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.
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.