THIS FRENCH 1ST VIETNAM WAR
INDOCHINA 1945-1954 GROUPING WOULD NOT BE COMPLETE WITHOUT AN INVESTMENT IN THE BOOK
“STREET WITHOUT JOY, The French Debacle In Indochina byBernard
Originally published in 1961, before the United States escalated its involvement in South Vietnam, Street without Joy offers a spell bining birds eye view of the French 1st Vietnam war [1945-1955]. An amazing history of the French and French Foreign Legion in the jungles of “Nam”. From the ambushes to the micro details of engagements as well as policy, this book will keep you awake! Street without Joy also offered a clear warning about what American forces would face in the jungles of Southeast Asia: a costly and protracted revolutionary war fought without fronts against an extremely mobile and determined enemy.
In harrowing detail, Fall described the brutality and frustrations of the 1st Indochina War, a savage eight-year conflict-ending in 1954 after the fall of Dien Bien Phu-in which French forces suffered a staggering defeat at the hands of Communist-led Vietnamese nationalists. With its front line perspective, vivid reporting, and careful analysis, Street without Joy was required reading for anyone who loves history as well as for policymakers and soldiers in the field.
Bernard B. Fall
(November 19, 1926 February 21, 1967) was a prominent war correspondent, historian,
political scientist, and expert on Indochina during. Born in Austria, he moved with his
family to France and at 16 would fight with the French Resistance and later the Free
French Army during World War II. In 1950 he first came to the United States for graduate studies at Syracuse University and Johns Hopkins University. He taught at Howard University for most of his career and made regular trips to Southeast Asia. He predicted the failures of France and the United States in the wars in Vietnam.
Though Fall supported the American military presence in South Vietnam, believing it could stop the country from falling to Communism, he criticized the Ngo Dinh DiemAmerican- backed regime and the tactics used by the United States military in Vietnam. As the conflict between the American forces and the Communists
in Vietnam escalated throughout the 1960s, Fall became pessimistic about the U.S.’s
chances of success. He predicted that if it did not learn from France mistakes, it too
would fail in Vietnam. Fall wrote extensive articles detailing the situation in Vietnam,
and lectured about his ideas on the Vietnam War. Fall’s research was considered invaluable
to many U.S. diplomats and military officials, but his negative opinions were often not
Bernard eating in the field with US troops in Vietnam
By 1964, Fall concluded that the U.S. forces in Vietnam were losing. Falls dire predictions caught the attention of theFederal Bureau of Investigation, which began to monitor his activities.Yet many noted Fall’s accuracy and comprehension in his writing about the Vietnam War. On 21 February 1967, while accompanying a company of the 1stBattalion 9th Marines on Operation Chinook II in the Thua Thien Province [“Street Without Joy”],Fall stepped on a Bouncing Bettyland mine and was killed, along with Gunnery Sergeant Byron G. Highland, a U.S. Marine
Corps combat photographer. He was dictatingnotes into a tape recorder, which captured his last words: “We’ve reached one of our phase lines after the fire fight and it smells bad-meaning it’s a little bit suspicious… Could be an ambush”. Fall left behind his wife and three daughters.
Colin Powell wrote in his 1995
autobiography, My American Journey:
“I recently reread Bernard Fall’s book on Vietnam, Street Without Joy. Fall makes painfully clear that we had almost nounderstanding of what we had gotten ourselves into. I cannot help thinking that if
President Kennedy or President Johnson had spent a quiet weekend at Camp David reading
that perceptive book, they would have returned to the White House Monday morning and
immediately started to figure out a way to extricate ourselves from the quicksand of
RESTORED & OVERHAULED
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AFTER THEIR DEFEAT
FREE FRENCH WWII
France and the United Kingdom were the first to declare war after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. In a
lightening, successful campaign in the Low Countries and, in the Battle of France, Germany
inflicted defeat on the Allied forces. France surrendered in June of 1940 and formed a
collaborating government — headed by Patain — titled “The French State” and
known as the Vichy government. Right after the French Government surrender, Patain went on
French National Radio to appeal to units still battling the Germans to obey him and
“cease the fight”.
Within days of Patain’s speech,Charles de Gaulle, a French officer who would became a Brigadier General in WWII and then French President after the war, gave what would become a historical speech to the French people on BBC
Radio. De Gaulle focused on bolstering French pride by informing his fellow citizens that “France has
lost a battle, but France has not lost the war”. And then, from England, he formed both the Free France Government (La France Libre) and the Free French Forces and began to recruit French Citizens and Soldiers to fight, to start the underground in France and to bolster support of French Colonies .
It was equally famous Capitaine de corvette Thierry d’Argenlieu who suggested the adoption of the Cross of
Lorraine as a symbol of the Free French, both to recall the perseverance of Joan of Arc,
whose symbol it had been, and as an answer to the Nazi swastika.
CEFEO Georges Thierry
d’Argenlieu was a priest, diplomat French Navy officer and, eventually, an admiral in charge of French Colonial Administration in Indochina. d’Argenlieu had a heroic resume and was an important co-founder and leader in the Free French Government & Forces. After the defeat of Japan the French decided to regain Indochina,Thierry d’Argenlieu was promoted to Vice Admiral and sent in 1946 to Indochina with the French far East Expeditionary Corps [CEFEO] to restore French Colonial Administration. Once there, he was promoted to Admiral, but by February 1947, he was recalled and replaced by Emile Bollaert due to a decision he made that led to the beginning of the end of France in Indochine….
June of 1946, on his own, D’Argenlieu issued a proclamation establishing the Republic of Cochin-China. He did so on his own with no authority of the French Government at the very time and moment that Communist Viet Minh leader Ho Chi Minh and Paris were getting ready for the Fontainebleau Conference in which both sides were to discuss the future of
Indochina. This caused not only the cancellation of the conference, but a loss of face to Ho Chi Minh. D’Argenlieu released this proclamation and then traveled to Paris to convince Premier Georges Bidault of the need to “teach the Vietnamese Nationalists a lesson.” D’Argenlieu then cabled his deputy in Saigon, General Jean-Etienne Valluy, who in turn ordered the French commissioner in Tonkin [at that time the All Important to the French = North Vietnam] General Morlire, ” to use force in the north”. The end result was the French cruiser Suffren shelled Haiphong on November 23 1946 which led directly to the outbreak of the Indochina War on December 19, 1946.
