Duration: Seven years, two months and three weeks to date.
Battleground: An area about the size of Texas forming the Associated States of Viet Nam (pop. 23 million), Laos (1,100,000 ) and Cambodia (3,700.000).
Contenders: Up to 500,000 anti-Communist troops (Frenchmen. Vietnamese, Thais. Laotians, Cambodians. Moroccans, Senegalese and foreign legionnaires from several nations, including thousands of Germans) v. about 360,000 Communist regulars and irregulars.
ROUND ONE, 1945-46 How It Began
In October 1945, the French returned to Indo-China, their "marvelous balcony on the Pacific." The Japanese had surrendered, the British and the Nationalist Chinese were in merely nominal occupationby order of the Big Three at...