Indochina War and notably the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_North_Vietnam. ... General Võ Nguyên Giáp (born circa 1912[1]) Vietnamese general and statesman. ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants French Union France State of Vietnam Viet Minh Commanders Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque (1945-46) Jean-Étienne Valluy (1946-8) Roger Blaizot (1948-9) Marcel-Maurice Carpentier (1949-50) Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (1950-51) Raoul Salan (1952-3) Henri Navarre (1953-4) Ho Chi Minh Vo Nguyen... The military operation codenamed Lèa was an attempt of the french colonial forces in Indochina to capture the communist leaders of the vietnamese movement for independence (Viet Minh), which started on October 7th, 1947 and was unsuccessfully finished at December 22, 1947. ... The Battle of Dong Khe was a major battle of the First Indochina War. ... Combatants France Vietnam Commanders Gen. ... Combatants France Vietnam Commanders Jean de Lattre de Tassigny Võ Nguyên Giáp Strength 9,000 20,000 Casualties Unknown; but light 6,000 dead 8,000 wounded 500 captured The Battle of Vinh Yen, occurring from January 13, 1951 to January 17, 1951, was a major engagement in... Combatants France Vietnam Commanders Jean de Lattre de Tassigny Võ Nguyên Giáp Strength 400 3 destroyers 2 landing craft 10,000 Casualties 40 killed 150 wounded 3,000 The Battle of Mao Khe, occuring from March 23, 1951 to March 28, 1951, was a significant engagement in the... Combatants France Vietnam Commanders Gen. ... Combatants France Vietnam Commanders Raoul Salan Vo Nguyen Giap Strength 15,000  ??? Operation Lorraine was a French military operation of the First Indochina War. ... Combatants French Union France State of Vietnam Viet Minh Commanders Raoul Salan Robert Gilles Louis Berteil Marcel Bigeard Vo Nguyen Giap Strength - - Casualties - 3,000 casualties The Battle of Na San (French: bataille de Na San) was fought between French Union forces and the communist forces of the Viet Minh... Combatants French Union Viet Minh Commanders General de Berchoux Colonel de Monclard Vo Nguyen Giap Strength 4 Mobile Groups 2 Amphibian Sub-Group 7th Regiment (Division 304) 48th Regiment (Division 320) Casualties unknown unknown Operation Bretagne was a French Union military operation between 1 October 1952 and 4 January 1953... Combatants France, Vietnam (loyalist) Vietnam (Viet Minh) Commanders Christian de Castries Vo Nguyen Giap Strength As of March 13: 10,800 (Davidson, 224) As of March 13: 49,000 combat personnel, 15,000 logistical support personnel (Davidson, 223) Casualties 2,293 dead 2 dead (USA) 5,193 wounded 11,800... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Combatants French Union France State of Vietnam Viet Minh Commanders Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque (1945-46) Jean-Étienne Valluy (1946-8) Roger Blaizot (1948-9) Marcel-Maurice Carpentier (1949-50) Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (1950-51) Raoul Salan (1952-3) Henri Navarre (1953-4) Ho Chi Minh Vo Nguyen... Established by the French constitution of October 27, 1946, the French Union (French: Union Française) was a political entity created to replace the old French colonial system, the French Empire (Empire français). ... The French Far East Expeditionary Corps (French: ) was an expeditionary force of the French Army that fought in the First Indochina War. ... The Viet Minh (abbreviated from Việt Nam ộc Lập ồng Minh Hội, League for the Independence of Vietnam) was formed by Ho Ngoc Lam and Nguyen Hai Than in 1941 to seek independence for Vietnam from France. ... March is the third month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Guerrilla warfare (also spelled guerilla) is a method of unconventional combat by which small groups of combatants attempt to use mobile and surprise tactics (ambushes, raids, etc) to defeat a foe, often a larger, less mobile, army. ... A pitched battle is a battle where both sides choose to fight at a chosen location and time and where either side has the option to disengage either before the battle starts, or shortly after the first armed exchanges. ...


As a result of blunders in the French decision making process, the French undertook to create an air-supplied base at Dien Bien Phu, deep in the hills of Vietnam. Its purpose was to cut off Viet Minh supply lines into the neighboring French protectorate of Laos, at the same time drawing the Viet Minh into a battle that would be their doom. Instead, the Viet Minh, under General Vo Nguyen Giap, surrounded and besieged the French, who were ignorant of the Viet Minh's possession of heavy artillery (including anti-aircraft guns) and their ability to move such weapons to the mountain crests overlooking the French encampment. The Viet Minh occupied the highlands around Dien Bien Phu, and were able to fire down accurately onto French positions. Tenacious fighting on the ground ensued, reminiscent of the trench warfare of World War I. The French repeatedly repulsed Viet Minh assaults on their positions. Supplies and reinforcements were supplied by air, although as the French positions were overrun and the anti-aircraft fire took its toll, fewer and fewer of those supplies reached them. After a two month siege, the garrison was overrun and most French surrendered. Despite the loss of most of their best soldiers, the Viet Minh marshalled their remaining forces and pursued those French who did flee into the wilderness, routing them and ending the battle. Dien Bien Phu (Điện Biên Phủ) is a small town in northwestern Vietnam in the province of Điện Biên. ... General Võ Nguyên Giáp (born circa 1912[1]) Vietnamese general and statesman. ... A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition, often accompanied by an assault. ... American troops man an anti-aircraft gun near the Algerian coastline in 1943 Anti-aircraft, or air defense, is any method of combating military aircraft from the ground. ... Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of defence. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ...


Shortly after the battle, the war ended with the 1954 Geneva accords, under which France agreed to withdraw from its former Indochinese colonies. The accords partitioned the country in two; fighting later resumed, among rival Vietnamese forces, in 1959 with the Vietnam War (Second Indochina War). The Geneva Conference (April 26 - July 21, 1954) was a conference between many countries that agreed to end hostilities and restore peace in French Indochina and Korea. ... Flag Capital Hanoi Language(s) French Political structure Federation Historical era New Imperialism  - Established 1887  - Addition of Laos 1893  - Vietnam Declaration of Independence September 2, 1945  - Independence of Laos July 19, 1949  - Independence of Cambodia November 9, 1953  - Disestablished 1954 Area  - 1945 750,000 km2 289,577 sq mi Currency... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... The Indochina Wars refers to wars of national liberation that erupted in the wake of World War II, fought in Southeast Asia from 1947 until 1979, between nationalist Vietnamese against French, American, and Chinese forces. ...