We must go back to the Free French… In his general order in July 1940, Vice Admiral mile Muselier, chief of the naval and air forces of the Free French, created the bow flag displaying the French colors with a red cross of Lorraine, and a cockade, which also featured the cross of Lorraine The Free French forces included soldiers rescued from Dunkirk as well as units of the Foreign Legion. *Free French Generals
recruited additional Free French forces from the French Colonial Empire. They chose French Nationals & Natives from tropical African colonies. French Algeria and Morocco supplied men from their native populations. Senegal in French West Africa provided conscripts. Even Tahitians were recruited and served with distinction. In fact, the battles fought during WWII in Italy included *120,000 French Colonial Forces that made history and were, in many cases, the major difference in the defeat of the Germans in Italy. 1/4 of the forces died or were injured, 2000 went missing in action. .
[*These Men would fight & die in the jungles & prison camps of Indochina]
With Allied success in the French Colonial strong-hold of North Africa, the Free French troop strength grew. De Gaulle rallied of the Army of Africa and pursued the fight against the Axis in multiple campaigns until the Free French Forces would have the opportunity to participate in the invasion of Italy and assist in the occupation of France and Germany. On 23 October 1944, the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union officially recognized De Gaulle’s Free French as the provisional government of France; which would become the Fourth Republic in 1946. The French, both free and *collaborating, had 1,250,000 troops in 10 divisions when the war ended in May of 1945. During the course of the war, French military losses totaled 212,000 dead, of which 92,000 were killed
through the end of the EUROPEAN campaign of 1940, 58,000 from 1940 to 1945 in other campaigns, 24,000 lost while serving in the French resistance, and a further *38,000 lost while serving with the German Army.
With WWII Ended
The French Created
A French Indochina Expeditionary Corps
To “LIBERATE” Indochina from the Japanese.
WE RESTORED 39 LANCETS
–INCLUDING 4 OF THE RAREST PLANE SIGNED PILOTS/JUMP LANCET WATCHES W/SUB-SECONDS — AND
VARIOUS LANCET TRENCH, CONVERSIONS AND POCKET WATCHES IN THE LAST 5 YEARS. SOME WERE
ACQUIRED FROM VIETNAM, AND A FEW FROM ALGERIA, ITALY, GREECE, FRANCE & TURKEY. .
IT TAKES MONTHS TO FIND AND RESTORE THE
ABOVE STYLE FRENCH (SWISS MADE) 1940/1950’S MILITARY LANCET WRIST WATCH. BUT IT IS ALWAYS
THE CONDITION FOUND THAT MEANS THE MOST. THE KEY ITEM IN THIS DIEN BIEN PHU MILITARY WATCH
BOX IS A 1951 SWEEP SECONDS LANCET PILOTS JUMP WATCH THAT WAS A PURCHASE FROM ALGERIA. IT
HAS THE RARE 645 HACKED SWEEP SECONDS ON A 1945 BASE MOVEMENT. THOUGH MOST OF THE COLOR
[SEE ABOVE] WAS ABSENT OR FADED AND THE RADIUM DEPLETED THE BRIGHT RED PAINT ON THE SWEEP
HAND & THE BLACK STEEL HAND CONDITION POINTED TO A GREAT BASE TO RESTORE FROM.
FRENCH LANCET Pilots
THE FIRST OF THOSE FEW WE HAVE
RESTORED THAT HAS THE HACKED SWEEPS SECONDS
|ON NATO GREEN NYLON G-18
||ON LEATHER CUFF STYLE
THE DIAL HAS BEEN RESTORED TO ABSOLUTE ORIGINAL CONDITION USING PLATES MADE FROM ORIGINAL DIAL. WITH ORIGINAL FRENCH COLORS AND RE-ILLUMINATED WITH AF LUMINOVA AND RE-ILLUMINATED ORIGINAL STEEL HANDS AND RE-PAINTED CENTER *BUTTON STYLE RED SWEEP SECONDS
(* NO TAIL)
MMANY OF THE VERY
BEST TRAINED FRENCH WOULD PERISH ON THE FEILD & PRISON CAMPS
CHOSE TO KEEP THIS LANCET AS
ORIGINAL AS POSSIBLE THOUGH WE
RESTORED THE DIAL
WAS KEPT ORIGINAL
WITH WIRE LUGS IS STEEL
CRYSTAL BEZEL IS BRASS W/CHROME
BACK IS STEEL
CHOSE AN 18MM G-18 NATO STYLE BALLISTIC
NYLON IN OLIVE COLOR FOR THE STEEL WIRE LUGS
NYLON IS TWICE THE THICKNESS
OF 90% OF ALL NATO STRAPS OFFERED ONLINE
“STRAIGHT THROUGH” STYLE MILITARY STRAP IS
CLOSER TO WHAT WAS ORIGINALLY UTILIZED
MAIN STEEL CASE IS POLISHED JUST ENOUGH TO CLEAN IT UP AND OFFER A
LOW LUSTER FINISH THE BEZEL WAS HAND BUFFED WITH A CLOTH WE COULD RE-PLATE BUT THEN THE WATCH WOULD LOOSE THE LOOK & VALUE. HERE IS THE STANDARD LANCET CASE STYLE ALL FOUR WERE LIKE THIS WIDE RING PROVIDES STABILITY FOR LARGE DIAL. WITH A LARGE DIAL LARGE DIAL TABLE 10.5 MOVEMENT CENTER. YOU CAN SEE WE BUFFED THE CENTER CASE
A SHOT OF OTHER SIDE. A SHOT OF STEEL CASE BACK
WITH REFINISHED DIAL
“CHINE” “FREE FRENCH CROSS OF
|I WAS TEMPTED TO STRIP THE BEZEL & CROWN & RE-PLATE BUT A LANCET LIKE THIS IS TOO RARE ONLY 4 OF THE SUB REGISTER STYLE HAVE SURFACED ONLY 2 OF THE HACKED SWEEP SECONDS HAS BEEN FOUND AND ONLY 2 SMALLER 30MM VERSIONS HAVE BEEN FOUND
THE LANCET WAS MADE
UTILIZING CASES AND PARTS FROM VARIOUS WATCH COMPANIES. TRENCH VERSIONS HAD 10L MOVEMENT
AND CASE BRANDS. THE FIRST STANDARD MODERN LANCET WATCH HAD AS MOVEMENTS. THERE WERE FOUR WITH ELECTION MOVEMENTS. THE BASE 465 FOUND IN JUMP WATCHES WITH SUB-SECONDS IS AN ELECTION VERSION MADE IN 1945 WITH 15 JEWELS AND A UNIQUE CAP JEWEL SPRING WHICH OPERATED AS A SHOCK SYSTEM. THIS VERSION HAS A HACKED SWEEP SWEEP SECONDS HAND. THE MOVEMENT HAS SMALL WRITING LIKE “UNADJUSTED” “FIFTEEN” AND IT IS TAGGED 645S WHICH WOULD BE A 645 WITH SWEEPS SECONDS, HENCE THE “S”. THE CASE STYLE AND SIZE FOR THE LARGE 1950 LANCET –32.90 X 37 MM W/O CROWN– WITH SCREW DOWN 10.5”/23.35mm MOVEMENT, HAS BEEN THE STANDARD WITH ALL JUMP WATCHES.
