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- 04 -102015

“One hundred years of photography in the French Armed Forces”. Tenth episode. War photographers Jean Péraud and Daniel Camus in Diên Biên Phu.

MA BA 100ansphoto10 1 20150317 300x298 “One hundred years of photography in the French Armed Forces. Tenth episode. War photographers Jean Péraud and Daniel Camus in Diên Biên Phu.The battle of Dien Bien Phu began on 13 March 1954. Under cover of the press information service (SPI) in French Indochina, two reporters from armed forces film service (SCA), Jean Péraud and Daniel Camus, found themselves in the thick of the fighting.
MA BA 100ansphoto10 2 20150317 300x300 “One hundred years of photography in the French Armed Forces. Tenth episode. War photographers Jean Péraud and Daniel Camus in Diên Biên Phu.

The former, born in 1925, a former deportee enlisted in French Indochina, joined the SPI in 1952 as a photographer. A bold, brave reporter, he covered the war’s major operations and his shots inspired many subsequent war photographers. Alongside him, Daniel Camus, aged 23, a photographer and freelance journalist for Paris Match, carried out his military service in French Indochina from June 1953.
MA BA 100ansphoto10 3 20150317 300x300 “One hundred years of photography in the French Armed Forces. Tenth episode. War photographers Jean Péraud and Daniel Camus in Diên Biên Phu.The two men photographed the heroic resistance of the French MA BA 100ansphoto10 5 20150317 300x298 “One hundred years of photography in the French Armed Forces. Tenth episode. War photographers Jean Péraud and Daniel Camus in Diên Biên Phu.soldiers, their suffering and the surgical unit where the surgeon-major Grauwin operated night and day under makeshift conditions. Like all the men still at the battle, they were taken prisoner by the Viet Minh on 8 May 1954 after the fall of Dien Bien Phu and sent on a forced march to a camp 300 kilometres away. Jean Péraud was posted missing after trying to flee. Daniel Camus was liberated after three months of extremely harsh captivity.
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MA BA 100ansphoto10 4 20150317 300x298 “One hundred years of photography in the French Armed Forces. Tenth episode. War photographers Jean Péraud and Daniel Camus in Diên Biên Phu.

Films from nine reports covering the battle were sent in time to the SPI laboratories, but in the heat of the action the photographer was not mentioned before they were sent. Returning to France, Daniel Camus joined the staff of Paris Match. Out of modesty or perhaps embarrassment, he never confirmed which of the men took these images. Today the mystery remains…

Photos credits : © ECPAD / Jean Péraud
© ECPAD / Daniel Camus

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