INDO-CHINA: The Battle


Ambulance convoys rolled from Hanoi's military airfield to the French army's De Lanessan Hospital. From their blood-smeared stretchers and crisp, starch-white beds, the wounded told the hour-by-hour story of the battle for Dienbienphu. This is how it went:

D-Day Minus One: French Commanding Colonel Christian de la Croix de Castries calls his staff to a bunker in the heart of Dienbienphu. Four Viet Minh Communist divisions—about 40,000 men —supplied for 113 days by ant lines of coolies, have completed buildup. They are ready to attack De Castries' isolated, 15,-ooo-man garrison. "Messieurs" says...

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