Dien Bien Phu 1954

Dien Bien Phu 1954

The French Defeat that Lured America into Vietnam

Campaign 366
  • Author: Martin Windrow
  • Illustrator: Peter Dennis
  • Short code: CAM 366
  • Publication Date: 19 Aug 2021
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About this Product

A highly illustrated study of the battle at Dien Bien Phu, the 56-day siege that eventually led to the surrender of the remaining French-led forces, this iconic battle provided the climax of the First Indochina War.

In late 1953, the seventh year of France's war against the Viet Minh insurgency in its colony of Vietnam, the C-in-C, General Navarre, was encouraged to plant an ‘air-ground base' in the Thai Highlands at Dien Bien Phu, to distract General Giap's Vietnamese People's Army from both Annam and the French northern heartland in the Red River Delta, and to protect the Laotian border. Elite French paratroopers captured Dien Bien Phu, which was reinforced between December 1953 and February 1954 with infantry and artillery, a squadron of tanks and one of fighter-bombers, to a strength of 10,000 men. Giap and the VPA General Staff accepted the challenge of a major positional battle; through a total mobilization of national resources, and with Chinese logistical help, they assembled a siege army of 58,000 regular troops, equipped for the first time with 105mm artillery and 37mm AA guns. Here, author Martin Windrow describes how from their first assaults on 13 March 1954, the battle quickly developed into a dramatic 56-day ‘Stalingrad in the jungle' that drew the attention of the world.

Biographical Note

Martin Windrow, the long-time series editor of Osprey's Men-at-Arms and Elite series, is an Associate member of the FLA GB, the French Foreign Legion British old comrades' amicale. He is the author, for Weidenfeld & Nicolson, of the critically acclaimed The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam (2004); and Our Friends Beneath the Sands: The Foreign Legion in France's Colonial Conquests 1870-1935 (2010).

Contents

Origins of the Campaign
Chronology
Opposing Commanders
Opposing Forces and Orders of Battle
Opposing Plans
The Battle
Aftermath
The Battlefield Today
Further Reading
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Index


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