HACKED SWEEP SECONDS MEAN UNLIKE HACKING WATCH THAT MEANS WATCH STOPS RUNNING WHEN CROWN
Prior to WWII, most watches had a sub-second register above the #6 position. By 1942, the sweep second hand watch had became the only watch to have. The two most important reasons were the fact that sweep seconds had become a must. The Government issued U.S.A. A-11pilots watch and the need for sweep seconds watches for Doctors, Medics and Nurses and other professionals, simply caused a rush to
adapt STANDARD MOVEMENTS WITH SUB-SECOND HAND TO SWEEP SECONDS rather than create new
movements. Watch companies simply re-tooled their existing stock piles of movements. They placed a hollow canon pinion that allowed a wheeled center shaft to protrude through the dial, mounted a second hand to it, and ran the combo with a few wheels from the very sub-seconds wheel they were eliminating..
ND – 2nd Airborne Special Forces (BN)
IndoChine France began its conquest of Indochina in the late 1850s. It would take years to complete the pacification of the Vietnamese, Laos and Cambodian People. In 1883 “The Treaty of Hu” formed the foundation for French colonial rule in Vietnam. In spite of military resistance, such as the Can Vuong of Phan Dinh Phung, and the Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang, the area of the current-day nations of Vietnam Cambodia, and LAOS were made into the colony of French Indochina. 1940-1945 45 years later, in September of 1940, during the second Sino-Japanese war, the Japanese seized Indochina. Though the Collaborating French government had signed an agreement with Japan allowing the stationing of troops and other concessions, the Japanese attacked French positions and made landings and assumed
control by force. The Japanese allowed the French to “run things” for nearly 4
years until news of a possible invasion of Indochina as the war wound down caused the Japanese to lock the French up. At the same time, the “Viet Minh”, a communist
organization founded in 1941 and funded by the Chinese Nationalist Party and the U.S in their fight against Japanese occupation of Vietnam, had grown into a small yet powerful force trained at and in guerrilla warfare tactics.
During the First
Indochina War (194654), the Legion saw its numbers swell due to the incorporation of Second World War veterans who couldn’t adapt to civilian life. Even so, although the Legion distinguished itself, it also took a heavy toll during the war: constantly being deployed in operations, it even reached the point that whole units were annihilated in combat, in what was a traditional Legion battlefield. Units of the Legion were also involved in the defense of Dien Bien Phu and lost a large number of men in the battle.
During the French Indochina War (1945-1954), French forces attempted to re-establish colonial control of
Vietnam, while the “Viet Minh” forces led by Ho Chi Minh fought for independence.
Initially, the Viet Minh, were unsuccessful in dealing with the better trained and equipped French forces. Their situation improved in 1949 after the Chinese Communist army of Mao Zedong defeated the Nationalist army led by Chiang Kai-Shek. This gave the communist Viet Minh a safe haven for organization and training, as well as an initially sympathetic ally to provide them with arms and
logistical support. Vo Nguyen Giap, the military leader of the Viet Minh, launched an
offensive against the French in early 1950. From February to April, his operation Le Hong
Phong I raged through the Red River Valley, largely giving the Viet Minh control of
northwestern Tonkin, near the Chinese border. The area became a Viet Minh stronghold,
except for the RC4 highway. On 25 May, 2,500 Viet Minh troops overwhelmed the French
fortress at Dong which lay at the strategic center of RC4, thus cutting the supply line
between the French positions at Cao Bang and Lang Son. French parachutists retook Dong
Khon the evening of 27 May and a company of Legionnaires took charge of the fort.
Though the French won
the first battle of the RC4 on 9 October 1947, the second was another story: Route Coloniale 4 (RC4, also known as Highway 4) is a road in Vietnam, bordering the Chinese border from Hanoi to Cao Bang. The Battle of Route Coloniale 4 lasted from 30 September to 18 October 1950. Several units of the French army, including some battalions of the Foreign Legion, were decimated by the Viet Minh and essentially ceased to exist as fighting units.
MILITARY POCKET WATCH
THIS MOVEMENT IS AWESOME SWISS MADE
WITH NUMBER 34
ON MAIN BRIDGE
CONDITION DETAILED LEATHER ON OUTER CASE
RED 24HR SILVER # 9 12 3 –
RECTANGULAR – HOUR MARKERS FRONT AND REAR CRYSTALS
WERE CELLULOID CHANGED TO MODERN PLASTIC
A SHOT OF MARKERS.SHOW ORIGINAL SILVER
I AM GLAD I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN THIS
1945 TO 1955 LANCET IT IS AMAZING CLEANED & RESTORED
CONDITION WITH NEW OLD STOCK PLASTIC CRYSTALS
A SUPER EXTRAORDINARY TIME PIECE
CONDITION WATCH: EXCELLENT – RUNS
1st Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment
1st Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment was born on 1 July 1948 and embarked on the “Shepherd” October 24 1948 at Mers El-Kebir and arrived in Indochina in Haiphong on November 12 1948 . Though the regiment was stationed throughout the Indochina War Theater, the main battles will take place in Tonkin (Northern Vietnam). On the 17 and 18 of September 1950, the battalion jumped at That Khe to rescue French forces in Cao Bang
(Battle of RC4) and was almost destroyed during the fighting taking place around Khe Dong and was dissolved on December 31. Its losses included 21 officers, 46 NCOs and 420 legionaries whose commanding officer was the
battalion commander Segrtain. Only a few survivors managed to reach the French lines, including the captain Jeanpierre, who would later, in Algeria, become the commanding officer of the 1st REP.
1st BEP 1st BEP was recreated 18 March 1951 from the remainder of the original battalion, along with
reinforcements from the 2nd BEP and North Africa. The BEP then comprised 3 companies (CCB,
1st and 2nd Company) and Cipla (company Indochinese Foreign Legion paratrooper company-4e). A third company will be incorporated in November 1952. 1st CEPML On 1 September 1953 the 1st foreign
company paratrooper heavy mortar (1st CEPML) was created from elements of the 1st and 2nd
SEN. This unit was attached to the 1st BEP. 1st BEP was again annihilated on May 7, 1954 at the
Battle of Dien Bien Phu: there were 316 killed at the end of fighting (not counting the prisoners who never returned from captivity).
