the Battle of Bạch Đằng River in 938

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the Battle of Bạch Đằng River in 938

Bài gửi  ronaldjjjnooo on Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:47 pm

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At the Battle of Bạch Đằng River in 938 the Vietnamese forces, led by Ngô Quyền, defeated the invading forces of the Southern Han of China and put an end to Chinese imperial domination of the Vietnamese. It took place at the Bach Dang River, near Halong Bay in northern Vietnam.

In 937, Liu Yan (called Lưu Nham in Vietnamese), the Southern Han ruler, took the chance to intervene in Vietnam again after the death of the Vietnamese patriot Dương Đình Nghệ. He had been foiled by Dương Đình Nghệ in 931, but now that Dương Đình Nghệ was dead, he thought the time was ripe for another attempt. He placed his own son, Liu Hongcao (劉弘操; Vietnamese: Lưu Hoằng Tháo), in command of the expedition, naming him "Peaceful Sea Military Governor" and "King of Giao." He hastily assembled an army at Sea Gate, where he personally took charge of the reserve force.[citation needed] He ordered Liu Hongcao to embark the army and sail to Giao.

By the time Liu Hongcao arrived in Vietnamese waters with the Southern Han expedition, Liu Hongcao's plan was to ascend the Bạch Đằng River (白藤江) and to place his army in the heart of Giao before disembarking; the Bạch Đằng was the major riverine route into the Red River plain from the north.

Ngô Quyền anticipated this plan and brought his army to the mouth of the river. He had his men plant a barrier of large poles in the bed of the river. The tops of the poles reached just below the water level at high tide and were sharpened and tipped with iron. When Liu Hongcao appeared off the mouth of the river, Quyen sent out small, shallow-draft boats at high tide to provoke a fight and then retreat upriver, drawing the Chinese fleet in pursuit. As the tide fell, the heavy Chinese warboats were caught on the poles and lay trapped in the middle of the river, whereupon they were attacked by Ngô Quyền. More than half the Chinese were drowned, including Liu Hongcao. When news of the battle reached Sea Gate with the survivors, Liu Kung wept openly. He collected what remained of his army and returned to Canton. This victory ended China's long domination of Vietnam and began Vietnam's period of "relative autonomy." Ngô Quyền's tactic would later be copied by Trần Hưng Đạo against the Mongols in a later battle at Bạch Đằng River in 1288.

The Bạch Đằng victory in 938 put an end to the period of Chinese imperial domination. In 939, Ngô Quyền proclaimed himself king of Vietnam, established his capital at Cổ Loa (previously a capital in the 3rd century BC) and set up a centralized government.


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