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French soldiers in the First Indochina War
French soldiers in the First Indochina War

Operation Camargue (1953) was one of the largest operations by the French Far East Expeditionary Corps and the Vietnamese National Army in the First Indochina War. French armored platoons, airborne units and troops, delivered by landing craft to the coast of modern-day central Vietnam, attempted to sweep forces of the communist Viet Minh from the critical Route One. On 28 July the first wave reached an inland canal without major incident, but French armored forces began to suffer a series of ambushes as they passed through small villages. Reinforced by paratroopers, the French and their Vietnamese allies tried to tighten a net around the defending Viet Minh guerillas, but most escaped, along with their arms caches. The French concluded that ensnaring operations were impossible in the dense jungle, which slowed down troops so that enemy forces could anticipate their movements, and they withdrew from the operation by late summer. Viet Minh Regiment 95 re-infiltrated Route One and resumed ambushes of French convoys, retrieving weapons caches missed by the French forces. The regiment continued to operate in the area as late as 1962, fighting the South Vietnamese Army. (Full article...)

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Lieutenant General Reg Pollard
Lieutenant General Reg Pollard

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Former Indian President, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

On this day...

July 28: World Hepatitis Day; Independence Day in Peru (1821)

Vinnie Ream with a bust of Lincoln
Vinnie Ream with a bust of Lincoln

Today's featured picture

Papilio machaon

Papilio machaon is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae and the type species of the genus Papilio. Despite its common name Old World swallowtail, this species is not restricted to the Old World, as populations can be found in North America.

The butterfly has a strong and fast flight, but frequently pauses to hover over flowering herbs and sip nectar. It frequents alpine meadows and hillsides, and males are fond of congregating near summits to compete for passing females. The species feeds mostly on plants of family Umbelliferae.

Photograph: Werner Pichler

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