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Nov 23, 2021 / 15:26

Hanoi Battle in winter 1946 reenacted

The ongoing exhibition themed anti-French resistance war at Hoa Lo Prison provides an insight of the Vietnamese army and Hanoians’ historic national resistance in 1946.

The heroic memory of Hanoi during the 60-day-battle between the locals and army men and French troops in 1946 is reenacted in an exhibition entitled “The Vow to Death” at Hoa Lo Prison Relic. 

The space of the exhibition. Photo: Hoa Lo Prison Relic

The exhibition was held on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the National Resistance War (December 19, 1946 - December 19, 2021) and the 77th founding anniversary of the Vietnam People's Army (December 22, 1944 - December 22, 2021).

The display is divided into three sections called “The Call for National Resistance”; “Hanoi is Standing up” and “Marching towards Hanoi”. It will last until the end of March 2022.

Starting on December 19, 1946, the battle between the French and Vietnamese revolutionary combatants for the control of Hanoi in 1946-1947 sparked decades-long Indochina Wars.  

The exhibit’s photos, historical documents, and objects highlight the glorious fighting spirit of the Vietnamese people and army during the first days of the national resistance against France.

These items illustrate the dramatic 1946 call, urging the people of Vietnam to resist the French invasion and highlight the courage of the patriots who were willing to die for the Fatherland in the cause of national liberation.

The statue of “Determined to Brave Death for the Survival of the Fatherland”. Photo: Hoa Lo Prison Relic

Hoang Thuy Hanh, an official of the Hoa Lo Prison Relic, says the exhibit documents Vietnam’s National Resistance Day by presenting an honest portrayal of the courageous fighting spirit of the revolutionary combatants. It is a hymn of gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives for national independence and freedom.

The exhibition space takes visitors back to the street scene of Hanoi in the 60-day-battle when Hanoians were “Determined to Brave Death for the Survival of the Fatherland” in 1946.

Fierce battlefields took place on the streets of Hanoi where the locals and revolutionary combatants used tables, chairs, doors, sandbags to build barricades and stop the advance of French troops.

They knocked brick walls through for doorways, creating a “secret tunnel” in the heart of the city. Slogans calling for solidarity and unity to fight against the French colonialists among the people were written on the typical yellow walls of Hanoi such as: “Live and Die with the Capital”, “It is Better to Die with Honor than to Live with Shame”, “Hanoi - Eternal Thang Long”, among others.

The bicycle carrying colorful bouquets of flowers is the highlight of the exhibition. Photo: Hoa Lo Prison Relic

The statue of a brave soldier holding a triple-armed bomb rushing at an enemy tank is placed in the most prominent position of the exhibition. The young soldier in a proud posture. His eyes shone with determination, showing the fighter’s willingness to sacrifice himself to protect his beloved capital Hanoi against the attack of French tanks.

The highlight of the exhibition is the bicycle carrying colorful bouquets of flowers, expressing the joy of Hanoians when welcoming the Viet Minh Ront (the League for Independence of Vietnam) marching on the capital city on October 10, 1954. The event marked the end of the war against the French in northern Vietnam.