For Wyatt, et. al. -- I'm sure most of us have read Bernard Fall's great book on Dien Bien Phu, in which he concludes that massive US airpower would have saved the French outpost in that particular battle. I recall reading that the USAF even sent a senior officer to Indochina to take a look at the situation, and we were prepared to deploy some B-29s to do some saturation bombing. But while the JCS Chairman favored the idea the service chiefs of staff did not, and President Eisenhower agreed with them.
Just a correction to prior post on Dien Bien Phu relief by the US in 1954 with atomic bomb.
Chalmers Roberts, not Chalmers Johnson is the author/journalists name who reported on the VP Nixon as having proposed atomic bomb for French relief. The actual article, admitted a 2nd hand source not[here] based on original research has been around since the 1960s as published material.
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Wyatt, I do not recall Nixon pushing for the A Bomb, There was however quite a controversy over weather Dulles offered Frances foreign Minister Bidault not one but two Atom Bombs . When questioned on the subject Bidault said he never took the offer seriously, Dulles said it was never a real offer just a sounding out of the French position.
Wyatt, like most would-be pundits I go looking for the "money quote" on which to zero in. Your latest response to Walt Macintosh included this: "Kennedy wished to counter the so-called 'wars of national liberation' being sponsored by Khrushchev and Communists to overthrow the West and Democracy in the then 3rd World countries opposing 'colonialism' by Europe and the West.
Viewing page 343 of pages 343-363
This is an online BBC news commentary upon the 54 decisions re: US intervention to assist France at Bien Phu.
The mentioned story from prior post was by Chalmers Johnson and here is an online source reference[of some limited use as texted]:\
Walt, am little hazy on the pre-1965, going back to 50s history of Vietnam; haven't followed a lot of history into that period of time and not familiar with its details. But, am quite certain your correct about the post-Dien Bien Phu history of France's efforts.
Wyatt, I would like to make a few minor points /nit picks about your post:At Dien Bien Phu the DRV captured 11 0r 12 thousand POW's many wounded and bad health. The Red Cross was there but DRV would not allow access, then these POW's sent on a March that made the Baatan Death March look like a hike in the park . (0 days later thye 3000 POW's still alive were turned over to the French.This was surely a crime against humanity. It was in 1962 that Harkins wa installed as CO MAC-V.
Thanks Walt for your answer. 1-As remembered the US and Allies divided over Vietnam; had they gotten together to condemn Communist North may well be worth researching...do not remember a whole lot about this except Brits had indicated as early as 65 US should pull back to Philippines and offshore[another story]. 2-MaC-V should have been headed by a counterinsurgency General but Army had other ideas. They wished to prove conventional war could defeat guerrilla war so went conventional. 3-UN joint Command was never in the offing as recalled cause Korea was a UN problem and So.
Wyatt, There are a number of things that could have been done to ensure a viable South Vietnam . 1. The free nations of the world should have condemned the DRV for the crimes against humanity in regards to the treatment of the Dien Bien Phu POWs . 2. MAC-V should have been headed up by a counterinsurgency expert not a pink panted WWII tank commander 3. MAC-v should have been a joint command as was in Korea 4. The 1954 cease fire agreement should have been enforced 5. Henry Cabot Lodge Jr, should never been allowed to engineer the murder of the president of South Vietnam.