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Thread: General Giap is dead

  1. #31
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Hardly. His logistics starts and ends with the set battle of annihilation, either DBP or Khe Sanh. It does not compare to Zhukov or even Peng Dehuai (Korean War) where battles start at the border, ending at the enemy's opposing capital and six to seven major battles in between.

    Tet was a testament to Vo's failure in logistics as well as strategy. His LOCs were cut and his regiments were decimated without relief forces in sight.
    sir,

    You are focussing too much one battle. Giap moved armies all over nth & central Indochina for over 4 years against a foe with total air superiority, greater firepower and much greater mobility. It was an impressive feat. I'm pretty sure he was opposed to Tet & I'm note sure of his specific role in it. I think the guy who did most of the planning died just beforehand in a US bombing.


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  2. #32
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    Militarily, the only brownie points you get is when you win, not doing something that Caesar and Alexander have done thousands of years before. Air superiority meant squat in that terrain. The canopy hid entire armies.

  3. #33
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    As for Tet, don't buy it that he was opposed. He was in the direct chain of command. He had a go-no-go. The fact that he was in Hungary for medical attention maybe just that. He needed medical attention that cannot be provided at home.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    If that would have put the blood of millions back into their bodies but... France was on the decline, by the end of the conflict most of the "French military" was made up of locals, and France ended up creating (under American pressure) a local government - and after France left Giap and company spent the next 20 years trying to enslave the rest of the region. Long after France left these murderers were filling mass graves with innocent civilians in a quest to put one of the most vile systems of government in place.


    It is amazing that despite the large number of groups opposed to the French presence, American opposition, French steps to create an independent state - people still talk of either continued direct French rule or millions of corpses/rule by a despotic regime as the only options and the rule of that despotic regime being some sort of great liberation.

    I am sure short of what you have seen on the history channel you know jack shit about the conflict but millions were killed by communist imperialists who attacked three nations, after France left, to try and enslave the region.
    So you support colonialism so you would attack freedom movements as communist movements. Seems to be the same thing when people criticized Subhas Chandra Bose of being a communist when he was trying to free India using any means available to him. What else is new?

    You know jack shit about the freedom movements and you seem to be an apologist for the western colonialism and oppression and exploitation of native and indigenous population without fair compensation.

    Your style seems to be to get exposed for knowing nothing about a given subject then slinking off. I hope you show up with your customary uninformed opinion when Mugabe croaks.
    Your style seems to make ad hominem attacks against people for expressing viewpoints that are diametrically different from yours using their backgrounds against them while you refuse to reveal your background. As for your claim of slinking off, that is easy. When I recognize a hole full of pig shit and I do not have to jump into it in order to win points. I just hop over it and move on my merry way with fistful of dollars. Same way I view your arguments. Your arguments are worthless, than two cents put together so I hardly waste my time answering you since I make money by the hour and my time is valuable. So I won't apologize for ignoring your posts that somehow make you think I am slinking off. The only reason why I answered your posts above was because I had time to waste and bothered to make some efforts to reply to your useless posts. Don't expect me to waste my breath on you if I do not need to when I could be making money and I am indeed making money.

    So do not mistake the act of ignoring you as slinking off. I am spelling that out in case you do not get it.
    Last edited by Blademaster; 07 Oct 13, at 05:45.

  5. #35
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Militarily, the only brownie points you get is when you win, not doing something that Caesar and Alexander have done thousands of years before. Air superiority meant squat in that terrain. The canopy hid entire armies.
    But he did win...repeatedly. He handed the Legion the biggest defeat in its history at Lang Son in 1950. He bottled up French forces in the Red River Delta and picked off outposts in the Nth one by one. He forced the collapse of Operation Lorraine, bringing an end to France's ability to mount land-based offensives from the delta. By 1953 the French were resigned to a stalemate at best in the Nth. That year Giap launched a major offensive into Laos that almost led to the expulsion of French forces and saw significant parts of Laos placed permanently under Communist control.. Not only did this divide French forces, it heavily influenced the decision to set up a base at Dien Bien Phu. In early 1954, while fighting at Dien Bien Phu was ramping up, he forced the abandonment of a major offensive in central Vietnam involving 25,000 troops, mainly from the new Vietnamese National Army. This last victory was almost as significant as Dien Bien Phu because it showed that French attempts to 'Vietnamize' the war (tellingly called 'jaundicement' or 'yellowing) had failed.

