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Diên Biên Phu photosacer

This plan is nothing great but is included to show the location of the next two photos in the main defensive position. Note that the Juno (Junon) position is in fact the whole of the central position, from the map's "Juno" caption to the bottom of the landing strip. Yellow number "1" on the plan shows the rough axis of photo n. 1 and yellow "2" the rough axis of photo n.2.

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  • Central position, taken between 20 and 24 November 1953 at the beginning of Operation Castor, with the southern part of the landing strip in the centre, the Nam Yum river to the left and the Pavie trail to the right (with one branch leading to the Bailey bridge over the Nam Yun). Bush fires are used to indicated wind direction for air drops.
    The same place four months later... The photo was shot at very nearly the same angle but closer to the Nam Yum. This shows Claudine to the bottom right, Junon (headquarters and medical station) at the centre and on the extreme left the southern end of the landing strip with its aircraft shelters. The Bailey bridge is visible in the centre left and the base of Eliane 2 can just be seen in the top left corner. Note : Click on photo for a full screen enlargement [142 k]
    View of trench line and wire on some unidentified hilltop position.
    View of one unidentified hilltop strongpoint showing general arrangement.
    View of some bunkers in the Junon central position
    View of the northern end of the landing strip showing wire maze in the foreground and US-supplied C-119 Flying Boxcar and civilian Bristol freighter on the airfield. Again, bush fires are used to indicated wind direction. [98 k]
    Vietnamese approach trench near the airfield.
    General de Castries' Command post.

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