60th Anniversary of Dien Bien Phu

attractions - Vietnam: Aug. 18, 2014


60th Anniversary of Dien Bien Phu Battle – A look back at the historical battlefield




This month marks the 60th anniversary of the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, which meant the end of French colonialism in Indochina. 


According to an interesting article on the BBC News website, it was the only time in the history of decolonisation that a professional European army was decisively defeated in a pitched battle. The article also claims that the US government mave have offered France "two or three tactical nuclear weapons" in order to break the Vietnamese siege.

Viet Minh infantry claiming victory and declaring the fall of the French settlement in Dien Bien Phu
Viet Minh infantry claiming victory and declaring the fall of the French settlement in Dien Bien Phu



We know that Vietnamese soldiers have always shown sheer grit and determination in the battles they fought, and this arguably could have been the tipping point for their victories throughout the years. The battle of Dien Bien Phu was no exception. However, I personally give a lot of credit to the leadership deployed by Ho Chi Minh as well as General Vo Nguyen Giap.


Beatrice, Eliane, and Isabelle are some of the outpost occupied by French battalions in Dien Bien Phu valley.
Beatrice, Eliane, and Isabelle are some of the outposts 

occupied by French battalions in Dien Bien Phu valley



Ho Chi Minh went into the mountains to lead his fight against the colonizers. He organized a guerrilla-style resistance, noting that "It is a fight between tiger [the Viet Minh] and elephant [France]. If the tiger stands his ground, the elephant will crush him with its mass. But, if he conserves his mobility, he will finally vanquish the elephant, who bleeds from a multitude of cuts."

(Colour photos at top: Laurent KB on Flickr)


Victory monument built in 2004 to celebrate the 50th anniversary winning over the French (Paul McGunnigle’s Flickr Photo)
Victory monument built in 2004 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the victory over the French
(Paul McGunnigle on Flickr)