    All of these were victories. The French had lost before the final battle at Dien Bien Phu & they knew it. These operations required impressive feats of logistics in difficult terrain. Canopy may provide cover, but jungle is a bitch to move armies through. Ceasar didn't have to drag 122mm artillery pieces & replenish ammunition for modern weapons. He didn't have to worry about his baggage trains being napalmed. He also didn't have to fight an enemy that had armoured vehicles or could land an army by air in his rear. Not a remotely fair comparison. Giap's achievements in that respect were impressive by any measure.


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  6. #36
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanswu25 View Post
    I respect Giap for taking up weapons to fight the French and for giving them a bloody nose. Without the march of Giap's tiny army to Hanoi in 1945 and the war started in 1946, I would not expect the French to give nor grant Vietnam anything. Of course somewhere there was also people like Gandhi but this was the case of Vietnam with the bloody French.
    More questionable history.

    The establishment of a communist government in Hanoi in 1945 made a French return more likely, not less. There were no French units in the Nth in August 1945. In fact, nothing significant arrived until Ho signed an agreement for them to return in March 1946 (there were troops in the Sth, but that was never a Viet Minh stronghold). So, why did Ho invite a French return? Because thee were over 150,000 nationalist Chinese troops in the Nth to disarm the Japanese and they supported Ho's political enemies. In fact, nationalists denounced Ho for negotiating with the French at all. Ho calculated that the French would not be able to sustain a presence, but that the Chinese might tip the political balance against him.

    Lets play counter factual. lets imagine that Giap doesn't have much of an army and Ho doesn't declare himself President in August 1945. Instead, non-communist nationalists such as the VNQDD, Dong Minh Hoi & Dai Viet (among many) use the backing of the Chinese to set up a government. As anti-communists this government finds it much easier to get US support and keep the French from returning. The Chinese were opposed to a French return & there was actually fighting between French & Chinese troops when the French tried to land at Haiphong in 1946. With this support plus greater US support a nationalist government might actually have been able to either prevent a French return to the Nth or make it so weak that it was unable to form the basis for a military occupation. America was looking to support non-communist nationalist regimes all over Asia. This would have been yet one more opportunity. In reality Giap's little army taking Hanoi may have made a French return easier, not harder.

    You need to stop writing everybody but the Viet Minh out of the anti-French struggle. There were other potential paths which its rivals were sadly not well enough organized to take. There were a range of possibilities in the months between the end of WW2 & the French return in March/April 1946. That they have been largely overlooked in simplistic 'Viet Minh drive out the French' narratives doesn't mean they did not exist.
    Last edited by Bigfella; 08 Oct 13, at 08:07.


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  7. #37
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    Bigfella,

    yes there were other players but they did not achieve the influence that Viet Minh had. Viet Minh took center stage because the French gave them the most attention and they achieved victories against the French on their own terms while the other groups had to make some compromises so as a result, Viet Minh were the strongest players in the freedom movement.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Giap's achievements in that respect were impressive by any measure.
    Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Vo did nothing that the IJA, the KMT during the Burma Road Campaigns, the British Indian Army, and even the Qing before them did not do. Vo had a foot army, not a mechanized/motorized force. Their water came from the land, not being hauled around. Their artillery were mostly animal driven, not human pulled. The only thing that stands him as a competent general, aside from reading the enemy right, was his ability to deliver artillery ammunition when and where he needed and even here, it must be put into context, he had artillery regiments, not artillery divisions, something the Chinese already had in good practice.

    What's more, the scale must be understood. His biggest commitement was 70,000 men. More often than not, it was never more than half that at other engagements. While nothing to scoff at, it pales against the 200-300 thousand men commitement that the real logistics standards were set and measured against.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 07 Oct 13, at 19:16.

  9. #39
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    True,

    but those armies never had to contend against the massive air power that US employed and still come out fighting.

    In Korean war, if i am correct, there was little carpet bombing as compared to Operation Linebacker I and II and Rolling Thunder.
    Last edited by Blademaster; 07 Oct 13, at 17:41.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    You need to stop writing everybody but the Viet Minh out of the anti-French struggle. There were other potential paths which its rivals were sadly not well enough organized to take. There were a range of possibilities in the months between the end of WW2 & the French return in March/April 1946. That they have been largely overlooked in simplistic 'Viet Minh drive out the French' narratives doesn't mean they did not exist.
    And you stop putting words into my mouth. Where did I say they did not exist? But to say they had any role in kicking the French out is the same with saying that Viet Minh kicked out the Japanese out of Indochina and there would have been possibility that Japanese surrendered to Viet Minh without two US nuclear bombs.

