The legendary road named after the beloved President Ho Chi Minh
The Truong Son Trail plays an important role not only in the Vietnam-Lao cause for national liberation but also in the two countries’ national reconstruction and protection at present and in the future.
Immediately after the signing of the Geneva Agreement in 1954, with the scheme to replace the French to turn the South Vietnam into a new-type colony and to check the communist movement in Southeast Asia, the U.S imperialists had sent Ngo Dinh Diem back to Vietnam to set up a new puppet administration in southern Vietnam in an attempt to divide the country permanently.
|The Ho Chi Minh Trail in wartime |
To complete the national liberation cause, reinforce troops and weapons to the liberation fighters in Southern Vietnam and to support and cooperate with Lao and Cambodian people, the Vietnamese Party and Government decided to establish the Truong Son strategic logistics transport route.
On May 5th, 1959, the “Special military delegation” (or Army Corps 559) was assigned to open a strategic artery through the Truong Son Range to transport troops and cargo to the Southern front during the resistance war against the US imperialists. The construction started on the birth anniversary of President Ho Chi Ming May 19th, 1959 and then was named the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Immediately after the operation of the road, knowing that it is our strategic logistical line, in June, 1960, the American and its lackeys conducted a large scale raids in the Western part of Quang Tri Province to break off the road. Dealing with this situation, the Central Committee of the then Vietnam Labour Party worked with the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party to open a new road on the West of Truong Son Range. A Lao leader stated that “Two nations are brothers and the destiny of the two nations is bound together. So, Lao people will try their utmost to contribute to Vietnamese victory”.
The beginning of glorious victories
Thanks to this cooperation, the new supply route was opened and from April, 1961, with Vietnamese soldier-volunteers’ assistance, Lao army units pushed up their operations and liberated a vast area from Kam Kot, Lac Xao to Muong Phin, Sepon, linking No.12 road to No.9 road, to open the East-West corridor. All six Lao villages in the North and South of the No.9 road were freed, beginning glorious victories in the two countries’ resistance war for national liberation.
In 1963, the American imperialists and the government of Ngo Dinh Diem continued to bombard road in the East of Truong Son, blocking the road. Thus, the Central Committees of Vietnam Labour Party and Lao People's Revolutionary Party again met and agreed to open the Campaign 128 to liberate the Lao Central Highlands with 700km-border with Vietnam. The success of the Campaign 128 paved the way for Vietnamese troops to transport weapons and equipments for the Southern battles through the West of Laos.
Beside building up and protecting the transport line, the Corps 559 also fought against enemies and help Lao units build bases along the corridor, maintaining reinforcement flow for Lao revolutionary troops.
In 1970, the Americans escalated the war to Cambodia and increased the war in Laos turning the whole Indochina into a battle field. To reserve the situation, Vietnamese soldier-volunteers associated with Cambodian soldiers to defeat enemies, liberated five provinces in the Northeastern Cambodia and almost all rural area. Meanwhile Vietnam-Laos allied troops liberated Attapeu (Laos) and then moved towards to free Siem Pang (Cambodia).
Until the end of 1970, a liberated area from Northeastern Cambodia to Southern Laos and the Central Highlands of Vietnam became a complete revolutionary base of the three Indochinese countries. This event opened up a new age of the Ho Chi Minh Trail’s history.
Translated by Van Hieu