Causes and Consequences of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu

1495 words 6 pages
Causes and consequences of the battle of Dien Bien Phu

Examine the causes and consequences and consequences of the battle of Dien Bien Phu, 1954, which affected the lives of the Vietnamese until the 1960's.

Dien Bien Phu, 1954, was the final battle of the first Indo-China war. Lasting 55 days, the battle had French troops attempt to hold an armed camp against the Viet Minh, who greatly out-numbered them. Dien Bien Phu was situated in a valley in Northern Vietnam, surrounded by mountains. The French believed this strategic setting would give them an advantage, but the Viet Minh were clever. They tunnelled their way into the the French camp and after seven weeks of brutal, intense fighting the French commander; Henri Navarre, ordered a
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When China became involved in the Korean War in 1950, materials ceased to flow into Vietnam, although the Viet Minh were persistant and despite their lack of resources, they continued to fight back. By this point, war had been on for a duration of six years. The French began to recruit Vietnamese soldiers, although they distrusted them greatly. Even so, it became apparent that the Viet Minh vastly outnumbered them. By 1953, the French knew the war had to end, fast. General Navarre devised a plan to trap the Viet Minh into attacking the village of Dien Bien Phu. The first Indo-China war was a cause of the battle of Dien Bien Phu, as it was set up by the French as a way to end the war, although this didn't exactly go to plan.

The first consequence of the battle of Dien Bien Phu was the Geneva conference. In February 1954, Britain, France, the USSR and the United States planned a conference to decide the fate of Korea and Indo-China. On April 26, 1954 the conference opened. Korea was the main focus of the conference until the day after the battle of Dien Bien Phu, at which point the focus changed to Vietnam. Besides the four main powers, others attending the conference included; China, Cambodia, Laos, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the State of Vietnam. The US was strongly opposed to the idea of a united, communist Vietnam, due to plans such as the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. It was decide that Vietnam would