Friday, March 17, 2023, 08:05 (GMT+7)
General Chu Huy Man: A talented militarist and politician

General Chu Huy Man (born March 17, 1913 – died July 1, 2006) was a prominent leader of the Party and Vietnamese revolution. In over 60 years of service to the revolution, through many positions, operating in many places, fighting in key theatres, and carrying out the noble international duties, he fulfilled the promise to spend his whole life fighting for the Party and revolution; was always faithful and overcame hardship to devote himself to the Party, Fatherland, and people; always put interests of the revolution above his own. The General spent his whole life serving the revolutionary cause of the Party and People’s Army. He was a shining example of the virtues of “Uncle Ho’s Soldiers”, adored and honoured as a talented militarist and politician by President Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap, his comrades, and people.

General Chu Huy Man visits the Central Highlands Corps in March, 1976

A brilliant militarist of Viet Nam People’s Army

As a general with much combat experience, years of direct combat and work in fierce theatres of war, many positions, and close monitoring of situation on the ground, Man drew many lessons and set out operational methods suitable to the revolutionary war of national liberation. He became a genius militarist of Viet Nam People’s Army (VPA). The General’s talent associated with many glorious feats of arms of our military and people during the wars of resistance against the French colonialists and American imperialists, and as a military advisor to the Lao revolution.

In the war of resistance against French aggressors, with the disposition tempered by holding various positions, he led units to fight bravely and won many important victories. Specifically, in the Border Campaign of 1950, the 174th Cao-Bac-Lang Regiment, under his command, contributing to annihilation of the French expeditionary forces in Dong Khe and That Khe, control of a 750 km-long borderline, and expansion of the Viet Bac base. In the Dien Bien Phu Campaign, in his capacity as Commissar of the 316th Division, Man commanded his soldiers to attack hills of C1, C2, A1, etc.; destroy Him Lam fortifications; participated in the final battle, making a vital contribution to the historic victory of Vietnamese people.

After the war of resistance against France, given his talent for military, politics, and military building, in July 1954, the Party Central Committee and President Ho Chi Minh appointed Man as general military advisor to Laos in the spirit of “persistence, self-reliance, and definite victory” and “helping friends is to help ourselves”. In the 1960-1961 period, he worked as a general advisor to the right-wing coalition government of Phumi Nosavan. The impartial, wholehearted, heartfelt, effective, reliable support of Vietnamese experts and cadres, most notably comrade Chu Huy Man, contributed to successful building of Lao armed forces in their early stage, consolidation of bases of Houaphanh and Phongsaly provinces, and victories of the Lao revolution. The image of Vietnamese excellent military advisor, who was named as General Thao Chan, has become a legend in Lao military and people for generations.

In the war of resistance against the United States for national salvation, it was within the context that the 5 Region theatre of war faced many difficulties, in 1963, the Party Central Committee and Uncle Ho sent Man to the Central Highlands to lead the 5th Military Region armed forces to counter the American imperialists’ strategy of “local war”. In 1964, he held the positions of Commander and Commissar of the 5th Military Region and Secretary of the 5th Inter-region Party Committee. Being a commander versed in planning operations and strategies and correct resoluteness in each matter, Man used to monitor situation in the theatre closely in order to timely instruct units and localities to strengthen their combat power. Before each battle and operation, he used to go to units to exchange ideas with cadres and soldiers in order to find suitable, effective ways of fighting. When confronting the issue of “using the few to counter the many”, he always attached importance to combination of force build-up, establishment of posture, exploitation of opportunities, and use of stratagems to engage the enemy and force them to fight in our own way. The method of “attacking positions to destroy reinforcements” was employed creatively by him and brought about great success. He contributed to development of military art and enriched the art of people’s war. His operational art of combining political and military struggle became the pinnacle of people’s war in the 5th Region, where he was the commander. The 5th Region was the locality “in vanguard of annihilating American soldiers” reflected through resounding victories of Nui Thanh, Van Tuong, and Plei me – Ia Drang. The 5th Region was also the theatre of war, where Man instructed successful establishment of the “belt of destroying American soldiers”; directed and successfully carried out comprehensive offensive campaigns such as Ba Gia (1965), Sa Thay (1966), Mau Than Lunar New Year (1968), Northern Binh Dinh (1972), and so on. In the 1975 Spring General Offensive and Uprising, Man was the commissar of the Campaign and directly commanded the Hue – Da Nang Campaign, achieving resounding victories and fulfilling President Ho Chi Minh’s last will of “fighting to chase out the Americans, fighting to overthrow the puppets”, liberating the South completely, and reuniting the country. In the 1976 – 1986 period, Man was a member of the Politburo, Vice Chairman of the State Council, Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission (CMC), and Chief of the General Department of Politics of the VPA. He proposed many sound guidelines and policies for the Party and State to build a “revolutionary, regular, and gradually modern” military, contributing to successful accomplishment of military, defence missions, and construction and protection of the socialist Vietnamese Fatherland.

