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Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War

de Ted Morgan

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"Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ted Morgan has now written a definitive account of the fateful battle that ended French rule in Indochina - and led inexorably to America's Vietnam War. Dien Bien Phu was a remote valley on the border of Laos along a simple rural trade route. But it would also be where a great European power fell to an underestimated insurgent army and lost control of a crucial colony. Valley of Death is the untold story of the 1954 battle that, in six weeks, changed the course of history." "Here is the history of the Vietminh liberation movement's rebellion against French occupation after World War II and its growth as an adversary, eventually backed by Communist China. Here too is the ill-fated French plan to build a base in Dien Bien Phu and draw the Vietminh into a debilitating defeat - which instead led to the Europeans being encircled in the surrounding hills, besieged by heavy artillery, overrun, and defeated." "Morgan reveals the inner workings of the American effort to aid France, with Eisenhower secretly disdainful of the French effort and prophetically worried that "no military victory was possible in that type of theater." Morgan paints indelible portraits of all the major players, from Henri Navarre, head of the French Union forces, a rigid professional unprepared for an enemy fortified by rice carried on bicycles, to his commander, General Christian de Castries, a privileged, miscast cavalry officer, and General Vo Nguyen Giap, a master of guerrilla warfare working out of a one-room hut on the side of a hill. Most devastatingly, Morgan sets the stage for the Vietnam quagmire that was to come."--BOOK JACKET.… (mais)
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Exibindo 4 de 4
This book consists of two concurrently running stories, the first dealing with the slow decline of French power in Indochina, leading to the catastrophic defeat at Dien Bien Phu, the second with the machinations in the White House as the Americans debate how far to support the French, whom they cynically regarded as a bastion against despite Communism despite their professed loathing for colonial rule. The first story is handled brilliantly, the sad stories of the individual soldiers who suffered and died while the French generals squabbled and dithered. The second story is not quite as interesting, the political back & forth in Washington is hard to follow, although of course the outcome is well-known, not heeding the failure of the French, the US decided ultimately to embark on their own even more futile adventure in Indochina. A great book, the tragedy of the lives lost at Dien Bien Phu is gripping and terribly sad. Sadly the American failure in Vietnam has overshadowed the earlier and equally tragic French campaign, this book does a great job of restoring the balance. ( )
  drmaf | Jun 27, 2017 |
Bueno, si bien centrado en Dien Bien Phu es una historia de la primera guerra de indochina entre francia y el viet cong. Pero con un enorme trabajo de referencia hacia la politica internacional y la posición de Estados Unidos e Inglaterra, y en menor medida Rusia y China. Deprime ver como se pueden cometer tantos errores, desde donde ubicar a la base hasta subestimar al Viet Cong. Te muestra además a un Churchill ya decadente, y como para salvar el honor (sobre todo el de ellos) los politicos y los altos mandos terminan sacrificando vidas, sobre todo las ajenas ( )
  gneoflavio | Aug 9, 2016 |
An epic chronicle of the events leading to the end of French Indochina and the beginning of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. An exhaustively detailed, insightful account. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
A very well written book on the French war in Indochina and the consequences for America on how it ended up in Vietnam. The portrait of the Dien Bien Phu battle is covered in great detail and the bravery of the combatants under fire is well explored.The author provides a good insight into the American view of the French war effort and Eisenhower emerges with an enhanced reputation compared to Dulles his Secretary of State. Both Navarre and Cogny the French generals overseeing the battle are severely criticised for underestimating Giap and the NVA and leaving there own soldiers to their ultimate fate of defeat. The same errors would confound the American generals who followed the French despite more resources and greater military numbers. ( )
1 vote tbrennan1 | Jan 19, 2011 |
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"Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ted Morgan has now written a definitive account of the fateful battle that ended French rule in Indochina - and led inexorably to America's Vietnam War. Dien Bien Phu was a remote valley on the border of Laos along a simple rural trade route. But it would also be where a great European power fell to an underestimated insurgent army and lost control of a crucial colony. Valley of Death is the untold story of the 1954 battle that, in six weeks, changed the course of history." "Here is the history of the Vietminh liberation movement's rebellion against French occupation after World War II and its growth as an adversary, eventually backed by Communist China. Here too is the ill-fated French plan to build a base in Dien Bien Phu and draw the Vietminh into a debilitating defeat - which instead led to the Europeans being encircled in the surrounding hills, besieged by heavy artillery, overrun, and defeated." "Morgan reveals the inner workings of the American effort to aid France, with Eisenhower secretly disdainful of the French effort and prophetically worried that "no military victory was possible in that type of theater." Morgan paints indelible portraits of all the major players, from Henri Navarre, head of the French Union forces, a rigid professional unprepared for an enemy fortified by rice carried on bicycles, to his commander, General Christian de Castries, a privileged, miscast cavalry officer, and General Vo Nguyen Giap, a master of guerrilla warfare working out of a one-room hut on the side of a hill. Most devastatingly, Morgan sets the stage for the Vietnam quagmire that was to come."--BOOK JACKET.

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