The 70th Anniversary of the Victory at Dien Bien Phu (1954 – 2024)

On May 7, 1954, a historic milestone reverberated globally as our forces achieved victory at Dien Bien Phu. This triumph left an indelible mark on both Vietnamese and international history, becoming a symbol of heroism and the strength of the Vietnamese nation.

The day of the victory at Dien Bien Phu
The day of the victory at Dien Bien Phu

1. The Victory at Dien Bien Phu – A Landmark in Our National History

1.1 The Victory at Dien Bien Phu was an important moment for Vietnam

In our nation’s struggle for independence and sovereignty, the victory at Dien Bien Phu stands as one of the brightest peaks—a remarkable achievement of the Ho Chi Minh era. In the anti-colonial war against French imperialism, the victory at Dien Bien Phu was our greatest triumph, delivering a decisive blow that reshaped the course of the war between us and the enemy. It directly led to the signing of the Geneva Accords, which ended the conflict and restored peace in Indochina

1.2 Summary of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu

Summary of the Dien Bien Phu victory

On December 19, 1946 with the Nationwide Call to Resistance by President Ho Chi Minh, the entire Communist Party, people, and armed forces of Vietnam courageously embarked on a protracted struggle against French colonial invasion. Faced with this situation, on December 6, 1953, the Politburo convened and assessed that Dien Bien Phu was a strong French stronghold but fundamentally vulnerable due to its isolation

Dien Bien Phu was the largest-scale battle ever fought on treacherous mountainous terrain, with logistical challenges due to its remote location. Despite the urgency of preparations, it held immense military, political, and diplomatic significance. Our main challenge was ensuring adequate supplies, but we overcame it. The Politburo decided to launch the Dien Bien Phu Campaign under the command of General Vo Nguyen Giap.

President Ho Chi Minh and comrades in the Party Central Standing Committee met to decide to open the Winter-Spring War of 1953-1954 and the Dien Bien Phu Campaign.

The battle unfolded over 56 days and nights, divided into three phases:

  • Phase 1 (March 13 to March 17, 1954): Our forces strategically and courageously eliminated the Him Lam and Doc Lap strongholds, as well as the Ban Keo position. We broke through the northern gateway of the French stronghold, capturing over 2,000 enemy soldiers, destroying 25 aircraft, and wiping out one battalion. General Henri Navarre, the French artillery commander in Dien Bien Phu, was powerless against our artillery and even resorted to suicide grenades.
  • Phase 2 (March 30 to April 30, 1954): Our coordinated attacks targeted the eastern positions, tightening the siege and continuously advancing. We gained control of Mường Thanh Airport, limiting the enemy’s resupply efforts. Despite the enemy’s stubbornness, they hoped to prolong the conflict until the rainy season. This phase involved intense, protracted combat, with both sides fiercely contesting every inch of territory. Notably, Hill Cl saw 20 days of intense struggle, while Hill A1 endured 30 days of back-and-forth fighting. After the second attack, the central area of Dien Bien Phu fell within our effective firing range, leaving the French forces demoralized and passive.
  • Phase 3 (May 1 to May 7, 1954): Our forces captured the eastern positions and launched a final offensive to annihilate the entire French stronghold. On the night of May 6, 1954, a fierce battle raged at Hill A1, where we stormed enemy bunkers and used explosives to destroy their fortified underground tunnels. The French commander of Hill A1 and around 400 surviving troops surrendered. At 5:30 PM on May 7, 1954, we seized the enemy’s headquarters, and General Christian de Castries, along with the entire French staff, surrendered.
On the afternoon of May 7, 1954, the “Determined Battle – Determined Victory” flag of the Vietnam People’s Army flew on the roof of General De Castries’ bunker. The historic Dien Bien Phu campaign was completely won

Our flag with the motto “Determined to Fight, Determined to Win” flew over the enemy’s command bunker. That same night, our forces continued to advance southward, forcing the enemy to retreat to Upper Laos. By midnight, all remaining French troops were captured as prisoners of war.

