Battle of Ðiện Biên Phủ
The battle of Ðiện Biên Phủ happened in 1954. It was a battle between Vietnamese and French forces, which Vietnam won. This led the French to give up in the First Indochina War, securing the independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam for the time. This was followed by the division of Vietnam into North and South and then the Second Indochinese War.
The battle took place in the hills of northwestern Vietnam. The French intended to cut off the supplies of the Việt Minh, and to supply their own troops by air. The battle became a siege. The Việt Minh forces commanded by General Võ Nguyên Giáp brought artillery into this difficult area, shot down the French airplanes, and bombarded the French troops. This forced the French at Ðiện Biên Phủ to surrender in May 1954, after two months of fighting. The French garrison had increased to 16,200 people. After years of fighting and this defeat, France did not want to continue fighting.
This was the first time an Asian colonial army defeated the army of a European power by military might. It was considered a surprise disaster for the French and a blow to the Western world. The French no longer wanted to maintain French Indochina, and negotiated and withdrew from Indochina. French colonies in Africa also revolted and by 1967 most of the French colonial empire was gone.
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.