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Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War

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  • Posted December 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The most outstanding and comprehensive book on the subject matter

    This simply ts an outstanding book by any standard of measure. If you want to observe political. diplomatic, and military machinations taking place in which less powerful people and countries comply with the threats (real and imagined) made by the more powerful. Here we have a self-appointed guardian in our own country in the Secretary of State (dulles) who is going to prevent the spread of communism no matter what the cost. Additionally, it is clear that he cares not a whit about how Britain or France feels as long as they dance to his music. You also have a country who has been a colonial power in possession of the disputed territories from the gift, by sleight of hand,in which a form of independence seems to be granted to Vietnam as a "member State of the French Union." In fact, this was nothing more than a brushoff. France retained the colonial position. Then you have Dien Bien Phu. A lovely, lush, green valley in the Northwest of North Vietnam. You cannot fight a guerilla war from a stable, dug-in, fixed in place defensive positions. Reinforced concrete and steel bunkers just make a better, more exciting abd more expensive target to knock out on the way in. Sure, the Viet-Minh were going to lose a lot of men but tey were prepared to do so. The were dedicated, pumped up, and fighting for their slice of land to live and raise their family on, and that was their highest aspiration, taking care of their family. Anyone who reads this book and fails to see the motivation and Espirit de Corps these people possessed is truly a fool. These people were fully prepared to die for what they believed in. This is a book you will keep for reference and will read several times more, We could have saved so many lives if we had just listened to the lessons known from History. This book is one of the best I have ever read. Lastly, At the meeting prior to and after the tentative agreement, Le Duc Tho, the Viet-Minh chief negotiator told the French rep to his face thst, " the people of Southvietnam will win this war. If you kill one hundred of our soldier and we kill only one, we will win the wsr. General Giap was asked the same question. He took a long look outside his room and replied, "we will win. He was then asked how long he would continue to fight and he responded,"maybe ten years, maybe a hundred years and maybe more, bu we will win whatever the cost. These people were clearly motivated, General Giap said, "as many years as it takes and for however long it lasts.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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