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Thread: General Giap is dead

  1. #16
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanswu25 View Post
    Who fought to free Vietnam from the French? Ngo Dinh Diem and Americans?
    Actually, Ngo Dinh Diem did oppose French rule and sought the creation of an independent non-communist nation. For that sin he was persecuted by the Communists, who had him arrested & tried to have him killed.

    America also opposed the return of French rule. Support was slow in coming & really only became significant when Mao took over in China & the Korean War began. Defeating communism was deemed more important. Even then the price for support was the setting of Vietnam on the path to independence.

    The VNQDD fought the French too. In fact, they were one of the leading anti-French groups. The Viet Minh and the French actually collaborated to massacre them in 1946.

    The Vietnamese Trotskyists fought French rule. They were systematically assassinated by the Viet Minh.

    The Cao Dai opposed French rule. They too were persecuted by the Viet Minh & later the Viet Cong.

    In fact, there were rather a lot of people & organizations who opposed or fought the French and were persecuted & even killed by the organization Giap founded & helped to run. it has been one of the great propaganda victories of the C20th to have effectively written so many of these groups out of history in favour of 'only the Viet Minh fought the French'.

    By 1950 the French had decided to leave Vietnam (with some help from the US), but were resolved not to leave it in the hands of Communists. Many nationalists who wanted the French gone were prepared to hold their noses & ally with the French in order to stop the Viet Minh winning power. Unfortunately they failed.

    As Troung pointed out, Giap fought to install a brutal dictatorship. His organization was happy enough to murder people who were every bit as opposed to the French as they were (in fact, the VNQDD actually refused to negotiate with the French, unlike the VM) in order to create a Communist Vietnam. The organization & then nation he helped to found then proceeded to conquer those parts of Vietnam that did not wish to be Communist and support the overthrow of non-communist regimes in Laos & Cambodia. The price of extending communism to the whole of Indochina is measured in the many millions. Rarely have so many people died for a worse reason.

    If the French had stayed they would have granted Vietnam independence within a decade of returning, sparing Indochina the death & destruction that followed. Unfortunately getting rid of the French was only a part of what Giap wanted. The people of Indochina are still suffering for that.
    Last edited by Bigfella; 06 Oct 13, at 03:24.


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  2. #17
    Officer of Engineers
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    Nitpicking.

    It's General Vo, not Giap. Giap is his first name. His military genius was restricted to reading the enemy right. He played very little part in dragging canons up the mountains. The engineers did that feat, not him.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    Written from California, Texas, or Northern Virginia?

    He fought to oppress millions under a barbaric system, deny them civil and human rights, create man made famines, and kill over a million people in three nations as part of a war of naked aggression.

    Replaced the French with a violent regime which exported war to the entire region.

    I hope his death was painful.
    So you would rather have French rule Vietnam? Why does it matter where he post from? this is not the first time that you question somebody 's whereabouts as a way of making ad hominem attacks. Seems to be your style.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    If the French had stayed they would have granted Vietnam independence within a decade of returning, sparing Indochina the death & destruction that followed. Unfortunately getting rid of the French was only a part of what Giap wanted. The people of Indochina are still suffering for that.
    Sorry I gotta take issue with that. I do not think that the French would have granted independence. After all, they just lost over 95,000 people trying to stay in Vietnam. General Giap was the one who convinced them to leave without any conditions. Not the other people you mentioned For that he deserved to be called a freedom fighter and a liberator. What followed is a separate thing.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Nitpicking.

    It's General Vo, not Giap. Giap is his first name. His military genius was restricted to reading the enemy right. He played very little part in dragging canons up the mountains. The engineers did that feat, not him.
    But he did ordered it and the set up of the attack. If you are not going to give credit for that, then why do you want to give credit to generals who won wars and battles but those victories were dependent on the engineers making the tactics work in their favor.

