A meeting was held in Ha Noi on December 29 to mark the 35th anniversary of the 12 day-and-night battle against US B52 bombers during Christmas time of 1972.
The battle is dubbed “Ha Noi – A Dien Bien Phu in the Air,” replicating the spirit of Viet Nam’s epic battle against the French army in Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
Addressing the meeting, the chairman of the Ha Noi People’s Committee, Nguyen The Thao, recalled the victory over US air strikes, saying that it had forced the US to sign the Paris Agreement in 1973 to put an end to the war, leading to the liberation of southern Viet Nam and national reunification two years later.
He also said Ha Noi celebrated the anniversary in the context that it is finishing the year 2007 with various impressive economic achievements, including a GDP growth of 12.1 percent – the highest level in 10 years.
In December 1972, the US army, made desperate by numerous setbacks in southern Viet Nam , launched its Linebacker II campaign, using B52 strategic bombers to destroy Ha Noi and Hai Phong.
Almost 200 B52s and more than 1,000 tactical aircraft of various types dropped 40,000 tonnes of bombs on strategic targets as well as schools, hospitals and residential quarters in the two cities, killing thousands of civilians.
Viet Nam’s soldiers, pilots and militiamen shot down 81 of the raiding aircraft, including 34 giant B52s.