Establishing a strategic area
To achieve the goal of national reunification, Vietnamese Party and State attached much importance to extending and bettering the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In November 1973, the Vietnam Council of Ministers (now the Government), ratified a project to build the Ho Chi Minh road network on both the East and West of the Truong Son Range. On January 1st, 1974, the project officially started.
|On January 1st, 1974, the Ho Chi Minh Trail project officially started |
It was a comprehensive strategic revolutionary base to link the rears of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with battlefields, and an artery in the resistance war against the U.S imperialists. The Vietnamese Communist Party and Lao People’s Revolutionary Party’s leaders agreed to build a strategic supply route and a base for the South Indochina front-line from Road.8 in West Ha Tinh to Bolikhamxay and Attapeu Provinces of Laos.
The Politburos of the two Parties assigned the Truong Son Trail High Command to take full responsibility for operations of units on this artery. Under the guideline of the Command, Vietnamese soldier and expert volunteers associated with units in Central-Southern Laos and local authorities of seven provinces of Laos where the Ho Chi Minh Trail crossed by to extend the network and fight against enemies to protect the road.
Before the Spring 1975 general offensive campaign, two nations’ units finished the Truong Son-Ho Chi Minh Trail with a total length of 20,000km and install a 14,000km- telephone line.
A symbol of heroism
Between 1959 and 1975, troops on Truong Son Trail fought back 11,135 bombardments of the US Air Force and its lackeys; shot down 2,455 aircraft; drove back 1,263 enemies’ raids and killed and captured 18,740 enemy troops. For these years, Vietnamese troops delivered over 1.3 million tons of foods, weapons and other essential equipment on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to the South Vietnam battlefield and Indochinese fronts. Of which, Lao and Cambodian revolutionary received over 583,000 tons. For four months of the Spring 1975 campaign, Corps 559 transported around 110,000 cadres and soldiers to South Vietnam.
However, during these 16 years of construction and development of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, about 19,600 and over 40,000 Vietnamese troops were killed and injured, respectively.
Apart from a key task of transporting troops and cargo to the Southern and Lao fronts, the Ho Chi Minh Trail created good conditions for Laos to build more revolutionary bases and rears as well as for Vietnam-Laos allied forces to resist enemy mopping-up operations and liberate other areas, especially in the Road 9-South Laos Campaign in 1971 and Lao Salavan Campaign in 1972.
With the Vietnamese soldier-volunteers’ assistance, Lao revolutionary people and army extended their operation and seized power from the US-backed puppet government in May 1975. On December 2nd, 1975, the Lao People's Democratic Republic was officially set up, opening a new era for Lao people.
The Truong Son-Ho Chi Minh Trail, under 16 years of operation, fulfilled its historical task, making great contributions to the Liberation of South Vietnam and national reunification and to the Lao and Cambodian national liberations. It becomes a noble symbol of the revolutionary heroism of Vietnamese troops and people, solidarity of the three Indochinese nations’ armies and people, especially the Vietnam-Laos friendship in the protracted resistance war to defend national independence.
Mentioning to the special relations between Vietnam and Laos, late Lao President Kayson Phomvihane emphasized that in the history of world revolution, there are many brilliant examples of militant spirit of proletarian internationalism. There has never had a special long-term and comprehensive tie like Vietnam-Laos relationship. The valuable and rare relationship will be cultivated and developed higher with every passing day.
Up to now, the first 2,000km-in-length phrase of the new project of Ho Chi Minh Trail from Hoa Lac (Hanoi) to Binh Phuoc Province finished, contributing to developing national socio-economy and reducing transport pressure for the Highway 1A. The second stage, from Hoa Lac to Pac Po (Cao Bang Province) will start in the upcoming time. By 2020, Vietnam plans to complete the route with highway standards.
Ho Chi Minh Trail: Clear evidence of Vietnam-Laos relations (Part 1)
Translated by Van Hieu