Thursday, February 18, 2016


This is coolbert:

Before there was Dien Bien Phu there was Na San. And before Na San there was Chipyong-ni?

Chipyong-ni an episode from the Korean War.

Besieged American and French troops engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese ground forces.

As I am fond of mentioning prodigious numbers of an adversary [the Chinese] using their manpower advantage in a profligate manner, almost totally heedless of losses.

American infantry regiment [24th Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division] reinforced by the French battalion and other combat arms assets, told to stand their ground. Retreat not an option.

Construct and defend battalion size strong points. Close-air-support to include nighttime illumination and aerial resupply air drops will be guaranteed.

Overland relief can be counted upon. NO possibility of retrograde movement and abandoning your position unless permission requested and granted first!!

Fight strictly a defensive battle always however with the possibility of counter-attack if necessitated.


Chipyong-ni was the model the French had in mind when they planned and executed first Na San and then Dien Bien Phu?

Monclar the French commander at Chipyong-ni might have said: "this worked in Korea, let it work in Indo-China too!"

French strategy in both instances [Na San and Dien Bien Phu] to fight a strictly defensive battle, inflict prohibitive losses on the Viet Minh, create favorable circumstances for a negotiated end to the First Indo-China War.

Na San a success, Dien Bien Phu NOT!

Some key points:

* Chipyong-ni however not a protracted siege. Lasting only two days. Dien Bien Phu for comparison lasting almost TWO MONTHS!

* The French placing their combatants in both circumstances beyond the hope of overland relief or even retirement from the battlefield.

* At least at Dien Bien Phu the Viet Minh possessing overwhelming artillery and anti-aircraft assets. Unlimited and unrestricted close-air-support either difficult to near impossible.

The case of the hedgehog or strong point defense of course NOT merely confined to the Korean or First Indo-Chia War.

The British in Burma during World War Two using the "Box" stratagem. Establish strong points consisting of ad hoc units, fight a strictly defensive battle, hold your position, aerial supply mandated, no line of retreat possible!

The "Box" concept also successful!

Chipyong-ni YES. Na San YES, Dien Bien Phu NO!


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