INDO-CHINA: Defeat for the West

INDOCHINA

Defeat for the West Three months ago, in a daring parachute swoop, General de Lattre de Tassigny hurled the Communist Viet Minh out of the strategic, battle-scarred city of Hoa Binh, rice-and salt-rich capital of the pro-French Mung tribesmen. It was a major French victory, and the French proudly announced: "We shall never give up Hoa Binh." Hoa Binh was important because it straddles Route Coloniale No. 12, along which Chinese coolies had sneaked loads of ammunition from Red China to Communist guerrillas in southern Indo-China.

Then De Lattre died (TIME, Jan. 21),...

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