Contents

Background and preparations

By 1953, the First Indochina War was not going well for the French. A succession of commanders – Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, Jean-Étienne Valluy, Roger Blaizot, Marcel-Maurice Carpentier, Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, and Raoul Salan – had proven incapable of suppressing the Viet Minh insurrection. During their 1952–53 campaign, the Viet Minh had overrun vast swaths of the French colony of Laos, Vietnam's western neighbor. The French were unable to slow the Viet Minh advance, and the Viet Minh fell back only after outrunning their always-tenuous supply lines. In 1953, the French had begun to strengthen their defenses in the Hanoi delta region to prepare for a series of offensives against Viet Minh staging areas in northwest Vietnam. They had set up fortified towns and outposts in the area, including Lai Chau near the Chinese border to the north,[5] Na San to the west of Hanoi,[6] and the Plain of Jars in northern Laos.[7] Combatants French Union France State of Vietnam Viet Minh Commanders Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque (1945-46) Jean-Étienne Valluy (1946-8) Roger Blaizot (1948-9) Marcel-Maurice Carpentier (1949-50) Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (1950-51) Raoul Salan (1952-3) Henri Navarre (1953-4) Ho Chi Minh Vo Nguyen... Philippe de Hauteclocque, often known by his French resistance alias Leclerc (November 22, 1902 - November 28, 1947), was a Marshal of France. ... Jean Etienne Valluy Jean-Étienne Valluy (May 15, 1899-January 4, 1970) was a French general. ... Général darmée Marcel-Maurice Carpentier (1895-1977) was a French military officer who served in World War II and French Indochina. ... Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (February 2, 1889 - January 11, 1952) was a French military hero of World War II. Born at Mouilleron-en-Pareds (during the time of Georges Clemenceau, who was also born there), he graduated from school in 1911, and fought in World War I. He specialized... clarified and proofread. ... Hanoi (Vietnamese: Hà Ná»™i, Hán Tá»±: 河内)  , estimated population 3,145,300 (2005), is the capital of Vietnam. ... USMC convoys staging prior to going north into Iraq in March of 2004 A staging area is a temporary location where military units, aircraft and warships plus their matériel are assembled ahead of an attack or invasion. ... Lai-Chau is a province in northwest Vietnam. ... Plain of Jars: Site 1 The Plain of Jars is a large group of historic cultural sites in Laos containing thousands of stone jars, which lie scattered throughout the Xieng Khouang plain in the Laotian Highlands at the northern end of the Annamese Cordillera, the principal mountain range of Indochina. ...


In May 1953, French Premier Rene Mayer appointed Henri Navarre, a trusted colleague, to take command of French Forces in Indochina. Mayer had given Navarre a single order – to create military conditions that would lead to an "honorable political solution."[8] On arrival, Navarre was shocked by what he found. "There had been no long-range plan since de Lattre's departure. Everything was conducted on a day-to-day, reactive basis. Combat operations were undertaken only in response to enemy moves or threats. There was no comprehensive plan to develop the organization and build up the equipment of the Expeditionary force. Finally, Navarre, the intellectual, the cold and professional soldier, was shocked by the 'school's out' attitude of Salan and his senior commanders and staff officers. They were going home, not as victors or heroes, but then, not as clear losers either. To them the important thing was that they were getting out of Indochina with their reputations frayed, but intact. They gave little thought to, or concern for, the problems of their successors."[8] Mayers Ministry, 8 January - 28 June 1953 René Mayer - President of the Council Henri Queuille - Vice President of the Council Georges Bidault - Minister of Foreign Affairs René Pleven - Minister of National Defense and Armed Forces Charles Brune - Minister of the Interior Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury - Minister of Finance Robert... Henri Navarre (1898 - 1983) was the commander of French forces in Indochina during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in the First Indochina War. ...


Defense of Laos

Dien Bien Phu, in Dien Bien Province (shown in green) was sufficiently far from Hanoi, the seat of French military power, that French air transport could not easily keep it supplied
Dien Bien Phu, in Dien Bien Province (shown in green) was sufficiently far from Hanoi, the seat of French military power, that French air transport could not easily keep it supplied

The most controversial issue surrounding the battle was whether Navarre was also obligated to defend Laos, which was far from the French seat of military power in Hanoi. Although Navarre assumed it was his responsibility, defending it would require his army to operate far from its home base. During meetings with the France's National Defense Committee on July 17 and July 24, Navarre asked if he was responsible for defending northern Laos.[9] These meetings produced a misunderstanding that became the most disputed fact of the controversy surrounding the battle. For years afterwards, Navarre insisted the committee had reached no consensus; French Premier Joseph Laniel insisted that, at that meeting, the Committee had instructed Navarre to abandon Laos if necessary. "On this key issue, the evidence supports Navarre's claim that on July 24, he was given no clear-cut decision regarding his responsibility for Laos. Over the years, when challenged by Navarre, Laniel has never been able to present any written evidence to support his contention that Navarre was instructed to abandon Laos if necessary."[9] The committee was reluctant to give Navarre a definitive answer because its proceedings were constantly leaked to the press, and the politicians on the committee did not want to take a politically damaging position on the issue.[9] Map showing the location of a Vietnamese province. ... Map showing the location of a Vietnamese province. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... Hanoi (Vietnamese: Hà Ná»™i, Hán Tá»±: 河内)  , estimated population 3,145,300 (2005), is the capital of Vietnam. ... The General secretary for national defence (Secrétariat général de la Défense nationale) is an interministerial organism of the French government which includes the Ministries of the Interior, of Foreign Affairs and of Defence. ... July 17 is the 198th day of the year (199th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 205th day of the year (206th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Joseph Laniel, French prime minister Joseph Laniel (1889-1975) was a French politician of the Fourth Republic, who served as Prime Minister for a year from 1953 to 1954. ... is the 205th day of the year (206th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Na San and the hedgehog concept

For more details on this topic, see Battle of Na San.

Simultaneously, Navarre had been searching for a way to stop the Viet Minh threat to Laos. Colonel Louis Berteil, commander of Mobile Group 7 and Navarre's main planner,[10] formulated the "hérisson" (hedgehog) concept. The French army would establish a fortified airhead by air-lifting soldiers adjacent to a key Viet Minh supply line to Laos.[11] This would effectively cut off Viet Minh soldiers fighting in Laos and force them to withdraw. "It was an attempt to interdict the enemy's rear area, to stop the flow of supplies and reinforcements, to establish a redoubt in the enemy's rear and disrupt his lines"[12] Combatants French Union France State of Vietnam Viet Minh Commanders Raoul Salan Robert Gilles Louis Berteil Marcel Bigeard Vo Nguyen Giap Strength - - Casualties - 3,000 casualties The Battle of Na San (French: bataille de Na San) was fought between French Union forces and the communist forces of the Viet Minh... Genera Atelerix Erinaceus Hemiechinus Mesechinus Paraechinus A hedgehog is any of the small spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae and the order Erinaceomorpha. ... This article is about a military term. ...


The hedgehog concept was based on French experiences at the Battle of Na San. In late November and early December 1952, Giap attacked the French outpost at Na San. Na San was essentially an "air-land base", a fortified camp supplied only by air.[13] Giap's forces were beaten back repeatedly with very heavy losses. The French hoped that by repeating the setup on a larger scale, they would be able to bait Giap into committing the bulk of his forces in a massed assault. This would enable superior French artillery, armor, and air support to wipe out the exposed Viet Minh forces. The experience at Na San convinced Navarre of the viability of the fortified airhead concept. Combatants French Union France State of Vietnam Viet Minh Commanders Raoul Salan Robert Gilles Louis Berteil Marcel Bigeard Vo Nguyen Giap Strength - - Casualties - 3,000 casualties The Battle of Na San (French: bataille de Na San) was fought between French Union forces and the communist forces of the Viet Minh...


However, French staff officers failed to take into consideration several important differences between Dien Bien Phu and Na San. First, at Na San, the French commanded most of the high ground with overwhelming artillery support.[14] At Dien Bien Phu, however, the Viet Minh controlled much of the high ground around the valley and their artillery far exceeded French expectations and they outnumbered the French by a ratio of four-to-one.[1] Giap compared Dien Bien Phu to a "rice bowl", where his troops occupied the edge and the French the bottom. Second, Giap made a mistake in Na San by committing his forces into reckless frontal attacks before preparations could be made. At Dien Bien Phu, Giap would spend months stockpiling ammunitions and emplacing heavy artillery and anti-aircraft guns before making his move. Teams of Viet Minh volunteers were sent into the French camp to note the disposition of the French artillery. Wooden artillery pieces were built as decoys and the real guns were rotated every few salvos to confuse French counterbattery fire. As a result, when the battle began, the Viet Minh knew exactly where the French artillery were while the French were not even aware of how many guns Giap possessed. Third, the aerial resupply lines at Na San were never severed despite Viet Minh anti-aircraft fire. At Dien Bien Phu, Giap amassed anti-aircraft batteries that quickly shut down the runway and made it extremely difficult and costly for the French to bring in reinforcements.


Lead up to Castor

In June, Major General René Cogny, commander of the Tonkin Delta, proposed Dien Bien Phu, which had an old airstrip built by the Japanese during World War II, as a "mooring point".[15] In another misunderstanding, Cogny had envisioned a lightly defended point from which to launch raids; however, to Navarre, this meant a heavily fortified base capable of withstanding a siege. Navarre selected Dien Bien Phu for the location of Bertiel's "hedgehog". When presented with the plan, every major subordinate officer protested – Colonel Jean-Louis Nicot, (commander of the French Air transport fleet), Cogny, and generals Jean Gilles and Jean Dechaux (the ground and air commanders for Operation Castor, the initial airborne assault on Dien Bien Phu). Cogny pointed out, presciently, that "we are running the risk of a new Na San under worse conditions"[16] Navarre rejected the criticisms of his proposal, and concluded a November 17 conference by declaring the operation would commence three days later, on November 20, 1953.[17][18] Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... René Cogny (April 25, 1904 – September 20, 1968) was a French Général de division, World War II veteran and later commander of the French forces in Tonkin, North Vietnam during the First Indochina War and notably the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. ... Tonkin, also spelled Tongkin or Tongking, is the northernmost part of Vietnam, south of Chinas Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces, east of northern Laos, and west of the Gulf of Tonkin. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Jean-Louis Nicot (February 14, 1911 - August 29, 2004) was the commander of the French Air transport fleet during the First Indochina War. ... Combatants French Union France State of Vietnam Viet Minh Commanders Raoul Salan Robert Gilles Louis Berteil Marcel Bigeard Vo Nguyen Giap Strength - - Casualties - 3,000 casualties The Battle of Na San (French: bataille de Na San) was fought between French Union forces and the communist forces of the Viet Minh... November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Navarre decided to go ahead with the operation, despite operational difficulties which would later become obvious (but at the time may have been less apparent)[19] because he had been repeatedly assured by his intelligence officers that the operation had very little risk of involvement by a strong enemy force.[20] Navarre had previously considered three other ways to defend Laos: mobile warfare, which was impossible given the terrain in Vietnam; a static defense line stretching to Laos, which was inexecutable given the number of troops at Navarre's disposal; or placing troops in the Laotian capitals and supplying them by air, which was unworkable due to the distance from Hanoi to Luang Prabang and Vientiane.[21] Thus, the only option left to Navarre was the hedgehog option, which he characterized as "a mediocre solution."[22] The US M1A1 Abrams tank is a typical modern main battle tank. ... Hanoi (Vietnamese: Hà Ná»™i, Hán Tá»±: 河内)  , estimated population 3,145,300 (2005), is the capital of Vietnam. ... Royal palace museum of Luang Prabang. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


In a twist of fate, the French National Defense Committee ultimately did agree that Navarre's responsibility did not include defending Laos. However, their decision (which was drawn up on November 13) was not delivered to him until December 4, two weeks after the Dien Bien Phu operation began.[9] is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... December 4th redirects here. ...


Establishment of the airhead

For more details on this topic, see Operation Castor.
Children playing on a US-lent M24 Chaffee left by the French.
(original photo taken by Marilyn Knapp Litt, 02.1998)

Operations at Dien Bien Phu began at 10:35 on the morning of November 20, 1953. In Operation Castor, the French dropped or flew 9,000 troops into the area over three days. They were landed at three drop zones: Natasha, northwest of Dien Bien Phu; Octavie, southwest of Dien Bien Phu; and Simone, southeast of Dien Bien Phu.[23] Combatants France, Vietnam (loyalist) Vietnam (Viet Minh) Commanders Christian de Castries Vo Nguyen Giap Strength As of March 13: 10,800 (Davidson, 224) As of March 13: 49,000 combat personnel, 15,000 logistical support personnel (Davidson, 223) Casualties 2,293 dead 2 dead (USA) 5,193 wounded 11,800... Image File history File links Marilyn_knapp_Litt_tank. ... Image File history File links Marilyn_knapp_Litt_tank. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Viet Minh elite 148th Independent Infantry Regiment, headquartered at Dien Bien Phu, reacted "instantly and effectively"; however, three of their four battalions were absent that day.[24] Initial operations proceeded well for the French. By the end of November, six parachute battalions had been landed and the French were consolidating their positions.


It was at this time that Giap began his counter-moves. Giap had expected an attack, but could not foresee when or where it would occur. Giap realized that, if pressed, the French would abandon Lai Chau Province and fight a pitched battle at Dien Bien Phu.[25] On November 24, Giap ordered the 148th Infantry Regiment and the 316th division to attack into Lai Chau, and the 308th, 312th, and 351st divisions to attack from Viet Bac into Dien Bien Phu.[26] Lai-Chau (Vietnamese: Lai Châu) is a province in northwest Vietnam. ... A pitched battle is a battle where both sides choose to fight at a chosen location and time and where either side has the option to disengage either before the battle starts, or shortly after the first armed exchanges. ... is the 328th day of the year (329th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Starting in December, the French, under the command of Colonel Christian de Castries, started transforming their anchoring point into a fortress by setting up seven positions, each allegedly named after a former mistress of de Castries, although the allegation is probably untrue, as the names simply begin with the first seven letters of the alphabet. The fortified headquarters was centrally located, with positions "Huguette" to the west, "Claudine" to the south, and "Dominique" to the northeast. Other positions were "Anne-Marie" to the northwest, "Beatrice" to the northeast, "Gabrielle" to the north and "Isabelle" four miles to the south, covering the reserve airstrip. The choice of de Castries as the on-scene commander at Dien Bien Phu was, in retrospect, a bad one. Navarre had picked de Castries, a cavalryman in the 18th century tradition,[27] because Navarre envisioned Dien Bien Phu as a mobile battle. In reality, Dien Bien Phu required someone adept at World War I-style trench warfare, something for which de Castries was not suited.[28] Christian de la Croix de Castries (August 11, 1902 - July 29, 1991) was the French commander at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. ... French Republican Guard - May 8, 2005 celebrations Cavalry (from French cavalerie) were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of defence. ...


