US carriers sailed to the Gulf of Tonkin, and reconnaissance fights over Dien Bien Phu were conducted during the negotiations. According to Richard Nixon the plan involved the Joint chiefs of Staff drawing up plans to use three small tactical nuclear weapons in support of the French. Vice-president Nixon , a so called hawk on Vietnam , suggested that the US might have to "put American boys in." President Eisenhower made American participation contingent on British support, but London was opposed. In the end, convinced that the political risks outweighed the possble benefits, Eisenhower decided against the intervention.The Viet Minh received crucial support from the Soviet Union and PRC. PRC support in the Border Campaign of 1950 allowed supplies to come from PRC into Vietnam. Throughout the conflict, US intelligence estimates remained skeptical of French chances of success. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu marked the end of French involvemnnet in Indochina. The Viet Minh and their merculiar commander Vo Nguyen Giap handed the French a stunning military defeat, and on May 7, 1954, the French Union garrison surrendered. At the Geneva conference the French negotialted a ceasefire agreement with the Viet Minh. Independence was granted to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
Vietnam was temporarily partitioned at the 17th parallel, and under the terms of the Geneva Convention, civilians were to be given 6he opportunity to freely move between the two provisional States for 300-day period. Elections throughout the country were to be held in 1956, to establish a unified govt.About 1 millin northerners, mainly minority Catholics fled south , fearing persewcution by the Communists.
In addition to the catholics fkowing through the south from the north upto 130,000, Revolutionary Regroupees went north for the regroupment expecting to return to the south within 2years. The last French soldiers were to leave Vietnam in April 1956. The PRC comleted their withdrawal from North vietnam at around the same time.Around 52,000 Vietnamese civilians moved from south to north.