Dien Bien Phu: Turning Point In The First Indochina War

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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,

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