The arrival of the 316th Viet Minh division prompted Cogny to order the evacuation of the Lai Chau garrison to Dien Bien Phu, exactly as Giap had anticipated. En route, they were virtually annihilated by the Viet Minh. "Of the 2,100 men who left Lai Chau on December 9, only 185 made it to Dien Bien Phu on December 22. The rest had been killed or captured or deserted."[29] The Viet Minh troops now converged on Dien Bien Phu. December 9 is the 343rd day of the year (344th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... December 22 is the 356th day of the year (357th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses of Desertion, see Abandonment. ...


The French had committed 10,800 troops, with more reinforcements totaling nearly 16,000 men, to the defense of a monsoon-affected valley surrounded by heavily wooded hills that had not been secured. Artillery as well as ten M24 Chaffee light tanks and numerous aircraft were committed to the garrison. The garrison comprised French regular troops (notably elite paratroop units plus artillery), Foreign Legionaires, Algerian and Moroccan tirailleurs, and locally recruited Indochinese infantry. The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... Tirailleur means sharpshooter in French. ...


All told, the Viet Minh had moved 50,000 regular troops into the hills surrounding the valley, totaling five divisions including the 351st Heavy Division which was made up entirely of heavy artillery.[2] Artillery and AA guns, which outnumbered the French artillery by about four to one,[2] were moved into camouflaged positions overlooking the valley. The French came under sporadic Viet Minh artillery fire for the first time on January 31, 1954 and patrols encountered the Viet Minh in all directions. The battle had been joined, and the French were now surrounded. is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Combat operations

For more details on this topic, see Dien Bien Phu order of battle.
The French disposition at Dien Bien Phu, as of March 1954. The French took up positions on a series of fortified hills. The southernmost, Isabelle, was dangerously isolated. The Viet Minh positioned their 5 divisions (the 304th, 308th, 312th, 316th, and 351st) in the surrounding areas to the north and east. From these areas, the Viet Minh had a clear line of sight on the French fortifications and were able to accurately rain down artillery on the French positions.
The French disposition at Dien Bien Phu, as of March 1954. The French took up positions on a series of fortified hills. The southernmost, Isabelle, was dangerously isolated. The Viet Minh positioned their 5 divisions (the 304th, 308th, 312th, 316th, and 351st) in the surrounding areas to the north and east. From these areas, the Viet Minh had a clear line of sight on the French fortifications and were able to accurately rain down artillery on the French positions.

. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (712x1048, 66 KB) Line drawing of a map of the battle of Dien Bien Phu Created by Raul654 on October 5, 2005 File links The following pages link to this file: Battle of Dien Bien Phu ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (712x1048, 66 KB) Line drawing of a map of the battle of Dien Bien Phu Created by Raul654 on October 5, 2005 File links The following pages link to this file: Battle of Dien Bien Phu ...

Beatrice

The fighting began at 5:00 PM on March 13 when the Viet Minh launched a massive surprise artillery barrage. The time and date were carefully chosen – the hour allowed the artillery to fire in daylight, and the date was chosen because it was a new moon, allowing a nighttime infantry attack.[30] The attack concentrated on position Beatrice, defended by the 3rd battalion of the 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade. is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The lunar phase depends on the Moons position in orbit around Earth. ... The 13e Démi-Brigade de la Légion Étrangère (13e DBLE) is an infantry unit of the French Foreign Legion. ...


Unknown to the French, the Viet Minh had made a very detailed study of Beatrice, and had practiced assaulting it using models. According to one Viet Minh major: "Every evening, we came up and took the opportunity to cut barbed wire and remove mines. Our jumping-off point was moved up to only two hundred yards from the peaks of Beatrice, and to our surprise [French] artillery didn't know where we were".[31]


The French command on Beatrice was decimated at 6:15 PM when a shell hit the French command post, killing Legionnaire commander Major Paul Pegot and his entire staff. A few minutes later, Colonel Jules Gaucher, commander of the entire northern sector, was killed by Viet Minh artillery. Lieutenant-colonel Jules Gaucher (b. ...


French resistance on Beatrice collapsed shortly after midnight following a fierce battle. Roughly 500 legionnaires were killed, along with 600 Viet Minh killed and 1,200 wounded from the 312th division.[32] The French launched a counterattack against Beatrice the following morning, but it was quickly beaten back by Viet Minh artillery. Despite their losses, the victory at Beatrice "galvanized the morale" of the Viet Minh troops.[32]


Much to French disbelief, the Viet Minh had employed direct artillery fire, in which each gun crew does its own artillery spotting (as opposed to indirect fire, in which guns are massed further away from the target, out of direct line of sight, and rely on a forward artillery spotter). Indirect artillery, generally held as being far superior to direct fire, requires experienced, well-trained crews and good communications which the Viet Minh lacked.[33] Navarre wrote that "Under the influence of Chinese advisers, the Viet Minh commanders had used processes quite different from the classic methods. The artillery had been dug in by single pieces... They were installed in shell-proof dugouts, and fire point-blank from portholes... This way of using artillery and AA guns was possible only with the expansive ant holes at the disposal of the Vietminh and was to make shambles of all the estimates of our own artillerymen."[34] The French artillery commander, Colonel Charles Piroth, distraught at his inability to bring counterfire on the well-camouflaged Viet Minh batteries, went into his dugout and killed himself with a hand grenade.[35] He was buried there in great secrecy to prevent loss of morale among the French troops. The reporting format used by an observer is left/right/long/short,(MOS 96D, MOS 13 series) The information is dated and needs to be updated, preferrably with more details ideally from actual participants. ... Charles Piroth (1906 - 15 March 1954) was a French Lieutenant Colonel and veteran of the Italian Campaign during the Second World War and more notably serving three tours in Vietnam during the First Indochina War. ... For the alcoholic beverage sold in New Orleans, see hand grenade (drink). ...


Gabrielle

Following a four hour cease fire on the morning of March 14, Viet Minh artillery resumed pounding French positions. The air strip was put out of commission, forcing the French to deliver all supplies by parachute.[36] That night, the Viet Minh launched an attack on Gabrielle, held by an elite Algerian battalion. The attack began with a concentrated artillery barrage at 5:00 PM. Two regiments from the crack 308th division attacked starting at 8:00 PM. At 4:00 AM the following morning, a Viet Minh artillery shell hit the battalion headquarters, severely wounding the battalion commander and most of his staff.[36] March 14 is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A regiment is a military unit, larger than a company and smaller than a division. ...


De Castries ordered a counterattack to relieve Gabrielle. However, Colonel Pierre Langlais, in forming the counterattack, chose to rely on the 5th Vietnamese Parachute battalion, which had jumped in the day before and was exhausted.[37] Although some elements of the counterattack reached Gabrielle, most were paralyzed by the Viet Minh artillery and took heavy losses. At 8:00 AM the next day, the Algerian battalion fell back, abandoning Gabrielle to the Viet Minh. The French lost around 1,000 men defending Gabrielle, and the Viet Minh between 1,000 and 2,000.[37] Pierre Charles Albert Marie Langlais (born December 2, 1909) was the ad-hoc commander of the French garrison at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. ...


