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Military Region 7’s armed forces promote the spirit of national resistance in today's Homeland construction and protection

75 years ago, on December 19th, 1946, in response to President Ho Chi Minh’s sacred Appeal, troops and citizens of the South stood shoulder to shoulder with the entire nation in the resistance war against the French. Valuable lessons drawn from that historical event provide an important prerequisite for Military Region 7’s armed forces in their current national construction and protection cause.

After the August Revolution of 1945, the people of Vietnam had to be faced with both “domestic and foreign enemies,” a rampant famine, and numerous difficulties, which could be described as “hanging by a thread.” Against such a backdrop, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam headed by President Ho Chi Minh calmly cleverly steered the Vietnamese revolution out of dangers. Under the principle of independence and unification, our Party formulated a flexible foreign policy to split enemies up and quickly consolidate and develop our revolutionary forces. However, with the intention of reinvading our country, on September 23rd, 1945, taking advantage of British support, French colonialists opened fire on Saigon and commenced their second invasion of Vietnam. While leading the South’s resistance war, our CPV, Government, and President Ho Chi Minh made a lot of diplomatic efforts to avoid a war between Vietnam and France. Nevertheless, with their “resolve to invade our country again,” French colonialists constantly provoked hostility in many places to launch a war across Vietnam.

To deal with that situation, on December 19th, 1946, President Ho Chi Minh issued the Appeal for National Resistance. Uncle Ho’s words resounded across the country and reinvigorated the armed forces and people of the Southeast and the extreme South Central Coast so that they could step up guerrilla warfare against the enemy extensively. Tactics of “combating enemy troops from the inside and creating a perimeter” applied in Saigon and defensive combat employed on other fronts contributed to pinning French troops down in the South in order that the people across our country could have more time to make preparations for a long-lasting resistance war. Guerrilla warfare in areas under the enemy’s control was harmoniously combined with strikes and demonstrations by workers, students, and citizens, thereby causing the French a lot of difficulties and heavy losses. Cadres, soldiers, and citizens of the Southeast and the extreme South Central Coast organised many battles of interception along National Highway No.1, Saigon - Phan Thiet Railway, Route No.11, and Thap Cham - Da Lat Railway. Troops and citizens of the South and the extreme South Central Coast courageously fought and defeated the enemy’s plot of rapid fight and rapid victory, while pinning nearly 50,000 French expeditionary troops down. In the process, our military and people creatively, successfully built resistance bases in Southeastern mangrove forests and mountainous areas. They also adopted numerous methods of fighting the enemy effectively; they fought the enemy along routes, attacked enemy posts, employed torpedoes, water commandos, and guerrilla warfare against the enemy, and constructed combat villages and unique trenches and tunnels. In February 1946, acknowledging and praising the unconquerable spirit of troops and citizens of the South, on behalf of the Government, President Ho Chi Minh presented South Vietnam with the glorious title of “Iron Citadel of the Homeland.”

Uncle Ho’s “Appeal for National Resistance” and our Party’s Directive of “All-People Resistance” clearly demonstrated the sound, clever revolutionary guidelines, leadership, and direction of our Party and President Ho Chi Minh. Our victory was the result of the strength of an all-people, comprehensive resistance war and the Vietnamese people’s knowledge and courage. That victory was also resulted from the strength of frontline and rear, from material and mental resources, from international support, and from all-people unity built on the basis of a solid worker-peasant alliance.

75 years have elapsed, but the Oath of “sacrificing for the Homeland” still resounds across the country. That Oath is the will of independence and freedom of the Vietnamese people in the Ho Chi Minh era. The spirit of “National Resistance” was brought into play by generations of cadres and soldiers of the Southeast and the extreme South Central Coast in the resistance wars against France and America. Promoting that spirit and valuable lessons, Military Region 7’s armed forces kept developing themselves in terms of politics, ideology, and organisation with the increasingly great synergy to deserve the trust of local party committees, authorities, and citizens. The Military Region’s armed forces both fought enemies and gained experience to successfully fulfil all assigned missions and make significant contributions to our victories over the French and the US. After the country was unified, the Military Region’s armed forces continued fighting to protect Southwestern border and performing a noble international mission to liberate the people of Cambodia from genocide.

