By Ted Morgan
Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Ted Morgan has now written a wealthy and definitive account of the fateful conflict that ended French rule in Indochina—and led inexorably to America’s Vietnam struggle. Dien Bien Phu was once a distant valley at the border of Laos alongside an easy rural exchange path. however it could even be the place an outstanding ecu strength fell to an underestimated rebel military and misplaced keep watch over of a vital colony. Valley of Death is the untold tale of the 1954 conflict that, in six weeks, replaced the process history.
A veteran of the French military, Ted Morgan has made use of particular firsthand stories to create the main entire and dramatic telling of the clash ever written. this is the heritage of the Vietminh liberation movement’s uprising opposed to French career after global battle II and its progress as an adversary, finally sponsored via Communist China. the following too is the ill-fated French plan to construct a base in Dien Bien Phu and draw the Vietminh right into a debilitating defeat—which as an alternative resulted in the Europeans being encircled within the surrounding hills, besieged through heavy artillery, overrun, and defeated.
Making professional use of lately unearthed or published details, Morgan finds the internal workings of the yank attempt to help France, with Eisenhower secretly disdainful of the French attempt and prophetically apprehensive that “no army victory was once attainable in that form of theater.” Morgan paints indelible pix of all of the significant avid gamers, from Henri Navarre, head of the French Union forces, a inflexible expert unprepared for an enemy fortified by way of rice carried on bicycles, to his commander, basic Christian de Castries, a privileged, miscast cavalry officer, and basic Vo Nguyen Giap, a grasp of guerrilla battle understanding of a one-room hut at the aspect of a hill. such a lot devastatingly, Morgan units the level for the Vietnam quagmire that used to be to come.
beautifully researched and powerfully written, Valley of Death is the crowning fulfillment of an writer whose paintings has consistently been as compulsively readable because it is important.
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Extra resources for Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War
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