Dien Bien Phu: The Epic Battle America Forgot

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Overview

The fighting began in November 1953, when French paratroopers seized a small airstrip in northwestern Vietnam. It ended in May 1954 with tens of thousands of Vietminh troops overrunning the besieged garrison. A third of the 15,000 defenders died in combat; fewer than a hundred escaped into the jungle. Thousands more died in captivity. Dien Bien Phu is recognized as one of history's great battles and as a turning point for American policy: the French defeat led to the fateful U.S. commitment to Vietnam. ...
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Overview

The fighting began in November 1953, when French paratroopers seized a small airstrip in northwestern Vietnam. It ended in May 1954 with tens of thousands of Vietminh troops overrunning the besieged garrison. A third of the 15,000 defenders died in combat; fewer than a hundred escaped into the jungle. Thousands more died in captivity. Dien Bien Phu is recognized as one of history's great battles and as a turning point for American policy: the French defeat led to the fateful U.S. commitment to Vietnam. Ironically, the U.S. military repeated many of the French mistakes. American Howard R. Simpson was there as a combat reporter and photographer. His account is a personal one - that of a man who shared meals and wine and danger with the doomed soldiers. A much-published defense expert, Simpson is uniquely qualified to tell the dramatic story of this famous last stand. Aided by interviews with dozens of survivors from both sides - including victorious Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap - his book will rank with Bernard Fall's bestselling Hell in a Very Small Place as a classic work on an event as significant for the United States as it was for France. Dien Bien Phu is being published on the fortieth anniversary of the French defeat and contains rare combat photos by the author and the French Foreign Legion.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The fall of Dien Bien Phu ended French control of Indochina and opened the way to US commitment to the area (and to US mistakes of a similar nature). Simpson--former US consul general, novelist, and writer on defense matters--was there as a USIA correspondent. His account, on the 40th anniversary of the battle, is personal, and includes many of his photos as well as photos from the Foreign Legion archives. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
“A military classic.”

“No American is better qualified to tell the tale of Dien Bien Phu.”

“Captivating . . . Highly recommended.”

“Exceptionally well-written, accurate, and readable.”

“[Simpson] has written another classic.”

“As gripping as any CNN close-up.”

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Product Details

Meet the Author

The late Howard R. Simpson was the author of eight other well-received novels. He also wrote several nonfiction books, including Someone Else's War and Dien Bien Phu
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Customer Reviews

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