Every French soldier who was in Indo-China volunteered to be Indo-China. So every last Frenchman at Dien Bien Phu was a volunteer who knew that they were volunteering for combat. They were untypical examples of the French (or anyone else’s) military. The reason that all of Vietnam was not handed over to Ho Chi Minh in 1954 was that the French threatened to get serious and send non-volunteers there so that there would finally be sufficient troops to fight his forces. This information is available in Bernard Fall’s histories which were widely available in the 1960’s. “Hell In a Very Small Space” deals with Dien Bien Phu. She should be ashamed not to have read Mr. Fall’s books during the Vietnam era.
She said one thing accurately, but by it was by mistake. She said “The trouble we could have saved ourselves if we had only paid attention to Dien Bien Phu.” Had Eisenhower supported the French requests to use our bombers based in the Philippines to bomb around Dien Bien Phu, Ho Chi Minh may have not been able to form a government. To his shame, Eisenhower refused to do it unless he had support from all the Congressional leaders, and Lyndon Johnson (to his greater shame) did not support it.