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The Battle for Hoa Binh by Nigel Wong

The Battle for Hoa Binh partial screenshot

Date: Dec 9th, 1951 - January 18th, 1952
Location: Hoa Binh, French Indo China
Map Scale: 2.5 Kilometres per hex
Time Scale: 1-day turns
Unit Scale: Platoon/Company/Battalion/Regiment
Length: 40 turns approx.
  Download The Battle for Hoa Binh scenario file

Design notes

BPC reserves available for parachute drop (fictional variant)

If Viet Minh capture Tu Vu, French supply capability will be reduced by 10 points to represent the cutting of Riverine Supply to Hoa Binh - unfortunately the effect cannot be localized.

Viet Minh player will receive political prestige points for the capture of each of these objectives, regardless of whether they are held at the end of the scenario:
Tu Vu - 50
Xom Pheo - 50
Hoa Binh - 100

OOBs are partially conjecture, please correct as necessary

Scenario summary

In mid-November, "Les Paras", under theatre command of the WW2 hero, General de Lattre de Tassigny, establish a forward base by airdrop at the Muong city of Hoa Binh, attempting to draw the Viet Minh into a "set-piece" battle. After spending a month assembling his divisions, Giap decides to test the resolve of both the French Expeditionary Corps and his own troops. In early December, he sends his reformed 316th and 320th Divisions into the flanks of the Red River Delta to harass and tie down French reserves. Local and Main Force Battalions will also attack down Route Coloniale 11, in an attempt to fix the Legion units stationed along the "De Lattre line".

The veteran 312th and 304th Divisions, with three regiments of the elite 308th, "Capital", Division, are ordered to surround, isolate and, if possible, eradicate the French position at Hoa Binh. The town is held by five elite battalions: the two Legion Airborne units, the 1er and 2e Bataillons Etranger de Parachutistes, and the 1er, 2e and 7e Bataillons de Parachutistes Coloniale.

Unfortunately for the FEC, the gifted de Lattre is diagnosed as terminally ill with cancer, and is replaced by the more conventionally-minded General Raoul Salan on  November 20, 1951.

The Viet Minh begin with the assault on Tu Vu by the 88th Regt of the Capital Division and supporting units. The furious regimental-size attack upon the two Moroccan companies is merely the beginning of a finally inconclusive slugging match that Bernard Fall will flatly call, "the meat-grinder".


"Street without Joy",  Bernard Fall. 1989, Random House
"Hell in a very small Place", Bernard Fall. Vintage, 1966.
"Elite Series 6: French Foreign Legion Paratroops", Osprey Military, 1986.
"Men-at-Arms Series 300: French Foreign Legion since 1945", Osprey Military, 1996.
"Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War", Col. Harry G. Summers, USA (ret). Swanston, 1995.
"Ground War - Vietnam. Vol 1. 1945-1965", Jim Mesko. Squadron/Signal Publications,1990.
"Armor in Vietnam", Jim Mesko. Squadron Signal Publications, 1982.

Scenario Observation Group

Darrell Dik
Pascal Di Folco
Tim McBride
Marcus J Maunula
Paul Travis
Brian Wynott

Scenario design

Nigel Wong

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