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Truong Son Strategic Transportation Line - Ho Chi Minh Trail - an originality of Vietnamese People’s War

On 19 may 1959, Group 559 - Truong Son Corps was established in order to build a strategic logistics transport route from the great Northern Rear to the Southern Front. Overcoming a number of difficulties, hardships and sacrifice due to the enemy’s violent raids, Truong Son strategic  transportation line was tenable and spread over battlefields and became an original symbol of Vietnamese people’s war in the anti-US resistance  war for national salvation.

Truong Son trail under construction (File photo)

1. Truong Son strategic  transportation line was a point of convergence of the power of the whole nation and international solidarity. With the presence of diversified forces, including engineers, transportation, air defense, communication, etc., assault youth, front line people’s laborers and local people and troops participating in building road and transporting goods to the battlefields, Truong Son strategic transportation line-Ho Chi Minh Trail became the point of typical convergence of Vietnamese people’s war. In order to deliver goods to the battlefield, together with mechanized vehicles, there were various other means of transport to be used, such as: clothes-baskets, rafts, loaded-bicycles… even the water flows of the rivers and streams were used to deliver logistic items. Another typical point of Truong Son strategic transportation line was that there were other routes running on the land of Laos and Cambodia, therefore, Laotians and Cambodians also participated in the building and protecting the roads, and protecting and transporting  logistic goods.

2. Truong Son strategic transportation line also typified the people’s war posture in the life and death struggle with the enemy. With the determination to interrupt our strategic supply, the US had made Truong Son a testing ground for its new strategies and tactics, as well as the most advanced weapons and equipment at that time. In order to maintain the line and ensure the safety of each consignment, the people’s war posture was set up, including troops, assault youth, people’s laborers and local people with thousands of facilities, such as: storages, military stations, camps, and battlefields, etc. With this people’s war posture, forces along the line were able to both fight against the enemy to protect the transport line, repair roads and bridges in key areas attacked by the enemy and conduct all-round on-the-spot support (military medicine, foods) for the transportation troops along the line. In particular, the people’s war posture in Truong Son have not only facilitated a war of attrition and destroyed the enemy extensively, but also effectively coped with its Army and Air Forces to protect the thousand-kilometer road. Together with the air defense forces in key areas, mobile air defense units and other forces in Truong Son have made a multi-layered air defense firepower nets to effectively fight against the enemy’s air forces. Thanks to this posture, troops, people’s laborers, assault youth and local people along the line were able to fight against the enemy with any kinds of weapons in hand, and build comprehensive strength, and defeat the enemy’s sweeping operations and their plots of destruction.

3. Truong Son strategic transportation line was one of the critical elements which made contribution to effectively implement our Party’s strategic direction: to achieve partial victory and move on to complete one in the anti-US resistance  war for national salvation. Thereby, the revolution in the South had to be all-round and the whole people’s war which mobilized the strength of the entire country. Due to on-the-spot limitations, supplies of manpower and material power from the great rear-the North, was critical and decisive. However, resources of the North, after the anti-French resistance war, were limited; international aids were also gradually received, etc. Against such backdrop, most of strategic operation plans in the battlefields in the South involved the transportation of troops, weapons and equipment for the fronts, directly through Truong Son strategic transportation line and this was conducted according to the plans and with careful preparation and consideration.

By  Colonel Nguyen Huy Thuc, PhD

 

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