Dien Bien Phu, march 13 - may 7

Discussion in 'Education' started by padisha emperor, May 6, 2005.

  1. padisha emperor
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    padisha emperor Senior Member

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    The battle of Dien Bien Phu is the last gigantic battle of France. Even during the Algeria war, even the battle of Alger, is not so important.
    Dien Bien Phu - DBP - is a french defeat, but it's still commemorated by the french army, as a fantastic demonstration of heroism, of courage, of tenaicty.
    Even under the bombs, the french soldiers charged the ennemy, and often took the ennemy position, but they couldn't use this advantage, they weren't enough.
    57 days of hell for these thousands of heroes, who fight until the end, even when they knew that the battle would be a defeat.

    Some soldiers were also parachuted, at the end, even if they knew that all was lost. They never did a drop in parachute, but they decided to jump and to died near their comrades.


    proof of these soldiers' heroism and courage, even Radio Moscow stop to insult the french fighters, when they saw how the French were fighting.

    A big strategical error lead to the defeat, even if the soldiers did all to win.

    this subject is an hommage to the french soldiers dead heroicly during this battle. And of course also to the vietamese soldiers killed during it, who were also very very brave.

    In France, we're already may, the 7th.
    ma, the 7th, 1954, DBP fall, without white flag.



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    Historically, Dien Bien Phu was, as one French senior officer masterfully understated, never more than an "unfortunate accident." It proved little else but that an encircled force, no matter how valiant, will succumb if its support system fails. But as other revolutionary wars -- from Algeria to the British defeats in Cyprus and Palestine -- have conclusively shown, it does not take pitched, set-piece battles to lose such wars. They can be lost just as conclusively through a series of very small engagements, such as those now fought in South Vietnam, if the local government and its population lose confidence in the eventual outcome of the contest -- and that was the case both for the French and for their Vietnamese allies after Dien Bien Phu.

    short quote from :
    http://historynet.com/vn/bl_battle_to_remember/index1.html


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    The battle that settled the fate of French Indochina was initiated in November 1953, when Viet Minh forces at Chinese insistence moved to attack Lai Chau, the capital of the T'ai Federation (in Upper Tonkin), which was loyal to the French. As Peking had hoped, the French commander in chief in Indochina, General Henri Navarre, came out to defend his allies because he believed the T'ai "maquis" formed a significant threat in the Viet Minh "rear" (the T'ai supplied the French with opium that was sold to finance French special operations) and wanted to prevent a Viet Minh sweep into Laos. Because he considered Lai Chau impossible to defend, on November 20, Navarre launched Operation Castor with a paratroop drop on the broad valley of Dien Bien Phu, which was rapidly transformed into a defensive perimeter of eight strong points organized around an airstrip. When, in December 1953, the T'ais attempted to march out of Lai Chau for Dien Bien Phu, they were badly mauled by Viet Minh forces.



    Viet Minh commander Vo Nguyen Giap,with considerable Chinese aide, massed troops and placed heavy artillery in caves in the mountains overlooking the French camp. On March 13, 1954, Giap launched a massive assault on strong point Béatrice, which fell in a matter of hours. Strong points Gabrielle and Anne-Marie were overrun during the next two days, which denied the French use of the airfield, the key to the French defense. Reduced to airdrops for supplies and reinforcement, unable to evacuate their wounded, under constant artillery bombardment, and at the extreme limit of air range, the French camp's morale began to fray. As the monsoons transformed the camp from a dust bowl into a morass of mud, an increasing number of soldiers—almost four thousand by the end of the siege in May—deserted to caves along the Nam Yum River, which traversed the camp; they emerged only to seize supplies dropped for the defenders. The "Rats of Nam Yum" became POWs when the garrison surrendered on May 7.

    Despite these early successes, Giap's offensives sputtered out before the tenacious resistance of French paratroops and legionnaires. On April 6, horrific losses and low morale among the attackers caused Giap to suspend his offensives. Some of his commanders, fearing U.S. air intervention, began to speak of withdrawal. Again, the Chinese, in search of a spectacular victory to carry to the Geneva talks scheduled for the summer, intervened to stiffen Viet Minh resolve: reinforcements were brought in, as were Katyusha multitube rocket launchers, while Chinese military engineers retrained the Viet Minh in siege tactics. When Giap resumed his attacks, human wave assaults were abandoned in favor of siege techniques that pushed forward webs of trenches à la Vauban to isolate French strong points. The French perimeter was gradually reduced until, on May 7, resistance ceased. The shock and agony of the dramatic loss of a garrison of around fourteen thousand men allowed French prime minister Pierre Mendès-France to muster enough parliamentary support to sign the Geneva Accords of July 1954, which essentially ended the French presence in Indochina.


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    this link is awesome, the site is totally full, there is al the informations you want, in english.

    http://www.dienbienphu.org/english/


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  2. archangel
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    archangel Guest

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    1965 a US Army ressurected Custers 7th defeats the same General with less men and a decisive victory....hoo rah 7th!
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    PE taking nothing away from what Archangel posts, what is the French take of what US did in Vietnam, compared to the failure there? They enjoy that USA got a 'whoppin' ' by the politicos?
     
  4. padisha emperor
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    padisha emperor Senior Member

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    sorry I didn't understand :(
     

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