HÀ NỘI The Vietnamese historical book Biên Bản Chiến Tranh 1-2-3-4.75 (A War Account 1-2-3-4.75) by journalist Trần Mai Hạnh has recently been reprinted for the 5th time with 100 new pages including newly-revealed, highly-confidential material.
Cover of the reprinted book. Courtesy of the Truth National Political Publishing House
The 612-page book, reprinted by the Truth National Political Publishing House, has literary and historical value, with authentic documents, highly classified at the time by the Republic of Việt Nam (the Sài Gòn administration) and the United States of America.
The writer has also quoted in the book documents associated with important events of the country in a precise and reliable manner. The book recounts and depicts accurately the fall of the Sài Gòn administration with Nguyễn Văn Thiệu as its president in the last four months of the American war -- from January to the end of April 1975.
Writer Trần Mai Hạnh (second right) at the entrance to Sài Gòn in the morning of April 30, 1975. Photo courtesy of Trần Mai Hạnh
The book, which was first published by the publishing house in April 2014, won the Literature Award by the Việt Nam Writers’ Association and then the Southeast Asia (SEA) Writers Award 2015.
It was translated into English in 2017 and into Lao language in 2018.
According to Vũ Trọng Lâm, deputy director, deputy editor-in-chief of the publishing house, in this reprint, the publishing house has added some highly confidential materials declassified by the US government in the past six years, some important events and incidents during the last moments of the US-aided-and-abetted Sài Gòn regime that have been revealed recently by former Sài Gòn leading figures, who are now living overseas.
Besides 21 original materials printed last time, the publishing house has added ten more materials including Plan 3 of Defending period of Military Zone 3, 4 and War Cabinet; a collection of fighting orders by the Sài Gòn Military’s General Staff; decision to depose Gen Cao Văn Viên as the Chief of Sài Gòn Military’s General Staff, and decision to assign Gen Vĩnh Lộc as the Chief of Sài Gòn Military’s General Staff.
All the original materials were collected from offices and residential areas of the leaders of the Sài Gòn regime on April 30, 1975.
As a war correspondent of the Vietnam News Agency during the Hồ Chí Minh Campaign, Hạnh witnessed the historic victory on April 30, 1975 at the Independence Palace in downtown Sài Gòn, now HCM City.
“The 19-chapter novel, including 31 original highly confidential reference materials has vividly sketched out the collapse of the Sài Gòn regime and portraits of its army leaders in the last four months of the American war in Việt Nam,” Lâm stressed. “The book highlights the great victory of the Vietnamese people and army under the brilliant guidance of the Việt Nam Communist Party.”
The updated book is available at the bookshops of the Truth National Political Publishing House and other bookstores nationwide for VNĐ229,000 (US$9.8). VNS