Friday, January 26, 2018, 16:50 (GMT+7)
Applying experience from the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising to the building of political base in Danang

Spring 1968, under the guidance of the Politburo, 5th Regional Party Committee’s Standing Board decided to choose Danang to be the main area of operation in the upcoming General Offensive and Uprising. That said, Danang Special Zone Party Committee introduced Quang Trung Resolution (the name implied that the offensive would be swift like Quang Trung’s strikes) to its subordinate units. At the same time, comprehensive preparation activities were conducted for the upcoming campaign. Under the leadership of the Special Zone Party Committee, the people of Danang overcame hardships and enemy countermeasures to participate in transporting and storing weapons, donate funds, medical supply, foods, provide protection and daily needs for officers and soldiers operating inside the city; also, they were always ready to organize political protests, conduct propaganda to call for enemy soldiers’ surrender, and initiate uprising to coordinate with military operations.

On January 31st, 1968, sharply at 2.20 a.m., our forces launched the Spring Offensive and Uprising in Danang City. The people and revolutionary armed force of the city, in cooperation with regular units, simultaneously attacked American and RVN’s headquarters, bases and military depots, eliminating over 1000 enemy troops, causing heavy losses for the enemy. This was the first time in the resistance war against the U.S. Imperialism we launched surprising simultaneous strikes in all three strategic zones, with major cities as main battlefields, dealing direct blows to the enemy headquarters with all our strength. Notably, coordination between regular units’ military offensives and local population’s uprisings, in which local armed forces acted as the core element, clearly magnified the overwhelming strength of all-people warfare. Consequently, we were able to conduct extensive but concentrated strikes, forcing the enemy to respond from a very passive stance. Thanks to the assistance from our people, especially local Party organizations, many regular revolutionary units managed to secretly deploy right at major cities’ gateways and initiate sudden strikes which stunned the U.S leadership and caused a great shock across the globe. This event spoke volumes for the tremendous power of all-people warfare – a unique characteristic of the Tet General Offensive and Uprising.

After 50 years, the Tet General Offensive and Uprising in Danang is still not only a proud feat of the people of the city, but also an invaluable lesson on military and political base building, and coordinating and fully utilizing the strengths of different forces. This experience has been constantly employed by the city’s armed forces to build national defense, integrate all-people defense into all-people security and organize defense zone in the new era. Besides, the city focused on propaganda programs to improve people’s awareness and responsibility toward the duty of safeguarding the motherland. In fact, the voluntary and active contribution of all citizens in defense work in peace time is the source to generate the tremendous power of all-people warfare.

Fully understanding this fact, in recent years, Danang’s military establishments actively counseled local authorities to conduct propaganda and education activities to encourage citizens taking part in building all-people national defense. In these activities, patriotism, the desire for socialism, and the trust in the Party, the regime and the State were turned into the consciousness, the determination and the action of each citizen, creating a solid political drive for the work of building and safeguarding the country. At the same time, the City’s Military Party Committee and Command actively issued orders and instructions for subordinate units to uphold the role of “a working army”, apply new agendas and methods in public relation work; improve the effectiveness of propaganda programs to encourage the people supporting the Party’s line and principles, and the State’s law and policy, especially minority ethnic communities and religious people; and carry out timely and adept countermeasures against reactionary rhetoric and ideologies spread by our adversaries. Also, public relation teams actively took part in building local political bases, helping the people reduce poverty and build new rural area model; conducting natural disaster management and relief, search and rescue, and combating crime missions, etc. As a result, the bond between the people and the military and the people’s support for the Party, the State and the socialist regime were greatly strengthened.

Armed forces of Danang City help the people of Hoa Bac commune, Hoa Vang district build road (photo:

Basing on lessons learned from the Tet General Offensive and Uprising, Danang City Administration and Party Committee constantly implemented the work of completing and strengthening the political system at all levels. That said, local authorities placed emphasis on improving the leadership ability and operational capability of all-level Party organizations to effectively carry out the Party’s line and principles, as well as the State’s laws and policies. Also, military establishments at all levels advised local authorities to organize and manage communal military Party cells under Central Committee of Organization and Personnel’s Instruction 35-HD/BTCTW. Currently, all communes of the city have military Party cell, and all communal Party committee secretaries are heads of respective military Party cells and commissars of communal military contingents. These military Party establishments have proven to be very effective in leading the implementation of both local political and defense objectives. Communal military Party cells have always focused on carrying out 4th Central Resolution (tenure XII) on Party building and rectification and Politburo’s Guideline 05-CT/TW (tenure XII) which seeks to “Increasingly study and follow President Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, moral example and way of life”, thus enhancing the capability of Party organizations and their cadres and members. At the same time, the city focused on strengthening governing bodies at all levels; providing training for civil officials, especially those who work at communes (or wards, towns); effectively enforcing the principle of plural leadership, “people know, people discuss, people conduct, people inspect”, and dealing with issues that frustrated the population.

The lesson of gaining support from the people to achieve a total strength in the General Offensive and Uprising Spring 1968 is still very valuable today. The support of the people is a fundamental and strategic factor in strengthening the leadership role of the city authority and the people unity block in the city territory. Fully understanding the principle of “the people are the root”; “cadres are people’s servants”; and implementing the “people know, people discuss, people conduct, people inspect” motto in every activity of the city authority, Danang armed forces have been advising and directly working with local administrations and Party committees to conduct propaganda and education programs to help the people understand the current situation, the plots and methods of reactionary actors, and the duty of each citizen in national defense. The purpose of these activities was to make local people understand that the work of protecting national maritime sovereignty would create favorable condition for the people to prosper and prevent aggression from reactionary actors. Also, they sought to develop the city under the three mottos: “4 Safeties and Securities” (1), “5 Nos” (2), and “3 Haves” (3). Besides, the role of credible village elders, family heads, and religious leaders was upheld to strengthen the bond among the Party, the authority, and the people; while due attention was paid to building and improving cultural living for citizens, etc, thus neutralizing distorted and provocative rhetoric from adversary actors.

At the same time, Danang City’s Military Party Committee and Command focused on building comprehensive armed forces, with a strong political core and constantly improved total strength, capable of completing any mission. Also, the city military establishment effectively advised city administration to implement national defense tasks and build a “compact, strong, and high quality” reservist force; and organize “strong and extensive” militia contingents. Besides, the city military command actively conducted standardization for junior military cadres to make sure all communal military cadres undergo military training, and all communes have active militia section; and effectively recruited more Party members in militia and reservist units. Currently, 25% personnel of Danang City’s militia and reservist contingents are Party members; all active militia platoons have a Party group; all active militia section and platoon commanders are Party members; etc. These activities have greatly provided great contributions to building strong armed forces for the city, and they have also been a key element in developing Danang defense zone.

The 50th anniversary of the General Offensive and Uprising 1968 is a great opportunity for Danang’s people and armed forces to commemorate this glorious feat of our national resistance history. To that end, the city will uphold its “Loyal, Courageous, Determined to fight and Determined to win” tradition and apply it to the process of building a comprehensively strong city under the guidance of Politburo’s Resolution 33 on “Building and developing Danang City in industrialization and modernization era.”

Senior Colonel Nguyen Thanh Hoang, Da nang City Military Command Political Commissar

1- 4 Safeties and Securities: Public Security; Traffic Safety; Food Safety and Social Security.

2- 5 Nos: No household with hunger; no beggar; no illiterate people; no drug addiction and no murder in the community.

3- 3 Haves: have housing; have job and have civilized urban living style.

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