from Wilfred Burchett, North of the 17th Parallel, 1955 A sun-helmet lay on the bamboo table of a thatch-roofed hut deep in the jungle of Northern Vietnam. It was late afternoon in mid-March 1954, and somewhere overhead an aeroplane was buzzing about. It had no chance of sighting the dozen or so bamboo and thatch huts that made up the little village. Much of the jungle had been cleared away – but the smooth pillars of giant iron-woods and other jungle denizens supported a thick canopy of inter-woven broad-leaved creepers, nature's most perfect camouflage net flung over the village. A helicopter could hover a few meters over the top of that green canopy for an hour and see nothing that it covered. It was not the jungle however but the image of the sun-helmet that was to remain in my mind for many weeks that followed. My road to this jungle village had led almost directly from Panmunjom in Korea with a day or two's halt in Peking to change clothes for the difference in temperature … [Read more...] about The battle of Dien Bien Phu in a sun helmet
Battle of dien bien phu
65 years ago on the Muong Thanh plain, in the midst of the Northwestern mountains and forests, the Vietnamese people and armed forces, under the leadership of the Party headed by President Ho Chi Minh, fought the strategic battle of Dien Bien Phu. After 56 days of relentless, valiant and ingenious combat, on the afternoon of May 7, 1954, the Vietnamese people and armed forces defeated the French colonialists’ last-ditch effort and gained the Dien Bien Phu Victory, which resounded across the five continents and shook the world, ending the resistance war against the aggressive French colonialists and marking a great turning point in the Vietnamese people’s history of struggle for national construction and defence. The Dien Bien Phu Victory is the zenith of the Vietnamese art of war. Together with Bach Dang, Chi Lang and Dong Da, the Dien Bien Phu Victory has gone down in national history as an epic of great heroism with bright examples of gallantry, affirming the Vietnamese … [Read more...] about Heroic spirit of Dien Bien Phu Victory shines forever!
>> Part 1: The grasshopper versus the elephant >> Part 2: Tunnels and trenches >> Part 3: The battle of Dien Bien Phu >> Part 4: Bleeding the elephant >> Part 5: Those are hills with a strong burning smell It was Saturday morning, March 13. The sky was cloudy and the air was cool and damp. The entire forest was covered in shades of bluish grey. Monkeys could be seen resting quietly on the branches in the mist. In the trees covering the slopes of the surrounding circles of steep hills, flocks of mountain birds were chirping and singing. Some were spreading and preening their feathers. Viet Minh’s supply route to Dien Bien Phu One of the aircrafts loaned by the CIA to French forces at Dien Bien Phu. Suddenly hellfire entered the valley, frightening away all the wild creatures. … [Read more...] about The battle of Dien Bien Phu
General Vo Nguyen Giap had chosen the mountain of Muong Phang to set up his headquarters. It was 17 kilometers east of Dien Bien Phu. The landscape surrounding this hideout was charming and peaceful. From this location, Giap could see clearly in the distance the entire Dien Bien Phu battlefield, day or night. He had to spend a great deal of time working with his subordinates and the setting had become his home away from home. Viet Minh soldiers in a trench at DBP Since Giap greatly enjoyed music and folk songs, an outdoor concert was held at the mountain site regularly. Member of his staff would bring their musical instruments and they would play and sing revolutionary songs. Giap was deeply moved by the heart-rending songs composed by his own troops. Among the most popular ones were “Qua miền Tây Bắc” (Crossing the northwest region), “Hành quân xa” (Being away at the battlefield) and “Núi Nhị Lang”(The mountain … [Read more...] about Songs of Dien Bien Phu: Viet Minh’s first victory at Him Lam
More than 100 artists and dancers of art troupes in the province joined the event. The program featured numerous songs and dances which honored heroic martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the Dien Bien Phu victory, praised the Party and Uncle Ho, and highlighted the land and people in Dien Bien. In the evening of the same day, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union of Dien Bien province offered flowers and incenses at the A1 Martyrs' Cemetery. The A1 cemetery which was built in 1958 to pay tribute to soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Dien Bien Phu battle is home of 644 martyrs, including heroes To Vinh Dien, Be Van Dan, Phan Dinh Giot and Tran Can. Dien Bien province has five cemeteries with more than 6,000 graves, including three national-level ceremonies of A1, Him Lam and Doc Lap that are final resting place of soldiers who fell in the famous battle of Dien Bien Phu ; and two provincial-level cemeteries of Tong Khao where Vietnamese volunteer soldiers who died in … [Read more...] about Dien Bien marks 64th anniversary of Dien Bien Phu Victory