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The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnamby Martin Windrow
Synopses & Reviews
In December 1953 French paratroopers, who had been searching for the elusive Vietnamese army, were quickly isolated by them and forced to retreat into their out-gunned and desolate jungle base-a small place called Dien Bien Phu. The Vietnamese besieged the French base for five long and desperate months. Eventually, the demoralized and weakened French were utterly depleted and withdrew in defeat. The siege at Dien Bien Phu was a landmark battle of the last century-the first defeat of modern western forces by an Asian guerilla army.The Last Valley is the first new account of the battle since the 1970s. The author has incorporated much new material from French and Vietnamese sources, including veteran interviews, making this the most complete account to-date. And Martin Windrow has received widespread praise from top historians such as John Keegan and Max Hastings (below), as well as reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Book News Annotation:
Synthesizing earlier, mostly French, research, Windrow (associate, Royal Historical Society, UK) provides an account of Dien Bien Phu, the decisive battle of the doomed French efforts to suppress the Viet Minh resistance to their colonial occupation. The work is a traditional military history, concentrating on tactics, maneuvers of battle, and the ever-present contingencies of the battlefield. This is a paperbound edition of a work first published in 2004. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The highly acclaimed book about the battle that doomed the French Empire and led America into Vietnam, The Last Valley is "a brilliant work of military history" -Boston Globe
In December 1953, the French army occupying Vietnam challenged the elusive Vietnamese army to engage in battle at Dien Bien Phu. The story of how the siege in the jungle wore on until the French were depleted, demoralized, and destroyed is meticulously researched for this volume.
A look at Dien Bien Phu and the French defeat in Vietnam.
About the Author
Martin Windrow is an associate of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the Foreign Legion Association of Great Britain. He is the co-author of several well-known military reference works, including the Dictionary of Military Biography. He lives in Sussex, England.
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