Strategy & Tactics Press: Briefing Room: MW17: Operation Vulture!

Other March 31, 2015 0
Strategy & Tactics Press: Briefing Room: MW17: Operation Vulture!
Operation Vulture:

Possible US Intervention at Dien Bien Phu

By Joseph Miranda

The French command responsible for Indochina was the CFEO (French acronym for Far East Expeditionary Corps), and the reports from Dien Bien Phu it was receiving weren’t optimistic. The garrison-actually a multi-ethnic force composed of French metropolitan, colonial and Indochinese units-was cut off, outgunned and steadily losing positions to Viet Minh assaults. On 6 April 1954, top French commanders began calling for an operation they codenamed Vautour (Vulture). It would entail massive US airstrikes to hit the Viet Minh siege positions. American airpower had proved its worth in both Korea and World War II, and there was reason to believe it could salvage the situation at Dien Bien Phu.
The term “Vulture” was first used by the French, though there had already been high-level discussions within the Eisenhower administration about possible airstrikes. One contingency involved deploying a US Navy (USN) carrier task force to the South China Sea and launching aircraft from its decks. Another was for Far Eastern Air Force (FEAF) B-29 Superfortress bombers to launch the strikes.


Read the Full Article in MW 17

Dien Bien Phu — Now Available

Modern War, Issue #17 Magazine now available!

We’re excited to announce the latest issue of Modern War is now available through our shop! Pick up your copy today!



  • Dien Bien Phu: The French Expeditionary Force makes an epic stand against the communist Viet Minh at a remote jungle fortress.
  • Operation Vulture: Plans for a US airstrike to rescue the French at Dien Bien Phu.
  • Ukrainian Insurgency: The early Cold War saw Ukrainian nationalists engage communist forces in eastern Europe.
  • Kolwezi 1979: French Foreign Legion paras rescue hostages in the embattled Congo.
  • Prompt Global Strike: US plans for delivering attacks anywhere in the world on short notice.
  • DARPA Snipers: One shot one kill rifles are now on line.

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