Tuesday, June 22, 2010

French War-Fighting Necessities

Very interesting review of a book on Dien Bien Phu.

The French famously lost that battle, and the loss was one factor in the eventual US involvement.

Battle preparations included:

... underground surgical units -- and two Bordels Mobiles de Campagne (Mobile Field Bordellos), one with 11 Algerian women and the other with five Vietnamese, each with its own madam.

Actually, those were NOT the reason that the Frogs lost. Read the item. You don't have to be a military tactician to figure it out, either.

And there's plenty more. Ike didn't really buy into the "domino theory" advanced by Truman; John Foster Dulles managed to make Anthony Eden an enemy, and the French...well....

The French dithered, intellectualized, and drove the others crazy with their shifting positions. In internal memos Britain's Foreign Office lamented the excessive "mental dexterity" of the French, "the hopeless instability of French thought."

Then began the Republic of DeGaulle.

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