|Soldiers of Việt Nam Navy’s Brigade 101 Naval Infantry on the march to Ream Military Port, Cambodia. — Photo baohaiquanvietnam.vn
KIÊN GIANG — A ceremony was held in southern Kiên Giang Province to mark the 40th anniversary of the Tà Lơn landing-by-sea campaign – a milestone in the victory against the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime in Cambodia.
After the resistance war against the US concluded in 1975, the three Indochinese countries (Cambodia, Laos and Việt Nam) entered a new chapter in history.
In Cambodia, leader of the Khmer Rouge Pol Pot’s regime incited hostility inside the country and towards Việt Nam and carried out a brutal genocide. From 1975 to 1978, they imprisoned and killed millions of innocent civilians. Pol Pot’s soldiers attacked Phú Quốc and Thổ Chu Islands of Việt Nam, infiltrated Việt Nam’s border and triggered armed conflicts between the two countries.
In response to calls for international assistance from the United Front for National Salvation, people and revolutionary forces of Cambodia, in December 1978, the Politburo and the Central Military Commission of Việt Nam decided to launch a general offensive to help free Cambodia from the regime.
The Ministry of National Defence assigned the Việt Nam People’s Navy to act as the core of the Tà Lơn landing-by-sea campaign to seize Kampong Som Port and Ream military port, eliminate Navy Division 164 and Border Guard Regiment 17 of the Pol Pot regime and destroy its southern defensive line.
The campaign began at 10pm on January 6, 1979. Vietnamese forces attacked and occupied the beach at the foot of Tà Lơn Mountain, also known as Bokor Mountain in Kampot Province of Cambodia.
|Soldiers of Việt Nam Navy’s Brigade 101 Naval Infantry embark on a ship to join a general offensive to free Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime. — Photo baohaiquanvietnam.vn
After five days of fierce fighting on both sea and land, Vietnamese forces eliminated Navy Division 164 and Border Guard Regiment 17 and liberated Kampong Som Town and the Ream Military Port to gain access to the coastal southeastern gateway of Cambodia.
The Tà Lơn campaign was the first successful landing-by-sea campaign of the Việt Nam People’s Navy. It allowed Vietnamese forces to move on to the next stage to liberate more than 3,000sq.km of land from Kampong Som to Koh Kong and the sea and island area of Cambodia, contributing to completely eradiating the Khmer Rouge administration and protecting Việt Nam’s south-western border.
At a ceremony held in An Thới Town of the Phú Quốc Island District, Vice Admiral Phạm Hoài Nam, Commander of the Việt Nam People’s Navy, said the success of the Tà Lơn campaign was significant. It was a demonstration of the Vietnamese Party and State’s stance on Việt Nam-Cambodia relationship and the time-honoured friendship between the two nations.
The campaign also reflected the resolve, bravery and creativity of Vietnamese naval soldiers, he added.
The High Command of the Naval Region 5 held another ceremony in the sea off the coast of An Thới Town to offer incense and wreaths to commemorate soldiers who died during the campaign. — VNS