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I remember seeing newsreels (remember those, in the movies, along with the cartoon, previews of coming attractions and the serial along with the main feature?) about the "seige of Dien Bien Phu", as well as on the TV news. And photo-spreads in LIFE magazine. Ah the heroic Legionaires and the gallant nurses....
 

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From what I have read Dien Bien Phu was a very poor position, in a valley with too much high ground overlooking it, many of its strongpoints not mutally supporting, etc.
I heard the same thing, was always under the impression it was pretty much a shooting gallery.
 

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One of the battalion commanders is still with us. If you wish to read about one impressive career, this is it.
 

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Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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From what I have read Dien Bien Phu was a very poor position, in a valley with too much high ground overlooking it, many of its strongpoints not mutally supporting, etc.
It was - very poor position, and very serious misjudgements as to what would happen by the responsible commanders. We studied it as an example of "This is not how you do it" - and then put people out in Special Forces camps and other positions that could be isolated and supported only by air. And either out of range or at the very edge of range of artillery support to boot. Some dramatic and costly things came out of that.
 

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It was - very poor position, and very serious misjudgements as to what would happen by the responsible commanders. We studied it as an example of "This is not how you do it" - and then put people out in Special Forces camps and other positions that could be isolated and supported only by air. And either out of range or at the very edge of range of artillery support to boot. Some dramatic and costly things came out of that.
Khe Sanh?
 

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Khe Sanh?
Among others. That was certainly one of the better (with reason) publicized instances.It didn't work out the same way for a number of reasons (the combat base was on high ground, there was nearly unlimited and unremitting air support, etc.). But - it is a good example of our NOT taking the lesson of Dien Bien Phu to heart. Despite studying the action as far down as ROTC.
 

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I knew a couple of guys whom were there. Its was a gastly business, worse than Khe Sanh, I'm just guessing but I think if political winds blew in other direction by the time of Khe Sanh, US troops would give a much different reply, but its just me guessing.
best regards
 

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View attachment 314221

Similar to our position right now. Polititians refused us howitzers, mortars or other long range arms. Only reaction after BM1 rocket attacks were show of force overflights.
Wolf
If you're refering to DBP, the French Army supplied the garrison with tanks and artillery. What they didn't expect (using Na San as a template), was that the VM had brought up Chinese supplied heavy weapons and a belt of AA to ring the valley. When the first attack happened the French arty commander (Piroth) had failed to properly dig in his arty and many of his tubes were disabled (he subsequently killed himself with a grenade). You were a PRT guy?
 

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Cool. A good friend of my wife's was with the Khandahar PRT from 2005-2007. A lot of good works come out of those teams.
 

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Years ago at the annual SF convention I met a little old guy on crutches.
He was a Pole who fought in Poland, later the French resistance.
He jumped into DBP with the Legion and was interned.
He later joined the US Army and served many years in SF.
There were a lot of guys like that in the old days.
It was humbling to serve among them.
 
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