    I will get back to you later when I got home.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    True,

    but those armies never had to contend against the massive air power that US employed and still come out fighting.

    In Korean war, if i am correct, there was little carpet bombing as compared to Operation Linebacker I and II and Rolling Thunder.
    The context is the 1st Indochina War and by that measure, L'Armee de L'Air did not even come close to even allied tactical engagements during WWII. No cities were levelled during the 1st Indochina War and while DBP was a hard fought battle, it was no Stalingrad nor Berlin. Within context, Vo was competent but we're not taking any lessons from him on how to fight a maneuver war nor a war of attrition.

    The American-Vietnam War was the first time that airpower won a land battle. So, again, in that context, at best L'Armee de L'Air was to impede but not destroyed VM LOCs, especially with that canopy.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    More questionable history.

    The establishment of a communist government in Hanoi in 1945 made a French return more likely, not less. There were no French units in the Nth in August 1945. In fact, nothing significant arrived until Ho signed an agreement for them to return in March 1946 (there were troops in the Sth, but that was never a Viet Minh stronghold). So, why did Ho invite a French return? Because thee were over 150,000 nationalist Chinese troops in the Nth to disarm the Chinese and they supported Ho's political enemies. In fact, nationalists denounced Ho for negotiating with the French at all. Ho calculated that the French would not be able to sustain a presence, but that the Chinese might tip the political balance against him.

    Lets play counter factual. lets imagine that Giap doesn't have much of an army and Ho doesn't declare himself President in August 1945. Instead, non-communist nationalists such as the VNQDD, Dong Minh Hoi & Dai Viet (among many) use the backing of the Chinese to set up a government. As anti-communists this government finds it much easier to get US support and keep the French from returning. The Chinese were opposed to a French return & there was actually fighting between French & Chinese troops when the French tried to land at Haiphong in 1946. With this support plus greater US support a nationalist government might actually have been able to either prevent a French return to the Nth or make it so weak that it was unable to form the basis for a military occupation. America was looking to support non-communist nationalist regimes all over Asia. This would have been yet one more opportunity. In reality Giap's little army taking Hanoi may have made a French return easier, not harder.

    You need to stop writing everybody but the Viet Minh out of the anti-French struggle. There were other potential paths which its rivals were sadly not well enough organized to take. There were a range of possibilities in the months between the end of WW2 & the French return in March/April 1946. That they have been largely overlooked in simplistic 'Viet Minh drive out the French' narratives doesn't mean they did not exist.
    In your counterfactual, the Vietnamese nationalists enlist Chinese (i.e. KMT) aid to set up a government. The Chinese civil war spills over into Vietnam, and past humiliations revisit Vietnam. Remember that Ho Chi Minh was far more afraid of the Chinese than he ever was of the French or the Americans.

  13. #43
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    So you support colonialism so you would attack freedom movements as communist movements. Seems to be the same thing when people criticized Subhas Chandra Bose of being a communist when he was trying to free India using any means available to him. What else is new?
    Freedom movements? Freedom movements?

    Bose, who no one remembers or cares much about, had the common decency to die in an air plane crash after abandoning his men, unfortunately Giap and company had the chance to kill several million people and force Communism on the region and took it. Giap took part in no freedom movement just an attempt to replace the French with something far worse, a regime which has oppressed millions for sixty years. They butchered people in North Vietnam after France left and set up a police state, before attacking their neighbors and shelling refugees, locking up dissenters and murdering those who disagreed with their plans. Years after France left Giap and company were attacking three nations to force them under communism. Not a single life was worth being taken in furtherance of his goal.

    But you wouldn't know a thing about it because you don't read. I hope you play apologist when old Bob finally croaks. These "freedom movements" have an ugly habit of leaving the locals with a more violent set of masters after liberation. But when you have to move your mouth to read and have a chip on your shoulder about the white man...


    You know jack shit about the freedom movements and you seem to be an apologist for the western colonialism and oppression and exploitation of native and indigenous population without fair compensation.
    You read a few badly slanted internet articles from your apartment in America. You would be dragged kicking and screaming back to your "native" country. Hell you would probably hire a real lawyer rather then leave the house of your Western oppressors. Makes you more pathetic then rich Western college kids who rock Che teeshirts. AM without the chaps.

