Dien Bien Phu: Turning Point In The First Indochina War

Good Essays
The defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu was a turning point in the First Indochina War but also in the how the world viewed the newly victorious Vietminh. The French retreated to their urban strongholds of Saigon and Hanoi awaiting the result of the upcoming Geneva Conference. This set piece battle was to be the opportunity for the United States equipped and funded French Expeditionary Corps to defeat the lightly equipped and trained Vietminh force on a battlefield of their choice. The battle of Dien Bien Phu ended in a morale crushing defeat with loss of around 16,000 French troops, which accounted to about 10 percent of the total military strength committed in Southeast Asia (Gettleman, 1995). The French had underestimated the resourcefulness of the Vietminh Army in the mountainous area around Dien Bien Phu and its’ ability to successfully employ heavy pieces of artillery and anti-aircraft equipment provided by fellow communist allies of United Socialist Soviet Republic (USSR) and China. This battle became the war cry for those communist eastern forces in the battle against the imperialistic and capitalistic west. The Vietminh had achieved a monumental victory and hoped to take that momentum …show more content…
The French lost not only their Indochina colonies of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia but saw similar rebellions removing them from control of Algeria and Morocco. England saw the independence of colonies in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and India resulting in the decline of the British Empire. Communists used its’ victory as a rally cry to attempt takeovers not only in the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia, but revolutions in Iran and Latin America. Dien Bien Phu became a key turning event in the Cold War and the American battle against the domino effect of communism mentioned on the Truman Doctrine (Jones,

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Vietnam, a war based on lies. The Cold War’s increasing belief that the spread of the communist power would mean the end of freedom. "Reality is grim and painful. But it is only a remote echo of the anguish toward which a policy founded on illusion is surely taking us.” -John F. Kennedy. The American takeover of the newly born South Vietnam that hurt the people more than it helped, taking on a series of destruction and devastation rather than assisting and strengthening.…

    • 1842 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This allowed South Vietnam to take more responsibility for the war while still helping them defeat North Vietnam. He slowly withdrew American troops from Vietnam and reduced draft calls. At the same time America was having peace talks with North Vietnam, the Viet Cong and South Vietnam in Paris. In order to get North Vietnam to withdraw from the war Nixon used a concept called the Madman Theory. This theory meant that you would scare your enemy into doing something they didn’t necessarily want to do.…

    • 2489 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Vietnam War Role

    • 839 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Vietnam War is the most significant confrontation that created a long-lasting controversy and split up in the American society. The War started when North Vietnam attempted to impose a single communist regime in the region to match China and the Soviet Union. On the other hand, the South Vietnamese government struggled to maintain a democratic country that is closely aligned to the U.S. Therefore, the South Vietnamese government received back up from America, The North Vietnamese regime, received assistance from the Communist great powers. Perhaps, the American main problem was not the poor strategy, but underestimation of the Viet Cong tenacity.…

    • 839 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In March of 1965, one of the most controversial wars in U.S. history began. In an attempt to limit the Soviet Union’s influence from the Cold War, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent the first few U.S. combat troops into South Vietnam to fight the spread of Communism from North Vietnam (Gombosi). With the usage of new chemical weapons and the use of guerrilla warfare, both sides experienced major damage and casualties. The result was the formation of organized resistance and movements pleading for their country to end its involvement. These movements actively changed the country and it’s attitude towards the war and future foreign battles.…

    • 1011 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Communist gained victory as North Vietnamese used effectual strategies and tactics employed by NVA and Vietcong. Also, the use of ineffective tactics and strategies by the South Vietnamese and USA forces impacted negatively on the civilians in Vietnam and the rise and significance of anti-war movements in the USA further contributed to the communist victory in 1975. The key reason for communist victory was their Strategies and tactics being based on the “Golden Rules” . This made them militarily strong fighting force as they knew that if "The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue." Also, they were able to gain support from villagers through their promise of land reform and nationalism.…

    • 1085 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    These boys created their own group named the “Red Guards” and their enforcement eventually turned into execution of anyone who opposed the ideas, very similar to the Reign of Terror in France. Like France, the Cultural Revolution created an unrest Chinese society. A major difference in the outcomes of the French Revolution and the Chinese Communist Revolution was the effectiveness of the leaders that rose to power afterward. In France, a man named Napoleon Bonaparte became the leader of France, providing stability and the policy of nationalism. After the French Revolution, the nation was very vulnerable to takeover by anyone, so when Bonaparte took charge and conquered much of Europe, he was able to provide them with a very strong army, which strengthened France.…

    • 1530 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    New technology introduced in World War I was indispensable for the Allies to surmount obstacles and win World War I. Prior to World War I, countries used ineffective and archaic weapons like knives and rifles to bear the brutal conditions of war. However, advanced weaponry (such as poison gas, machine guns, tanks) improved chances for the Allies (Britain, France, Russia, and United States) and Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary) to compete and win the war. New weaponry enabled both sides to have advantages in a crucial war. Without any technological advancements, the Allies and Central Powers would 've fought a war with several more casualties and hindrances in their paths to win World War I.…

    • 1047 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Why did the United States find it so difficult to ends its involvement in the Vietnam War? In this essay, I will outline and explore the reasoning behind the United States involvement and withdrawal from Vietnam and why the decision to withdraw from the war, was one of great complexity. The Vietnam War was a civil war fought between the communist’s states of North Vietnam and the capitalist South. The North Vietnamese wanted to join with the south as one united communist country. Whilst the communists in the North were supported by the Soviet Union and other countries who favoured communism, the South was supported by anti-communist countries primarily, the United States.…

    • 1926 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower came up with the domino theory On Apr 7, 1954 in fear that if one country falls into communism the surrounding southeast Asia countries will fall into a domino effect. Containment was a strategy for the United states to limit the communist ideals, containment was part of the Truman doctrine which were defined by President Harry S. Truman in his speech on March 12, 1947. President John F. Kennedy inauguration speech said the U.S. would be lost due to the result of the domino effect, so he increased aid and military advisors in South Vietnam. Vietnam defeated the French and Geneva Accords make the 17th parallel to divide Vietnam and North Vietnam communist to south into semi democratic government supported by…

    • 1100 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Communism In Vietnam Essay

    • 1585 Words
    • 7 Pages

    To what extent did the containment of communism in Vietnam reflect the high ideals of the Truman Doctrine and the spread of democracy? ESSAY Introduction World War Two crippled Europe and Asia and left only two countries standing, the superpowers of the Soviet Union and the United States. These countries had very different ideologies, the Soviet Union was communist and the United States was capitalist. The Soviet Union was a totalitarian regime and the US was democratic. Both countries wanted the world to take on their ideology and a struggle began between them to expand their ideology globally.…

    • 1585 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays