Dien Bien Phu


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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 ?
Le ministere vietnamien des Communications et des Medias a reserve un bon accueil a l'equipe algerienne : visites amicales et seances de travail faites par des plus hauts responsables de ladite institution, facilites de travail accordees par les Services competents dudit ministere, d'autant plus que c'etaient les Algeriens qui sont venus pour tourner un film sur Dien Bien Phu.
He has designed a dozen commercial wargames (including two on Dien Bien Phu) which have been published in magazines including Vae Victis and Battles Magazine.
The battle at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 deeply affected three countries.
And despite heavy and painful losses, Vietnam prevailed, defeating the first colonial quest at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954) and the second at Ho ChE[degrees] Minh Campaign (1975).
He stood out as the leader of a ragtag army of guerrillas who wore sandals made of car tyres and lugged their artillery over mountains to encircle and crush the French army at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
For example, his entry on the ever intriguing Paul Mus, the French intellectual and outspoken critic of the war, is longer than that for Vo Nguyen Giap, the DRV's supreme military commander who oversaw its great victory at Dien Bien Phu. Goscha also offers numerous entries on fascinating figures who do not appear prominently, if at all, in English-language histories.
But the talks broke down, and the colonisers backed the creation of an anti-communist nationalist-collaborationist regime in the southern territories as they faced ultimate defeat in the hands of communist forces in the battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954).
Despite suffering a humiliating military defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, France retained a more intimate knowledge of the political landscape on both sides of the DMZ than any other foreign country and still dominated the economy of South Vietnam into the late 1960s.
This, in turn, was only possible since Holland lost its Indonesian colonies, the British granted independence to Malaysia, the French were in full retreat after Dien Bien Phu in Indochina.
Vo Nguyen Giap, renowned for defeating the French at Dien Bien Phu, as the greatest threats to his authority.
* The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was fought between the French and Viet Minh communist revolutionaries in 1954.