64 years ago today, 7 May 1954, the French fortress at Diên Biên Phu was overrun by Viet Minh forces.
Listen to the final radio conversation between Colonel Christian de La Croix de Castries (commander at Diên Biên Phu) and his superior at the French headquarters in Hanoi, Major General René Cogny (commander of the French Union forces in Northern Vietnam), before the fall of Diên Biên Phu:
De Castries: 'The Viets are everywhere. The situation is very grave. The combat is confused and goes on all about. I feel the end is approaching, but we will fight to the finish.'
Cogny: 'Of course you will fight to the end. It is out of the question to run up the white flag after your heroic resistance.'
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'The very atmosphere of a battle defies description and eludes the imagination. Words cannot convey even a suggestion of the sounds heard and the emotions felt, when every faculty is heightened, when every nerve is tense.'
--- Charles Dowie, Great War veteran