The 2nd REP remains the only FRENCH Foreign Regiment of paratroopers. 1er REP The 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment (French: 1er tranger de Parachutistes, 1er REP) was a Foreign Legion airborne unit of the French Army. It fought in the First Indochina War, Suez Crisis and Algerian War, but was disbanded after taking part in a putsch against the French government in 1961
* First Indochina War *Battle of Route Coloniale 4 *Battle of Hoa Binh *Operation Lorraine *Battle of Na San *Operation Castor *Battle of Dien Bien Phu *Algerian War *Suez Crisis Decorations * Croix de guerre des with 5 palms * Camere 1863[ * Indochine 1949-1954 * AFN 1952-1962
FRENCH OPINEL SIZE 9 FRUIT WOOD HANDLED VIROBLOC FOLDING KNIFE
The Opinel is a brand of simple, wooden-handled pocket-knifes manufactured since 1890 in the town of
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in the Savoie region of France. Invented by Joseph Opinel in 1890 in Savoie as a simple working man’s knife It proved popular with local farmers/workers. In 1897, a series of twelve sizes, numbered 1 to 12, were developed. Joseph Opinel built his first factory in Pont de Gvoudaz and produced a machine for mass production of the knife’s wooden handles in 1903. To distribute his new range of knives, Opinel hired peddlers to
sell the knife. The knives became popular with PLM railroad workers, who in the course of their work spread word of the new knife all over France. By 1909, Opinel had registered the crowned hand as his emblem. By the start of World War II annual sales were in the hundreds of thousands and 20 million knives had been sold. Opinel’s best invention was the “Virobloc” or safety twist lock mechanism that increased the safety and versatility of folding knives by allowing the blade to be locked in the open position.
2ND REP PARAS VICTOIRE 1954 HONORER
OPINEL VIROBLOC KNIFE WITH FUIT WOOD HANDLE
9 23/4 INCHES CLOSED 8 INCHES OPEN
DEVICE ALLOWS THE BLADE TO BE OPENED AND LOCKED
LEATHER NECK PIECE SILVER ATTACHMENT & FRENCH INDOCHINA COIN
2ND REP PARAS
tranger de Parachutistes, 2e REP was an Airborne regiment in the French Foreign Legion. It is a part of the 11e Brigade Parachutiste and the spearhead of the French Rapid reaction force.
AT DIEN BIEN PHU, THE 2E REP WERE PART OF THE DEFENSE FOR THE SOUTHERN OUTPOST FIRE BASE “CAMP ISABELLE” . THE FRENCH GARRISON FOUGHT FOR FIFTY SEVEN DAYS. FROM 17:30 13TH MARCH UNTIL 17:30 , THE 7TH OF MAY 1954. CAMP ISABELLE IGNORED THE CEASE FIRE ORDER AND FOUGHT ON UNTIL 01:00, A FEW HOURS BEFORE THE GENEVE CONFERENCE INVOLVING THE US, FRANCE, THE UK, AND THE USSR.
THE BATTLES BEFORE
On 16 September, five Viet Minh infantry and one heavy weapons battalion attacked Dong Khe . It was then garrisoned by some 300 French troops comprising the 5th and 6th companies of the 2nd battalion of the 3rd Regiment of the French Foreign Legion (3rd REI). On 18 September, the fort was overrun after bitter fighting, and only 12 survivors escaped to the nearby post at That Khe 140 Legionnaires had been taken prisoner, the remainder being killed or missing in action.
That Khe was quickly reinforced by the Foreign Legion’s 1st Parachute Battalion (1st BEP), which parachuted in on 17 September. The 1st BEP waited at That Khe while a force of French colonial troops, the Moroccan 1st and 11th Tabors, assembled at Lang Son. Designated Groupement Bayard the combined force comprised 3,500 men under the command of Colonel Le Page. The task force launched an intelligence raid, capturing prisoners who said a massive Viet Minh offensive was planned.
On 30 September, Groupement Bayard set out from That Khe, led by the 1 BEP. However, Giap had concentrated ten battalions around Dong Kh reinforced by a complete artillery regiment, together with the remaining forces from Le Hong Phong I. The Viet Minh rebuffed the French forces, which were forced to pull back and wait for air support. Le Page renewed the attack on 2 October, pushing west to bypass Dong as Viet Minh numbers were overwhelming. Meanwhile Colonel Charton’s group, led by the 3rd Battalion of 3rd REI, left Cao Bang on 1 October; contrary to orders he took with him his heavy equipment.[READ A STREET WITHOUT JOY-THE HEAVY EQUIPMENT BOGGED THEM DOWN, AND CAUSED AMBUSH ]. The group’s movement down RC4 was slowed by Viet Minh ambushes. After bitter fighting, they finally abandoned their heavy equipment and linked up with Groupement Bayard in the hills around Dong on 5 October.
The French forces were then driven into the Coc Xa gorge, where they were completely annihilated by 7 October.
Martin Windrow notes that: Some 130 of the Legion parachute battalion out of the 500 that had jumped emerged from this breakthrough fight;they had only escaped by clambering down lianas shrouding a 75 ft cliff with their wounded tied on their backs.
In an attempt to support the embattled troops the 1er BEP Replacement Company (120 men) under Lieutenant Loth had been merged with 268 men from 3e BCCP (Bataillon Colonial de Commandos Parachutistes, Parachute Colonial Commando Battalion) under Captain Cazeaux and they were parachuted into That Khe on 8 October, but over the course of the next week destroyed as well. Only 23 survivors of the 1st BEP, led by Captain Jeanpierre, managed to escape to French lines:it became the first French parachute battalion lost in combat, followed by the 3rd BCCP, of which only 14 soldiers returned unscathed.
RTM BADGE Regiment de Tirailleurs Marocains
CPL A. Hamed 2nd Moroccan Infantry Division 5th Regiment de Tirailleurs Marocains Enlisted on 3th of July 1944 at 5th RTM Corporal in Indochina for 3 years.
Napoleon titled his light infantry Tirailleur’s which meant “sharpshooters”. The Tirailleur’s mission was to skirmish ahead of the main columns. When French colonial expansion began the term “tirailleurs” was used to classify native troops recruited from the various colonial territories.
Each territory would be represented by native troops. The name of each Regiment would include the Colony Territory that the troopers originated from.
Thus the 5th RTM would be the Fifth Regiment of Tirailleurs from Marocco or the Fifth Regiment of Tirailleurs Marocains.
So, the last initial represented the territory + troopers. Each battalion and regiment would be commannded by French Officers.
While recruits came from most French colonial possessions, Many times troops raised froM IndoChina would fight in Tunisia, or troops from Algeria would fight in IndoChina; even in the territory they originated from.
