French General Philippe Leclerc greets an arriving General and stands with others of the Forces Expéditionnaires Françaises d'Extrême-Orient, FEFEO. Scene is at an airfield in French Indochina. General Leclerc presents awards and recognition to several soldiers standing at attention. One of the soldiers, a colonial, wears a bandage on his head. Another soldier is seen with arm in a sling. The ruins of an Indochina city. The damaged buildings and debris. Dead Viet-Minh lying on ground. A French guard stands on duty outside a building. Men inspect the damaged site.
Activities of French soldiers in French Indochina after World War II. A soldier drives a jeep over a bridge spanning a river. The ruins of a town with active fires still burning. Soldiers carrying rifles move though the streets searching for Viet Minh insurgents. A soldier looks through binoculars. Soldiers lying on ground in firing position. Several of the troops are French marine infantry. The soldiers fire. Smoke in the background. A soldier with rifle seated. French artillery being fired into the town. A soldier looks through binoculars from a tank, and with two civilian government officials seated next to him observing the battle.
French military and government officials at a ceremony in Indochina on the ground of a Buddhist temple. The group gathered together in an outdoor courtyard with a giant black cauldron or pot with steam coming from it. Shift to an indoor setting where a French official addresses the audience gathered from a lectern on a stage. Shift to an outdoor scene with a large group of monks entering a Buddhist temple by ascending the stairs in front. An arch bridge over a river. Cars on a road in Indochina. A steam locomotive pulling rail cars through a pass. An aquaduct in Indochina and a series of canals funneling water to rice fields, and a view of a farmer plowing on a wet field with the help of oxen. Views of the Pasteur Institute ("Institut Pasteur" over the doorway) in Indochina. Scientists in white lab coats working in the Institute with microscopes. Glass sample jars labeled "Cholera" being packed into boxes.
Nixon and Kennedy debate questions regarding relations with Communists during the third Kennedy-Nixon Presidential Debate in the United States. Douglass Cater of Reporter magazine asks Republican candidate U.S. Vice President Richard M Nixon to comment whether there was a valid criticism of his statement of foreign policy. Nixon answers and states that the criticism is not valid. Regarding Indochina, he says that the U.S. would not have tolerated Indochina falling under Communist domination. And as a result of that the civil war there ended. He states that he supports the President's position and thinks that the President was correct in ordering the U-2 flights. Referring to Quemoy and Matsu he states that he objects to the constant reference to surrendering these islands. Democratic candidate Senator John F Kennedy disagrees with Nixon's statement on Indochina and states that reason Indochina was preserved was the Geneva Conference. On the question of the U-2 flights he states that he has never criticized them and never suggested stopping of espionage. On the question of keeping the Communists in doubt about the U.S. defending Quemoy and Matsu he states that the U.S. should meet its commitments to Formosa and the Pescadores. He concludes by saying that he disagrees with Nixon as Nixon is extending the administration's commitment.
After five years of captivity of Red Revolutionary Forces (Viet-Minh) hostages return to their homelands from Indo-China during the Indo-China War. French hostages held by Viet-Minh leave Indochina with their belongings. They board a truck. Trucks loaded with the hostages line up on a road. The Red Cross sign at the entrance of a building. People move with their families. French women at a counter of new clothes after imprisonment. Children eat sweets. Two boys eat bread with tea. French hostages including men, women and children.
French troops repel the communists from Indochina during the Indochina War. Paratroopers drop in the Indochina Delta. They wade through water. The paratroopers fire guns. French troops advance under Vietminh fire. Machine-guns are fired. Dead soldiers on the ground. The place where the son of French Commander in Chief, Jean Joseph Marie Gabriel de Lattre de Tassigny was killed. Vietnamese run looking scared. The French point guns at them. French troops raise the French flag. They return to a fort in trucks.