Dien Bien Phu


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Related to Dien Bien Phu: Khe Sanh

Dien Bien Phu

a village in NW Vietnam: French military post during the Indochina War; scene of a major defeat of French forces by the Vietminh (1954)

Dien Bien Phu

 

a district in northwestern Vietnam (capital, Muong Thanh) where the decisive battle of the Indochina War took place from March 13 to May 7, 1954, ending in victory for the Vietnamese People’s Army (VPA). The fortified French camp at Dien Bien Phu was the key to the junction of strategic communications linking the main areas of military operation in North Vietnam and leading to Laos. The camp, occupied by a 16,000-man French garrison under the command of General de Castries, consisted of 49 strongpoints organized into the northern, central, and southern defense sectors. The Vietnamese People’s Army, headed by Vo Nguyen Giap, encircled the French camp with well-developed lines of underground passages and trenches and for 65 days gradually tightened the ring of siege around the fortified area. First the northern sector was captured, and the airlift by which the besieged force had been supplied was eliminated. On May 7, 1954, the VPA took the central for-tress by storm and then took the southern sector. The French troops surrendered.

The victory at Dien Bien Phu threatened a total defeat of the French expeditionary force, and it forced the colonialists to agree to peace talks and to sign the 1954 Geneva Agreement.

Dien Bien Phu

Vietminh rout of French paved way for partition of Vietnam (1954). [Fr. Hist.: Van Doren, 541]
See: Defeat
References in periodicals archive ?
4) Captured French soldiers are marched through the fields after their surrender at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
The PLA supplied Viet Minh forces surrounding Dien Bien Phu from Chinese supply bases 600 miles away, moving supplies via 600 Soviet 2.
As the French came back in the first years of peace that followed the conflict, Giap and his growing force fought them, culminating in 1954 with the absolute defeat of the French at the battle of Dien Bien Phu.
The United States is meaningfully involved and deeply concerned about Indochina from the book's first pages, but Morgan does not advance an argument that leads from Dien Bien Phu to the 1975 fall of Saigon.
Herman, historian of the Medical Department of the Navy, curator of the old US Naval Observatory, guides readers through these oral histories dating from Dien Bien Phu to the fall of Saigon.
Synthesizing earlier, mostly French, research, Windrow (associate, Royal Historical Society, UK) provides an account of Dien Bien Phu, the decisive battle of the doomed French efforts to suppress the Viet Minh resistance to their colonial occupation.
Whether it's the Charge of the Light Brigade, Dunkirk or Dien Bien Phu, we all enjoy disaster, retreat and heroic defeat as much, it would seem, as we do victory.
Hanson is primed to take on this argument and spends considerable time in a preemptive defense to convince the reader that such engagements as Thermopylae, Kabul, the Little Big Horn, Isandhlwana, Khartoum, and Dien Bien Phu do not disprove his thesis.
CASSELL has published a paperback edition of Martin Windrow's The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam ([pounds sterling]9.
Arguments comparing Khe Sanh to Dien Bien Phu reflect the thinking of the Washington administration, the communist government in Hanoi, and military leaders from both sides.
The book has been released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the battle of Dien Bien Phu which brought an end to French Indochina, reports the Vietnam News Agency.
They see their "victory" in that battle as a second Dien Bien Phu and claim to have shot down 34 B-52s.