Before, During and after World War II, Tirailleurs were recruited from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, West Africa (Senegalai), Madagascar and Indochina (Annam, Tonkin and Cambodia).
The last Moroccan regiment in the French Army was the 5th RTM (“Regiment de Tirailleurs Marocain”) was disbanded in 1965.
The Success And Death Of
General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny
The French army would recover from their disasters along Colonial Route 4 due to the fact the Viet Minh had been stopped on the doorstep of Hanoi at the Battle of Dong Trieu in March 1951. Then in May of 1951, the Viet Minh move into the Red River Delta via the Day River was stopped dead at Ninh Binh, Yen Phuc and Thai Binh. The Viet Minh were then expelled from the Black River highlands at Nghia Lo after a daring airborne drop into their rear.
From the panic of one disastrous defeat after another to a light at the end of the tunnel in one year could be laid at the feet of the architect of warfare General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny.
Vain, Arrogant and Self-Centered, Jean de Lattre de Tassigny was a landed nobility cavalry officer who abandoned the 12th Dragoons Calvary for World War I Infantry Trench Fighting. After WWI, he was sent to Morocco where he commanded Colonial Troops. With the outbreak of World War II and the defeat of the supposed “vaunted” French Army, he was called to command the French First Army under the banner of the Free French Forces. From South France to the Rhine and Danube rivers, Jean de Lattre de Tassigny commanded Colonial and French forces to victories.
At the end of WWII Jean de Lattre de Tassigny abandoned the relative Military Peace of France and a cushy position in NATO for the action of Indochina; a war that almost all senior officers desired no part of.
French aims in Indochina were the development of Vietnam as an independent state in the French Union with a Vietnamese national army. Following the battle of Dong Trieu, de Lattre continued on his blueprint for success; which centered on ending the “reactive” war fare –responding to the Viet Minh– and returning to strict offensive warfare that would re-establish the French military and subsequent Vietnamese national authority in disputed and enemy-held territory.
After a quick tour of the US, where he lobbied the US Military and Political Leaders, and then through France for the same, General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny discovered he had cancer. Yet, his first action after arriving in Saigon was to implement his offensive strategy.
His ground commanders and he were in agreement with the intelligence that the Viet Minh were preparing another Delta offensive. Now the was time to go on the offensive and force the the Viet Minh to react before they began their offensive by taking Hoa Binh back from the Viet Minh.
MONEY POUCH BELT
FREE FRENCH CROSS
MANUFACTURED DURING WWII.
THIS AMERICAN MILITARY DOCUMENT / MONEY BELT-POUCH FITS UP TO 40 INCH WAIST WITH TWO COMPARTMENTS AND HAS THE “CONMAR” ZIPPER IT CONTAINED VIETNAM NOTES JAPANESE NOTES VIETNAMESE COINS
General Jean de
Lattre de Tassigny
The French had retaken Hoa Binh with an airborne drop in 1946, but had abandoned it in October of 1950 following the devastating Viet Minh victories on Colonial Route 4. Viet Minh Control of Hoa Binh now meant they could move Viet Minh forces from their Tonkin highlands staging area; they could travel unimpeded to Hanoi from the south –and it allowed for the flow of Viet Minh arms and munitions to forces in northern central Vietnam.
Taking control of Hoa Binh would force the Viet Minh to face paratroops, riverine forces and the new de Lattre created Mobile Groups with enough firepower and mobility to destroy Viet Minh regular forces. Once Hoa Binh was gained the French would garrison Hoa Binh with French forces until the Vietnamese army could be formed to replace them.
The first phase of the campaign, Operation Tulipe, kicked off on November 10, 1951, to seize the Cho Ben Pass and extend French military control beyond Provincial Route 21(the so-called Route des Concessions).It was successful. With a toehold in the Muong highlands, de Lattre moved on to Phase II. Following the seizure of Cho Ben, de Lattre restructured forces into three operational groups in order to take Hoa Binh by land, air and river. On November 13.riverine and ground forces began their movement Operational Group North advanced as far as Dan The and the Ap Da Chong crossroads , another liaison group got bogged down in dense vegetation and Operational Group South reached Kem Pass on Colonial Route 6. The 2nd Colonial Parachute Battalion (2nd BPC), an airborne engineer platoon, an airborne artillery section and a small paratroop battle staff and the 1st Colonial Parachute Battalion (1st BPC) jumped in followed by the 7th Colonial Parachute Battalion (7th BPC) . The paratroops took their objectives.
General Jean de
Lattre de Tassigny
General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny won three major victories at Vinh Yen, Mao and Yen Cu Ha. He successfully defended the north
of the country against the Viet Minh. He even saw his only son sacrificed in Frances cause during the Battle for Nam Dinh. In 1951, illness forced de Lattre de Tassigny to return to Paris where he later died of cancer; he was posthumously made Marchal de France.
After his return to France, his successors Raoul Salan and Henri Navarre did not enjoy the same level of success as de Lattre did. They completely disregarded the successful military methods and operations of de Lattre. General Raoul Salan would draw Viet Minh units away from the Red River delta and into a similar campaign at Na San. But Salan and his staff were replaced by General
Henri Navarre and his staff .
General Henri Navarre, who had not studied the lessons of de Lattre and Hoa Binh, would make every mistake ever made in
Indochina since 1946 in one place: Dien Bien Phu. His decisions would cost thousands of lives, including Americans, cost the prestige and wealth of his nation, cost the entire French Colonial System and open the door to the Second USA Indochina War .
THE FRENCH TRIBULATION WOULD
THE BATTLE OF DIEN BIEN PHU.
AP PHOTO: RELIEF TROOPSTRANSPORTED BY US FORCES TO DIEN BIEN PHU
Chau & T’ai Federation
In November 1953, the Chinese, at odds with the US over Korea, and knowing the US was financing the French in Indochina, convinced the Viet Minh to attack Lai Chau, the capital of the T’ai Federation (in Upper Tonkin), which was backed by, and loyal to, the French.
The new French commander in chief in Indochina, General Henri Navarre, moved to defend his allies. The T’ai “maquis” had long formed a significant threat to the Viet Minh “rear”. In addition, the T’ai supplied the French with opium that was sold to finance French special operations. And, by not assisting The T’ai, the Viet Minh could sweep into Laos. Yet Lai Chau was impossible to defend.
So, after contact with many military personel, the US and other parties, a plan was developed and decision was made (against many of the “individuals” and countries advice–including the US ) to set up a strong hold and lure the Viet Minh into a set battle in a valley called Dien Bien Phu.
On November 20, Navarre launched Operation Castor with a paratroop drop on the broad valley of Dien Bien Phu, which was chosen partially due to its aged runway. Focusing on THAT runway, the troops rapidly transformed a defensive perimeter consisting of eight strong points around the airstrip.
