Strategic, decisive General Chu Huy Man was called General Hai Manh (strength in both political and military affairs) by Vietnamese troops and General Thaochan by Lao troops and people.

With rich practical experience and extensive strategic vision, the general made great contribution to the national salvation and defense cause, the fulfillment of international duties and the military building.

At the very young age, he joined the revolutionary activities. He was among leaders of the August Revolution in Quang Nam province. During that period, he always proved to be a steadfast, loyal, brave, and competent communist.

Senior Lieutenant General Chu Huy Man, former Commander of the Liberation Army of Military Region 5, monitoring the liberation army's direction of attack in Da Nang city in March 3, 1975 (Photo: VNA)

With his talents in both political and military affairs, Chu Huy Man was sent to the North from the Region 5 theater when the national resistance war broke out in December 1946. In the North, he was assigned with strategic important duties. Under his command, regular regiments in Northern Vietnam won a number of feats-of-arms, such as the battle at Phu Thong fortress in November 1947, defeating the French colonialists’ plot to destroy our resistance war’s headquarters in the North in the Viet Bac Campaign in Autumn-Winter 1947, the ambush in Ta Noong in January 1948, and the attack at the enemy posts in Na Pac, Lung Vai, Lung Phay, and Khuoi Dam.

As the political commissar of Regiment 174, Chu Huy Man in collaboration with the regiment’s commanding officer Dang Van Viet led the unit to conduct important battles, paralyzing and cutting off strategic transport route of the enemy such as the Bong Lau - Lung Phei, That Khe - Na Sam battles in September 1949, which were the great ambushes of our military in the early period of the resistance war against the French colonialists. In the Border Campaign in Fall-Winter 1950, the regiment joined hands with Regiment 209 to successfully attack Dong Khe entrenched fortification, one of the important French strongholds on Road No.4, creating favorable conditions for our military to develop an offensive position and making an important contribution to the victory of the campaign.

As the political commissar and secretary of the Party committee of Division 316, Chu Huy Man and other commanders of the division directed big campaigns which held strategic meaning, changing the course of the war, including Hoa Binh (December 1951 - February 1952), Tay Bac (Northwest - 1952), and Upper Laos (1953) campaigns. Notably, in the Dien Bien Phu Campaign in 1954, Division 316 launched attacks in the eastern direction, contributing to destroying Dien Bien Phu entrenched fortification, forcing the French colonialists to sign the Geneva Agreement on ending the war, restoring peace in the Indochina on July 20, 1954.  

In July 1954, in realizing the Party Central Committee’s policy on sending a delegation of military advisers to help the Lao government and defense ministry, Chu Huy Man was sent as the head and secretary of Party committee of Unit 100 to Laos. In the neighboring country, he brought into play his combat experience to help Lao friends build and consolidate forces, promote guerrilla activities, improve the combat capability of Pathet Lao troops, fight and grind down the enemy’s strength, create upper hand for the Lao revolution and limit the enemy power. With advice from Vietnamese military advisers of Unit 100, Lao troops repelled over 600 enemy attacks of different scale, injured and annihilated nearly 4,000 enemy troops, firmly safeguarding Houaphanh and Phongsaly provinces, turning the Lao revolution to a new stage of development.

With his strategic vision, decisive act, rich experience, and talent, Chu Huy Man made important contribution to the victory of the Lao revolution, forcing the U.S. imperialists and Lao puppet troops to accept a peaceful solution and recognize the Patriotic Front of Laos and the establishment of a three-party coalition government with the Patriotic Front of Laos as an important part.

The most important mark in General Chu Huy Man’s command career was from September 1963 to 1975, during which he took the command in both political and military affairs in the hot theater of Region 5 - Central Highlands. To fight the U.S. imperialists, he confirmed that “the first thing is daring to fight the U.S. and while fighting, finding the way to fight” and “studying, working, fighting, and training.” His art of war contributed to resounding victories named Nui Thanh (May 1965), Van Tuong (August 1965), and others. These victories helped consolidate his combat plans against the U.S. enemy. Other victories in the Region 5 - Central Highlands theater were the famous Plei Me - Ia Drang victory in November 1965, the Cam Doi - Que Son victory in the strategic offensive in 1972, and the Tien Phuoc - Phuoc Lam victory leading to the liberation of Tam Ky, Da Nang in 1975.

With his profound political vision and sharp military thinking, in any position, General Chu Huy Man always predicted and found arising problems to develop the suitable and effective solutions.

Together with talent in combat, General Chu Huy Man was also excellent at building armed forces at home and abroad. In 1954, he assisted the Lao side in developing a project on armed force building to protect the Lao revolution’s outcomes.

He made great contribution to the Party and political work of the Vietnam People’s Army as well. He treasured the building of organization and personnel, improvement of combat strength of party cells in the armed forces, building of politically-, ideologically-, organizationally-strong party organizations, and the guarantee of the principle in which the Party leads the military absolutely and directly in all aspects.

Legendary General Vo Nguyen Giap commented that Chu Huy Man was a typical high-ranking official of the Party and the State, an excellent general of the military, strong in both political, military affairs, and a shining example for our entire military and people to learn from.

Translated by Mai Huong