Sunday, December 10, 2006
Dien Bien Phu
Dien Bien Phu: On March 13, 1954, the French occupying forces of Indochina (Vietnam) embarked on a despairingly dreadful military campaign against the Viet Minh (Vietnamese revolutionary forces). This military excursion marked the last major battle of the First Indochina War, which occurred from 1946 until 1954. Of course, the Second Indochina War would be fought on behalf of the United States from 1959 until 1975. After an overwhelmingly decisive victory for the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu in May 1954, France sought an armistice to conduct an honorable withdrawal from Indochina. The peace treaty that ensued would come to be known as the Geneva Accords (1954), and thus, it permitted an ephemeral peace to reign supreme in the newly independent Vietnam. Even so, darkness appeared to loom on the horizon for this rather unassuming nation. The United States became increasingly interested in containing the spread of communism throughout Southeast Asia. And yet, Dien Bien Phu serves as a testament to the guerrilla tactics employed by the Viet Minh as well as the inception of independence from the various trials and tribulations necessarily associated with imperialism.