In December 1953, the T’ais received word to march out of Lai Chau and come to Dien Bien Phu — they were badly mauled by the waiting Viet Minh forces- a sign of things to come.
& DATED AP 6 X 9 PHOTO
APRIL 26 1954. FRENCH TROOPS IN MUFTI LEAVE FOR INDOCHINA: FRENCH PARATROOPERS, GARBED IN CIVILIAN CLOTHES, ARRIVE AT ORLY FIELD PARIS , WITH THEIR GEAR PRIOR TO BOARDING U.S. AIR FORCE PLANES FOR
FLIGHT TO BOLSTER FRENCH UNION FORCES IN INDOCHINAAPRIL 20,. ON THE FOLLOWING DAY, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY CHARLES E. WILSON ANNOUNCED THE AIR FORCE WAS CARRYING FRENCH TROOPS TO INDOCHINA AT THE REQUEST OF THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT. (AP WIRE-PHOTO) 1954.
BIEN PHU 1
A bad situation gets worse.
The French army had built a huge fortified outpost deep in the jungles northwest of Hanoi in a valley called Dien Bien Phu.
They then sent 15,000 soldiers into this “bastion”, which could only be supplied by airplane.
Unknown to the French [ and their american advisers] , with Communist China’s help, which included tons of arms, supplies, artillery and anti aircraft guns –MUCH OF WHICH WAS CAPTURED AMERICAN MADE GUNS AND AMMUNITION CAPTURED IN THE INITIAL OVERRUNNING OF US FORCES DURING THE KOREAN WAR– the
Viet Minh hauled artillery and anti-aircraft guns into positions in the hills surrounding the valley fortress. They placed them in concealed and protected emplacements that made it impossible to detect when they fired, let alone the ability to knock them out.
In addition to the placement of the US heavy weapons, the Viet Minh sent teams of “workers” to spie on the fortifications of Beatrice, Eliane, Gabrielle, Dominique, Claudine, Isabelle, Anne-Marie and Huguette when they were being built and THEY mapped all the structures, including command posts, artillery placements and had the complete layout and measurements of the main defensive and command areas as well as the entrenchments.
The Viet Minh also utilized perfect intelligence to know where and how many of the various troops would be
stationed. With Frenchmen, Legionnaires, Vietnamese, Moracans, Algerians, Africans, and T’ais defending various positions in various strengths, this knowledge allowed the Viet Minh to cause some soldiers to desert or quit fighting, and, from 8 years of war, they knew which troops were weak and which
were strong willed and they knew which were new and which were seasoned. On the twelvth of March the Viet Minh toasted the battle and readied their troops to start the battle. During the next 56 days, the French situation would become increasingly desperate.
At 17:30, on the 13th
of March, 1954, the Viet Minh began their attack. The first, immediate casualty was a direct hit on an important command bunker killing an experienced and important top level commander and his entire high ranking staff.Within several days, the Viet Minh had caused devastation and had struck every important top level objective including the runway.
When the French tried to fly in additional troops, the Viet Minh shot down the slow lumbering airplanes, and
when the French tried to fly their wounded out, the Viet Minh shot them down as soon as they took off. The Runway was COMPLETELY taken out within the first 16 days.
DE PARA FLAG
DE PARACHUTISTES FLAG
DIEN BIEN PHU 2
Airdrops, hampered by weather and anti aircraft flack, delivered supplies until the Viet Minh began trench digging and repositioning anti air craft guns to target drops and then eliminating the drop zones. Attack and bombing airplanes were shot down and then the weather made it all but impossible to fly anything.
As the noose tightened around Dien Bien Phu, and the casualties grew by the hundreds, replacing troops became impossible. When aircraft came in many men jumped from moving planes at 50 feet. It was black hawk down on steroids, but casualties simply became the two edged sword. Paratroopers dropped to their deaths knowing their chances were slim.
The Viet Minh trenches were dug for two main purposes.
One: To relieve the Viet Minh troops from countless lethal frontal attacks Though the French forces were at more than a disadvantage, they had caused the Viet Minh heavy losses and casualties. In fact, at one point, the Viet Minh forces were decimated and those that remained refused to fight. The Viet Minh had to bring in new troops!
Two: To cut off airdrop zones and gain access to French trenches and positions. In one “trench attack” , the Viet Minh, upon several failures to overwhelm a French defensive strong point, dug a trench under the objective and, after laying explosives, blew the entire defensive position off the map. The parties blown up never knew what hit them.
The Viet Minh ordered new troops in and while waiting for their arrival, they forced various tribes peoples and Vietnam civilians, by the hundreds if not thousands, to build trenches. Thousands of trenches, each allowing the next to get closer.
With food and basic supplies missing targets and dropping right into the Viet Minh hands. Tons of supplies became Viet Minh property. In one Viet Minh picture, the captured drops were enough to stack 40 feet high by 50 wide.
Every day the Viet Minh ring surrounding the fortress grew tighter. The French forces that survived would state that they could hear the digging 24/7. A frenzy of digging. They also said they could see the men and woman laborers digging but could not shoot them due to ammunition supplies, At one point there were 50 shells per soldier left!
MILITARY COLONIAL MEDICAL MEDAL AWARD
medal awarded to graduates of military medical training school Before the French revolution each medical corps of the Military had to train its own personnel. In 1856 Emperor Napoleon III set up the Imperial Military Medical Academy in Strasbourg. Prior to this date, applicants for a position of medical officer were trained in Army hospitals. When the Colonial expansion started, there were very few military health professional on duties in the colonies and their training had taken place in Medical Academies of the Navy. After completing their curriculum these medical officers were assigned to regiments of the metropolitan army or were assigned to posts in territories of the Maghreb, which were either colonies or protectorates (Algeria, Indochine, Tunisia and Morocco). A new section of this academy was added in 1941 for the Air-force.
The school of health of the armies of Bordeaux was set up in 1890 to train military and colonial doctors and pharmacists. During he Great War it temporarily was utilized as a hospital and its teachers and students operated and cared for French wounded. Marine and Air Force troops desiring to be medical officers attended the school of health of the armies of Bordeaux. The end result was that they became physicians, pharmacists and military personnel or they became a “colonial” and entered the Colonial Medical Corps. In 1945 Colonial Subjects were allowed to attend.
DIEN BIEN PHU 3
AS the Viet Minh continued to dig trenches, the French began to run out of ammunition, food, artillery rounds, medical supplies and reinforcements. They were powerless to stop the Viet Minh. As the trenches got closer and closer, the Viet Minh began to strangle the strong points and then over run them. Soon no pace was safe from the Viet Minh shelling or the fresh waves of Viet Minh attacks.
