Vietnam, the Long War: Dien Bien Phu: French Defeat, American Albatross

25 Jan 2016

On Monday, January 25, 2016, we were joined by Mark Albertson.

From 1946 to 1954, French ground forces were fought and outlasted by the nationalist-minded Viet Minh. It was at Dien Bien Phu, March to May 1954, that not only saw the end of French colonialism in Indochina, but the deepening American involvement in Vietnam. The American taxpayer was already digging deep to support the French effort. In 1953 alone, the war between the French and Viet Minh cost America $1.063 billion. This talk will include such factors as, the possibility of American forces taking part at Dien Bien Phu; the Geneva Accords; Ngo Dinh Diem and American support; the Domino Theory; the effect of the Korean War and the rise of Red China. And American involvement in Vietnam against the backdrop of the Cold War.

About the presenter

Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine and is a long-time member of the United States Naval Institute. In addition, Albertson teaches history at Norwalk Community College. In May 2005, Albertson was presented with a General Assembly Citation by both houses of the state legislature in Hartford for his effort in commemorating the centennial of battleship Connecticut.

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