Upon hearing the death of Vo Nguyen Giap, foreign newswires had a series of articles about the life and career of one of the most prominent military leaders of Viet Nam.
According to Huffington Post, Giap was a national hero whose legacy was second only to that of his mentor, founding President Ho Chi Minh, who led the country to independence.
Giap stood out as the leader of a ragtag army of guerrillas who wore sandals made of car tires and lugged their artillery piece by piece over mountains to encircle and crush the French army at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. The unlikely victory, which is still studied at military schools, led not only to Viet Nam's independence but hastened the collapse of colonialism across Indochina and beyond.
Giap went on to defeat the U.S.-backed South Viet Nam government in April 1975, reuniting a country that had been split into communist and noncommunist states. He regularly accepted heavy combat losses to achieve his goals.
"But we still fought because for Viet Nam, nothing is more precious than independence and freedom," Giap said, repeating a famous quote by Ho Chi Minh.
To military scholars around the world, he was one of the 20th century’s leading practitioners of modern revolutionary guerrilla warfare, according to Washington Post.
To millions of Vietnamese, this was more than a military victory. It was a moral and psychological triumph over a hated colonial oppressor, and it earned Gen. Giap the status of a national legend.
Within a decade of the French defeat, Viet Nam found itself pitted against another Western power, as U.S. involvement increased in what is known locally as the American War. “The aggressor army of the U.S. imperialists, although over-supplied with arms and ammunition, cannot escape the doom that has befallen the other invaders on this soil,” Giap wrote in 1972, says an article on Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, New York Times said Vo Nguyen Giap was the relentless and charismatic North Vietnamese general whose battlefield victory at Dien Bien Phu drove France out of Viet Nam and whose tenacious resistance to the United States in a long and costly war there eventually sapped America’s political will to fight.
In its print edition, South China Morning Post called General Vo Nguyen Giap as a ‘military genius’.