The Military Region’s Chemical Force engaging in COVID-19 prevention and control in Ho Chi Minh City (photo:

In today’s national construction and protection, more than ever before, the Military Region’s armed forces have promoted the indomitable spirit of the early days of national resistance and strived to play a core role in building a firm posture of all-people national defence and ensuring stability of the Southern key economic region, thereby making contributions to protecting the Homeland from afar. The Military Region’s Party Committee and Command have frequently attached importance to building strong three-category armed forces absolutely loyal to party committees, authorities, and citizens. At the same time, they have adopted measures synchronously to raise the combat readiness capacity and synergy and make the Military Region’s armed forces “compact, strong,” and capable of playing a core role in performing military-defence work. In the process, due regard has been paid to well conducting the work of political and ideological education, enhancing internal political protection, and preventing “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from happening. The Military Region’s Party Committee and Command have proactively implemented measures to build defence potential and encourage the synergy of the entire political system and the national great unity block in the Homeland protection. Consideration has been given to strictly abiding by regulations on coordination with relevant offices and organisations in the building and operation of defensive zones. The Military Region has renewed defence and security education for all citizens and built solid postures of all-people national defence and people’s security. Besides, it has focused on raising the quality of military standard order building and discipline management and building up the cultural feature of “Southeastern soldiers” to deserve the faith of local party organisations, authorities, and people.

Being fully aware of the role of politico-spiritual strength in the building of the all-people national defence posture, the Military Region’s Party Committee and Command have closely cooperated with local party committees and authorities in directing the armed forces to synchronously implement measures for building a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds.” To that end, the Military Region’s armed forces have well performed the function as “an army ready for work” and actively taken part in building strong political bases and safe areas. Great weight has been added to enhancing the movements, namely “Military Region 7’s armed forces join hands in building new-style rural areas” and “building safe communes and wards with a high level of combat readiness.” Main units and local military offices have proactively developed plans on field training and mass mobilisation to help the people construct infrastructures and maintain political security in each area, thereby bolstering the image of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” in the people’s hearts and minds. At the same time, they have collaborated with local authorities and politico-social organisations in well executing the movement of “gratitude” and helping the people with hunger eradication, poverty reduction, and natural disaster and epidemic prevention and mitigation. It should be noted that since late April 2021, the 4th wave of COVID-19 within the Military Region has been prolonged and complex, seriously impacted on socio-economic development, and directly threatened the people’s life and health. Against that backdrop, the Military Region’s Party Committee Standing Board and Command have focused their leadership and direction on synchronously adopting measures of COVID-19 prevention and control, while closely cooperating with localities and competent forces in maximising the synergy to curb the pandemic and help the people overcome difficulties. Tens of thousands of cadres and soldiers of the Military Region have surmounted all hardships and dangers on the frontline and actively worked with authorities, sectors, and forces to prevent and repel the pandemic, protect the people’s life and health, and bring social activities back to “new normality.” Those deeds have contributed to cementing the close-knit bond between the armed forces and the people and building a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds” as the basis for localities’ political stability and socio-economic development.

The spirit of sacrificing for the Homeland’s independence and freedom and the Vietnamese nation’s heroic, indomitable tradition have been inherited and promoted by Military Region 7’s armed forces to build their glorious tradition of “absolute loyalty, proactiveness, creativity, self-reliance, unity, and determination to win” in the Ho Chi Minh era. That spirit has been clearly expressed not only in fighting foreign invaders, but also in constructing and defending the Socialist Vietnamese Homeland with new contents and a higher quality.

Lt. Gen. TRAN HOAI TRUNG, Commissar of Military Region 7

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