  6. #21
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    Credit for what? For reading the enemy right? I gave him that but as Pete suggested, he fumbled his way to victory more than anything else. A decade some later, he came up against a real foe who kept their eye on the ball and battered the NVA to a bloody pulp at Khe Sanh. The French fell asleep at DBP and that, like MacArthur, was more part of the reason of the Viet Minh victory than any Vo brilliance.

  7. #22
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    Sorry I gotta take issue with that. I do not think that the French would have granted independence. After all, they just lost over 95,000 people trying to stay in Vietnam.
    They had decided to leave in 1950 when they set up an autonomous government, well before most of those 95,000 had died. In fact, they very nearly granted effective independence in 1946 but political games at home & some dodgy dealings by the French military killed it. They granted independence to Cambodia & Laos in 1953. The US leaned pretty hard on them and opposition to continuing French rule from all sectors was just too strong. If they couldn't convince committed Catholics like Diem then they were stuffed. Most 'collaborators' were working toward an independent non-communist state.

    France had a big empire to defend and stuff all to defend it with. WW2 had done enormous damage. The Algerian War kicked off in 1954 & by 1956 there were 500,000 troops in Algeria. That was just one French problem. There were many others in Africa. They were never going to be able to hold on to a Vietnam that wanted them gone.

    General Giap was the one who convinced them to leave without any conditions. Not the other people you mentioned For that he deserved to be called a freedom fighter and a liberator.
    Actually, the VNQDD (a KMT-aligned group) were considered by the French to be even more 'hard line' than the Communists. That is why they conspired with the Communists to destroy them. As for 'conditions', none of them would have been one fraction as onerous as the hundreds of thousands who died in the 1st Indochina War; the tens of thousands who died in the purges & land reform that followed; the countless political prisoners and the millions dead in the war that followed.

    The 'freedom' Giap fought for was a dictatorship the likes of which none of us would tolerate. His 'liberation' put in place a dictatorship as repressive as the French had ever been. There was something better on offer. Giap & his comrades fought long & hard to ensure it didn't happen.

    What followed is a separate thing.
    No, what followed was planned - look at the murders of nationalist rivals committed by the Communists before & during the war. What followed was an inevitable result of the victory that Giap provided. I'm afraid it just can't be neatly separated out.


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  8. #23
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Credit for what? For reading the enemy right? I gave him that but as Pete suggested, he fumbled his way to victory more than anything else. A decade some later, he came up against a real foe who kept their eye on the ball and battered the NVA to a bloody pulp at Khe Sanh. The French fell asleep at DBP and that, like MacArthur, was more part of the reason of the Viet Minh victory than any Vo brilliance.
    His real genius was logistics. As you would know, moving an army about even with modern logistics can be a nightmare. The way he managed to move forces around Indochina was one of the more remarkable feats of modern warfare. Unfortunately it was a slow process. That meant that it was perfect for set piece battles where the enemy struggled to reinforce. it was ill-suited to attacks where the enemy could use mobility & firepower and concentrate force.

    This led to his greatest defeats against the French, the little-known offensives against the Red River Delta in 1951. De Lattre (a genius in his own right) was able to use mobility & firepower to his advantage, while Giap simply couldn't shift the focus of his attack quickly enough or concentrate force effectively enough. In an attempt to win the war quickly he stuffed up badly. Eventually the Viet Minh settled on a victorious strategy - stretch the French by attacking targets spread over a wide area. Dien Bien Phu was a tribute to French stupidity, unwarranted arrogance (if De Lattre had been in command it wouldn't have happened) and Vietnamese determination. Contrary to popular opinion it didn't actually 'win' the war or even change the timing of the end much, it just changed the French negotiating position at the Geneva conference - one of the main reasons the battle was fought at all.

    I'm not as well informed about his role in the American War, but the price he was prepared to pay to compel all of Vietnam to come under Communist rule was extraordinarily high.


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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    His real genius was logistics.
    Hardly. His logistics starts and ends with the set battle of annihilation, either DBP or Khe Sanh. It does not compare to Zhukov or even Peng Dehuai (Korean War) where battles start at the border, ending at the enemy's opposing capital and six to seven major battles in between.