A keen politician of the Party, State, and military

The hallmark of General Chu Huy Man was clever linkage between political thinking and military thinking. He used to pay attention to political education, cultivation of revolutionary heroism, and spread of the idea of active offensive among cadres and soldiers; attach importance to development of the spirit of solidarity among forces in combat and execution of missions. He set out many important measures to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of party work and political work, especially the building and strengthening of the VPA’s cadres. According to him, strengthening of cadres’ and soldiers’ ideology and spirit before each battle is key to success or failure. Leadership of ideology, therefore, must be the most important work. There needs to organise political activities, study theory, and regularly draw experience from successes and shortcomings in each battle, creating changes in cadres’ and soldiers’ ideological awareness and determination. On clearly perceiving the special role of cadres, to have cadres with both talents and good virtues, Man paid constant attention to training of cadres both in politics, military, cultural level, and military knowledge and skills, especially political education. He affirmed that training of cadres had to take politics as the roots. This would lay the foundation for improving cultural competence and professional skills. Cadres with profound political knowledge were able to study and develop military art.

To garner and bring into play intelligence of everyone to create huge collective strength, Man attached special importance to building of organisations in association with development of humans. Great care was given to strengthening of party organisations’ combat power in the armed forces; building of a strong Military Party Committee in both political, ideological, and organisational aspects; building of political departments and the corps of cadres, especially the commissars at all levels, ensuring the Party’s direct, absolute leadership of the military in every aspect. In his capacity as Chief of the General Department of Politics, he advised the CMC to propose the Politburo to issue the Resolution No. 27-NQ/TW, dated 4 July 1985 on “continuing to strengthen the Party’s mechanism of leadership of the VPA and national defence”, thereby restoring some fundamental matters of principle regarding building the military in political terms, contributing to intensification of the Party’s leadership of the VPA and its combat strength. This served to ensure the VPA’s constant leverage of its role in the cause of safeguarding the Fatherland while making active contribution to national reform, industrialisation, and modernisation.

Man used to emphasise revolutionary dignity and ethics of cadres and party members, especially the leading cadres. He was the one who resolutely struggled against manifestation of wrongdoings and degradation on political ideology, morality, and lifestyle of some cadres and party members. Until his retirement, he used to be preoccupied with giving opinions about building of a pure, strong ruling Party and political system, contributing to the struggle against hostile forces’ strategy of “peaceful evolution”.

Man lived to nearly 100 years old and spent two thirds of his life working and contributing to the Party and revolution. Over the course of 76 years in service of the Party and 61 years in the military, having undergone the two holly resistance wars of the country, regardless of working in the mountainous or lowland areas, in Viet Nam or Laos, advantages or disadvantages, he used to stick to communist ideal; be an excellent pupil of President Ho Chi Minh; set a shining example of a great man, a talented righteous general, a good militarist and, politician of the heroic Viet Nam People’s Army.

The 110th anniversary of the birth of General Chu Huy Man is an occasion to honour and express our gratitude to the General’s enormous contribution to the glorious revolutionary cause of the Party, country, and military. It also serves to educate cadres, soldiers, and people from various walks of life about revolutionary tradition and history, patriotism, attitude to work, willpower, perseverance, combat spirit, revolutionary spirit of combat, and aspiration for devotion and advancement in the cause of building and protecting the socialist Vietnamese Fatherland today.

Doctor LE THI THU HONG, Institute of Ho Chi Minh and the Party’s leaders

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Great significance and sustainable value of April 30 Victory
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