Throughout history, nothing happens by chance in a war. The victory in the spring of 1975 is one the greatest military feats of the 20th century, an epic of the Vietnamese people in the Ho Chi Minh era.
It was a historical inevitability and an undeniable truth to people of conscience. Only the stubborn who turn their back on history and distort the truth consider the people’s victory over the enemy an accidental event out of sheer luck.
With the victory of the General Offensive and Uprising in the spring of 1975, culminating with the Ho Chi Minh Campaign, we have realised President Ho Chi Minh’s wish to liberate the South and reunify the country, ending a 21-year-long war.
After 40 years, the bitter defeat of the US in Vietnam has become clearer with even American veterans acknowledging their mistakes. The Americans made a deadly mistake by waging war Vietnam. They committed crimes, and trampled on justice by invading a sovereign country. As a result, the US was faced with waves of protests from people around the world. It was the most serious weakness of the unjust war triggered by the US in Vietnam.
In addition, the US failed to understand the country’s patriotism and the American soldiers’ morale was easily undermined, fighting half way around the world from their home. Believing that it was the richest and strongest of all imperialist nations with the ambition to dominate the world, the US spread money, weapons and fighters across the globe, unable to focus all resources on the unjust war in Vietnam.
Underestimating the opponent was also a critical weakness. Reliant on state-of-the-art weapons, the US looked down on Vietnam, a poor country with a significantly smaller size and population, barely having recovered from the nine-year war with the French. They were never cognizant of the fact that the Vietnamese people were not only unafraid of the Americans, but also determined to defeat them.
The Vietnamese leadership at the time soon recognised the new enemy and adopted a strategy of building the North into a firm stronghold to support the struggle for liberation in the South. Thanks to this, Vietnam was able to prevail over US war strategies, notably the Nixon doctrine in Indochina, forcing the US to sign the Paris Peace Accords and withdraw all its troops from Vietnam.
It is apparent that many effective measures were born out of numerous difficulties. We were consistent in the goal of reunifying the country while being flexible about strategies, combining revolutionary violence with political movements and activities on the diplomatic front, guerrilla tactics with regular warfare, and seizing opportunities to launch offensives that changed the course of the war, laying the foundations for the final triumph.
The Great 1975 Spring Victory was a certain inevitability, the culmination of favourable conditions and the support of the people that the US army never had. Serious and thorough preparations for the war against the US were made, with the entire nation going into battle through various patriotic movements across the country. Vietnam has an iron-clad spirit and an aspiration for peace and national reunification. Only the determination to liberate the South could protect the North, and only when the Northern stronghold was protected could there be conditions for southern liberation and national reunification.
The inevitability of the Great 1975 Spring Victory also reflects the vision of Vietnamese leaders, that helping neighbouring countries is helping ourselves. Vietnam was successful in undertaking the international mission of building and reinforcing the alliance with Lao and Cambodian people. This strategy prevented the US from using one country to threaten invasion of another country.
It is apparent that the Vietnamese people had an indomitable determination to defeat the US and reunify the motherland. With a passionate aspiration for peace, they endured pain and suffering for more than two decades, staging the revolution step by step to accomplish the Great 1975 Spring Victory.
The arduous journey to victory after 21 years was a historical inevitability, illuminated by Vietnamese bravery, aspirations for peace and a determination to reunify the country, factors that will continue to push Vietnam ahead in its new phase of development.
MAJOR GENERAL NGUYEN BA DUONG