Dien Bien Phu - History - Siege of Điện Biên Phủ (1954)

Siege of Điện Biên Phủ (1954)

The following year, the important Battle of Điện Biên Phủ was fought between the Việt Minh (led by General Võ Nguyên Giáp), and the French Union (led by General Henri Navarre, successor to General Raoul Salan). The siege of the French garrison lasted fifty-seven days, from 17:30, 13 March to 17:30, 7 May 1954. The southern outpost or fire base of "Camp Isabelle" did not follow the cease-fire order and fought until 01:00, a few hours before the long-scheduled Geneva Meeting's Indochina conference involving the United States, the UK, the French Union and the USSR.

The battle was significant beyond the valleys of Điện Biên Phủ. Giáp's victory ended major French involvement in Indochina and led to the accords which partitioned Vietnam into North and South. Eventually, these conditions inspired the United States to increase their involvement in Vietnam leading to the Second Indochina War.

The battle of Điện Biên Phủ is described by historians as "the first time that a non-European colonial independence movement had evolved through all the stages from guerrilla bands to a conventionally organized and equipped army able to defeat a modern Western occupier in pitched battle".

The Western fear of a Communist extension in Southeast Asia, named the Domino Theory by Dwight D. Eisenhower during the siege of Điện Biên Phủ and the departure of the French from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, was a factor leading to the direct American intervention in South Vietnam.

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Famous quotes containing the word siege:

    One likes people much better when they’re battered down by a prodigious siege of misfortune than when they triumph.
    Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)