Author Topic: Điện Biên Phủ  (Read 98 times)

Offline Baked_Potato

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Điện Biên Phủ
« on: 22-02-2021, 21:02:20 »
With the induction of Forgotten French Hope.   I think it would only be appropriate.

French Union Far East Expeditionary Forces and Viet Mihn Communist Revolutionary s

Weapons they had to use: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapons_of_the_First_Indochina_War#Carbines

Note Fighter Bomber attacks.

Bell P-63 King Cobra and later F8F

From WIKIpedia:

French military forces had committed 10,800 troops, together with yet more reinforcements, totalling nearly 16,000 men, to the defense of a monsoon-affected valley surrounded by heavily-wooded hills and high ground that had not been secured. Artillery as well as ten US M24 Chaffee light tanks (each broken down into 180 individual parts, flown into the base, and then re-assembled) and numerous aircraft (attack and supply types) were committed to the garrison. A number of quadruple 0.50 calibre machine guns were present and used in the ground role.[49]This included France's regular troops (notably elite paratrooper units, plus those of the artillery), French Foreign Legionnaires, Algerian and Moroccan tirailleurs (colonial troops from North Africa) and locally-recruited Indochinese (Laotian, Vietnamese and Cambodian) infantry.[50]

In comparison, altogether the Viet Minh had moved up to 50,000 regular troops into the hills surrounding the French-held valley, totalling five divisions, including the 351st Heavy Division, which was an artillery formation equipped with medium artillery, such as the US M101 105mm howitzer, supplied by the neighbouring People's Republic of China (PRC) from captured stocks obtained from defeated Nationalist China as well as US forces in Korea, together with some heavier field-guns as well as anti-aircraft artillery.[7] Various types of artillery and anti-aircraft guns (mainly of Soviet origin), which outnumbered their French counterparts by about four to one,[7] were moved into strategic positions overlooking the valley and the French forces based there. The French garrison came under sporadic direct artillery fire from the Viet Minh for the first time on 31 January 1954 and patrols encountered the Viet Minh troops in all directions around them. The French were completely surrounded.[51]


My understanding was for 2 or 3 months prior the communist slowly surround the dug in French forces in this valley where the French relied on air for supply which didn't deliver enough goods and half the weapons were bonked anyway.  This led to a 2 or 3 month long WW1 style siege war fare.
 

Anyway.  There were some good battles that happened in the area and half the weapons are already in the game.  For a first Indochina war update.

Offline Flippy Warbear

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Re: Điện Biên Phủ
« Reply #1 on: 22-02-2021, 21:02:50 »
Quote
The French garrison came under sporadic direct artillery fire from the Viet Minh for the first time on 31 January 1954 and patrols encountered the Viet Minh troops in all directions around them. The French were completely surrounded.

We will stick to WW2.

Offline Baked_Potato

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Re: Điện Biên Phủ
« Reply #2 on: 24-02-2021, 03:02:36 »
Quote
The French garrison came under sporadic direct artillery fire from the Viet Minh for the first time on 31 January 1954 and patrols encountered the Viet Minh troops in all directions around them. The French were completely surrounded.

We will stick to WW2.

I wouldn't want  to go past this.  Do you remember Battlefield Vietnam?  Basically it is the Red Army.  A continuation of war.  In 1945 everybody was worryed that the Soviets would keep going.  And they did!  Just not in 1945 in Western Germany.

I think it would fit into the meta pefect with the added possibility of bringing in new players.  The Viet Mihn had a lot of US equipment that we gave to the Russians to fight Germany.  Along with German equipment too.

I suggest becasue it would make for a good map.  A mopuntanous region and a valley with an airfield.  French Dug in and communists in the ridges and mountains.  French have Chaffee's and equipment, but Communists have them surrounded, plenty of heavy artillery and AAA, numerical superiority and ammunition.

You could do several different maps just on this one map alone.  Many of the French broke out and escaped to Laos and Cambodia from this.

This is the final battle of a war that started in 1946.  Basically WWII still.  I mean I still Don't know the difference between Communists and National Socialists.  It's the same thing.  THe Bolsheviks started in Germany.  They were German.  Russia is Germany.  It all goes back to 1917 when Russia fell to Germany.  It's all the same war.

