By Richard F. Newcomb

A Pictorial background of the Vietnam conflict.

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Extra info for A Pictorial History of the Vietnam War

Sample text

Giap welcomed the bait and began one of fifteen those military miracles akin to Hannibal's transit of the Alps. From every section of Vietnam he rallied men, women, and children to help build an iron ring around Dien Bien Phu. Using their backs, bicycles, carts, and five hundred new trucks supplied by the Soviet Union, a motley army began dragging heavy equipment over mountains and through jungles, subsisting on bags of rice carried all the way from the coastal lowlands. The Chinese contributed much armament, including American 75-mm and 105-mm artillery they had captured in Korea.

Conein set up a network of Vietnamese agents in Hanoi and Haiphong. The United States Navy smuggled out trusted Vietnamese through Haiphong and flew them to the Philippines for training in underground warfare in a hidden valley near Clark Air Force Base. Lansdale had worked there for years just after World War II, training agents for the new Philippine government in its war against the Communist rebels, the Huks, in the Philip- By July, Lansdale pines. S. Army General J. Lawton ("Lightning Joe") Collins arrived in Saigon to evaluate the situation in South Vietnam for President Eisenhower, his old boss in the European theater during World War II.

Navarre had paid his last visit to Dien Bien Phu in early March, rallying the troops and embracing their commander, Colonel Christian de Castries. Both knew the odds against the French were bad. Giap had some four divisions of regulars in the circling mountains, nearly fifty thousand men, against fifteen thousand defenders, about half of whom were French. The rest were Foreign Legionnaires, Vietnamese, and Algerians. Morale ran high in the mountains; Giap's troops saw themselves commander in chief of French forces in Indochina, has a last look around the Dien Bien Phu fortress in February 1954, accompanied by Gen.

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A Pictorial History of the Vietnam War by Richard F. Newcomb


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