The outcome of the Dien Bien Phu victory—a golden milestone in Vietnamese history

General Vo Nguyen Giap presented the Decisive War, Decisive Victory flag

After 56 days and nights of courageous, ingenious, and creative combat, our military and people shattered the entire French stronghold at Dien Bien Phu. We captured and took 16,200 prisoners, shot down 62 aircraft, and seized 64 vehicles, along with all the enemy’s weapons, ammunition, and military equipment1. This victory stands as a golden milestone in Vietnamese history, symbolizing our unwavering determination and resilience in the face of adversity.

The Victory at Dien Bien Phu  holds immense historical significance and transcends its time, contributing significantly to the global struggle for peace and progress. This victory dealt a decisive blow to the foundation of French colonialism and U.S. intervention, toppling the bastion of old colonialism at its weakest point. It marked the collapse of old colonialism worldwide, signaling the strategic failure of the new colonialism led by the United States.

The Victory at Dien Bien Phu was a collective achievement of nations across the Indochina Peninsula, a triumph for the communist and international workers’ movements, and a beacon for the global struggle for peace and social progress.

2. The 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Victory at Dien Bien Phu witnessed enthusiastic participation from the people and tourists as various parade formations marched through the streets

Delegates attended the rehearsal

This event, organized by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the National Assembly, the President, the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and the province of Dien Bien, stands as the most significant and official occasion in the series of events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and other leaders and former leaders of the Party and State offered incense to the Martyrs’ Temple at Dien Bien Phu battlefield

The attendees included party leaders, former party leaders, state officials, representatives of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, central committees, ministries, sectors, and social organizations from various provinces and cities, totaling around 900 delegates. Additionally, 270 international delegates and foreign journalists participated, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Laos, Chansamose Chanyalath; Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, Neth Savoeun; and the French Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs…

The specific program included the following activities:

  • Flag-raising ceremony.
  • Declaration of purpose and introduction of delegates.
  • Speech by party and state leaders in commemoration.
  • Address by a representative of the Dien Bien Phu veterans.
  • Speech by a representative of the younger generation.
  • Awarding of the First-Class Independence Medal to Dien Bien Province.
The 70th Anniversary of the Victory at Dien Bien Phu (1954 – 2024)

Following the grand ceremony at the Dien Bien Stadium, a parade took place with the participation of approximately 12,000 people, including all branches of the military, self-defense forces, police, and various social organizations.

The parade commenced with a 21-gun salute against the backdrop of the national anthem of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Subsequently, nine helicopters carrying the Party and national flags flew over the grandstand.

21 rounds of fireworks on the background of the National Anthem of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Next came the parade formations, including:

  • Four formations representing different historical periods.
  • Twenty-four military formations, including the army, self-defense forces, and police.
  • Nine formations representing veterans, youth volunteers, firefighters, workers, farmers, intellectuals, women, and ethnic groups from the Northwest region.

Some photos of the rehearsal of the 70th Anniversary of the victory at Dien Bien Phu

Helicopters flew to welcome the departure
An art performance opened the ceremony of the victory at Dien Bien Phu
An art performance opened the ceremony of the victory at Dien Bien Phu
The car carrying the National Emblem passes through the ceremony platform
The car carries a portrait of President Ho Chi Minh
Model car commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory
Lieutenant General Nguyen Trong Binh, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, on the command vehicle leads the parade
Group of army soldiers
Cyber ​​space combat force
Civilian fire line block
Farmer block
Blocks of Party flags and National flags parade on the main streets of Dien Bien Phu City
Female soldiers of the Military Band
Naval officer block
Border Guard officers
Southern female guerrillas
A large number of people and tourists cheered the marching and parading forces

The parade and march served as a focal point, emphasizing the significance, scale, and historic value of the victory at Dien Bien Phu during the 70th anniversary commemoration (May 7, 1954 – May 7, 2024). It celebrated the strength of our forces and reaffirmed the greatness of this historical achievement

The 70th Anniversary of the Victory at Dien Bien Phu, we are proud of the glorious Communist Party of Vietnam, a genuine Marxist-Leninist Party; proud of President Ho Chi Minh, world cultural celebrity – hero of national liberation, founder and trainer of our Party; proud of the heroic nation, the people’s armed forces, and the Vietnamese people’s army, which has fought countless battles and won many victories

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