20. Dien Bien Phu Turned Into an Epic Debacle
The besieged French in Dien Bien Phu were bombarded nonstop, and began to run low and supplies and munitions. Relentless attacks reduced fortified positions one after another, and the defensive perimeter shrank steadily. Within two months, the French were forced to surrender. After losing 4000 dead and missing, and nearly 7000 wounded, the survivors, numbering nearly 12,000, were herded into Viet Minh captivity.
The debacle was so humiliating, it forced the French government to resign. It was replaced by a new administration, which concluded that Indochina was a lost cause. Shortly after the guns fell silent at Dien Bien Phu, the 1954 Geneva Accords were signed, whereby the French agreed to withdraw their forces from all their colonies in Indochina.