Anne-Marie

Anne-Marie was defended by T'ai troops, members of a Vietnamese ethnic minority loyal to the French. For weeks, Giap had distributed subversive propaganda leaflets, telling the T'ais that this was not their fight. The fall of Beatrice and Gabrielle had severely demoralized them. On the morning of March 17, under a fog, the bulk of the T'ais left or defected. The French and the few remaining T'ais on Anne-Marie were then forced to withdraw.[38] Tai peoples include: the Lao of Laos and Northeast Thailand the Northern Thai (Lanna or Thai Yuan) of Thailand the Thai of Thailand the Shan (Thai Yai) of Burma the Zhuang of China the Thai Lue of Laos and China (also called Dai) the Nung of China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam... Soviet Propaganda Poster during the World War II. The text reads Red Army Fighter, SAVE US! Chinese propaganda poster from during the Cultural Revolution. ... is the 76th day of the year (77th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Lull

March 17 through March 30 saw a lull in fighting. The Viet Minh encircled the French central area (formed by the strongpoints Hugette, Dominique, Claudine, and Eliane), effectively cutting off Isabelle and its 1,809 personnel.[39] During this lull, the French suffered from a serious crisis of command. "It had become painfully evident to the senior officers within the encircled garrison – and even to Cogny at Hanoi – that de Castries was incompetent to conduct the defense of Dien Bien Phu. Even more critical, after the fall of the northern outposts, he isolated himself in his bunker so that he had, in effect, relinquished his command authority."[40] On March 17, Cogny attempted to fly into Dien Bien Phu and take command, but his plane was driven off by anti-aircraft fire. Cogny considered parachuting into the encircled garrison, but his staff talked him out of it.[40] is the 76th day of the year (77th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... March 30 is the 89th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (90th in leap years). ... is the 76th day of the year (77th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


De Castries' seclusion in his bunker, combined with his superiors' inability to replace him, created a leadership vacuum within the French command. On March 24, Colonel Langlais and his fellow paratroop commanders, all fully armed, confronted de Castries. They told de Castries that he would retain the appearance of command, but that Langlais would exercise it.[41] De Castries accepted the arrangement without protest, although he did exercise some command functions thereafter. [42] is the 83rd day of the year (84th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The French aerial resupply was taking heavy losses from Viet Minh machine guns near the landing strip. On March 27, Hanoi air transport commander Nicot ordered that all supply deliveries be made from 6,500 feet or higher; losses were expected to remain heavy.[43] De Castries ordered an attack against the Viet Minh machine guns two miles west of Dien Bien Phu. Remarkably, the attack was a complete success, with 350 Viet Minh soldiers killed and seventeen AA machine guns destroyed. French losses were only twenty soldiers.[44]


March 30–April 5 assaults

Further information: Operation Condor (1954)
The central French positions at Dien Bien Phu as of late March 1954. The positions in Eliane saw some of the most intense combat of the entire battle
The central French positions at Dien Bien Phu as of late March 1954. The positions in Eliane saw some of the most intense combat of the entire battle

The next phase of the battle saw more massed Viet Minh assaults against French positions in the central Dien Bien Phu area Рat Eliane and Dominique in particular. Those two areas were held by five understrength battalions, composed of a mixture of Frenchmen, Legionnaires, Vietnamese, Africans, and T'ais.[45] Giap planned to use the tactics from the Beatrice and Gabrielle skirmishes. For other uses of Operation Condor, please see Operation Condor (disambiguation) Operation Condor (French: Op̩ration Condor) was the name of the French intelligence agency SDECEs special service GCMA secret operation against the Viet Minh supply column. ... Image File history File links Dien_Bien_Phu_zoom. ... Image File history File links Dien_Bien_Phu_zoom. ...


At 7:00 PM on March 30, the Viet Minh 312th division captured Dominique 1 and 2, making Dominique 3 the final outpost between the Viet Minh and the French general headquarters, as well as outflanking all of the position east of the river.[46] But at this point, the French 4th colonial artillery regiment entered the fight, setting its 105 mm howitzers to zero elevation and firing directly on the Viet Minh attackers, blasting huge holes in their ranks. Another group of French, near the airfield, opened fire on the Viet Minh with anti-aircraft machine guns, forcing the Viet Minh to retreat.[46]


The Viet Minh were more successful in their simultaneous attacks elsewhere. The 316th division captured Eliane 1 from its Moroccan defenders, and half of Eliane 2 by midnight.[47] On the other side of Dien Bien Phu, the 308th attacked Huguette 7, and nearly succeeded in breaking through, but a French sergeant took charge of the defenders and sealed the breach.[47]


Just after midnight on the 31st, the French launched a fierce counterattack against Eliane 2, and recaptured half of it. Langlais ordered another counterattack the following afternoon against Dominique 2 and Eliane 1, using virtually "everybody left in the garrison who could be trusted to fight."[47] The counterattacks allowed the French to retake Dominique 2 and Eliane 1, but the Viet Minh launched their own renewed assault. The French, who were exhausted and without reserves, fell back from both positions late in the afternoon.[48] Reinforcements were sent north from Isabelle, but were attacked en route and fell back to Isabelle.


Shortly after dark on the 31st, Langlais told Major Marcel Bigeard, who was leading the defense at Eliane, to fall back across the river. Bigeard refused, saying "As long as I have one man alive I won't let go of Eliane 4. Otherwise, Dien Bien Phu is done for."[49] The night of the 31st, the 316th division attacked Eliane 2. Just as it appeared the French were about to be overrun, a few French tanks arrived, and helped push the Viet Minh back. Smaller attacks on Eliane 4 were also pushed back. The Viet Minh briefly captured Huguette 7, only to be pushed back by a French counterattack at dawn on the 1st.[50] Marcel Bigeard (born 14 February 1916) is a French military officer who fought in World War II, Indochina and Algeria. ...


Fighting continued in this manner over the next several nights. The Viet Minh repeatedly attacked Eliane 2, only to be beaten back again and again. Repeated attempts to reinforce the French garrison by parachute drops were made, but had to be carried out by lone planes at irregular times to avoid excessive casualties from Viet Minh anti-aircraft fire.[50] Some reinforcements did arrive, but not nearly enough to replace French casualties.


Trench warfare

On April 5, after a long night of battle, French fighter-bombers and artillery inflicted particularly devastating losses on one Viet Minh regiment which was caught on open ground. At that point, Giap decided to change tactics. Although Giap still had the same objective – to overrun French defenses east of the river - he decided to employ entrenchment and sapping to try to achieve it.[51] Trench warfare is a form of war in which both opposing armies have static lines of defence. ...


