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  • Originally posted by lirelou View Post
    R.N., There's no doubt about Giap reading Lawrence, nor of Giap telling Salan that Lawrence was his guide and that he always carried his copy with him. What I cannot find is any quote that relates it to any VM campaign against the Japanese. One assumes Salan would be privy to any such campaign, or its absence. It's always possible that Salan used the Japanese as a Trojan horse to elicit evidence of Giap's military training and background.

    Just received my copy of Tran Ngoc Chau's book Vietnam Labyrinth. In the preface he talks about the VM war against the French from 1943 on as part of a Viet Minh Youth organization. He does not mention the Japanese except in passing. Perhaps there's some mention further on.
    I see your point. In Currey's biography of Giap, the author writes, "A Story circulated within the French officer corps that one day in 1946, prior to the Viet Minh expulsion from Ha Noi, Giap called on a French military officer and saw a book on the man's desk that interested him. "May I borrow the book?" the diminutive Vietnamese asked politely. "As soon as I have finished reading it myself," the Frenchman replied. The book was by T.E. Lawrence."

    Currey then relates a bottom line quote from the Salan conversation.

    Currey cites a Time November 1952 as the source for his story. I'm anxious to see Davidson's source and hold suspended with a grain of salt the French officer corps story since Giap did go to study in China in 1940 where I suspect he first heard of Lawrence.
    Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 21 Aug 14, 07:22.
    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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    • Men of Heart of Red, White and Green: The Italian Antifascists in the Spanish Civil War by Massimo Mangilli-Climpson

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      • Silverberg's tome on PRESTER JOHN.
        At one time (13th century?) someone in the East was contacting high ranking religious leaders who favored barbarian Mongols to infidel Muslims.
        A handful of Mongols were Nestorians. India seems the location of this original leader.

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        • The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by C. L. R. James.
          "I have never known a combat soldier who did not show a residue of war." --Sergeant Ed Stewart, 84th Division, US Army, WWII

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          • The British Defence of Egypt 1935-40: Conflict and Crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean

            Examines British responses to Italian threats to Egypt up to the outbreak of war.

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            • I'm anxious to see Davidson's source and hold suspended with a grain of salt the French officer corps story since Giap did go to study in China in 1940 where I suspect he first heard of Lawrence.
              R.N. I would be surprised if Giap had not heard of Lawrence prior to 1940, given that he was teaching history and had an especial interest in military history. A French translation of Seven Pillars by Charles Mauron appeared in 1936, and was republished several times after (ex: in 1949 by Payot), so Giap could have obtained a copy before the war.

              Given the books reception in the English speaking world, it's fair to assume that some copies of the French editions showed up in Indochina. And Giap did not have to read the original. Sir B. H. Liddell Hart's Colonel Lawrence: The Man behind the Legend appeared in 1934, and was published in France as La Vie de Colonel Lawrence by Editions de la Nouvelle Revue Francaise in 1935. Given Liddel Hart's reputation for military analysis, that would have more likely have been in Giap's library.

              But, back to his using methods from Seven Pillars against the Japanese, I remain doubtful. Tran Ngoc Chau speaks of the Viet Minh fighting the Japanese, but he cites no examples. Dixee Bartholomew-Feis does cover the attack on Thai Nguyen, which took place after the Japanese had already surrendered. Chau also counts himself as having 'fought the Japanese' while with the Viet Minh, but a careful reading of his book makes it clear that though these were indeed Japanese soldiers, they were not fighting under Japanese command, but had been released from detention and rearmed to assist the British and French in maintaining internal order.

              Back to the Salan account, I too take it with a (large) dose of salt, though I have seen it, uncited, on the French wiki site.
              dit: Lirelou

              Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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              • Originally posted by lirelou View Post
                R.N. I would be surprised if Giap had not heard of Lawrence prior to 1940, given that he was teaching history and had an especial interest in military history. A French translation of Seven Pillars by Charles Mauron appeared in 1936, and was republished several times after (ex: in 1949 by Payot), so Giap could have obtained a copy before the war.

