General Vo Nguyen Giap, the first General and first Commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People’s Army, always thought that each day of his life was for the home country.
Born near Kien Giang River in Le Thuy district, Quang Binh Province, Vo Nguyen Giap showed an aptitude for military matters and was promoted to General at the age of 37 by President Ho Chi Minh. In 30 years as the Commander-in-chief of the VPA, he commanded the army to excellently fulfil all assigned tasks by the country, the State and President Ho Chi Minh.
A talented military leader
According to Lieutenant General Hong Cu, the General’s art of war was clearly demonstrated in the Dien Bien Phu Campaign. At the Dien Bien Phu front in 1954, Hong Cu was the Deputy Political Commissar of Regiment 36, Brigade 308. His impression of General Vo Nguyen Giap was that the General spent 11 continuous sleepless nights making the most difficult decision in his life when changing his strategy from “quick attack, quick win” to “slow advance and sure win”, a very clear-sighted and sound decision that resulted in the resounding Dien Bien Phu victory which shook the world.
Lieutenant General Hong Cu stressed that General Vo Nguyen Giap, the highest commander, the eldest brother of the VPA, has been admired and beloved by both Vietnamese and international people. He was an outstanding student of Uncle Ho. General Vo Nguyen Giap was the only general implementing to the fullest Uncle Ho’s teaching for Vietnamese generals and excellently completing all missions assigned by Uncle Ho.
General Vo Nguyen Giap is named one of the 21 honoured generals of the world over the past 25 centuries. Friends all over the world have deep admiration for General Vo Nguyen Giap. African and Latin American countries believe that their present independence has roots in the victory of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign commanded by General Vo Nguyen Giap.
In his career, General Vo Nguyen Giap defeated 10 French and American generals. The Vietnamese general is called a five-star General by various American generals and a legendary general by William Westmoreland, who commanded US military operations in the Vietnam War at its peak. Encyclopedias in the US and other countries depict various images of the Vietnamese general and consider him a military celebrity.
Having lived and worked in Vietnam for 35 years now, American writer, journalist, photographer Lady Borton is the only American writer who was in both South and North Vietnam in the Vietnam War. She took various notes on the Vietnam War. She is the author of the book “Ho Chi Minh: A Portrait” and has also translated the book “Dien Bien Phu: Historical Rendezvous” by General Vo Nguyen Giap into English. What Lady Borton respects in President Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen Giap is that all of their thoughts and actions are for the people.
She said that General Giap is a student of President Ho Chi Minh. In the world, only Vietnam calls State President Uncle and Commander-in-chief Eldest Brother. She stressed that General Giap put forward plans and strategies for implementation by the people.
Lady Borton said that General Giap always says without people means nothing and with people means everything.
Former Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Pham The Duyet said that General Vo Nguyen Giap sets a bright example of patriotism and revolutionary spirit. What people can learn from General Vo Nguyen Giap first is patriotism, revolutionary spirit, simplicity, friendliness with people from all walks of life, industriousness and thrift.
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Duyet always remembers what General Vo Nguyen Giap reminded him during his term to help build the Party, develop the country and the cause of national great unity.
For Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Do Quy Doan, who was also born in Le Thuy district, General Vo Nguyen Giap was a modest and serious person. He was also a talented and humane general.
Over more than 20 years, Colonel-photographic artist Tran Hong, former reporter of the People’s Army Newspaper, took thousands of valuable photos of General Vo Nguyen Giap. Colonel Tran Hong always tried to make the most truthful photos of the General in the simplest moments, such as the General’s visit to the homeland, planting trees in Quang Binh, enjoying popcorn at home, offering incense to his ancestors and even drinking “Lavie” water during his visit to the command trench in Dien Bien Phu.
According to Colonel Tran Hong, in all situations, General Giap was very close to the people. In Quang Binh, he acts as a farmer. On Kien Giang River, he is seen as a fisherman and in Dien Bien, the general looks like a real ethnic person.
Meanwhile, General Vo Nguyen Giap’s talents and noble personality are what retired teacher Le Ha respect. Le Ha said that the General was knowledgeable about the national history of Vietnam, whose brilliant landmarks have been greatly contributed by the general himself. The retired teacher always considers the life of General Vo Nguyen Giap a bright example for young generations to follow and to make contributions to national prosperity.
Knowing General Giap through books, lessons and newspapers, Quynh Chi, a student at the Hanoi University, said that the image of General Giap is engraved in the heart of the young Vietnamese generation and the whole Vietnamese people. Besides, many international friends respect the General for his talents and virtues which ensure the everlasting image of General Vo Nguyen Giap in the heart of people.
Source: Chinhphu.vnTranslated by Mai Huong