Vo Nguyen Giap

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Giap, Vo Nguyen

(vô nəwē`ĕn zhäp), 1911–2013, Vietnamese military leader and government official whose strategies helped drive the forces of Japan, France, and the United States from Vietnam. A nationalist teacher and journalist with no formal military training, he joined the Vietnamese Communist party in the 1930s, later joining (1940) Ho Chi MinhHo Chi Minh
, 1890–1969, Vietnamese nationalist leader, president of North Vietnam (1954–69), and one of the most influential political leaders of the 20th cent. His given name was Nguyen That Thanh. In 1911 he left Vietnam, working aboard a French liner.
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 in China. Giap subsequently returned to Vietnam and helped to organize the Viet MinhViet Minh
, officially Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh [League for the Independence of Vietnam], a coalition of Communist and nationalist groups that opposed the French and the Japanese during World War II.
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 forces, fighting to oust the Japanese in World War II and the French after the war and becoming commander of the Viet Minh and defense minister. A master of guerrilla warfare, he was credited with the defeat of the French at DienbienphuDienbienphu
or Dien Bien Phu
, former French military base, N Vietnam, near the Laos border. It was the scene in 1954 of the last great battle between the French and the Viet Minh forces of Ho Chi Minh in Indochina. The French occupied the base by parachute drop in Nov.
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 (1954), which essentially ended French colonial rule in Vietnam. After the political division of Vietnam (1954), he directed the strategy of the North in the Vietnam WarVietnam War,
conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. The war began soon after the Geneva Conference provisionally divided (1954) Vietnam at 17° N lat.
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, notably the costly Tet offensiveTet offensive,
1968, a series of crucial battles in the Vietnam War. On Jan. 31, 1968, the first day of the celebration of the lunar new year, Vietnam's most important holiday, the Vietnamese Communists launched a major offensive throughout South Vietnam. It took weeks for U.S.
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 (1968), leading to a stalemate with the United States, the withdrawal of American troops, and ultimately to the reunification of Vietnam. Removed as commander in chief in 1973, Giap retained the position of minister of defense, overseeing the fall of Saigon (1975) and the defeat of the Khmer RougeKhmer Rouge
, name given to native Cambodian Communists. Khmer Rouge soldiers, aided by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, began a large-scale insurgency against government forces in 1970, quickly gaining control over more than two thirds of the country.
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 in Cambodia (1979). Deputy prime minister from 1976, Giap was removed as defense minister in 1980 and dropped from the politburo in 1982; he remained deputy prime minister until 1991.


See his Military Art of People's War: Selected Writings, ed. by R. Stetler (1970) and How We Won the War (1976); R. J. O'Neill, General Giap (1969); P. G, Macdonald, Giap: The Victor in Vietnam (1993); C. B. Currey, Victory at Any Cost (1997).

Vo Nguyen Giap:

see Giap, Vo NguyenGiap, Vo Nguyen
, 1911–2013, Vietnamese military leader and government official whose strategies helped drive the forces of Japan, France, and the United States from Vietnam.
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Vo Nguyen Giap


Born Jan. 3, 1911, in the province of Quang Binh, North Vietnam. Political and military figure in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Giap was trained as a history teacher. From his youth he participated in the national liberation movement. Beginning in 1930, he was a member of the Vietnamese Workers’ Party (until 1951, the Communist Party of Indochina). He was one of the creators of the People’s Army of Vietnam in 1944. He had an active part in the August Revolution of 1945 in Vietnam, was a member of the National Committee for the Liberation of Vietnam, and was minister of internal affairs in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In 1946 he became minister of national defense, and in 1947 he became commander in chief of the People’s Army of Vietnam. From 1955 on he has simultaneously served as deputy premier. He has been a member of the Central Committee (since 1945) and of the Politburo (since 1951) of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Workers’ Party.

References in periodicals archive ?
Vo Nguyen Giap rather than from some feeble cub politicians.
The man was General Vo Nguyen Giap, the Vietnamese military genius who had led his country to victory, first against France's attempt to reimpose colonial rule in the aftermath of the Second World War, then against the unparalleled might of the United States when it subsequently sought to permanently divide Vietnam and install a client state in Saigon.
7 mm machine-gun round lodged in Maddox's superstructure; and in 1984 General Vo Nguyen Giap told former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara the attack was deliberate.
Viet Minh sources are limited to contemporary documents captured by the French, prisoner of war interrogations, and the writings of Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap.
On March 13, 1954 General Vo Nguyen Giap launched his counter-attack, seizing position after position and pushing the French until they occupied only a small area of Dien Bien Phu.
Menee sous la houlette du president Ho Chi Minh et du mythique general Vo Nguyen Giap, cette bataille a permis a 70.
Boot also covers insurgent invaders, like Mongols and Turks, who occupied Europe and the Middle East, the home-grown irregulars who supported the American Revolution, the Spanish guerrillas who fought Napoleon's best, as well as the methods of South Africa's Boers, the IRA, Mao Zedong, and Vo Nguyen Giap.
They were not aware that in April 1973, Le Duan and General Vo Nguyen Giap had formed a secret committee to plan the conquest of South Vietnam within a two-year period.
Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant and ruthless general who led the outgunned Vietnamese to victory first over the French and then the Americans, died in Hanoi on Oct.
He used the occasion to extend condolences to the Vietnamese Party and State over the passing of General Vo Nguyen Giap, noting that Russian people have admired and respected the General, who had made great contributions to the friendship between the two countries.
On 04 October 2013, the man some refer to as Vietnam's "Red Napoleon", Senior General Vo Nguyen Giap, died at the Central Military Hospital in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, at the age of 102.
K Antony on Tuesday paid homage on behalf of the nation to General Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant commander who brought victory for Vietnam in many wars.