Dien Bien Phu
|I can see your trench from here!|
From March-May 1954 it was the site of a heroic battle where the glorious forces of France bravely held out to the last man, VIVE LA FRANCE!!!.
In English this translates into the French isolating them selves in a forward base on the floor of a valley (i.e. the opposite of high ground) with its only method of supply being by air drops! It was still felt that this was a secure position as the French were totally ignorant of the fact that the Viet Minh forces had access to things such as heavy artillery and Anti Aircraft guns which they used to full effect by dragging them up the sides of the surrounding hills to the high ground! (there's that word again) and pounding the French positions day and night. "Where a goat can go, a man can go. And where a man can go, he can drag a gun." William Phillips, British artillery officer. (See, the British Army knew what the craic was)
The battle was the straw that broke the frogs back for the French in Indochina. Later that year would see the signing of the Geneva Accords which divided the country into the communist north and democratic south thus setting the stage for future American escapades.