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.