Cold War, Dien Bien Phu, The First Indochina War, 1946-1954

The publisher is achieving great success with this fascinating Cold War series and this volume covers the first Vietnam War lost by the French. The French lost a war they need not have lost and the US failed to learn the lessons – Very Highly Recommended.


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NAME: Cold War, Dien Bien Phu, The First Indochina War, 1946-1954
FILE: R2652
AUTHOR: Anthony Tucker-Jones
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES:  128
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Cold War, Japanese invasion, French army, re-colonization, 
Indo China, Communist expansion, irregular combatants, regular 
soldiers, column warfare, conventional battles

ISBN: 1-52670-798-5

IMAGE: B2652.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/yam3g8xc
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The publisher is achieving great success with this 
fascinating Cold War series and this volume covers the first Vietnam 
War lost by the French. The French lost a war they need not have 
lost and the US failed to learn the lessons - Very Highly Recommended.

When Japan started its wars of expansion, it was intending to replace 
European colonial rule with Japanese colonial rule. The European 
colonial powers failed to adequately plan for the eventual recapture 
of colonies. That left a vacuum that was filled by Communists. The 
British waged a highly successful war against the Communists in 
Malaya and a marginally successful war in Indonesia on behalf of the 
Netherlands. There is some debate about the deliberate or accidental 
nature of the British campaigns but the basis was there in the 
successful use of the Chindits commando operations in the jungle 
against the Japanese. That built direct experience of fighting in a 
largely unfriendly environment using irregular methods integrated 
with the use of air power to provide fast moving aerial artillery 
and provide a logistics bridge with paratroops and STOL bush aircraft 
that brought in supplies and took out the wounded. The result was 
that Britain was able to use the new helicopter options to combine 
the VTOL capabilities of the rotor craft with the already proven 
capabilities of STOL aircraft. As the British troops were able to 
rely on carriers safely offshore, the vital air component was beyond 
the reach of the Communists who had no naval or air capabilities. 
This meant that small groups of soldiers with special forces training 
could be inserted by helicopter and then moved around the loose 
battlefield by helicopter. If the Communists tried to mount larger 
scale assaults, the British could fly in troops to the location and 
make up for the lack of armour and artillery by flying in air strikes 
from the carriers, or use heavy bombers where there was an enemy 
concentration to justify their use.

The French came back into Indo China in a very different style. 
Lacking the experience the British gained fighting the Japanese, and 
having a dangerous level of arrogance, the French decided to 
reintroduce colonial rule and back it with heavily armed traditional 
land forces and air forces. They depended heavily on equipment 
provided by the US, including aircraft, tanks and artillery, all 
based within the area contended by the Communists. That inevitably 
led to column warfare where strong points were linked by roads that 
were cleared of Communist insurgents, only to be retaken at night. 
As the Communists gained strength, they were able to engage in set 
battles and trap French Forces, leading to the humiliating defeat at 
Dien Bien Phu.

Sadly, the US failed to learn from the French mistakes. When the 
Communists decided to take over South Vietnam, the US was to start 
by putting in a relatively small number of advisers and, when the 
South Vietnamese forces failed to hold the North Vietnamese, 
introduce large numbers of conventional forces and repeat the failed 
French tactics, demonstrating that a powerful nation relying on 
overwhelming firepower built for conventional warfare can be outfought 
in asymmetrical warfare and then finished off by regular troops.

This book sets out how the French conducted their Vietnam War and 
provides excellent insight, backed by a great photographic selection. 
All of this is achieved in a single compact and very affordable 
volume which will make this a very popular book.