Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu
Author: Bernard B. Fall, Robertson Dean
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Release Date: April 18, 2002
From the acclaimed scholar and reporter, a thorough and revealing account of the historic turning point in Vietnam's long struggle--the 1954 battle for Dien Bien Phu
Like Gettysburg, Stalingrad, Midway, and Tet, the battle at Dien Bien Phu--a strategic attack launched by France against the Vietnamese in 1954 after eight long years of war--marked a historic turning point. By the end of the 56-day siege, a determined Viet Minh guerrilla force had destroyed a large, tactical French colonial army in the heart of Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese victory would not only end French occupation of Indochina and offer a sobering premonition of the U.S.'s future military defeat in the region, but would also provide a new model of modern warfare on which size and sophistication didn't always dictate victory.
Before his death in Vietnam in 1967, Bernard Fall, a critically acclaimed scholar and reporter, drew upon declassified documents from the French Defense Ministry and interviews with thousands of surviving French and Vietnamese soldiers to weave a compelling account of the key battle of Dien Bien Phu. With maps highlighting the strategic points of conflict, with thirty-two pages of photos, and with Fall's thorough and insightful analysis, Hell in a Very Small Place has become one of the benchmarks in war reportage.