IN A NUTSHELL

French Indochina refers to an amalgamation of colonial territories in southeast Asia ruled by France from 1887 onwards. During World War II, the colony was occupied by Japan, who ousted the French. Following the Japanese surrender at the war’s end, Vietnamese independence was declared by the Viet Minh, a communist coalition led by Hô Chi Minh. However, France quickly resumed control, causing the outbreak of a war of independence in 1946 – the First Indochina War. The battle of Dien Bien Phu extinguished French influence in the region.

 
IN CONTEXT

WHEN: 20 November 1953 to 7 May 1954

WHERE: Dien Bien Phu, northwest Vietnam

WHO:

Viet Minh (General Võ Nguyên Giáp)

50,000 troops, 15,000 support troops, 250,000 civilians

French Republic (Colonel Christian de Castries)

2,800 French, 2,900 Foreign Legion, 2,900 Africans, 5,500 Indochinese

RESULT: Viet Minh victory

LOSSES:

Viet Minh c23,000 killed and wounded

French c2,000 killed, 6,000 wounded, 11,000 prisoners

Although Navarre planned to use the bulk of his reserves in a sweep against Viet Minh forces in the south of Vietnam, he realised that the greatest threat to French interests actually lay in the north of the country, especially as Viet Minh forces had moved into neighbouring Laos. Laos had just been granted independence from France, but it remained an ally and Navarre felt he had to defend it, particularly as there was a real danger that the Viet Minh would then head south to threaten Cambodia and southern Vietnam. Navarre had other reasons to be concerned about the north.

    7 things you might not know about the Vietnam War
    Max Hastings on Vietnam

The T’ai people of the extreme northwest corner of Vietnam were actually supporters of the French, but their base at Lai Chau was coming under increasing Viet Minh pressure. And then there was opium. The poppy fields of the northwest were a major source of income, which both sides wanted to control: the Viet Minh to raise money to purchase weapons, the French to fund special operations.

Bearing all this in mind, Navarre came up with a plan. French forces would set up a fortified camp in the northwest, which could act as a base for raids and other offensive operations, block the Viet Minh’s supply route into Laos and serve as a new headquarters for the beleaguered T’ai. And if the Viet Minh tried to attack it, so much the better. They would be drawn into a conventional battle in which superior French training and firepower would prove decisive.
General Võ Nguyên Giáp
A besuited General Võ Nguyên Giáp, one of the military masterminds of the century, inspects his Viet Minh troops. (Image by Bettmann/ Getty Images)
Into the valley

For his new base, Navarre selected Dien Bien Phu, a mountain valley with an airstrip, about 300km northwest of Hanoi. In choosing this site, the French made two assumptions. First, that they would be able to resupply their troops there by air and, second, that the steep wooded mountains overlooking the valley would prove an impenetrable barrier for the Viet Minh artillery. They would be wrong on both counts.

On 20 November 1953, the first French troops parachuted into the valley, quickly dispersing the Viet Minh troops in the area and seizing the airstrip. Over the following weeks, a further 12,000 troops would be flown into Dien Bien Phu together with 30 artillery pieces and even a squadron of tanks, which were delivered in pieces and then assembled on the ground.

The commander of the garrison was Colonel Christian de Castries, a swashbuckling cavalryman who Navarre believed would be ideally suited for the offensive operations he envisaged being launched from the base. The French set about fortifying their position by constructing about three dozen strongpoints, which were grouped together into clusters. In true Gallic fashion, each of these was given a woman’s name – Annemarie, Beatrice, Claudine, and so on.

These strongpoints were rather hastily built and not really secure enough for a protracteds iege, but the French weren’t anticipating such an event. In any case, they were sure that they had nothing to fear from the Viet Minh guns.

After all, Colonel Charles Piroth, the jovial onearmed commander of the French artillery at Dien Bien Phu, had assured them that the Viet Minh would never be able to get their guns up the mountains that overlooked the base. Even if they did, his own guns would destroy them the moment they gave away their position by opening fire. Piroth’s confident words would come back to haunt him; the French had made the fatal mistake of underestimating their enemy.

