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Hanoi becomes the Capital of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

Tram station in Hanoi

The successful revolution brought Vietnam into a new era. But the mainstream of difficulties still confronted Hanoi. Between September 1945 and May 1946 Chiang Kai-sheck troops returned, under the false game of disarming the Japanese. They sought to cooperate with Quoc Dan Dang to stem the revolutionary tide.

The people of Hanoi and the whole country united under the President Ho Chi Minh banner to protect the revolution, to minimise the enemy�€™s destruction and the impact of the famine, illiteracy and the exhausted budget. It was at this time that the French indulged in numerous provocations against Saigon and opened fire to attack Hanoi. President Ho Chi Minhproclaimed an appeal to the nation for a resistance. On 19 December 1946 the national resistance war broke out. Hanoi experienced 60 days and nights of brave and brilliant fighting against the enemy, which was worth being written down as a page of glory in our history.

After two months fighting to tie down the enemy troops protecting the withdrawal of the government to the revolutionary base (Viet Bac), the "capital regiment" retreated safely back to the liberated areas joining the national resistance war. A guerrilla war was launched in the suburbs of Hanoi, which grew during the year 1947-1948. In the enemy-held city guerrillas existed, the people sheltered partisans and dedicated activists. Bases constantly developed in factories, schools and even in markets. This was the context in which the Hanoi students organised a big school boycott (between 13-20 January 1950) to protest against the French and the puppet government who had killed Tran Van On in Saigon. An intensive patriotic movement grew, young people hid themselves from recruitment, sent off protests against recruitment and escaped to the liberated areas. The struggle in the enemy-held city led to remarkable feats such as the attack against Bach Mai airport, destroying 25 aircraft and burning 600,000 litres of petrol, and against Gia Lam airport, destroying 18 aircraft and a petrol store in 1954.

After the fall of Dien Bien Phu, the Geneva Agreements stipulated that Hanoi was the base for the French 80-day deadline of regroupment. The people of Hanoi were successful in turning the city into a dead zone during this period, but into a lively ressurection when the revolutionary army arrived.

On 10 October 1954 Ho Chi Minh's victorious army, including the sons and daughters of Hanoi, returned from the revolutionary base to take over the capital ushering a new era for Hanoi and the whole nation.

Hanoi, the Economy and the Anti-US War

Soon after the take-over Hanoi began to build the foundation of socialism (with the first 5-year plan covering 1954-60, and the second covering 1960-65) which had to rapidly develop the capital into the political and economic centre of the whole country, and be a powerful rear base for the liberation of the south and the reunification. After just 10 years establishing work creatively Hanoi had become the political and cultural centre of the North, and set an important foundation for a new industry with about 200 enterprises, big and small, in operation.

In 1965, having foreseen their failure in the south the US imperialists began to wage a war of destruction against North Vietnam. They mobilised the marine and air forces at their disposal. In 1966 the war reached Hanoi, starting an important step towards escalation. The Pentagon led a bloody campaign against Hanoi, which they claimed to bring Hanoi back to the Stone Age: carpet bombing with thousands of bombs. Many streets, schools, hospitals and industrial centres were rased to the ground. The remarkable thing about the people of Hanoi was that despite the heavy destruction, they could still protect the fruits of the revolution, and the age-old cultural heritage. The elderly people, children, factories and offices were evacuated away from the city. The Hanoi people and army brought down 358 aircraft, of which 23 were B52 strategic bombers and 2 F111s. The glorious victory of Hanoi not only strengthened the will of the South Vietnamese people and but also proved the role of a strong rear foundation towards the final victory of our nation in the spring of 1975. - (08/04/2004)

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