Battle of Bạch Đằng (981)

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Battle of Bach Dang
Date 981
Location Bach Dang river, northern Vietnam
Result Vietnamese victory, but paid tribute to Song
Early Lê dynasty Song dynasty
Commanders and leaders
Lê Đại Hành Hou Renbao 
Sun Quanxing

The Battle of Bach Dang was a military conflict between the Song dynasty of China and the Former Le dynasty of Vietnam at the Bach Dang River in 981.


The Dinh dynasty of Dai Co Viet (present-day north Vietnam) had successfully sought out and developed diplomatic relations with the Song dynasty of China.[1] In 979, Emperor Dinh Bo-linh (translated into Dinh the Infantry Leader, also known as Dinh Tien-hoang (Dinh the First King)) and his heir Dinh Lien were assassinated by Do Thich, so Dinh Tue (Dinh Bo-linh's infant son) succeeded the throne.[1] By 980, however, General Le Hoan had seized the de facto power over the young ruler.[1] The Song dynasty of China was inclined to send their military forces to restore the throne to the Dinh dynasty.[1] The threat of a Chinese intervention caused the Dinh court officials to worry about the survival of their independence, so the officials urged Le Hoan to become emperor and establish a stable government.[1]


Le Hoan ascended the throne as Dai-hanh of the Former Le dynasty.[1] Almost immediately afterwards in 981, the Song sent two armies across the northern border and a naval force over the Bach Dang River.[1] Former Le naval forces engaged the Song naval force at the river, but the former were outnumbered, defeated, and forced to withdraw.[1] Nevertheless, the Song overland advance came to a standstill while crossing Chi-lang (near Lang-son) when two Song generals were captured during an ambush, so the Song naval force couldn't advance further inland and withdrew.[1] Le Dai-hanh, realizing that he couldn't resist the Song in the long term, returned the two Song generals and made the request to be a tributary under Song suzerainty, which the Song imperial court accepted, thus securing his state from further northern threats.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Walker, Hugh Dyson (2012). East Asia: A New History. Bloomington: AuthorHouse. pp. 211–212. ISBN 9781477265161.