The Dien Bien Phu victory on May 7, 1954 was Vietnam’s biggest victory in the resistance war from 1945 to 1954.
The victory manifested Vietnamese military intelligence, of which General Vo Nguyen Giap’s changing the strategy from ‘Fast Strike, Fast Victory', to ‘Steady Attack, Steady Advance' was a decisive factor.
65 years have passed but memories of the battle are still looming in the mind of Colonel Nguyen Boi Giong, who was then Military Secretary of Major General Hoang Van Thai, chief of staff of Dien Bien Phu campaign.
On January 23, 1954, Giong and others led by General Vo Nguyen Giap surveyed the battlefield prior to the attack scheduled to take place two days later. Perceiving many unfavourable conditions, General Giap promptly shifted strategy from “Fast Strike, Fast Victory”, to “Steady Attack, Steady Advance”.
In combat, all information is sensitive. To avoid information from being leaked, General Giap wrote a letter to President Ho Chi Minh. The letter was sent to President Ho Chi Minh not by post but carried by officer Nguyễn Công Dinh.
General Vo Nguyen Giap’s strategic rethink played a decisive factor to the glorious victory of Dien Bien Phu. To reach the final decision, the General tossed and turned much, said Dinh.
General Giap's scrutiny illustrates his acuity and versatility. He had an extraordinary ability to listen and to absorb any information forecasting an unexpected challenge. The General’s switch of strategy and tactics contributed to the world-shaking victory in 1954.-VNA