At the Geneva Peace conference in 1954, an agreement is reached to end the war in Indochina. Vietnam would be divided, the Communist gaining control of the north. The French Army leave Hanoi and the Red River Delta. Diem becomes the leader of South Vietnam from 1954 until is overthrow and death in 1963, a biography of him.
On May 1st General Giap orders the Viet Minh army to attack the remaining French defensive positions, most of the attacks are successful. The French are greatly outnumbered and even the wounded are pressed into service. French resistance ends on May 7th. General Ely becomes the French Army commander in Indochina a biography of him. The French Government falls and the new premier promised to end the war in Indochina within 30 days.
The Viet Minh took some weeks to restock their supply of Artillery and Mortar shells and received new recruits into their infantry to replace the losses they had suffered. A biography of Colonel An who would become the new commander of the Viet Minh 174th Regiment. There was a growing problem of French troops deserting within the Dien Bien Phu garrison. However the French retake the hill position of Elaine One.
Lieutenant Colonel Langlais assumes effective control of the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu, a biography of him. The Viet Minh attack the eastern defences of the French base, most of which are successful but some French defensive positions do fight the Viet Minh off. The Isabelle position, south of the main base is cut off by the Viet Minh. However the Viet Minh do suffer heavy losses during this battles.
On March 1954, the Viet Minh launched an artillery barrage upon the French garrison. In the evening Viet Minh infantry attacked the Beatrice defensive position, capturing it an destroying a Foreign Legion battalion. On March 14th the Viet Minh attack and latter captured the Gabrielle position, destroying an Algerian battalion. A biography of Colonel Le Tan, the commander of the Viet minh 312th Division.
The French Army build a defensive positions around Dien Bien Phu, with blockhouse protected by barbed wire and trenches. The French Army raids into the surrounding countryside become more difficult as the Viet Minh move four infantry divisions and a heavy weapons division into the area. The French Army launch and offensive in Central Vietnam. A biography of General Cogny, the French Army commander in North Vietnam.
On November 20th 1953, the French Army drop parachute troops into the area of Dien Bien Phu. The French win control of the area after a battle with local Viet Minh forces. An airstrip is built and sup[plies flown in. The French garrison commander is Colonel De Castries, a biography of him. The Viet Minh pour troops into the hills surrounding the French base. General Giap orders two invasions into Laos.
Opposition to the war in France grows. General Henri Navarre is appointed as the new commander of the French Army in Indochina. He plans to expand both French forces and those of his Vietnamese allies. The French Army launch an operation along Highway Four near the border with China and another operation to defeat the Viet Minh 320th Division. General Navarre plans for a French military operation to occupy a valley in North Vietnam which contains Dien Bien Phu. A biography of General Navarre.
General Salan becomes the new commander of the French Army in Indochina, a biography of him. The French Army sends men to train the hill tribesmen to fight the Viet Minh. The French Army launches an offensive to the North West of Hanoi. General Giap orders his army to invade Laos but along the way suffers a repulse at Na Sam.