Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Battling Algerian troops, they fought through the night. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu (French: Bataille de Diên Biên Phu pronounced [bataj də djɛn bjɛn fy]; Vietnamese: Chiến dịch Điện Biên Phủ, IPA: [ɗîəˀn ɓīən fû]) was a climactic confrontation of the First Indochina War that took place between 13 March and 7 May 1954. Navarre believed that the approach used at Na San could be enlarged to force the Viet Minh to commit to a large, pitched battle where superior French firepower could destroy Giap's army. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. On March 30, after cutting off Isabelle, Giap began a series of assaults on the eastern bastions of Dominique and Eliane. This Battle Analysis is written to illustrate the importance of logistics to complement tactical decisions with the war fighter on the battleground. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu, which took place in northern Vietnam in 1954, marked a major turning point in both the First Indochina War between France and the Viet Minh independence movement and the general position of European colonial powers in South-East Asia. Two days later, Anne-Maries was easily taken when the Viet Minh were able to convince the T'ai (a Vietnamese ethnic minority loyal to the French) soldiers manning it to defect. Date 13th March - 7th May 1954 Location Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam War First Indo China War Combatants France VS Viet Minh Outcome French Dien Bien Phu was a major battle of the first Indochina war in which the French fought against the Viet Minh communists. Battle of Dien Bien Phu 1954-Dien Bien Phu Colonial Parachute Battalion n. 6 is thrown first into Dien Bien Phu on 20th November 1953. Given female names, de Castrie's headquarters was located in the center of four fortifications known as Huguette, Dominique, Claudine, and Eliane. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu is seen as the decisive battle of the First Indochina War between French troops and the Viet Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam), a nationalist, pro-Soviet Union movement of Ho Chi Minh. Holding the high ground around a fortified camp at Na San, French forces had repeatedly beaten back assaults by General Vo Nguyen Giap's Viet Minh troops. The battle of Dien Bien Phu was a significant turning point in Indochina. Omissions? The French deployed a small number of M24 Chaffee light tanks during the battle that proved critical in repelling the enemy attacks. Battle of Dien Bien Phu. A French counterattack the next morning was easily defeated. The next phase of the battle saw more massed Viet Minh assaults against French positions in the central Dien Bien Phu—at Eliane and Dominique in particular. Between May 1 and May 7, Giap renewed his assault and succeeded in overrunning the defenders. Battle of Dien Bien Phu, the decisive engagement in the First Indochina War (1946–54). The Vie… From, …of the French stronghold of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 by the Vietnamese, the French sought a face-saving solution. An American reporter finds himself in the middle of the 57-day battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam between the French army and the Vietminh, which finally resulted in the defeat and surrender of the French forces and France's eventual withdrawal from Vietnam. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was the most decisive battle in the Indochina War (1946–54). The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was fought between French … With its huge budget, all-star cast, and realistic war scenes produced with the cooperation of both the French and Vietnamese armed forces, Dîen Bîen Phu is regarded by many as one of the more important war movies produced in French filmmaking history. The battle of Dien Bien Phu is today overshadowed by the later involvement of the Americans in Vietnam in the 1960s. La bataille de Diên Biên Phu (Điện Biên Phủ selon l'orthographe vietnamienne) est un moment clé de la guerre d'Indochine qui se déroula du 20 novembre 1953 au 7 mai 1954 et qui opposa, au Tonkin, les forces de l'Union française aux forces du Việt Minh, dans le Nord du Viet Nam actuel. Though Viet Minh shells began falling on the French position on January 31, 1954, Giap did not open the battle in earnest until 5:00 PM on March 13. With his men's morale sinking, Giap was forced to call for reinforcements from Laos. 4 Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954) The Battle of Bien Dien Phu was the first crucial engagement in the first Indochina War. Kennedy Hickman is a historian, museum director, and curator who specializes in military and naval history. En route, the Viet Minh effectively destroyed the 2,100-man column and only 185 reached the new base on December 22. During this time, Giap tightened his lines around the four central French fortifications. With the defeat of the French at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the United States became concerned about communist gains in Vietnam. Over the next several days, fighting continued with heavy losses on both sides. Battle of Dien Bien Phu 1954-Dien Bien Phu Vietminh. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was the final, defining conflict of the First Indochinese War, and led to the Geneva Accords, which divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel into … Archives: Dien Bien Phu Battle In Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam In May, 1954-French troops being taken care by the Vietminh after the battle. Despite intense criticism from French officers, Navarre began to fortify Dien Bien Phu, by launching Operation Castor, in which 9,000 French soldiers were airlifted into the region. French prisoners of war are marched out of Dien Bien Phu, 1954. Diên Biên Phu is a 1992 film written and directed by French veteran Pierre Schoendoerffer. https://www.thoughtco.com/battle-of-dien-bien-phu-2361343 (accessed January 26, 2021). The victory effectively ended the First Indochina War and led to the 1954 Geneva Accords which split the country into North and South Vietnam. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu A French newspaper from 1954, with the headline ‘Dien Bien Phu is a tomb’. In 1954, French forces in French Indochina sought to cut the Viet Minh's supply lines to Laos. 1969)—the French decided to build a similar air-land base in Dien Bien Phu. Despite heavy U.S. aid, the base was overrun on May 7, 1954. The Viet Minh victory in this battle effectively ended the eight-year-old war. The French wanted to reclaim Vietnam as one of their colonies, while the Vietnamese wanted their independence. With Colonel Christian de Castries in command, they quickly overcame local Viet Minh opposition and began building a series of eight fortified strong points. Moving to attack the French, Giap dispatched troops against the fortified camp at Lai Chau, forcing the garrison to flee towards Dien Bien Phu. Hoping to relieve the beleaguered garrison, de Castries launched a counterattack north, but with little success. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was fought from March 13 to May 7, 1954, and was the decisive engagement of the First Indochina War (1946-1954), the precursor to the Vietnam War. (2020, August 29). He has appeared on The History Channel as a featured expert. While the battle raged on the eastern side, Viet Minh forces succeeded in penetrating Huguette and by April 22 had captured 90% of the air strip. While Cogny had envisioned a lightly defended airbase, Navarre seized on the location for trying the hedgehog approach. 1890–d. No American is better qualified to tell the tale of Dien Bien Phu and its significance than Howard Simpson.”—Stanley Karnow, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Vietnam: A History The French defeat in Dien Bien Phu was the decisive event of the war, ended by the Geneva Agreements (20 July 1954). ThoughtCo. French M24 Chaffee light tanks firing during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, 1954. With French forces in disarray after the battle, the French government sought an end to the fighting; an official settlement was negotiated at an international conference in Geneva. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was fought from March 13 to May 7, 1954, and was the decisive engagement of the First Indochina War (1946-1954), the precursor to the Vietnam War. In the spring of 1954, eight long and arduous years into the First Indochina War, the French suffered a defeat that was so shameful and shambolic, it remains barely spoken of. This accord left Vietnam divided into the northern half and southern half (borderline was the 17th parallel). Dien Bien Phu was the decisive battle of the First Indochina War. The French objective had been to support the soldiers at Dien Bien Phu, deep in the hills of northwestern Vietnam to cut off Viet Minh supply lines into neighboring Laos. ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/battle-of-dien-bien-phu-2361343. Despairing over the early defeats, de Castries secluded himself in his bunker and Colonel Pierre Langlais effectively took command of the garrison. In Operation Castor, the French dropped or flew 9,000 troops into the area over three days. Fighting to the end, the last French resistance ended by nightfall on May 7. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Media in category "Battle of Dien Bien Phu" The following 48 files are in this category, out of 48 total. “[The battle of Dien Bien Phu] ranks with Agincourt, Waterloo, and Gettysburg as one of the great military engagements of history . Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Dien-Bien-Phu, Chemins de Mémoire - The battle of Dien Bien Phu - 13th March -7th May 1954, United States History - Battle of Dien Bien Phu, Battle of Dien Bien Phu - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). The concept was largely based on the French success at the Battle of Na San in late 1952. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Seeing an opportunity at Dien Bien Phu, Giap moved approximately 50,000 men into the hills around the French position, as well as the bulk of his heavy artillery and anti-aircraft guns. Achieving a foothold in Dominique, the Viet Minh's advance was stopped by concentrated French artillery fire. Pausing, Giap shifted to trench warfare and attempted to isolate each French position. The battle was joined in late 1953 when French forces, who had been rapidly losing ground to the popularly supported Viet Minh, occupied the town of Dien Bien Phu in an attempt to cut the nationalist supply lines into Laos and to maintain a base for forays against enemy forces. Occupée par les Français en novembre 1953, cette petite ville et sa plaine environnante devinrent lannée suivante le théâtre d'une violente bataille entre le corps expéditionnaire français, composé de diverses unités de lar… To accomplish this, a large fortified base was constructed at Dien Bien Phu in northwest Vietnam. The Cadres of Regiment 88, Brigade 308 disseminate the combat plan to the soldiers. Vietm Minh try to take the fortified Dien Bien Phu position, French try to stop them. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com Plot Summary | Add Synopsis It portrays the 55-day siege of Dien Bien Phu, the last battle by … In fact, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu is one of the most significant, not just of the 1950s where supposedly nothing much happened, but of the entire 20th century. Close to 10,000 captured troops were to begin the grim death march to the Viet Minh prison camps 300 miles to the east. Utilizing a new moon, Viet Minh forces launched a massive assault on Beatrice behind a heavy barrage of artillery fire. This battle was a symbolic turning point in Indochina. About 2,000 lay dead all over the battlefield in graves left unmarked to this day. . The battle was fought between the French and the Vietminh (Vietnamese Communist and nationalist). It took place in March 13, 1954 - May 7, 1954. In nearly two months of fighting, the entire French garrison was either killed or captured. 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