The defensive strong points, each bearing a French Woman’s name, began to disapear. Eventually, sooner than later, Beatrice, Eliane, Gabrielle, Dominique, Claudine, Isabelle, Anne-Marie and Huguette would all be
devestated of all that had been associated with the French. Though the French and their Colonial allies would successfully fiught off up to 4 to 5 direct strong point attacks, each strong defensive position would eventually fall.
On 7 May, an all-out attack against the remaining French units with over 25,000 Viet Minh against fewer than 3,000 garrison troops was ordered.
By nightfall,all French central positions had been captured. The last radio transmission from the French headquarters reported that enemy troops were directly outside the headquarters bunker and that all the positions had been overrun. The radio operator in his last words stated: “The enemy has overrun us. We are blowing up everything. Vive la France!”
That night the garrison made a breakout attempt. While some of the main body managed to break out, none succeeded in escaping the valley. However at “Isabelle”, a similar attempt later the same night saw about 70 troops, out of 1,700 men in the garrison, escape to Laos
On 8 May, the Viet Minh counted 11,721 prisoners, of whom 4,436 were wounded. This was the greatest number the Viet Minh had ever captured: one-third of the total captured during the entire war. The prisoners were divided into groups. Able-bodied soldiers were force-marched over 250 miles (400 km) to prison camps to the north and east. where they were intermingled with Viet Minh soldiers to discourage French bombing runs. Hundreds died of disease along the way. The wounded were given basic first aid until the Red Cross arrived, removed 858, and provided better aid to the remainder. Those wounded who were not evacuated by the Red Cross were sent into detention The French survivors (now prisoners) of the battle at Dien Bien Phu were starved, beaten, and heaped with abuse, and many died. Of 10,863 survivors held as prisoners, only 3,290 were officially repatriated four months later however, the losses figure may include the 3,013 prisoners of Vietnamese origin whose eventual fate is unknown
|At Dien Bien Phu regiments of Foreign Legion as
well as Tirailleur’s were present:1st Battalion/13th
Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade (1/13 DBLE) 3rd Battalion/13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade
(3/13 DBLE) 1st Battalion/2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (1/2 REI) 3rd Battalion/3rd
Foreign Infantry Regiment (3/3 REI) 2nd Battalion/1st Algerian Rifle Regiment (2/1 RTA)
3rd Battalion/3rd Algerian Rifle Regiment (3/3 RTA) 5th Battalion/7th Algerian Rifle
Regiment (5/7 RTA) 1st Battalion/4th Moroccan Rifle Regiment (1/4 RTM) 2nd Thai Battalion
(BT 2) 3rd Thai Battalion (BT 3) Parachute Infantry1st
Foreign Parachute Battalion (1st BEP) 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion (2nd BEP) 1st
Colonial Parachute Battalion (1st BPC) 6th Colonial Parachute Battalion (6th BPC) 8th
Shock Parachute Battalion (8th BPC) 5th Vietnamese Parachute Battalion
|5th BPVN) 2nd Battalion/1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment
(II/1RCP)Armoured Cavalry 3rd
Squadron/1st Light Horse Regiment (3/1 RCC)Artillery 2nd Group/4th Colonial Artillery
Regiment (II/4 RAC) 3rd Group/10th Colonial Artillery Regiment (III/10 RAC) Claudine 11th
Battery/4th Group/4th Colonial Artillery Regiment (11/IV/4 RAC) Platoon/1st Colonial Far
East Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group (I GAACEO) 1st Foreign Composite Heavy Mortar Company
(1 CMMLE) 2nd Foreign Composite Heavy Mortar Company (2 CMMLE) Anne-Marie 1st Foreign
Parachute Heavy Mortar Company Service Units 31st Engineer Battalion (31 BG) Service
Units 2nd Company/822nd Signals Battalion (2/822 BT) – 2nd Company/823rd Signals Battalion
(2/823 BT) – 342nd Parachute Signals Company (342 CPT) – 2nd Platoon/5th Foreign Legion
Medium Repair Company (2/5 CRMLE) 3rd Ammunition Resupply Company (detachment) (3 CM)
730th Fuel Resupply Company (detachment) (730 CR) – 712th Traffic Company (712 CCR) – 3rd
General Staff Transport Company
CTQG) – 1st Exploitation Group (Quartermaster Corps) (GEO 1) – 3rd Marching
Battalion/Republican Guard MobileGendarmerie (detachment) (3
LM/GRGM) – 403rd Military Post Office (403 BPM)Medical Service Units29th
Mobile Surgical Team (ACM 29) 44th Mobile Surgical Team (ACM 44) 3rd Parachute Surgical
Team (ACP 3) 5th Parachute Surgical Team (ACP 5) 6th Parachute Surgical Team (ACP 6)
Intelligence 8th Commando Group/Mixed Intervention Group (GC 8/GMI) Operations-Patrols
Detachment (DOP)Air Force Airfield Control Post ‘Torri Rouge’ (PCIA) Major Jacques rin
Fighter Squadron 1/22 ‘Saintonge’ F8F-1 Bearcat (x6) 21st Artillery Air Observation
Squadron (GAOA 21) MS-500 Criquet 1st Light Medical Evacuation Company (1 CLES) Sikorsky
H-19 S-55 21/374th Air Force Signals Company (CT 21/3 Air Force Marching Company Fighter
Squadron 2/22 ‘Languedoc’ F8F-1 Bearcat Haiphong (Cat Bi) Bomber Squadron 1/19 ‘Gascogne’
B-26 Invader Haiphong (Cat Bi) Bomber Squadron 1/25 ‘Tunisie’ B-26 Invader Haiphong (Cat
Bi) Transport Squadron 2/62 ‘Franche-Comt Dakota DC-3 Hanoi (Bach Mai Airfield) Transport
Squadron 2/63 ‘ Dakota DC-3 Hanoi (Gia Lam) Transport Squadron 1/64 ” Dakota DC-3 Hanoi
(Gia Lam) Transport Squadron 2/64 ‘Anjou’ Dakota DC-3 Hanoi (Bach Mai Airfield) 23rd
Artillery Air Observation Squadron (GAOA 23) MS-500 Criquet Muong Sai 80th Overseas
Reconnaissance Squadron (EROM 80) RF-8F Bearcat (reco) B-26C Invader (reco) Hanoi (Bach
Mai Airfield) 52nd Air Liaison Squadron (ELA 52) Sikorsky H-19 S-55 Bien Hoa 53rd Air
Liaison Squadron (ELA 53) Naval Air Arm 3rd Carrier Attack Squadron (3F) SB2C-5 Helldiver
Carrier Arromanches (Tourane) Hanoi (Bach Mai Airfield) 11th Carrier Fighter Squadron
(11F) F6F-5 Hellcat Carrier Arromanches (Tourane) Hai Phong (Cat Bi) 14th Carrier Fighter
Squadron (14F) F4U-7 Corsair AU-1 Corsair Carrier Bois Belleau (Halong Bay) Hanoi (Bach
Mai Airfield) 28th Bomber Squadron (28F) PB4Y Privateer Hai Phong (Cat Bi) U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Civil Air
Transport (CAT) Dakota DC-3 C-119 Flying Boxcar Hai Phong (Cat Bi) 37 pilots
Discipline Medal & RibboN
de la Campagne
Early in his presidency Dwight Eisenhower made a tough decision about whether to send American troops to fight in Vietnam. American ally in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, France, was struggling to retain its colonial empire in Indochina (the associated states of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia). Before becoming president, Ike had quietly urged the French government to grant independence to Indochina, but France had refused to withdraw
By the time Eisenhower became president in 1953, the communist insurgency against the French had become a fierce war. In 1952, President Truman had authorized $60 million for support of the French military efforts in Indochina. In 1953, President Eisenhower increased that authorization sixfold because his advisors convinced him that, it was the cheapest way to block the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. Again,he urged the French government to grant independence and withdraw from Indochina. When the French refused, Ike said their response was an example of the stupidity of men.