The Viet Minh commander, General Võ Nguyên Giáp, has been described as one of the greatest strategists of the 20th century. Like the French, the Viet Minh leadership believed that a military victory would strengthen their hand at the conference of great powers that was due to begin in Geneva and it was down to Giáp to deliver such success. Identifying Dien Bien Phu as the place where such a victory could be won, he concentrated nearly 50,000 combat troops in the area, seizing the high ground around the base and surrounding the French garrison.
The cigarette-smoking Colonel Christian de Castries was entrusted with overseeing the French offensive. (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
The cigarette-smoking Colonel Christian de Castries was entrusted with overseeing the French offensive. (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

It was a triumph of logistical planning. To ensure that his troops had the ammunition and supplies they needed to take on the French, Giáp mobilised a quarter of a million Vietnamese civilians to build scores of new roads and construct hundreds of bridges. Civilian porters transported supplies on animals, specially reinforced bicycles and hundreds of Russian Molotova trucks. Dozens of artillery pieces and thousands of shells were laboriously manhandled into position in the hills around Dien Bien Phu and dug into bunkers with trenches and shelters to protect their crews.

By March 1954, Giáp was ready to strike. The ensuing battle has been described as taking place in a stadium with the Viet Minh in the stands and the French on the field, their every move visible unless it was made at night or during the early-morning fog that sometimes shrouded the valley. On 13 March, Giáp stunned the French by unleashing a devastating bombardment on the Beatrice position on the northeast corner of the French perimeter. Beatrice was then attacked by an entire Vietnamese division and fell after several hours of heavy fighting.

Of the 550 Foreign Legionnaires, only a few dozen escaped. On 14 March, the Gabrielle position received the same treatment as Beatrice. By 23 March, both Annmarie and Huguette were in Viet Minh hands and the airstrip was virtually unusable.

The last flight into Dien Bien Phu took place on 28 March. From then on, all supplies had to be dropped in by parachute. Even so, the Viet Minh anti-aircraft fire was so effective that French supply planes were forced to fly at a much higher altitude than they wanted, causing thousands of parachutes to miss their targets and drift into enemy territory. Even the bottle of champagne dropped to mark de Castries’ promotion to Brigadier-General ended up in Viet Minh hands.
The angels of Dien Bien Phu

The only Frenchwoman at Dien Bien Phu wasn’t supposed to be there. Geneviève de Galard was a 29-year-old French military nurse who had volunteered to serve in Indochina on aircraft evacuating wounded soldiers to hospital. On 28 March, her transport plane suffered damage to an oil tank while landing in darkness at Dien Bien Phu and was unable to take off again. At daybreak, the Viet Minh artillery destroyed the plane and damaged the runway.

Galard was now stranded in the valley for the next six weeks, helping to care for the wounded. When, after a brief period of captivity, she returned to France, the media dubbed her ‘the Angel of Dien Bien Phu’.

But less was said about the other women in the beleaguered garrison: the 18 Algerian and Vietnamese sex workers of the two mobile brothels accompanying the French forces into the valley. As casualties mounted, they too served as nurses and four were killed by Viet Minh shellfire. After the surrender, the Algerians were allowed to go home; the Vietnamese were sent off for ‘re-education’.

Numbers game

These reverses came as a devastating blow for French morale, none more so than for Charles Piroth, who retreated into his bunker to blow himself up with a grenade. Christian de Castries himself seems to have lost confidence in his own ability to handle the battle and passed tactical control over to two hard-bitten French paras, Colonel Pierre Langlais and Major Marcel Bigeard. As time went on thousands of soldiers, mainly Indochinese troops who made up a third of the garrison, gave up fighting altogether and took shelter in the caves that adjoined the river running through the Dien Bien Phu position.

But the Viet Minh were suffering morale problems of their own. Every strongpoint captured, every yard gained, came at a horrific cost in human lives. So Giáp changed his tactics. The mass infantry attacks of March were replaced by a slow but steady approach. It was now classic siege warfare, with the Viet Minh soldiers inching their way in trenches towards the French positions. Meanwhile, the onset of the rainy reason added to difficulties on the ground and made French supply drops from the air even more difficult to carry out.

By May, the French were running out of food, ammunition and hope. The final Viet Minh assault was launched on 6 May and the last French soldiers surrendered the following day. Around 11,000 troops, many of them wounded, marched into captivity. Fewer than half would return home.
« Last Edit: 24-02-2021, 04:02:14 by Baked_Potato »

Offline Flippy Warbear

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Re: Điện Biên Phủ
« Reply #3 on: 24-02-2021, 05:02:38 »
We are a ww2 mod thus we will stick to ww2. See how we arent doing Korea either and you could argue exactly the same there as you are trying with this. Case closed. :)