Airlift in battle of Dien Bien Phu and Khe Sanh
Colonel Ryan F. Ferrell, Jr. reported the analysis and reported to the United States Air Force about the role of air power in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu against the French and airborne in the battle of Khe Sanh against the Americans.
Military experts agree that the issue of keeping supplies and logistics play a key role in the battle of Khe Sanh and help the US Marines stay grounded and avoided the repetition of the French disaster at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
The Battle of Khe Sanh and the Battle of Dien Bien Phu all had the same characteristics, which were all happening in distant outposts, and all were cut off on the ground, thus completely dependent on them. air transport. Both outposts faced the artillery of the NVA under Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, which bombarded day and night for long periods of time.
However, the initial view of France and the United States is different, France wants to create and maintain base Dien Bien Phu to create short and decisive battle. Dien Bien Phu is located in a valley of 18km in length and 6km in width. It lies completely in the Viet Minh area, 260km from Hanoi and 144km from the Viet Nam border. Surrounding valleys and rolling hills with the average height of 400-500m. Located in the middle of the valley is the old Japanese-built airport and the center of the base. From Dien Bien Phu base, France will conduct reconnaissance missions in Laos and stop the reinforcements from Vietnam to Laos and vice versa. Previously, France succeeded in this tactic in the battle of Na San in 1952 and France wanted to repeat old tactics for the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.
The French occupied Dien Bien Phu with Opearation Castor, when three parachute battalions were dropped off at the airport and bridges were repaired, reinforcements and war facilities brought quickly. and by March 1954, the garrison of Dien Bien Phu had risen to 10,300. French forces are expected to face about 30,000 Viet Minh troops, so it was totally unexpected when General Giap launched the Dien Bien Phu campaign and brought 70,000 troops with 60,000 supporters. The Viet Minh quickly occupied the surrounding hills, shelling repeatedly into the runway, not airing. On March 13, Viet Minh troops opened fire and noon two C-47 transport planes were destroyed on the runway. The French at the base must broadcast “QGO” meaning “unladen means of transport” which means the airport is completely isolated.
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