French general's ashes to be scattered in Vietnam
The ashes of French general Marcel Bigeard will be scattered over the Vietnamese former battlefield of Dien Bien Phu, where he was dropped as a parachutist in 1954, a member of his staff said Saturday.
Bigeard, who died Friday at the age of 94, will be cremated Monday at Toul, his birthplace in eastern France.
He had asked for his ashes to be scattered at Dien Bien Phu, where French colonial forces suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of nationalist fighters, "to rejoin his comrades who fell in battle," the aide said.
Bigeard headed a parachute battalion and was taken prisoner when the French surrendered on May 7, 1954 after a 56-day siege in which they lost some 4,000 troops, sealing the fate of their colonies in southeast Asia.
After several months in Vietnamese captivity, Bigeard was released and returned to active service, just in time to get involved in the spiralling colonial war in Algeria.
© 2010 AFP