End of French Colonial Presence (02:15)
Imagine if France had granted its Asian colonies independence after World War II. Key moments in the Vietnam conflict include shelling Hanoi, the Dien Bien Phu collapse, and the Geneva Accords.
World War II Erupts (02:37)
General Philippe Leclerc arrives in the Asian colony to restore French colonial sovereignty. The territory influences China, Cambodia, Laos, and Annam. After studying in Paris, Ho Chi Minh returns to Indochina with democratic values and Marxist theories; after Japan surrenders, the politician proclaims the independence of Vietnam.
Memory of Humanity (02:14)
Soviet Union and the United States rise in power. Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu argues that Indochina must be kept by force if necessary. Imagine if France had taken General Leclerc's advice.
After World War II (03:09)
Mao Zedong's China offers asylum, training camps, and weapons to Viet Minh soldiers. General Vo Nguyen Giap starts to win victories such as the Battle of Cao Bang. The Cold War erupts between communist and capitalist powers; the French plan a military base near Dien Bien Phu.
Establishing a French Base (03:48)
Guerilla war tactics include avoiding direct confrontation, psychological warfare, ambushes, and nighttime attacks. The French cannot distinguish the rebels from citizens. Brigadier General Jean Gilles receives word to initiate "Operation Castor."
Collapse of Dien Bien Phu (06:22)
General Giap uses thousands of citizens to create roads in order to transport weapons and ammunition. General Christian de Castries has no knowledge of his enemy's fortifications and strength. Hanoi asks for volunteers; Dien Bien Phu falls to the Viet Minh.
Geneva Accords (04:44)
It is hard to know if the French could have won the battle. The Red Cross evacuates the severely wounded French soldiers. The country is separated into the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of Vietnam; after sending military support, the United States begins to send troops.
Credits: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu, The End of French Indo-China (00:46)
Credits: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu, The End of French Indo-China
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