INDO-CHINA: In the Balance

INDOCHINA

Chill mists hung low over besieged Dienbienphu, and gecko lizards croaked in the night. From the hills, Communist General Giap's loudspeaker blared at the defenders in Vietnamese, French, Arabic and German: "Surrender or die." The 15,000 French Union defenders did not bother to reply. But back at headquarters in Hanoi there was less of an air of silent defiance. "If Giap will pay the price of at least 15,000 dead," said a top Vietnamese official, "he can probably have Dienbienphu." Said a Frenchman: "Before the battle I gave Giap a 20% chance...

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