    Tet was a testament to Vo's failure in logistics as well as strategy. His LOCs were cut and his regiments were decimated without relief forces in sight.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Hardly. His logistics starts and ends with the set battle of annihilation, either DBP or Khe Sanh. It does not compare to Zhukov or even Peng Dehuai (Korean War) where battles start at the border, ending at the enemy's opposing capital and six to seven major battles in between.

    Tet was a testament to Vo's failure in logistics as well as strategy. His LOCs were cut and his regiments were decimated without relief forces in sight.
    I read some online sources that Giap objected to the Tet offensive and did not like where it was going and was overruled. Once he was overruled, he had no choice but to play along and do whatever he could.

  11. #26
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    Tet was Vo's brainchild. He certainly took credit when his revisionism reversed this military disaster into a propaganda victory.

  12. #27
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    So you would rather have French rule Vietnam?
    If that would have put the blood of millions back into their bodies but... France was on the decline, by the end of the conflict most of the "French military" was made up of locals, and France ended up creating (under American pressure) a local government - and after France left Giap and company spent the next 20 years trying to enslave the rest of the region. Long after France left these murderers were filling mass graves with innocent civilians in a quest to put one of the most vile systems of government in place.

    It is amazing that despite the large number of groups opposed to the French presence, American opposition, French steps to create an independent state - people still talk of either continued direct French rule or millions of corpses/rule by a despotic regime as the only options and the rule of that despotic regime being some sort of great liberation.

    I am sure short of what you have seen on the history channel you know jack shit about the conflict but millions were killed by communist imperialists who attacked three nations, after France left, to try and enslave the region.

    Why does it matter where he post from? this is not the first time that you question somebody 's whereabouts as a way of making ad hominem attacks. Seems to be your style.
    Your style seems to be to get exposed for knowing nothing about a given subject then slinking off. I hope you show up with your customary uninformed opinion when Mugabe croaks.

    ==============
    This led to his greatest defeats against the French, the little-known offensives against the Red River Delta in 1951. De Lattre (a genius in his own right) was able to use mobility & firepower to his advantage, while Giap simply couldn't shift the focus of his attack quickly enough or concentrate force effectively enough. In an attempt to win the war quickly he stuffed up badly.
    Wasn't his fault that his men showed subjective tendencies under napalm and naval gunfire.
    Last edited by troung; 06 Oct 13, at 18:38.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    Written from California, Texas, or Northern Virginia?
    I do live in a quiet countryside about two hours away from Nova but I have nothing to do with those three places because I am just recently here for my job.

    I too blame Ho and his comrades for their choice of communism as an instrument to fight for independence. It cost Vietnam too much. A similar case is Indonesia. Their armed struggle was much shorter and less bloody without it.

    I respect Giap for taking up weapons to fight the French and for giving them a bloody nose. Without the march of Giap's tiny army to Hanoi in 1945 and the war started in 1946, I would not expect the French to give nor grant Vietnam anything. Of course somewhere there was also people like Gandhi but this was the case of Vietnam with the bloody French.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Hardly. His logistics starts and ends with the set battle of annihilation, either DBP or Khe Sanh. It does not compare to Zhukov or even Peng Dehuai (Korean War) where battles start at the border, ending at the enemy's opposing capital and six to seven major battles in between.

    Tet was a testament to Vo's failure in logistics as well as strategy. His LOCs were cut and his regiments were decimated without relief forces in sight.
    DBP was quite impressive to me though. He managed to supply massive mount of food from Red-River Delta and ammunition from border with China, both hundred kilometers away, through the whole campaign under constant harass of French air force and mobile patrol. And his men did it mainly on foot and with bicycles.

  15. #30
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    It was an amazing feat of human endurance and a proper reading of the enemy ... but as a doctrine? There were better ways to kill the French, even with the technology available to in the first place.

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