April 10 saw the French attempt to retake Eliane 1. The loss of Eliane 1 eleven days earlier had posed a significant threat to Eliane 4, and the French wanted to eliminate that threat. The dawn attack, which Bigeard devised, was preceded by a short, massive artillery barrage, followed by small unit infiltration attacks, followed by mopping-up operations. Without realizing it, Bigeard had re-invented the Infiltration tactics used with great success by Oskar von Hutier in World War I. Eliane 1 changed hands several times that day, but by the next morning the French had control of the strongpoint. The Viet Minh attempted to retake it on the evening of April 12, but were pushed back.[52] In warfare, infiltration tactics involve small, lightly-equipped infantry forces attacking enemy rear areas while bypassing enemy front-line strongpoints, isolating them for attack by follow-on friendly troops with heavier weapons. ... Oskar von Hutier (August 27, 1857-December 5, 1934) was one of Germanys most successful and innovative generals of World War I. Hutier spent the first year of the war as a divisional commander in France, performing well but not distinguishing himself until the spring of 1915, when he...


"At this point, the morale of the Viet Minh soldiers broke. The French intercepted radio messages which told of units refusing orders, and Communist prisoners said that they were told to advance or be shot by the officers and noncommissioned officers behind them."[53] The extreme casualties they had suffered (6,000 killed, 8,000 to 10,000 wounded, and 2,500 captured) had taken a toll; worse, the Viet Minh had a total lack of medical facilities. "Nothing strikes at combat morale like the knowledge that if wounded, the soldier will go uncared for."[54] To avert the crisis, Giap called in fresh reinforcements from Laos.


During the fighting at Eliane 1, on the other side of camp, the Viet Minh entrenchments had almost entirely surrounded Huguette 1 and 6. On April 11, the garrison of Huguette 1 attacked, and was joined by artillery from the garrison of Claudine. The goal was to resupply Huguette 6 with water and ammunition. The attacks were repeated on the night of the 14–15th and 16–17th. While they did succeed in getting some supplies through, the heavy casualties convinced Langlais to abandon Huguette 6. Following a failed attempt to link up, on April 18, the defenders at Huguette 6 made a daring break out, but only a few made it back to French lines.[55][56] The Viet Minh repeated the isolation and probing attacks against Huguette 1, and overran it on the morning of April 22. With the fall of Huguette 1, the Viet Minh took control of more than 90% of the airfield, making accurate parachute drops impossible.[57] This caused the landing zone to become perilously small, and effectively choked off much needed supplies.[58] A French attack against Huguette 1 later that day was repulsed. is the 112th day of the year (113th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Isabelle

Isabelle saw only desultory action until March 30, when the Viet Minh succeeded in isolating it and beating back the attempt to send reinforcements north. Following a massive artillery barrage against Isabelle on March 30, the Viet Minh began employing the same trench warfare tactics against Isabelle that they were using against the central camp. By the end of April, Isabelle had exhausted its water supply and was nearly out of ammunition.[59] March 30 is the 89th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (90th in leap years). ...


Final defeat

The Viet Minh launched a massed assault against the exhausted defenders on the night of May 1, overrunning Eliane 1, Dominique 3, and Huguette 5, although the French managed to beat back attacks on Eliane 2. On May 6, the Viet Minh launched another massed attack against Eliane 2. The attack included, for the first time, Katyusha rockets.[32] The French also used an innovation. The French artillery fired with a "TOT" (Time On Target) attack, so that artillery fired from different positions would arrive on target at the same time.[60] The barrage wiped out the assault wave. A few hours later that night, the Viet Minh detonated a mine shaft, literally blowing Eliane 2 up. The Viet Minh attacked again, and within a few hours had overrun the defenders.[61] Katyusha multiple rocket launchers are a type of rocket artillery built and fielded by the Soviet Union beginning in the Second World War. ... Time on target or (TOT) is an estimate of when an artillery bombardment or an airstrike will strike an intended target area. ...


On May 7, Giap ordered an all out attack against the remaining French units. At 5:00 PM, de Castries radioed French headquarters in Hanoi and talked with Cogny.

De Castries: "The Viets are everywhere. The situation is very grave. The combat is confused and goes on all about. I feel the end is approaching, but we will fight to the finish."
Cogny: "Well understood. You will fight to the end. It is out of the question to run up the white flag after your heroic resistance."[27]

By nightfall, all French central positions had been captured. That night, the garrison at Isabelle made a breakout attempt. While the main body did not even escape the valley, about 70 troops out of 1,700 men in the garrison did escape to Laos.[62]


Aftermath

Prisoners

On May 8, the Viet Minh counted 11,721 prisoners, of whom 4,436 were wounded.[63] This was the greatest number the Viet Minh had ever captured: one-third of the total captured during the entire war. The prisoners were divided into groups. Able bodied soldiers were force-marched over 250 miles to prison camps to the north and east,[64] where they were intermingled with Viet Minh soldiers to discourage French bombing runs.[65] Hundreds died of disease on the way. The wounded were given basic first aid until the Red Cross arrived, removed 838, and gave better aid to the remainder. The wounded who were not evacuated by the Red Cross were sent into detention. The Anarchist Black Cross was originally called the Anarchist Red Cross. The band Redd Kross was originally called Red Cross. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


The prisoners, French survivors of the battle at Dien Bien Phu, were starved, beaten, and heaped with abuse, and many died.[66] Of 10,863 survivors held as prisoners, only 3,290 were repatriated four months later.[63] The fate of 3,013 prisoners of Indochinese origin is unknown.[67]


Political ramifications

The garrison constituted roughly a tenth of the total French manpower in Indochina,[68] and its loss effectively ended the War.


Following the battle, the 1954 Geneva accords partitioned Vietnam into communist North Vietnamese and French South Vietnamese administered zones, and the last units of the French Union forces withdrew from Indo-China in 1956. This partition was supposed to be temporary, and the two zones were supposed to be reunited by national elections in 1956. After the French withdrawal, the United States supported the southern government, under Emperor Bao Dai and Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem, which opposed the Geneva agreement, and which claimed that Ho Chi Minh's forces from the North had been killing Northern patriots and terrorizing people both in the North and the South. The North was supported by both communist China and the Soviet Union. This dispute would eventually escalate into the Vietnam War (Second Indochina War). The Geneva Conference (April 26 - July 21, 1954) was a conference between many countries that agreed to end hostilities and restore peace in French Indochina and Korea. ... This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. ... The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN), or less commonly, Vietnamese Democratic Republic (Vietnamese: Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cá»™ng Hòa), also known as North Vietnam, was proclaimed by Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, September 2nd1945 and was recognized by the Peoples Republic of China and the... Official language Vietnamese Capital Saigon Last President Duong Van Minh Last Prime Minister Vu Van Mau Area  - Total  - % water 173,809 km² N/A Population  - Total  - Density 19,370,000 (1973 est. ... Emperor Bao Dai Bảo Đại (保大帝、22 October 1913 – 30 July 1997) was the last Emperor of Vietnam, the 13th and last Emperor of the Nguyá»…n Dynasty. ...   «ngoh dihn zih-ehm» (January 3, 1901 – November 2, 1963) was the first President of South Vietnam (1955–1963). ... Hồ Chí Minh   (May 19, 1890 – September 2, 1969) was a Vietnamese revolutionary and statesman, who later became Prime Minister (1946–1955) and President (1946–1969) of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...


