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In this masterful account of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu of 1953-54, Windrow dissects retrospective criticism of the French strategy. For reasons that emerge within his comprehensive, meticulous analysis, the ideas behind the French strategy at Dien Bien Phu were taken from a prior victorious battle. Generals believed that establishing a ground base deep in Communist-controlled territory and supplying it by air would regain them the initiative against the Viet Minh insurgency. The heart of Windrow's narrative, and implicitly his sympathies, lies with the officers and men who carried out the strategy--and bore its cost as its assumptions were progressively stifled by the Viet Minh commander, the storied Vo Nguyen Giap. As the mobile battle envisaged by French planners degenerates into a wallow of World War I-style attrition, Windrow describes with brutal realism the carnage of the combat, which snuffed out tens of thousands of lives. Many works address Dien Bien Phu's history-altering significance in the Indochina conflict, but for learning about what actually happened there, Windrow's will be difficult to surpass. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A meticulous and masterly narrative." -- Wall Street Journal
"An excellent tome...Well researched and written...Historians and students of military history will find this an enlightening volume." -- Gun Week, 01/02/06
"Extremely sophisticated, unbiased, and well researched." -- Choice 10/2005
It is a must for all American politicians, diplomats, generals, soldiers, and the American Public who subscribed to the domino theory and who were embarking on an anti-communist... Read morePublished 22 days ago by My Nguyen
Fascinating account of the final days of French colonial power, directly leading to American involvement in this crisis. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Scrommis-r
Great story - we should have learned from it before we got sucked in to Vietnam - too many details thoughPublished 5 months ago by Tom S
A very detailed and disturbing story of this epic and almost forgotten battle. It puts General Giaps so-called military genius in a new light, in fact he was no better than the WW1... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Les Pitt
This is an excellent book about the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu. The author gives an excellent preview of events throughout south east Asia prior to the battle. Read morePublished 7 months ago by M Mahoney
Some maps can not be read due to out of focus duplication. Could not access table of contents, which I use to navigate to different locations in a book. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Michael Price
A good read about Dien Bien Phu and how the French screwed the poochPublished 10 months ago by DevilDog3/7
Like Martin Windrow my interest in the French debacle at Dien Bien Phu started many years ago with Bernard Fall's classic "Hell in a Very Small Place. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Manray9