The 81-day glorious feat of arms to protect the Quang Tri ancient citadel, starting from June 25th, 1972 to September 16th, 1972 created a “steel punch” at the Paris conference of Vietnam to turn negotiations in this conference to be advantageous for our army that led to the retreat of American invaders out of the South Vietnam and the end of the war.
In this struggle, many commanders of military units fought for the old citadel’s defense with great contributions to the country’s independence and freedom.
|Vietnamese troops fight against enemies in Quang Tri ancient citadel
One of these great heroes is Vu Trung Thuong and Tran Minh Van, two heroes of the people’s armed forces. Thuong was a commander at the Long Hung cross-road, protecting the external line of the Quang Tri ancient citadel while Van was in a tunnel under the provincial chief’s palace to command the battle of the Quang Tri ancient citadel.
Thuong joined army in 1961 and participated in the Quang Tri battlefield in 1966. He said that his Company was assigned to set up a commanding post at Long Hung cross-road, one kilometer from the ancient citadel, to attack the enemy in the warring zone to create favorable conditions for other army units to decimate the enemy. His regiment heightened iron will: “Quang Son’s existence means Quang Tri’s existence” (Quang Son was the name of his regiment).
In order to materialize his regiment Party’s resolution, Sub-Lieutenant Thuong conveyed a fighting idea: “People exist means battlefield and fighting exist. We are determined not to let the enemy enter the Long Hung cross-road” or “Sortie to fight against the enemy to keep the commanding position. Fighting in defending”, “When the enemy retreat, our army advances”.
At that time, there was an imbalance of power between our army and the enemy. There were only 17 soldiers left in his Company whereas the enemy sent a Battalion with modern tanks to attack our forces. However, with great determination to protect the Long Hung cross-road, his company completely destroyed that enemy battalion.
One day before the Paris Conference on July 12th, 1972, his company wiped out 100 enemies and five tanks while other three tanks stampeded. During the battle from the beginning of July to July 18th, 1972, his Company killed more than 400 enemy troops and the enemy battalion at the Long Hung cross-road suffered a defeat or lost its strength.
During this fierce battle, hero Thuong destroyed an enemy’s company by six B40s. Especially, the shirt he worn during the 81-day battle is on display at the Army’s Military History Museum to educate great historical values for younger generations.
Meanwhile, Major Tran Minh Van was responsible for directly conducting 10 battalions to keep the commanding post as well as reinforced forces to protect the Quang Tri ancient citadel. His commanding tunnel lied deeply under the provincial chief’s palace to keep track of every enemy’ action.
Among various resilient battles to protect the Quang Tri ancient citadel, Van talked much about four battles wiping out the enemy. In the Quang Tri battlefield, Van was wounded 14 times when taking part in more than 300 battles with numerous heroic deeds.
Heroic feats of Vu Trung Thuong and Tran Minh Van were recognized and awarded the title of Heroe of the people’s armed forces. Vu Trung Thuong shared that his comrades sacrificed for the present independence. All soldiers who fought and died in Quang Tri are heroes”.
Translated by Nguyen Thao