Battle of Ðiện Biên Phủ
The battle of Ðiện Biên Phủ was a 1954 battle between Vietnamese and French forces. Vietnam won, which made the French give up in the First Indochina War. The independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnamwas secured, and Vietnam was divided into into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.
With the launch of Operation Castor, French soldiers were dropped from the Red River Delta by air, deep into the northwestern hills of Vietnam, into Việt Minh territory. They established a well-fortified garrison at Ðiện Biên Phủ, alongside an airstrip to supply their troops. That was an attempt to lure the Vietnamese guerrilla fighters, commanded by General Võ Nguyên Giáp, into an all-out firefight to inflict devastating losses in which the French would use their heavy artillery and superior firepower.
However, the Việt Minh did not take the bait but brought Chinese-funded heavy artillery into this difficult area, much to French surprise. The Việt Minh also used its superior numbers in human wave tactics to overwhelm the French. Next, the Việt Minh dug deep trenches and used its artillery to shoot down any French air planes, destroy the French airstrip, and bombard the French troops into submission. The French surrendered the in May 1954, after two months of fighting. The number of French soldiers at the garrison had increased from 12,000 to over 15,000. After years of fighting and this defeat, the French no longer wanted to continue fighting.
It was the first time an Asian colonial army defeated the army of a European power by military might. That was considered to be a surprise disaster for the French and a blow to the Western world. The French no longer wanted to maintain French Indochina and so they negotiated and later withdrew from Indochina. The Second Indochinese War later was fought between both Vietnams
References[change | change source]
- Tanham, George Kilpatrick (2006). Communist Revolutionary Warfare: From the Vietminh to the Viet Cong. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-275-99263-7.