The Battle of Bạch Đằng in 938 was a historic military triumph for the Vietnamese forces against the invading army of the Southern Han (Tống) dynasty. This crucial battle marked a significant turning point in Vietnam’s struggle for independence and thwarted the attempts of the Tống forces to conquer the Dai Co Viet kingdom.
1. Historical Context
During the 10th century, the Southern Han dynasty (Tống) sought to expand its territory and influence southward, targeting the Dai Co Viet kingdom (now Vietnam) under the rule of Ngô Quyền. The Vietnamese kingdom faced an imminent threat of invasion, and its sovereignty was at stake.
2. Leadership of Ngô Quyền
Ngô Quyền, a visionary military leader and strategist, assumed command of the Vietnamese forces. Recognizing the superior naval strength of the Tống fleet, he devised a brilliant plan to exploit their vulnerability and the unique geography of the Bạch Đằng River.
3. The Battle Tactics
In preparation for the decisive battle, Ngô Quyền ordered the construction of a series of wooden stakes and iron-tipped spikes submerged beneath the waters of the Bạch Đằng River. These hidden obstacles were designed to trap and immobilize the Tống fleet when the tide receded.
4. The Battle Unfolds
As the Tống fleet advanced into the narrow and treacherous waters of the Bạch Đằng River, Ngô Quyền strategically chose the right moment to strike. When the tide ebbed, the hidden stakes became visible, and the Vietnamese forces launched a fierce assault on the unsuspecting Tống fleet.
5. Decisive Victory
Caught off guard and trapped by the submerged stakes, the Tống fleet was left immobilized and vulnerable. The Vietnamese forces capitalized on this opportunity and decisively defeated the Tống army. The victory at Bạch Đằng showcased the bravery, tactical brilliance, and determination of the Vietnamese warriors in protecting their homeland.
The victory at the Battle of Bạch Đằng in 938 forced the Southern Han dynasty (Tống) to withdraw its forces from Dai Co Viet. This triumph solidified Vietnam’s independence, paving the way for the establishment of the Ngô dynasty and ultimately shaping the nation’s history.
The Battle of Bạch Đằng in 938 remains a shining example of Vietnam’s resilience and determination to defend its sovereignty against foreign invasion. The strategic brilliance of Ngô Quyền and the valor of the Vietnamese forces secured a momentous victory that has been celebrated as a symbol of national pride for centuries. This historic battle serves as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people in safeguarding their homeland against all odds.