In This Review

The Sky Would Fall: Operation Vulture, the U.S. Bombing Mission, Indochina 1954
The Sky Would Fall: Operation Vulture, the U.S. Bombing Mission, Indochina 1954
By John Prados
288 pp, Dial Press, 1983
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A detailed and readable study, based substantially on recently declassified documents, of the U.S. Government's ineffective response to the French predicament at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. The failure to obtain an agreed program of "united action" with the French and British, and the decision-for which, under the circumstances, there was no persuasive alternative-not to intervene with the direct use of American bombers revealed the emptiness of the doctrine of "massive retaliation."