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Nguyen Van Tin
8 April 2010
On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of General Nguyen Van Hieu's mysterious death, a Group of Vietnamese Scholars in France studying the Vietnam History, Truc Lam Yen Tu, nominates General Hieu as the fourth Vietnamese Military Genius:
1. Emperor Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1310). Emperor of Dai Viet. He twice lead the Dai Viet Army in vanquishing the invading Mongolian troops in 1285-1288.
2. Hung Dao Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan (1232?-1300). He was a famous general under the Tran dynasty and had repulsed the invading Chinese Nguyen dynasty's troops three times in 1257, 1287 and 1288.
In February 1984, the British Royal Sciences Academy elected 10 most outstanding Commanding Generals in the global history through generations, among whom was Hung Dao Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan.
3. Emperor Quang Trung Nguyen Hue (1753-1792). He was the second Emperor of the Tay Son's dynasty (1788-1792) after Emperor Thai Duc Nguyen Ngac. He defeated the invasion of the Cham's troops coming up from the South, and of the Chinese troops coming down from the North.
4. General Nguyen Van Hieu (1929-1975). As II Corps Chief of Staff, he played a key role in coordinating the combined Vietnamese American counter-attack and succeeded in vanquishing the first major North Vietnamese Army offensive launched against the Special Forces Pleime Camp in October-November 1965. The entire division sized force NVA Field Front with its three regiments infiltrated from North Vietnam was forced out of the Central Highlands into Cambodia.
In March 1971, General Hieu, as 5th Infantry Division Commander, forayed into Cambodia in a scheme to engage the evasive Viet Cong's troops and established a permanent regimental sized outpost in Snoul. He subsequently executed a well conducted troop withdrawal back into Vietnam in late May 1971.
General Hieu was assassinated on April 8, 1975 while he was III Corps Deputy Commander.
In his article Tứ Đại Thiên Tài Quân Sự Việt Nam, Truc Lam Le An Binh, defines a military genius as a general with outstanding military skills which are not acquired or learned but are God given and innate. Also, such an individual also possesses a genuine love for the soldiers under his command; he values his soldiers' life and does not use them as a means for self promotion and advancement and yet is able to achieve spectacular results on the battlefields. Furthermore, he is above all extremely patriotic, standing above all political parties and factions.
However, the trait of an outstanding military genius in General Hieu's has been recognized at earlier dates:
1. Reverend Anthony Tran Van Kiem wrote in nguoivietboston.com, on 2/9/2009:
Previously Nguyen Hung Kiet (Trung Tướng Nguyễn Văn Hiếu, nguoivietboston.com, August 29, 2009) rated General Tri and General Hieu as positions #1, then and #2. I dare to rearrange into #2 then #1. Recently, after doing some in depth research, I took the liberty to eliminate General Tri from the honor list and place General Ty at position #2 behind General Hieu. I did so while I have not studied in depth about those generals who had committed suicide rather than surrendered to the Communists. To establish a list of deities as such at the present time is considered to be too audacious of a move and too early, which should be left to history the task of rating. Nevertheless, since the current generation already has the opportunity to hear and see, it is advisable to speak out to guide the following generations.
2. Nguyen Dinh Phuc a reader, offered his comments a few years earlier:
For a long while, I got to visit General Hieu' Page again. If we just glance through this site, we would not notice the big difference between this site and some other sites regarding other men. After reading all the articles concerning General Hieu, I detected many values in Him that all the writers were able to touch upon a few. Taking the articles as a whole, it is a great enterprise depicting a great General. I also see that up to now, he has been given the rank of Major General, Lieutenant General, even General or Marshal, that still seems inadequate. In my opinion, may be a more exact word would be Illustrious General Nguyen Van Hieu. What do you think? I pray that you receive abundant help from the Holy Spirit in order to continue to work on honoring our Illustrious General, a Great Man of his people.
3. Francis Nguyen, another reader made the following comment when General Hieu's page was still infantile stage during which period the documents collected were not as copious as nowadays:
I hadn't got the chance to visit General Hieu's Page for a long while; what a surprise to see the number of hits has reached the record number 33665, when I revisited it this evening. Each time I visited General Hieu's Page, I got the impression I was standing in front of a Monumental Memorial, and was contemplating each page that recounts the Epic History of our country. Furthermore, besides all these Greatness, Epopee, I got the impression I also see right in front of my eyes the Sacred Soul, Valiant Spirit of a great General, with his finger pointing up showing the way to his countrymen. Isn't it: In Life, Born As A General; In Death, He Became A Deity ? I am also extremely proud about the skills of a friend whom I knew way back when we were little boys. But allow me to have the right to doubt these skills which would not be able to accomplish such a huge and amazing project without the assistance and guidance of his Valiant brother's spirit! I respectfully lay everything in front of the memorial of Great General Nguyen Van Hieu, a great hero of our country in this modern time.
Nguyen Van Tin
8 April 2010