North Vietnam's Defence Minister, General Vo Nguyen Giap, master-mind of the military campaign against South Vietnam, has been presenting war medals to troops at a formal ceremony in Hanoi.
CU Nth Vietnamese flag ZOOM TO Presidential building
GV INT. Audience
GV Sign PAN ditto
SV Giap greeting
MV PAN Audience applauding
SV Medals pinned on soldier
CU Delegates applaud
CU PAN Troops with plaques
SV Giap applauds & waves
GV Tramway & SV Repairs (3 shots)
GV PAN Street scenes
GV & SV TILT UP workmen painting (2 shots)
SV TILT UP TO MV Workers laying tar on road
Initials SGM/0415 SGM/0442
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: North Vietnam's Defence Minister, General Vo Nguyen Giap, master-mind of the military campaign against South Vietnam, has been presenting war medals to troops at a formal ceremony in Hanoi. The General, regarded as one of the world's greatest military strategists, is reported to view the official end of the Vietnam war as a victory for North Vietnam -- in so far as his forces held of one of the greatest military war machines in the world, that of the United States, after defeating the French in Indo China two decades ago. Yet Giap, who himself wears few, if any, medals even on formal military occasions, was never trained formally as a soldier-- the only military academy he attended was, he said, 'that of the bush.
Meanwhile, in the streets of Hanoi, life began returning to normal within hours of peace being announce. Markets, often closed during periods of heavy United States bombing, have begun opening up again and workmen are repairing the heavy damage from the past few years. This film received in London by satellite from Tokyo, shows an already visible difference in atmosphere in Hanoi -- smiling faces at the medal-presentation ceremony and cheerful applause for General Giap, and bustling, almost joyful activity in the streets outside as the people begin to repair their shattered capital.
SYNOPSIS: As the war in Vietnam came officially to an end, war medals were presented in Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam. At a formal ceremony in the city, an audience watched the campaign decorations being presented by the master-mind of war against South Vietnam -- General Vo Nguyen Giap, North Vietnam's Defence Minister. To his admirers he's known as 'Nui Lua', or 'the volcano under the snow'. The general, who wears very few decorations himself and sometimes none at all, even on formal military occasions, is regarded as one of the world's greatest military strategists. He was responsible for the defeat of the French in Indo-China, and soon afterwards took on the great United States war machine -- fighting them to what he sees as a standstill, and therefore victory for North Vietnam.
Yet unlike most of his own troops, General Giap was never formally trained. The only academy he attended was, he said, 'that of the bush'. His writings about guerrilla warfare have become standard text-books for revolutionaries the world over. One of his most-quoted lines is 'A people's army is always capable of overcoming an aggressor's forces, whatever they may be'.
In the streets of Hanoi, meanwhile, there was a different atmosphere after peace was announced. The bomb-scarred roads, often lifeless and deserted from constant attack by giant United States B-52s, became scenes of activity as markets re-opened and task-forces of workmen began repair work. During the countless air-attacks - Hanoi - like other North Vietnamese cities - was reduced to minimal facilities. Schools and universities were closed; theatres and other places of public gathering, except churches, were shut down; there was an evacuation of all except essential workers; and commerce suffered badly.
Each time there was a halt in the bombing, usually during periods of hopeful peace negotiations, the city sprang back to life. With the United States no longer seeking involvement in the conflict the North are setting about rebuilding their shattered towns and cities.