July 21, 1954 – Keys To The Capitol – NBC Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
July 21, 1954 – With the fall of Dien Bien Phu, the outpost in what is now Vietnam and what was the French Colony of Indo-China. The French sphere of influence in Southeast Asia was drawing to a close. It was inevitable. The battle of Dien Bien Phu took place between 13 March and 7 May 1954. It was fought between the French Union’s colonial Far East Expeditionary Corps and Viet Minh communist revolutionaries. The United States was officially not a party to the war, but it was secretly involved by providing financial and material aid to the French Union, which included CIA contracted American personnel participating in the battle. The People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union similarly provided vital support to the Viet Minh, including most of their artillery and ammunition.
The Battle of Điện Biên Phủ was decisive; the war ended shortly afterward and the 1954 Geneva Accords were signed. France agreed to withdraw its forces from all its colonies in French Indochina, while stipulating that Vietnam would be temporarily divided at the 17th parallel, with control of the north given to the Viet Minh as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh, and the south becoming the State of Vietnam, nominally under Emperor Bảo Đại, preventing Ho Chi Minh from gaining control of the entire country.
In this episode of Keys To The Capitol there are grumblings about the possibility of America getting involved on a larger scale, rather than staying on the sidelines. How a US intervention would be perceived as a good thing and that the danger of a Communist takeover of Vietnam and the rest of Asia could be prevented if we acted and acted quickly. Since the Korean armistice went into effect a year earlier, almost to the day, the prospects of getting involved in another potentially protracted war didn’t seem feasible.
But eventually . . .
Here is that episode of Keys To The Capitol from July 21, 1954 from the NBC Radio Network.
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