A career army officer, Henry Navarre was appointed commander of French forces in Indochina in May 1953. Major General Rene Cogny became his deputy. Together they developed the so-called Navarre Plan to end the crisis in Vietnam. The plan proposed a major strengthening of the Vietnamese National Army, the addition of nine new French battalions to the Indochinese theater, withdrawal of scattered French forces, and the launching of a major offensive in the Red River Delta against the Vietminh. The United States agreed to support the Navarre Plan in 1953 with nearly $400 million in assistance. Eventually, Navarre committed his augmented forces to the village of Dien Bien Phu in northwestern Vietnam, hoping the Vietminh would stage a frontal attack on the French valley outpost. The rest was history. General Vo Nguyen Giap inflicted a complete defeat on the French army and destroyed the French Empire in Indochina.
Vietnam War Writers