Myth: Giap was a true military genius, his defeat of the French at Dien Ben Phu was a military marvel.

Fact: Giap operated by attacking with overwhelming numbers and absorbing horrific losses.

  • At Dien Bien Phu Giap's forces outnumbered the French 6 to 1 and lost more than twice as many men as the French.
  • The entire battle was scripted by the CMAG, not Giap, and planned by Chinese General Wei Guoqing. Giap was merely carrying out the plan.
  • In the Tet offensive, Giap's forces were decimated. 45,000 men were killed. The Viet Cong was essentially destroyed. The allies lost less than 5,000 men.
  • Throughout the course of the Vietnam War, Giap suffered over 1,100,000 KIA. The US lost 47,378 and the ARVN 223,748.
  • Total allied losses throughout the war were 276,408, 25% of the North's losses.
  • Giap never won a single major battle against American forces and often suffered horrendous losses.

Confirming Evidence

He Beat Us in War but Never in Battle

A critical analysis of the operational performance of General Vo Nguyen Giap 1940-1954

Ia Drang - The Battle That Convinced Ho Chi Minh He Could Win

Senior General Vo Nguyen Giap: Military Genius or Communist Butcher?

Giap's Dream, Westmoreland's Nightmare