France's defeat in Indochina seriously damaged its prestige elsewhere in their colonial empire, notably the North African territories from where many of the troops who fought at Dien Bien Phu had been recruited. In 1954, six months after the battle at Dien Bien Phu ended, the Algerian War of Independence started, and by 1956 both Moroccan and Tunisian protectorates had gained independence. Combatants FLN (1954-62) MNA (1954-62) France (1954-62) FAF (1960-61) OAS (1961-62) Commanders Mostefa Benboulaïd Ferhat Abbas Hocine Aït Ahmed Ahmed Ben Bella Krim Belkacem Larbi Ben MHidi Rabah Bitat Mohamed Boudiaf Messali Hadj General Jacques Massu General Maurice Challe Bachaga Said Boualam...


The battle was depicted in Diên Biên Phu, a 1992 docudrama film -with several autobiographical parts- in conjunction with the Vietnamese army by Dien Bien Phu veteran French director Pierre Schoendoerffer. Diên Biên Phu (French for Điện Biên Phủ) is a 1992 film written and directed by French veteran Pierre Schoendoerffer (aka Pierre Schöndörffer). ... French director Schoendoerffer, was acclaimed in France at 1973 Cannes Film Festival for his Drum Crab (Le Crabe Tambour) war movie, but he first met success with his 1965 The 317th Platoon (La 317e Section) Indochina War feature. ...


U.S. participation

Further information: Operation Vulture

According to the Mutual Defense Assistance Act the United States provided the French with material aid during the battle - aircraft (supplied by the USS Saipan), weapons, mechanics, twenty four CIA/CAT pilots, and US Air Force maintenance crews.[69] However, the United States intentionally avoided public direct intervention. In February 1954, following French occupation of Dien Bien Phu but prior to the battle, Democratic senator Mike Mansfield asked United States Defense Secretary Charles Erwin Wilson whether the U.S. would send naval or air units if the French were subjected to greater pressure there. "For the moment there is no justification for raising United States aid above its present level". U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower also stated, "Nobody is more opposed to intervention than I am".[70] On March 31, following the fall of Beatrice, Gabrielle, and Anne-Marie, a panel of U.S. Senators and House Representatives questioned U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Arthur W. Radford about the possibility of U.S. involvement. Radford concluded it was too late for the U.S. Air Force to save the French garrison. A proposal for direct intervention was unanimously voted down by the panel, which "concluded that intervention was a positive act of war".[71] Operation Vulture was the name of the proposed American operation that would rescue French forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 via B-29 raids. ... The Mutual Defense Assistance Act commonly known as the Battle Act was a 1949 law passed by the United States. ... Two ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Saipan, after the island of Saipan, one of the Northern Mariana Islands that was a scene of heavy fighting in World War II. The first Saipan (CVL-48) was commissioned as a light aircraft carrier in 1946, converted to... The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an intelligence agency of the United States government. ... Civil Air Transport (CAT) was a CIA-owned airline that supported United States covert operations throughout East and Southeast Asia. ... Seal of the Air Force. ... Mike Mansfield, Congressional portrait This article describes the American politician. ... Seal of the United States Department of Defense The United States Secretary of Defense is the head of the United States Department of Defense, concerned with the armed services and The Secretary is appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate, and is a member of the Cabinet. ... Charles Erwin Wilson (July 18, 1890 - September 26, 1961), American businessman and politician, was United States Secretary of Defense from 1953 to 1957 under President Eisenhower. ... Dwight David Ike Eisenhower, born David Dwight Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American General and politician, who served as the thirty-fourth President of the United States (1953–1961). ... March 31 is the 90th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (91st in leap years), with 275 days remaining. ... The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer of the United States military, and the principal military advisor to the President of the United States. ... Arthur William Radford (February 27, 1896 – August 17, 1973) was an U.S. Navy Admiral, Commander-in-Chief of the United States Pacific Command and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ... Act of war can refer to: Casus belli: a political science term meaning the just cause for a war Act of War: Direct Action, Act of War: High Treason and Act of War: Final Option: computer games. ...


The United States did covertly participate in the battle, however. Following a request for help from Henri Navarre, Radford provided two squadrons of B-26 Invader bomber aircraft to support the French. Subsequently, 37 U.S. pilots flew 682 sorties over the course of the battle. Earlier, in order to succeed the pre-Dien Bien Phu Operation Castor of November 1953, General McCarty made available 12 additional C-119 Flying Boxcars flown by French crew [72]. Two of the U.S. pilots, Wallace Buford and James "Earthquake McGoon" McGovern Jr., were killed in action during the siege of Dien Bien Phu. In February 25, 2005, the seven still living U.S. pilots were awarded the French Legion of Honor by Jean-David Levitte ambassador of France in the United States [73]. The role the U.S. pilots played in the battle had remained little known until 2004; "U.S. historian Erik Kirsinger researched the case for more than a year to establish the facts."[74][75] French author Jules Roy also suggests that Radford discussed with the French the possibility of using nuclear weapons in support of the garrison.[76] Moreover, John Foster Dulles was reported to have mentioned the possibility of lending atomic bombs to the French for use at Dien Bien Phu,[77] and a similar source claims that British Foreign Secretary Sir Anthony Eden was aware of the possibility of nuclear weapons use in the region.[78] First flown in 1942, the Douglas A-26 Invader (after 1948, the B-26, and after 1966, the A-26A) was a twin-engined light attack bomber aircraft built during World War II and seeing service in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. ... Combatants France, Vietnam (loyalist) Vietnam (Viet Minh) Commanders Christian de Castries Vo Nguyen Giap Strength As of March 13: 10,800 (Davidson, 224) As of March 13: 49,000 combat personnel, 15,000 logistical support personnel (Davidson, 223) Casualties 2,293 dead 2 dead (USA) 5,193 wounded 11,800... The Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar was a U.S. military transport aircraft developed from the World War II Fairchild C-82 Packet, designed to carry cargo, personnel, litter patients, and mechanized equipment, and to drop cargo and troops by parachute. ... James B. Earthquake McGoon McGovern Jr. ... February 25 is the 56th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Medal for the officer class, decorated with a rosette Napoleon wearing the Grand Cross The President of France is the Grand Master of the Legion. ... Levitte as Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, addressing the Security Council before its vote on resolution 1441. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... John Foster Dulles (February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) was an American statesman who served as Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. ... Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG (June 12, 1897 - January 14, 1977), British politician, was Foreign Secretary during World War II and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1950s. ...


