PANO – The Ho Chi Minh Transport Trail at sea could exemplify the proper and talented leadership of the Party, the heroism of the Army and the bravery and resourcefulness of Vietnamese soldiers and people during the past war. But it was also a symbol of international supports for Vietnam in the just war for its national independence, freedom and unity, according to delegates at a recent scientific conference on the Ho Chi Minh Transport Trail at sea.
“During the past resistant war against invaders, we received great supports from the former Soviet Union, China and former socialist nations in eastern Europe,” said Director of the Vietnam Military History Institute, Associate Professor, Doctor, Major General Vu Quang Dao told People’s Army Newspaper reporters on the sidelines of the conference “Ho Chi Minh Trail at sea – road of will and creativity of Vietnam”. According to him, the Party and Army was right and wise when making the decision to shape the Ho Chi Minh Transport Trail at sea. Still, the transportation route could not have operated so successfully if it had not received supports from international friends, especially the former Soviet Union and China, which helped Vietnam with vessels, weapons and some organisation of transportations.
The Major-General related: “In the 1960s, China directly rendered supports for Vietnam in operating the transportation route of weapons and supplies from the North to southern fronts. China assisted Vietnam in building new boats, reshaping and repairing used boats to operate on the Ho Chi Minh Trail at sea. Chinese experts, on one hand, trained in navigation and other skills for Vietnamese sailors serving at the transportation route, and alongside Vietnamese experts Chinese experts, on the other hand, carried out surveys and organised some transitional stations for the ‘nameless boats’. In addition, China aided a large number of weapons, ammunitions, logistics and food to Vietnam during the war, and parts of them were transported by sea to southern soldiers and people to fight enemies in the South.”
Affirming China’s role in assisting Vietnam in operating the Ho Chi Minh Trail at sea to the end of the war, Political Commissar of the Vietnam People’s Navy, Vice-Admiral Tran Thanh Huyen said, “This was valuable support from China. The Vietnamese Army and people will never forget these supports.” He added, “Personally, I highly value the support from China when they organised a seaport on the Chinese island of Hainan for us to operate the transportation route when many areas in the North, including Hai Phong, were bombarded by the US Air Force during the war.”
The Political Commissar also highlighted the supports from other nations, including the former Soviet Union, former socialist nations in eastern Europe and nations that gave assistance to particular transportation boats when they passed by. “Countless transportation boat could not have fulfilled their missions so successfully without the extensive supports,” he concluded.
A veteran named Luu Lanh, who used to be a member of the special corps of the numberless transportation fleet, recalled that China permitted the unit to totally manage and operate a Chinese military seaport in Hainan from 1964 to 1975. He said, “The seaport was fully equipped and we, Vietnamese soldiers were positioned in good accommodations and facilities there.” He added: “Apart from the main seaport, Chinese also allowed Vietnamese boats to transit several other seaports and when our boats were damaged, they were sent to a large Chinese shipyard for repairs.” The elderly veteran affirmed that, thanks to good preparations and logistics form the Chinese support for these journeys, he and his comrades transported thousands of tons of weapons and supplies to Vietnamese southern fronts safely and successfully.
Translated by Thu Nguyen