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Dien Bien Phu banner

  • Orig HPS Press Release
  • Planning Maps
  • Reading List
  • Game Documents & Misc
Dien Bien Phu cover

-May 7th, 1954-

The guns fell silent as the last organized resistance in the fortified camp of Dien Bien Phu came to an end. The loss of Dien Bien Phu struck a death knell for the French effort to retain control of their former colony of Indochina. For the Viet Minh it was a long sought victory over significant French forces and heralded an end to this first phase of their war of liberation from their imperial masters. The war had begun 8 years previously in the wake of World War II and would end 21 long years later with the fall of Saigon in 1975. Dien Bien Phu covers the period of 1946 - 1954 when a polyglot force of Moroccans, Senegalese, Algerians, Legionnaires, Vietnamese, Thos and others under the auspices of the French sought to retain France's hold on Indochina and were opposed by the nationalist communist forces of the Viet Minh.


Click to Enlarge


Dien Bien Phu conjures up many images for the average wargamer - a bloody, muddy siege, the failure of a colonial empire to hold onto it's possessions in the aftermath of World War II, the Legion Etrangere holding positions to the end, paratroopers dropping into a doomed situation, the list goes on.

However, the French Indochina War was much more than that. In the Legion tradition, small outposts and their defense were a fixture throughout the war.

There were riverine assaults, a tactic that would bloom in the American War 10+ years later. Aggressive paradrops were a regular feature before the development of the heliborne assault. There were convoys and endless patrols.

In this latest edition to the Squad Battles series you will get to experience all of these situations and more.

Vietnam North map
Dien Bien Phu map
Vietnam South map

Click to Enlarge


Dien Bien Phu Features:

  • 70 stand alone scenarios and 7 campaigns to choose from.
  • A wide sampling of actions from this conflict.
  • 20 unique maps ranging in size from 780 hexes to 71,400 hexes providing ample ground for scenario designers to create their own actions.

Engine changes include:

  • Support for rolling Barrages has been added.
  • Added ability to give random probability to "withdraws" defined in a scenario.
  • Altered the A/I scripts dialog within the editor to facilitate the creation of A/I scripts.
  • Multiple A/I enhancements for movement, targeting and assaults.
  • Added Hull Down feature, set in the scenario editor for armor. Fire from the ground through the three front hex sides of a hull down vehicle is reduced by half. Hull down is lost if the vehicle turns or moves.

The game also has the standard scenario, OOB, parameter, database & sub-map editors included with the game. Play modes include A/I, Hot Seat, PBEM, LAN & Internet play.


Click to Enlarge



  • Developer: John Tiller
  • Artist: Joseph Amoral
  • Unit Graphics: Mark Adams
  • Music: Thomas Hook & Daniel Lee
  • Additional AI programming: John Rushing
  • Contributed Sound Effects: Edward Williams
  • Project Coordinator: Rich Hamilton
  • Scenario Designers: Mike Cox, John Tiller, and Jesse Cheng
  • Scenario Maps: Dave Blackburn
  • Additional Research: Greg Smith
  • Campaign Maps: Mike Avanzini
  • Playtesters: Dennis Suttman, Bob Bannerman, Phil Driscoll, Nik Butler, Alan Florjancic, Jeff Conner, Joao Kuma, Greg Coleman, and Kevin Hankins

System Requirements:

Windows XP, Vista, or 7
Processor: 1 GHz
Disk Space: 1 GB
Memory: 1 GB

Planning Maps     (click for full-sized images)
Bac Phan map Black River map Castor map
Bac Phan: 14.1 mb gif Black River: 9.40 mb gif  Castor: 4.38 mb gif

Chu Dreh Pass  map Dak Ayun map Deo Kat map
Chu Dreh Pass: 7.36 mb gif Dak Ayun: 12.7 mb gif Deo Kat: 2.99 mb gif

Dien Bien Phu map

Dong Khe map Dong Que  map
Dien Bien Phu: 36.4 mb gif Dong Khe: 6.88 mb gif Dong Que: 2.76 mb gif

Lung Vai map Mao Khe map Muong Khoa map
Lung Vai: 4.32 mb gif Mao Khe: 5.97 mb gif Muong Khoua: 4.66 mb gif 

Na San map Pk-3  map RC-2 Chang Muong map
Na San: 10.9 mb gif Pk-3: 3.66 mb gif RC-2 Chang Muong: 4.43 mb gif

Rt 19 Pk-3 map Rt 19 Pk-15 map Song Ky Kong map
Rt 19 Pk-3: 3.7 mb gif Rt 19 Pk-15: 9.32 mb gif  Song Ky Kong: 2.38 mb gif

Click here for larger sized thumbs

Reading List
Bondroit, Cyril; 3e Bccp, Indochine, 1948-1950: 3e Bataillon Colonial de Commandos Parachutistes (French Edition); Paris: Hexagone Publications, 1998

Croizat, Victor, Lt. Col; Vietnam River Warfare 1945-1975 ; New York: Blandford Press, 1986
Dunstan, Simon; Vietnam Tracks (Revised Edition): Armor in Battle 1945-75 (General Military); Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1982
Fall, Bernard B; Hell In A Very Small Place: The Siege Of Dien Bien Phu; New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1967
Fall, Bernard B; Street Without Joy: The French Debacle In Indochina (Stackpole Military History Series); Norwalk, CT, 1995

Koburger, Charles W., Jr; The French Navy in Indochina: Riverine and Coastal Forces, 1945-54; New York: Praeger, 1991
Moreman, Tim; British Commandos 1940-46 (Battle Orders); New York: Osprey Publishing, 2006
Pissardy, Jean-Pierre; Commandos Nord Vietnam: 1951 - 1954; Paris: Indo Editions, 1999.
Poole, Peter A; Dien Bien Phu, 1954;: The battle that ended the first Indochina War, (A World focus book); New York: Franklin Watts, 1972.
Roy, Jules; The Battle of Dienbienphu; New York: Carroll & Graf, 2002
Simpson, Howard R; The Paratroopers of the French Foreign Legion: From Vietnam to Bosnia; New York: Brassey's, 1997
Tarnstrom, Ronald; French Arms (Armed Forces Handbooks); Lindsborg, KS: Trogen Books, 2001
Van der Bijl, Nick; No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando 1942 - 45: Britain's Secret Commando (Elite); New York: Osprey Publishing, 2006
Windrow, Martin; The French Indochina War 1946-1954 (Men-At-Arms, 322); New York: Osprey Publishing, 1998
Windrow, Martin; The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam; New York: Da Capo Press, 2004
Windrow, Martin & Wayne Braby; French Foreign Legion Paratroops; New York: Osprey Publishing, 1985



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