Văn Tiến Dũng

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In this Vietnamese name, the family name is Văn, but is often simplified to Van in English-language text. According to Vietnamese custom, this person should properly be referred to by the given name Dũng.
Văn Tiến Dũng
Văn Tiến Dũng in 1954
Secretary of the Central Military–Party Committee of the Communist Party
In office
4 July 1985 – 1986
Preceded by Lê Duẩn
Succeeded by Trường Chinh
6th Minister of Defence
In office
February 1980 – February 1987
Preceded by Võ Nguyên Giáp
Succeeded by Lê Đức Anh
Member of the Politburo
In office
20 December 1976 – 18 December 1986
Personal details
Born (1917-05-02)2 May 1917
Từ Liêm, Vietnam, French Indochina
Died 17 March 2002(2002-03-17) (aged 84)
Political party Communist Party
Awards Resolution for Victory Order
Military service
Allegiance Vietnam
Service/branch North Vietnam Việt Minh
Vietnam People's Army of Vietnam
Years of service 1945 - 1986
Rank General
Commands Vietnam People's Army
Battles/wars First Indochina War
Vietnam War

Văn Tiến Dũng (2 May 1917 – 17 March 2002), born Co Nhue commune, Từ Liêm District, Hanoi, was a Vietnamese general in the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), PAVN chief of staff (1954–74); PAVN commander in chief (1974–80); member of the Central Military–Party Committee (CMPC) (1984-1986) and Socialist Republic of Vietnam defense minister (1980–86). He was the only member of North Vietnam's political elite who was of peasant origin.[citation needed]

Military career[edit]

He joined the communist Lao Dong Party in 1936, escaped from a French prison in 1944, and fought against the Japanese occupation force during the Second World War. August 1945, he directed the armed forces to seize power in the province of Hòa Bình, Ninh Bình and Thanh Hóa. By October 1953 during the First Indochina War, Dũng rose to become Chief of Staff of the Vietnam People's Army under General Võ Nguyên Giáp prior to the siege of Điện Biên Phủ in 1954. For the next twenty years, his military reputation in North Vietnam was second only to Giáp's.[citation needed]

He commanded the vital Tri-Thien-Hue Front during the 1972 Easter Offensive, replacing his mentor as PAVN commander in chief in 1974, when the Vietnam War against the Americans and South Vietnamese evolved from a guerrilla struggle to more conventional forms.[1][2][3]

Dũng planned and commanded the 1975 Spring Offensive, the final PAVN offensive that defeated South Vietnamese defenses and captured Saigon in 1975.[4] He also directed Vietnam's invasion of Khmer Rouge Cambodia and the resulting border conflict with the People's Republic of China in 1979.[5][6][7][8] He was appointed defense minister in 1980. He retired in December 1986 at the 6th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

He died on the seventeenth of March 2002 in Hanoi, at the age of 84.



  1. ^ Michael Lee Lanning and Dan Cragg, Inside the VC and the NVA: The Real Story of North Vietnam's Armed Forces (Texas A&M University Press, 2008)
  2. ^ Mai Elliott, RAND in Southeast Asia: A History of the Vietnam War Era (Rand Corporation, 2010) p525
  3. ^ Colonel General Trần Văn Trà (February 1983). "Vietnam: A History of the Bulwark B-2 Theater Translation of Kết thúc cuộc chiến tranh 30 năm." (PDF). United States. Joint Publications Research Service. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Audio Slideshow: Black April". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  5. ^ "China "Should Learn from its Losses" in the War against Vietnam" from "August 1" Radio, People's republic of China, 1400 GMT, February 17, 1980, as reported by BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 22 February 1980
  6. ^ Xiabing Li. A History of the Modern Chinese Army. University Press of Kentucky. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  7. ^ soha.vn/quan-su/bien-gioi-phia-bac-1979-30-ngay-khong-the-nao-quen-1-20150216095114962.htm
  8. ^ Cambodia – The Fall of Democratic Kampuchea. U.S. Library of Congress. Retrieved 9 July 2013.


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