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"De Lattre Line, Hanoi - Red River 1950" Topic

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298 hits since 7 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2019 2:45 p.m. PST

"After WWII, France sought to reestablish its colonial empire in Africa and Asia.

Indochina had been taken over by the Japanese in 1940. When they left, there was a long war between the local peoples and the French and a few local allies. In what became North Vietnam the French dug in. Marshal Jean de Lattre de Tassigny arrived in 1949 to take over the colonial forces. He created the de Lattre Line as shown above. This was to protect the capital, Hanoi and its connections to the main seaport at Haiphong…."


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Legion 408 Jan 2019 8:31 a.m. PST

As we see that concept didn't really work out that well. Like the Maginot Line, it is not always the "solution" …

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2019 11:43 a.m. PST



Virginia Tory10 Jan 2019 11:45 a.m. PST

Although it did help free up mobile formations so they could hunt the Viet Minh. The French were lucky De Lattre came along when he did.

Legion 410 Jan 2019 12:13 p.m. PST

That is true … but in the end … the French could not control or suppress "the home team" … in the long run.

catavar11 Jan 2019 10:42 a.m. PST

The line showed it's worth when the Viet Minh launched large scale attacks in 1951.

I'm sure the line was helpful when the CEFEO started to secretly evacuate the Delta in 1954 as well.

Would France have been able to even nominally control the area around Hanoi, from 1950-54, without De Lattre's fortifications?

Legion 412 Jan 2019 8:31 a.m. PST

Good question … probably not … But again, in the long run, well we know how that worked out.

Virginia Tory13 Jan 2019 4:57 p.m. PST

Dien Bien Phu, ironically, was the final cage match. If the Viet Minh had been defeated, it would have put the French in a much more favorable position than the one they ended up with.

Legion 414 Jan 2019 7:18 a.m. PST

Very true … but as we all have studied DBP, it seems the French were going to lose inevitably.
Building base camps all be them fortified in a valley surrounded by high ridges, etc. And basing almost all their resupply by air. Seems like a poor plan at least in hindsight, so it appears.

But the US did something a little bit similar at Khe Sahn about 15 years later. However there were other factors by then that influenced the US strategy, etc. And B-52s are a superior platforms than B-29s, etc., etc., …

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