Realizing it was the heart of the Cold War and they were fighting communists, the French government picked up the red phone reserved for asking for U.S. military support. The resulting plan, Operation Vulture, would have used three tactical nuclear weapons from the Americans to turn the communist region into New Hiroshima.
The French liked the idea enough to send their top general to Washington to ask President Eisenhower personally for the passage of the plan. America had been building up a pretty bitching collection of atomic weaponry since the end of WWII and was itching to try it out. The plan climbed higher and higher up the chain of command, like the Bill from that "Schoolhouse Rock!" video with a knife in his teeth and a crazy gleam in his eye. Among the notable figures who signed off on it were U.S. secretary of state John Foster Dulles and a youngish Richard Nixon, who had actually helped draw it up. All they needed was Eisenhower, who liked the idea but had the good sense to realize that he and everyone in the government might have lost their goddamned minds over this communism thing. To hedge his approval, he agreed to the plan, but only if the United Kingdom liked it, too.
Churchill and Eisenhower warm up the mood with a game of "pull my finger."
After Britain gave a curt but polite "Are you fucking crazy?" Eisenhower acted like he never liked the idea in the first place, and the French eventually lost the battle so badly that their government resigned. The rebels took over and declared themselves the sovereign nation of Vietnam, and everyone lived happily ever after.
If They'd Gone With Plan B:
OK, America learned nothing from France's defeat, and got their ass handed to them by the same communist soldiers in the Vietnam War. Nixon's involvement in the plan came back to haunt America during negotiations to end the Vietnam War when the North Vietnamese's negotiator noted that they were having a tough time trusting America since "during the resistance against the French, Vice President Nixon proposed the use of atomic weapons." Still, Eisenhower's "we're down if England's cool with it" is probably the closest the U.S. ever came to going nuclear over the course of the entire Cold War.
"I get what you're saying, Dick, but have you considered the possibility that you are pant-soiling crazy?"