07/05/2014 14:51 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

General Vo Nguyen Giap and the Resounding Dien Bien Phu Victory

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the historical victory of Dien Bien Phu, the army and people of Vietnam remember and pay homage to General Vo Nguyen Giap whose name and career will forever be associated with Dien Bien Province. Over the past 60 years, the Dien Bien Phu victory and the life and glorious revolutionary career of the General were written in many special issues of Vietnam Pictorial.
In the 2nd issue of Vietnam Pictorial, a special issue to celebrate the Dien Bien Phu Victory was published in December 1954 there were many photos and pictures illustrating General Vo Nguyen Giap with the soldiers and people happily celebrating the victory. Sixty years have passed and Vietnam Pictorial has still preserved those precious pages.
 

General Vo Nguyen Giap on the front cover of Vietnam Pictorial’s issue No.512 (August 2001)

General Vo Nguyen Giap on the front cover of Vietnam Pictorial’s issue No.545 (May 2004).


General Vo Nguyen Giap on the front covers of Vietnam Pictorial’s
issue No.659 (November 2013)..

General Vo Nguyen Giap revisits the trench of French General De Castries. Photo: Late photographer
Trong Thanh









Articles and photos about General Vo Nguyen Giap in Vietnam Pictorial’s issues.

General Vo Nguyen Giap had deep love for Dien Bien Phu and its people. The land, forests and ethnic people in this area protected him and have devoted their deepest affection to him. Here, on January 26, 1954, just a few hours before fire was opened to start the campaign, General Vo Nguyen Giap made a historic decision which was to change the strategy from “Fast Strike, Fast Victory” to “Steady Attack, Steady Advance”. It was, as he said, “the most difficult decision in my lifetime of commanding the soldiers to fight against the enemy”.

Referring to this event, in an article of Vietnam Pictorial issue No. 545 (May, 2004) on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory, late Lieutenant General, Professor Hoang Minh Thao, a famous historian on the history of the Vietnamese military, wrote: “Imbued with the guiding ideology of President Ho Chi Minh ‘only fighting when being sure to win, not fighting when being unsure to win’, General Vo Nguyen Giap was bravely determined to propose the change of the battle strategy from “Fast Strike, Fast Victory” to “Steady Attack, Steady Advance”.

With this historic decision, General Vo Nguyen Giap made the Dien Bien Phu Victory which resounded throughout the five continents on May 7, 1954, marking the collapse of colonialism all over the world.

After the Dien Bien Phu Victory in 1954, General Vo Nguyen Giap returned to this land many times. Almost every time he returned, he spent time visiting the martyrs’ cemetery at the foot of A1 Hill to burn incense sticks to commemorate his fallen comrades in arms and visiting some relics of the Dien Bien Phu battlefield and the ethnic people... The General never forgot to remind the ethnic people in Dien Bien Province to join their minds and efforts to build their homeland to become more prosperous. In response to his affection, the residents in Dien Bien welcomed the talented Commander-in-Chief with very warm sentiments and showed their boundless gratitude to the General who had glorified this area.
 

General Vo Nguyen Giap is so moved when standing in front of the unknown martyrs’ tombs
at Doc Lap (Independence) Hill Cemetery on April 6, 1994. Photo: Late photographer Trong Thanh



The ethnic people in Dien Bien Province joyfully welcome General Vo Nguyen Giap who revisits the old battlefield
on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory in 1994. Photo: Late photographer Trong Thanh

Writing about General Vo Nguyen Giap, in Vietnam Pictorial issue No. 512 (August, 2001), People’s Artist Dao Trong Khanh who is the author of the renowned documentary film titled “General Vo Nguyen Giap : A Century – A Human Life” wrote these concise words: “His life was a gorgeous military march – A cross-century military march which resounds forever in the advance of the succeeding generations and resounds forever over time”.

After 60 years, now reading Vietnam Pictorial pages the readers again see the lively images of General Vo Nguyen Giap with all of his greatness, wisdom, tolerance and kindness. Those are the most beautiful portraits of General Vo Nguyen Giap, a national hero and a legendary general of the Vietnamese people and peace-loving people all over the world, who made an epic of Dien Bien Phu.
By VNP
 
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