                Given the books reception in the English speaking world, it's fair to assume that some copies of the French editions showed up in Indochina. And Giap did not have to read the original. Sir B. H. Liddell Hart's Colonel Lawrence: The Man behind the Legend appeared in 1934, and was published in France as La Vie de Colonel Lawrence by Editions de la Nouvelle Revue Francaise in 1935. Given Liddel Hart's reputation for military analysis, that would have more likely have been in Giap's library.

                But, back to his using methods from Seven Pillars against the Japanese, I remain doubtful. Tran Ngoc Chau speaks of the Viet Minh fighting the Japanese, but he cites no examples. Dixee Bartholomew-Feis does cover the attack on Thai Nguyen, which took place after the Japanese had already surrendered. Chau also counts himself as having 'fought the Japanese' while with the Viet Minh, but a careful reading of his book makes it clear that though these were indeed Japanese soldiers, they were not fighting under Japanese command, but had been released from detention and rearmed to assist the British and French in maintaining internal order.

                Back to the Salan account, I too take it with a (large) dose of salt, though I have seen it, uncited, on the French wiki site.
                Good info and thoughts. I was disappointed in Davidson, he did not have as complete a description of the Salan-Giap exchange.

                Curry states, "In 1941, according to one source(Edgar O'Ballance, The Indochina War, 1945-1954), he (Giap) had opportunity to visit Mao in northern China and was impressed b what he saw and heard. The exploits of Mao and his army were on the lips of many in those days."

                Mao study Seven Pillars in the mountains of northern China. Curry observes, Giap "drank in information about Mao, reading Mao's The Strategic Problems of the Anti-Japanese War, Struggle of the Chin-Kan Shan Mountains, and Guerilla Warfare (written 1937). Curry states, "Mao's early experiences had to influence Giap." I still inclined to believe it must be in this period he ran across Seven Pillars and the availability of a French version as early as 1934 would have made it possible.
                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                • As for current reading, wrapping up Tran Ngoc Chau's Vietnam Labyrinth and received Rana Mitter's very highly recommended Forgotten Ally: China's World War II 1937-1945. A tip of the beret to forum member MSGTUSAR for prodding me to buy this one.
                  dit: Lirelou

                  Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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                  • Hitler's Pre-Emptive War The Battle for Norway, 1940

                    Henrik O. Lunde. Audible version. Good enough.
                    I often think how much easier the world would have been to manage if Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini had been at Oxford. Lord Halifax

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                    • Reading 2. Ghost Story by Peter Straub(for the 12th time) and The Pirates of Cave In Rock by Otto Rothert. Just picked up some Bernard Cornwell books too.
                      This bass guitar kills TERRORISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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                      • Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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                        • Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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                          • Originally posted by rebpreacher View Post
                            Reading 2. Ghost Story by Peter Straub(for the 12th time)
                            As long as you've admitted it.......... I've only read that one twice, but I'm on the third reading of Lev Grossman's "Codex." WHAT a novel.

                            Also "Fatal Purity" by Ruth Scurr. It's a bio of Robespierre. S'okay, but I want to try the famous bio of him by Thompson next. I'm no admirer of Robespierre! But I want to understand how he got from Point A to Point B --- from defense of the king and opposition to the death penalty to his ruling The Terror with thousands of guillotine deaths he himself was responsible for.

                            I am thinking he had got onto a tiger and he didn't know how to get off. Looking for confirmation, or some other explanation. He was certainly a paranoid, for years, and he had nervous breakdowns (but many did, stressful time) ----- still, thousands of people beheaded? Darn, the hooded terrorists of ISIS couldn't do that bad. What a disaster.

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                            • Барон П. Н. Врангель. Политическая переписка. Том. IX ч. II. (1927-1928)
                              Baron P. N. Wrangel. Political Correspondence. Volume IX. Part II. (1927-1928)

                              Генерал П. Н. Шатилов. Переписка. 1923
                              General P. N. Shatilov. Correspondence. 1923

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                              • I am reading a book called Gunner's Run by Rick Barry, its a christian wwii book great so far and i am only on the second chapter.

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