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April 16, 1954: Trenches of 312th and 308th Divisions connected, cutting Muong Thanh Airfield in half

Wednesday, 17/04/2024 | 08:53:46 [GMT +7] A  A

In line with the fighting method directed by the Command and the campaign leadership, units built offensive and siege battle positions in all directions, edging closer and closer to the enemy, only 10-15 metres away in some places.

Our assault units are attacking Muong Thanh Airfield under the command of military hero Nguyen Quoc Tri. (Photo: VNA)

Captured areas such as hills E and D1 became our strong defensive bases, with both artillery and mortar positions that regularly threatened the enemy. On April 16, 1954, the trenches of the 312th and 308th Divisions were connected, cutting Muong Thanh Airfield in half.

At the Hong Cum Zone, the trenches of the 57th Regiment were approaching the enemy’s bunkers. The enemy responded in a frantic manner. During the day, they sent tanks and infantry to cover the trenches and planted mines to trap our troops. At night, they organised small groups to launch ambushes right at the tips of the trenches.

At around 4am on April 16 when our soldiers were about to return to rest, two French legion companies took advantage of the dark to break into the trenches of the 54th Company, 57th Regiment, 304th Division. The 54th Company was attacked suddenly, but thanks to their calmness and the mutual support between different forces, the company managed to stage a counterattack from three directions and clinched a resounding victory.

On the Muong Thanh field, French efforts to relieve and supply the Huguette 7 stronghold commanded by Langlais entered the second day, and cost the enemy huge losses. On the night of April 16, 1954, after ten hours of fighting, the enemy’s two battalions were able to open a supply route to strongpoint 105 with six ammunition boxes and several barrels of water.

On the same day, General Vo Nguyen Giap issued an order to the command of the 308th Division. Under the order, the 308th Division was tasked with using all of the 88th Regiment to destroy strongpoint 105. They were required to march to the staging point without delay on the night of April 16, 1954.

The 36th Regiment was responsible for fighting the enemy’s reinforcements on two lines: (1) the main line between strongpoints 105 and 206; and (2) between strongpoints 206 and 208 from the western side to the airfield. On April 16, 1954, they were to actively build the battle position for fighting reinforcements.

Source: Nhan Dan