Dien Bien Phu 1954
The French strategy of seeking to establish a fortified base across the Viet Minh’s route to and from Laos provoked an awesome struggle that lasted from November 1953 to May 1954. During this time Dien Bien Phu, surrounded by 2000 ft hills and thus difficult to re-supply by air as the French had intended, became the scene of fearful contests between the locally savvy men of General Giap and the hapless French forces who, losing one strongpoint after another, were finally trapped in Dien Bien Phu garrison. The French lost the cream of their strategic reserve in the region and, within months, were agreeing to the independence of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. David Stone, a British Army officer of the post World War II era, leads the reader through the complex nature of this significant action.