Dien Bien Phu in the air: Vietnam’s pinnacle of wisdom and firm stuff

Posted at: MONday - 26/11/2012 15:14 - post name: Phan Trọng Quỳnh

Dien Bien Phu in the air: Vietnam’s pinnacle of wisdom and firm stuff

“Dien Bien Phu in the air” victory proves that a powerful country still possibly falls to the national strength.

Our struggle against U.S aggressors achieves glorious victory, ended with the 1975 Spring Offensive-Ho Chi Minh Campaign. On the way to the final victory, the whole nation went through many difficulties, hardships and sacrifices, but recorded numerous brilliant feats of arms one of which is “Ha Noi-Dien Bien Phu in the air”.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the “Ha Noi- Dien Bien Phu in the air” victory, historian Duong Trung Quoc responds in an interview:

Reporter: At the end of 1972, we and U.S came to an agreement to end the war and restore the peace in Vietnam. However, the U.S broke the agreement and sent B52 bombers to blitz Ha Noi and Hai Phong. At that time, what did U.S allege as a reason to conduct the air raid rehearsal?

Mr. Duong Trung Quoc: After the defeats in the Vietnam War, President Johnson decided not to go for the Presidency and created conditions for Nixon, a candidate from Republican Party to come into power.

One of his statements, Nixon said that he would use more drastic measures and employ B52 as a “trump card” to force Vietnam to agree with all conditions so that U.S could withdraw the Vietnam War.

That was an abnormal thing because B52 is a strategic craft-one of three pump cards of the U.S as well as nuclear submarines and ballistic missiles. These arms were used merely to cope with Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact in the cold war. B52 was originally designed for nuclear bombing, but then when the Vietnam War expands, the U.S improved this type of Boeing for normal bombing at large scale to overwhelm the opponent.

At the middle of December, 1972, insiders in Vietnam, the U.S and the world thought that when both Vietnam and the U.S were preparing for signing Paris Agreement, in a sudden, the U.S vaguely alleged that Saigon government required amending some treaties of the Agreement.

We said that the Agreement was discussed carefully and cannot be changed. Alleging that reason, at night on December 12, the U.S mobilized a great number of B52 aircrafts with other strategic air forces striking on two of our key locations: Ha Noi and Hai Phong port city.

Reporter: In front of such a great aggressor with modern weapons of destruction, we did "beat for American quail, for kneading disguise". As a historian, could you tell me what the main reason for this victory is?

Mr. Duong Trung Quoc: One of reasons for our victory is that uncle Ho soon recognized the designs of the U.S and drew the plans in advance.

In 1962, as B52 in the top secret magazine of the U.S. no one thought they would be used for the localized wars. He asked the leaders of Air defense air force about the B52 and required to research.

Up to 1965, when the U.S started to carry out bombing by B52 aircrafts, uncle Ho came to our first units who must cope with B52 and said that we would be determined to defeat the enemy, even B52.

It can be thought that based on that direction, Air defense air force had early preparation for studying and working out combat plans even prior to the appearance of B52.

In 1967, in a talk to the leaders of Air defense air force, he foresaw that our Resistance against American aggressor would finish in Ha Noi sky. The US would use B52 as saw it the strategic moves, the last trial of strength to us.

Although he passed away since 1969, everything happened as planned. Thus, it was no surprise when we could deal with B52.

Until now, there has been just only Vietnam where B52 was shot down. Then, the US continued to use in some wars in the Middle East, at that time, although the missiles of these countries were equipped modernly, no B52 was shot down, just dropped down due to technical factors or accident, etc.

Reporter: How meaningful is the glorious victory “Ha Noi-Dien Bien Phu in the air” to our history of war against invasion, Sir?

Mr. Duong Trung Quoc: As the US resorts to use the last card in a war in Vietnam and failed, obviously it makes them hard to understand.  The pressure of the world public opinion including that of American people in addition to, finally, Nixon had to agree to end up the war in Vietnam.

Withdrawing troops is the premise for our army and people to liberate the North and unite the country. We end the victory of the whole historical process, at least, associated with the August Revolution and two Resistances against French colonialism and American aggressors. 

So, “Dien Bien Phu in the air” is not only the historical campaign, but also the turning-point of history. Only by attaching “Dien Bien Phu in the air” to the Spring 1975 General Offensive “Ho Chi Minh Campaign”, can we see all of its stature. The height of Resistance against American aggressors not only has significance for Vietnam history, but makes the world be aware that some strength can defeat big powerful countries as well: That is strength of national patriotism, without exceptions, and firm stuff of Vietnam that make the victory of the people’s war.

Reporter: Thank you very much!

Translated by Nga Nguyen

Author: My Tra - My Ngoc
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