The Battle of Mang Yang Pass was a French Indochina War battle fought between a French Far East Expeditionary Corps unit and the Viet Minh forces, from June 24 to June 30, 1954, in Mang Yang, Gia Lai Province, central Vietnam. Together with the battle of Dien Bien Phu, the Battle of Mang Yang Pass was one of the bloodiest defeat of the French Union forces and the retreat from Cao Bang.
Summary of the Battle of Mang Yang Pass
Since the Battle of Dien Bien Phu the Viet Minh forces had been on the offensive. In order to avoid another disaster, the French Chief of Staff, General Le Montgolfière, ordered the GM 100 Regimental Task Force a quick withdrawal from the local outpost at Ankhe, in Mang Yang. The G.M. 100 ("Mobile Group 100") was a regimental task force unit of the French Far East Expeditionary Corps which was assembled as a convoy. It included the elite veteran UN Bataillon de Corée who fought in the Korean War at Chipyong-ni, Wonju and Arrowhead Ridge.
On June 24, 1954, as the G.M. 100 troops, under the command of Pierre Chasse, fell back to Pleiku along the Colonial Route 19, the column was ambushed by the Viet Minh 803rd Regiment and got almost completely wiped out. Suffering heavy losses, the remains of G.M. 100 managed to break through and escape. The remnants of G.M. 100, now with G.M. 42 and the 1st Airborne Group had to advance the last 55 kilometers of enemy road. The French were ambushed once again on June 28 at Dak Ya-Ayun by the Viet Minh 108th Regiment. The survivors finally reached Pleiku the following day.
The French had lost 500 men and 85% of vehicles at the Battle of Mang Yang Pass. The Viet Minh suffered approximately 250 casualties.