Khe Sanh

Fourteen years later, during the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army (still under Giap's command) made an apparent attempt to repeat their success at Dien Bien Phu, by an assault on the US military base at Khe Sanh. Historians are divided on whether this was a genuine assault on the base, or a diversion from the rest of the Tet Offensive, or an example of the NVA keeping its options open. At Khe Sanh, a number of factors were significantly different from Dien Bien Phu, enabling the Americans to win the battle. Khe Sanh was much closer to its supply base (45 kilometres versus 200 km at Dien Bien Phu);[79] At Khe Sanh, the Americans held the high ground, and their artillery forced the Vietnamese to use their artillery from a much greater distance, while at Dien Bien Phu the French artillery (six 105 mm batteries and one battery of four 155 mm howitzers and mortars[80]) were only sporadically effective;[81] Khe Sanh received 18,000 tons in aerial resupply during the 30 day battle, whereas during 167 days the French forces at Dien Bien Phu received only 4,000 tons.[82] By the end of the battle of Khe Sanh, U.S. Air Force assets had flown 9,691 tactical sorties and dropped 14,223 tons of bombs on targets within the Khe Sanh area. Marine Corps aviators had flown 7,098 missions and released 17,015 tons. Naval aircrews, many of whom were redirected from Rolling Thunder strikes against the DRV, flew 5,337 sorties and dropped 7,941 tons of ordnance on the enemy. Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... knulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din mammaknulla din... For the battle during the Vietnam War, see Battle of Khe Sanh. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam, United States of America, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia National Liberation Front, Democratic Republic of Vietnam Commanders William Westmoreland Võ Nguyên Giáp Strength 50,000+ (estimate) 85,000+ (estimate) Casualties 2,788 KIA, 8,299 WIA, 587 MIA 1,536 KIA, 7,764 WIA...


References

Phillip B. Davidson, Jr. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Bernard B. Fall Bernard B. Fall (November 19, 1926-February 21, 1967) was a prominent war correspondent and expert on Indochina during the 1950s and 1960s. ... (Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ... is the 137th day of the year (138th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Henri Navarre (1898 - 1983) was the commander of French forces in Indochina during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in the First Indochina War. ... Martin Windrow (1944- ) is a British historian, editor and author of several hundred[1] books, articles and monographs, particularly those on organisational or physical details of military history, and the history of the post-war French Foreign Legion[2][3]. His most notable work is The last valley, an account... shelby was here 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b Davidson, 224
  2. ^ a b c Davidson, 223
  3. ^ French Defense Ministry's archives, ECPAD
  4. ^ Quotation from Martin Windrow. Kenney, Michael. "British Historian Takes a Brilliant Look at French Fall in Vietnam". Boston Globe, January 4, 2005.
  5. ^ Fall, 23
  6. ^ Fall, 9
  7. ^ Fall, 48
  8. ^ a b Davidson, 165
  9. ^ a b c d Davidson, 176
  10. ^ Fall, 44
  11. ^ Davidson, 173
  12. ^ Bruce Kennedy. CNN Cold War Special: 1954 battle changed Vietnam's history
  13. ^ Fall, 24
  14. ^ Davidson, 147
  15. ^ Davidson, 182
  16. ^ Roy, 21
  17. ^ Roy, 33
  18. ^ Davidson, 184
  19. ^ Windrow, p211, 212, 228, 275
  20. ^ Davidson, 189
  21. ^ Davidson, 186
  22. ^ Davidson, 187
  23. ^ Davidson, 194
  24. ^ Davidson, 193
  25. ^ Davidson, 196
  26. ^ Davidson, 196
  27. ^ a b The Fall of Dienbienphu, Time Magazine, May 17, 1954 edition
  28. ^ Davidson, 199
  29. ^ Davidson, 203
  30. ^ Davidson, 234
  31. ^ Roy, 167
  32. ^ a b c Davidson, 236
  33. ^ Davidson, 227
  34. ^ Navarre, 225
  35. ^ Dien Bien Phu. Spartacus Educational. Retrieved on August 24, 2006.
  36. ^ a b Davidson, 237
  37. ^ a b Davidson, 238
  38. ^ Davidson, 239
  39. ^ Fall, 279
  40. ^ a b Davidson, 240-241
  41. ^ Fall, 177
  42. ^ Davidson, 243
  43. ^ Davidson, 244
  44. ^ Davidson, 244-245
  45. ^ Davidson, 245
  46. ^ a b Davidson, 246
  47. ^ a b c Davidson, 247
  48. ^ Davidson, 248
  49. ^ Roy, 210
  50. ^ a b Davidson, 253
  51. ^ Davidson, 254-255
  52. ^ Davidson, 265
  53. ^ Davidson, 256
  54. ^ Davidson, 257
  55. ^ Davidson, 258
  56. ^ Fall, 260
  57. ^ Fall, 270
  58. ^ Davidson, 259
  59. ^ Davidson, 260
  60. ^ Davidson, 261
  61. ^ Davidson, 262
  62. ^ Davidson, 269
  63. ^ a b Breakdown of losses suffered at Dien Bien Phu. dienbienphu.org. Retrieved on August 24, 2006.
  64. ^ The Long March. dienbienphu.org. Retrieved on August 24, 2006.
  65. ^ Fall, 429
  66. ^ At camp #1. dienbienphu.org. Retrieved on August 24, 2006.
  67. ^ Jean-Jacques Arzalier, Les Pertes Humaines, 1954-2004: La Bataille de Dien Bien Phu, entre Histoire et Mémoire, Société française d’histoire d’outre-mer, 2004
  68. ^ "The French expeditionary Force numbered 175,000 troops" - Davidson, 163
  69. ^ Roy, 140
  70. ^ Roy, 140
  71. ^ Roy, 211
  72. ^ Embassy of France in the USA, Feb. 25, 2005
  73. ^ Embassy of France in the USA, Feb. 25, 2005
  74. ^ "France honors US pilots for Dien Bien Phu role". Agence France Presse. February 25, 2005.
  75. ^ Burns, Robert. "Covert U.S. aviators will get French award for heroism in epic Asian battle". Associated Press Worldstream. February 16, 2005
  76. ^ Roy, 198
  77. ^ Fall, 306
  78. ^ Fall, 307
  79. ^ Rottman, 8
  80. ^ Fall, 480
  81. ^ Rottman, 9
  82. ^ Rottman, 9

The Boston Globe is the most widely-circulated daily newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts and in the greater New England region. ... (Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ... is the 137th day of the year (138th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Media links

Newsreels (video)
Retrospectives (video)
  • (French) Testimonial of General Giap, 50 years after the battle (May 7th, 2004)
  • (French) Testimonial of General Bigeard, 50 years after the battle (May 3rd, 2004)
  • (French) Testimonial of Pierre Schoendoerffer, 50 years after the battle (May 5th, 2004)
  • (French) Sample of "Dien Bien Phu", docudrama by Schoendoerffer (1991)
War reports (Picture galleries and captions)
  • (French) Airbone Operation Castor and building of the Dien Bien Phu outpost (November 1953-February 1954)
  • (French) Airforce in Dien Bien Phu (January-May 1954)
  • (French) The battle of Dien Bien Phu (March-May 1954)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Battle of Dien Bien Phu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3412 words)
The Battle of Dien Bien Phu (Vietnamese: Chiến dịch Điện Biên Phủ) was the final battle in the First Indochina War between France and Vietnamese revolutionary forces called the Viet Minh (short for Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi or the League for the Independence of Vietnam).
At Dien Bien Phu however, the situation was reversed: the Viet Minh controlled much of the high grounds around the valley and their artillery outnumbered the French by a ratio of four-to-one.
Operations at Dien Bien Phu began at 10:35 on the morning of November 20, 1953.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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