Dong Khe, together with That Khe were among the hardest flights during the Vietnam-France war. These places are on the scenic Highway 4 and are optional places for the night.

The U.S.A Involvement

The United States recognized the Vietnamese state, but many nations, even in the west, viewed it as simply a French puppet regime and would not deal with it at all. The United States began to give military aid to France in form of weaponry and military observers. By then with almost unlimited Chinese military supplies entering Vietnam, General Giap re-organized his local irregular forces into five full conventional infantry divisions, the 304th, 308th, 312th, 316th, and the 320th.

Dong Khe 1950 Fighting

The war intensified starting when General Giap began launching attacks on isolated French bases along the Chinese border. In February 1950, General Giap seized the vulnerable 150-strong French garrison at Lai Khe. This place is just south of the border with China. Then on May 25, he attacked the garrison of Cao Bang manned by 4,000 French-controlled Vietnamese troops. However, his forces were repulsed. General Giap launched his second offence again against Cao Bang again as well as Dong Khe on September 15. Dong Khe fell on September 18, and Cao Bang finally fell on October 3.

Offroad Vietnam Motorbike Adventures - Dong Khe, a motorbiking destination in Northeast Vietnam.

Lang Son, with its 4,000-strong French Foreign Legion garrison, was attacked immediately after. The retreating French on Route 4 were attacked all the way by ambushing Viet Minh forces, together with the relief force coming from That Khe. The French dropped a paratroop battalion south of Dong Khe to act as a diversion only to see it surrounded and destroyed.

On October 17, Lang Son, after a week of attacks, finally fell. By the time the remains of the garrisons reached the safety of the Red River Delta, 4,800 French troops had been killed, captured, or missing in action. In addition, 2,000 were wounded out of a total garrison force of over 10,000. Also lost were 13 artillery pieces, 125 mortars, 450 trucks, 940 machine guns, 1,200 sub-machine guns, and 8,000 rifles destroyed or captured during the fighting.


China and the Soviet Union recognized Ho Chi Minh as the legitimate ruler of Vietnam. The two countries sent him more and more supplies and material aid. Vietnam soon joined socialist countries.

1950 also marked the first time that napalm was ever used in Vietnam. This type of weapon was supplied by the U.S. for the use of the French Air Force at the time.

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