    ========
    He forced the collapse of Operation Lorraine, bringing an end to France's ability to mount land-based offensives from the delta.
    French logistics played a major role in forcing that as well

    Giap own logistics, among other things, hampered him in 1951 with long windows between major assaults.

    e handed the Legion the biggest defeat in its history at Lang Son in 1950.
    Have you read Porch's book on the FFL? The chapters on the Vietnam War were interesting, calling the Legion to task for a general decline in efficiency, lack of training, poor leadership, and a fetish for paratroopers at the expense of mechanization/technical services. Truth be told the author spends much of the book giving their historical legend a much needed, and surprisingly balanced, kick in the teeth.
    Last edited by troung; 08 Oct 13, at 23:13.
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    Bigfella,

    yes there were other players but they did not achieve the influence that Viet Minh had. Viet Minh took center stage because the French gave them the most attention and they achieved victories against the French on their own terms while the other groups had to make some compromises so as a result, Viet Minh were the strongest players in the freedom movement.
    The Viet Minh were indeed the strongest, in no small part because of the ruthless way they dealt with rivals.

    My issue is with the idea that the only way for Vietnam to achieve independence was for the Viet Minh to fight a war against the French. My issue is with the idea that the compromises others might have had to make would have been worse for Vietnam than the hundreds of thousands who died in the First Indochina War and the millions of Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodians who died subsequently. A few years as a French dominion (the same status occupied by Canada, Australia, Sth Africa & Ireland until the 30s & 40s) would have impinged less on the freedom of Vietnam than war & the Viet Minh alternative.

    Let me put this another way - what are the 'compromises' you keep referring to that were so terrible that they were worth the 500,000+ Vietnamese who died in the First Indochina War? What is it that you think was going to happen if there wasn't a Viet Minh-led war.

    The Viet Minh were prepared to make compromises that were not only as big as many other nationalists, but bigger than some groups. That was one of the reasons the French were prepared to deal with them. One of those compromises was to agree to the French returning in force to the Nth of Vietnam. I can't imagine a more damaging compromise than that.

    Here is some food for thought. A quote from Ellen Hammer's book 'The Struggle for Indochina 1940-1955'. The March 6 Agreement was the compromise I spoke of above:

    General Leclerc's officers arrived north of the sixteenth parallel to find the pro-Chinese parties bitterly anti-French: the most faithful defenders of the March 6 Agreement seemed to be the Viet Minh and the Ho Chi Minh government. And so the French became the temporary allies of the Viet Minh against the VNQDD and the Dong Minh Hoi. In Hanoi, French scout cars blocked the streets leading to the VNQDD party headquarters while Viet Minh troops attacked it. The French drove the Dong Minh Hoi out of Lang Son and Haiphong, permitting the Viet Minh to move in. In Hongay the French freed local Viet Minh committee from jail.
    Does it not seem strange to you that the Viet Minh are conspiring with the French to round up & murder people most strongly opposed to the return of the French?
    Last edited by Bigfella; 08 Oct 13, at 13:04.


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  15. #45
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanswu25 View Post
    And you stop putting words into my mouth. Where did I say they did not exist?
    Then stop acting like they didn't exist. You've already got your facts wrong on Diem and you talk as if the Viet Minh was the only game in town.

    But to say they had any role in kicking the French out is the same with saying that Viet Minh kicked out the Japanese out of Indochina and there would have been possibility that Japanese surrendered to Viet Minh without two US nuclear bombs.
    This is a giant waste of my time. Troung was right. You are clearly working from some sort of Wikipedia version of history. You are so obsessed with a narrow view of events based on a handful of facts that you aren't even interested in the fine detail & nuances. Did I mention that the Viet Minh murdered other groups & forced them into exile? I'm sure I did. Repeatedly. Did I point out that other groups were even more strongly opposed to the French than the Viet Minh? Yep. Did I point out that the Viet Minh actually invited the French to return in order to gain a political advantage? Another tick. Non-Communist nationalists might have been able to prevent a French return to the North without The communists & without a war. They were never given the opportunity. Of course, you aren't interested in that.

    I will get back to you later when I got home.
    Don't bother. Nothing you have said so far has shown any insight.
    Last edited by Bigfella; 08 Oct 13, at 09:54.


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