Tag Archives: History

First Indochina War: Meat Grinder War (1951-1953)

English: The French Foreign Legion is playing ...

Image via Wikipedia

In a feat that foreshadowed his greatest logistical triumph years later at Dien Bien Phu, Giap achieved both strategic and tactical surprise at Vinh Yen. He had marched two divisions many miles, and yet the French didn’t know when, or where, the Vietminh were going to attack. The French units at the point of attack had no warning when Giap ordered a regiment to storm Vinh Yen.  Just as he had surmised, the French predictably sent a mobile group charging down the road to the rescue. With their arrival an entire Vietminh division came out of the jungle. De Lattre then sent in another mobile group. Another Vietminh division appeared. Suddenly the Vietminh had two mobile groups pinned down and surrounded. The Vietminh attacked in mass formations in daylight…. MORE>>

Vietnam Notebook: The First Indochina War, Early Years 1946 – 1950

Lạch tray River viewed from An đồng Bridge in ...

Image via Wikipedia

In November and December 1946 fighting broke out in Haiphong and Hanoi between the Vietminh and the French. This signaled the vanishing point for any chance of a peaceful solution in Indochina. With the onset of the First Indochina War millions who had previously been on the fence were suddenly forced to take a side– the vast majority lined-up against the French…. MORE>>

Vietnam Notebook: Indochina, Fall 1950: The Battles along RC 4

Cao Bang Province, Vietnam. Great place to ren...

Image via Wikipedia

By the end of Giap’s hugely successful attacks along RC4 in 1950 the French were in disarray and fearing for their safety and colony. They were making plans to evacuate as many colonists as possible from North Vietnam… MORE>>

Vietnam Notebook: The 19th Century – From Gia Long to Paul Doumer

President of France Paul Doumer (1857-1932)

Image via Wikipedia

the French theory of colonial exploitation held that the colonies should enrich the mother country, but all Paul Doumer could do was to bring self-sufficiency. He could raise enough through his taxes to support the cost of the huge bureaucracy and that was about it. The French talked about their civilizing mission, but in fact the result for the peasant was social dislocation and impoverishment. The French did build up the economic infrastructure—railroads, bridges and the like—but by and large it benefited only the wealthy and the French themselves… More>>