BATTLE OF INDO-CHINA: Dikes Against a Flood

BATTLE OF INDOCHINA

Communist Ho Chi Minh's army, after seven weeks of success, has the French forces in northern Indo-China bottled up around the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong. A full-scale attack is expected. Are the French strong enough to hold out? Seeking an answer to this and related questions, TIME'S London Bureau Chief Eric Gibbs flew into Hanoi last fortnight.

The French forces are outnumbered 2 to 1 in the crucial northern theater. Against Ho Chi Minh's 70,000 Communists the French have less than 40,000 men. The rest of the French army...

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