On April 26, 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower stated: As you know, I started more than three years ago trying to
convince the French that they could not win the Indo-China war and particularly could not get real American support in that region unless they would unequivocally pledge independence to the Associated States upon the achievement of military victory. Along with this -indeed as a corollary to it- this administration has been arguing that no Western power can go to Asia militarily, except as one of a concert of powers, which concert must include local Asiatic peoples. To contemplate anything else is to lay ourselves open to the charge of imperialism and colonialism or-at the very least-of objectionable paternalism. Even, therefore, if we could by some sudden stroke assure the saving of the Dien Bien Phu garrison, I think that under the conditions proposed by the
French, the free world would lose more than it would gain. If we were to put one combat soldier into
Indochina, then our entire prestige would be at stake, not only in that area but throughout the world.
During the battle of DIEN Bien Phu, Eisenhower turned over ten additional B26 light bombers to the French and
even authorized sending 200 American mechanics to Vietnam to maintain the equipment he was sending, but these gestures had no effect on the battle raging in the valley. Both Ike and his Secretary of State, John
Foster Dulles, believed that a communist takeover in Indochina would lead to a similar pattern of aggression against other Southeast Asian states.
Trapped, the French government asked for help: for American aircraft carrier planes to bomb the hills surrounding Dien Bien Phu and for American military personnel to support the French combat troops on the ground. Ike personally wanted to support France, not for their adventure in Indochina, but because they were Allies in NATO and he wanted the French government to endorse the European Defense Union then being debated throughout
Europe. But his military experience led him to conclude that there was just no sense in even talking about United States forces replacing the French in Indochine.
They would fall, Ike said, like a series of dominoes lined up close to each other. In such a manner Eisenhower
predicted that all of Southeast Asia would become part of the communist block. Eisenhower told his staff, we can’t throw its forces against the teeming millions of Asia. But support for U.S. intervention came from Congress,the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.During the last week in March and the first week in April 1954, the pressure on Eisenhower increased from Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.for U.S. intervention.
The President decided to cut off the movement for deeper involvement by stating clearly and precisely the
conditions under which he would sanction sending American combat soldiers to Vietnam.
He set out three preconditions: first, the troops would have to be from allied forces sent in approximately equal numbers by at least America, Britain, and Australia; second, the French would have to promise unconditional independence to the people of Indochina; and, third, the United States Congress would have to declare war.
The Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, immediately announced that his country would send no troops to Indochina even though he believed that the British colony of Singapore was in danger.
During the remaining years of his presidency, when pressured by his advisors to send combat troops to South
Vietnam, Eisenhower would continue to adhere to the principles he set for intervention in the battle of Dien Bien Phu.
AIR POLICE COVER CAPS
GIVEN TO FRANCE
FRENCH NAVY BERET
THE DRAGO FRENCH MILITARY TRAINING
COLLEGE BADGE WAS PLACED ON THE CAP FOR DISPLAY ONLY
THIS “FRENCH MARINE BERET ” BEGAN IT’S LIFE AS A US AP OUTER CAP. THE UNITED STATES GAVE THE FRENCH A FEW THOUSAND OF THESE THE FRENCH ADDED THE BLACK BAND WITH “MARINE NATIONALE” EMBROIDER IN GOLD AND TURNED THEM INTO A BERET
President John F. Kennedy
In the 1960 U.S. presidential election, Senator John F. Kennedy defeated Vice-President Richard Nixon. Although Eisenhower warned Kennedy about Laos and Vietnam, Europe and Latin America “loomed larger than Asia on his
sights.” In his inaugural address, Kennedy made the ambitious pledge to “pay any price, bear any burden, meet
any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and success of liberty.
After taking office he was beset by the same forces that attempted to get President Eisenhower to commit U.S. Troops. According When President Kennedy asked General MacArthur his opinion, MacArthur said that it would “be foolish to fight on the Asiatic continent,” and that “the future should be determined at the diplomatic table.” He said that “there was no end to Asia and even if we poured a million American infantry soldiers into that continent, we would still find ourselves outnumbered on every side.”
As reports came in and those desiring war increased their pressure, Kennedy advisers Maxwell Taylor and Walt
Rostow recommended that U.S. troops be sent to South Vietnam disguised as flood relief workers.Kennedy rejected the idea but decided instead to send 3,000 Green Berets, US Army Special Forces experts to advise the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam).
Kennedy would send more military advisors to Vietnam so that by the end of 1962 there were 12,000 of these
advisors in South Vietnam. Kennedy also sent 300 helicopters with US pilots. They were told to avoid military combat at all costs but this became all but impossible to fulfil.
As Kennedy increased military assistance, John Kenneth Galbraith warned Kennedy of the “danger we shall replace the French as a colonial force in the area and bleed as the French did.” By 1963, there were
16,000 American military personnel in South Vietnam, up from Eisenhower’s 900 advisors. As the failure of the South Vietnamese Government and Military to conduct the war or run the country in spite of the US aid and advisors became evident, Kennedy had decided to reduce the number of US troops in South Vietnam by 1963 –but he was assasinated..
CROIX du GUERRE T.O.E.
CROIX du GUERRE T.O.E. Silver
MAP OF INDOCHINA
CONDITION AND FRAMED