This article is about a little-known operation of the First Indochina War fought between the French Expeditionary Force and the Viet Minh in 1953. This war is under-represented on Wikipedia perhaps because of the scarcity of decent English-language sources. Much of the work for this article was done by SGGH and it has had a Milhist peer review. --ROGER DAVIEStalk 11:05, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Comment. The background section should probably be heavily trimmed with the remainder merged with the prelude section. It is important that the article provide adequate leadup to the actual battle, but there is no need to quickly summarize French colonialism and the entire course of the war, that is what the First Indochina War article is for. Our featured articles on Omaha Beach and the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal do not start with the invasion of Poland or the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Indrian (talk) 19:41, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment. I'll look closely at the text in the morning. --ROGER DAVIEStalk 20:09, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
This is the older, more trimmed version of the background section. Perhaps insert this? SGGHspeak! 22:02, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I personally think the shorter one is better. Indrian (talk) 22:20, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
SGGH has written it nicely, hasn't he?
In response to your earlier comments, I think we may be in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Chinese and American involvement dramatically increased in the months immediately preceding Operation Camargue. This is what distinguishes it from a colonial policing exercise (which is what it could be mistaken for). It was the first stage of a Chinese/American proxy war that would drag on for decades. This aspect is not covered in Fall (who died in 1967, when much remained secret) but is it an important part of recent scholarship. To put this into perspective:
Operation Camargue was phase 1 of the 3-phase 3-year strategy, jointly devised by Paris and Washington. The French Union assaulted in US-supplied landing craft, jumped from US-supplied Dakotas, rode in US-supplied armor, carried US-supplied weapons and fired US-supplied rounds. (US-supplied parachutes caused problems during the drop: they were designed for much bigger heavier men than the Vietnamese troops who were blown far away by the wind.)
The Viet Minh were supplied by the PRC, were trained and directed by Chinese staff officers (combat veterans of the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War), provided with Chinese intelligence, and given ideological support.
The solution, I think, is to have a brief background section, more or less based on SGGH's diff above; followed by a new section – Strategical overview, Chinese and American involvement or similar – containing the international dimension content, particularly focussed on late 1952/early 1953. How does this sound? --ROGER DAVIEStalk 07:27, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I will have to see the end results of course, but that sounds fine. Indrian (talk) 07:34, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good, go for it. I will re-add the original background section. SGGHspeak! 09:29, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I have transcluded the replaced background onto the talk page. Hopefully Roger Davis can create the new section as per his vision quickly :) SGGHspeak! 09:31, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Support obviously, as the writer, but not sure if my support counts! SGGHspeak! 09:56, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Support Although I know very little about this period of history, I was able to follow this article easily. It is well-written and appears to be comprehensive (but I am ill-qualified to judge that). The sources are reliable and all of its images are in the public domain. I just have a few little suggestions:
I would mention the First Indochina War in the first paragraph of the lead. That way the reader knows what war the operation was part of.
The French used the lessons learned – strong ground bases, versatile air support, and a model based on the British Burma campaign – as the basis for their new strategy. - list lacks parallel structure
Similarly, the US "released from its heavy burden in the Korean conflict ... dramatically increased its military and financial support" - Might be best to repeat to whom they were giving support. Some readers might forget.
From a straight 100-meter (109 yd) deep coastline of "hard sand" the French landing forces were to advance through a series of dunes up to 20 meters (22 yd) high and interspersed with precipices, ditches and a handful of small villages. - This sentence is a little hard to follow, particularly the first part - what does "straight" mean here? I wasn't exactly sure.
The editors might consider a different color for the background of the quote boxes. Right now, they kind of blend into the rest of the text.
Many of the captions have the phrase "such as this one". Is there any way to reduce the use of that phrase? It seems a bit unnecessary.
The citations listed in the "References" section aren't in a standard or consistent style, such as MLA, Chicago, or APA. It looks a tad unprofessional. Awadewit | talk 17:47, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the support and the tweaks. I've done all the above list, except the quote boxes (I don't know the color switch parameter).--ROGER DAVIEStalk 18:37, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't even aware you could do that, I just saw them once on another article and thought they were very nifty. SGGHspeak! 19:07, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not sure that they can be changed. I don't mind them being nifty and unobtrusive either.--ROGER DAVIEStalk 19:16, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.