Kien Giang (VNA) – A ceremony was held in southern Kien Giang province on December 24 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Ta Lon landing-by-sea campaign – a milestone in the victory against the Pol Pot genocidal regime in Cambodia.
After the resistance war against the US imperialists succeeded in 1975, the three Indochinese countries entered a new revolutionary period.
However, in Cambodia, the Pol Pot regime incited hostility inside the country and towards Vietnam and carried out a brutal genocidal policy. From 1975 to 1978, they imprisoned and killed millions of innocent civilians and thousands of revolutionists, attacked Phu Quoc and Tho Chu islands of Vietnam, repeatedly infiltrated Vietnam’s border, and triggered armed conflicts with Vietnam.
In response to the call 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 Vietnam decided to launch a general offensive to help free Cambodia from the genocidal regime.
The Ministry of National Defence assigned the Vietnam People’s Navy to act as the core of the Ta Lon landing-by-sea campaign to seize the 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 22:00 on January 6, 1979. Vietnamese forces attacked and occupied the beach at the foot of Ta Lon Mountain, also known as Bokor Mountain in Kampot province of Cambodia.
After five days of fierce fighting on both sea and land, the Navy Service of Vietnam eliminated the Pol Pot regime’s Navy Division 164 and Border Guard Regiment 17, and liberated Kampong Som town and the Ream military port that is located in the coastal southeastern gateway of Cambodia.
The Ta Lon campaign was the first successful landing-by-sea campaign of the Vietnam People’s Navy. It created chances for Vietnamese forces to move on to the next stage to liberate over 3,000sq.km. of land from Kampong Som to Koh Kong and the sea and island area of Cambodia, thereby contributing to the triumph of the struggle to completely eradiate the Pol Pot administration and protect Vietnam’s south-western border.
At the ceremony held in An Thoi town of Phu Quoc island district, Vice Admiral Pham Hoai Nam, Commander of the Vietnam People’s Navy, said the success of the Ta Lon campaign was significant to the fight. It was a demonstration of the Vietnamese Party and State’s viewpoint of “helping the friend means helping ourselves” and the disinterested international solidarity policy. It also affirmed the time-honoured friendship between the two nations.
The campaign also reflected the political firmness, resolve, bravery and creativity of Vietnam’s naval soldiers, he added.
Also on December 24, the High Command of the Naval Region 5 held another ceremony in the sea off the coast of An Thoi town to offer incense and float wreaths to commemorate soldiers who laid down their lives during the campaign.-VNA