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Cứ vào dịp Tết Nguyên Đán hàng năm, mùng 5 tết, chúng ta lại nhớ về chiến công oanh liệt đại phá quân Thanh của nhà Tây Sơn. Trong đó, nổi tiếng nhất là cuộc hành quân thần tốc của quân ta, dưới sự lãnh đạo của Nguyễn Huệ, đã thể hiện sức mạnh của dân tộc Việt Nam trong việc chống giặc ngoại xâm.Hãy cùng IOPM tìm hiểu về cuộc hành quân thần tốc đó nhé!

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The brothers “Nguyễn Nhạc, Nguyễn Lữ, Nguyễn Huệ”, were known as the ones who founded Tay Son Tactics Organization and were among the ranks of the most influential figures in Vietnamese history, which had been famous for the swift march of 100,000 soldiers and defeated Qing Army in the Lunar New Year (1789). It was a unique operation that utilized many revolutionary militia tactics in the country's military history.

1. The course of the march

During the attack to the North, the Tay Son Tactics Organization brought the invaders of the Qing Dynasty down to their knees in a mere five days, from the night of December 30, the year of the Monkey (January 25, 1789 of the Solar calendar) to the afternoon of the 5th of the Lunar New Year (January 30, 1789). The Tay Son Tactics Organization, led under the ingenious command of King Quang Trung, defeated 29,000 Qing troops, gloriously completing the task of liberating Thang Long citadel, liberating the country.

According to Associates Professor Dr. Ha Manh Khoa, a senior expert from the Institute of History, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, historical data shows that on the 21st of November, the year of Mau Than (1788), the Qing army overtook the citadel of Thang Long. It was on that day that Nguyen Hue received news from Ngo Van So, spurring him to take action and reverse the country’s status which was “hanging by a thread”. The very next day, he immediately ascended the throne, became crowned as King Quang Trung, and then ordered for the army to march out.

On November 29, King Quang Trung led his army to Nghe An and on December 20 (January 15, 1789) he held a festival to recruit troops in Tam Diep, on December 30 (January 25, 1789) a total offensive to destroy the Qing army. On the morning of December 30, before beginning the army’s secret attack on the Qing enemies, King Quang Trung said:

"We came to enemy place, they do not know when they sleeping but we awake, we hit the enemy not in case that mean we massacre the enemy in empty hand, we definitely win..." ("We come and the enemy didn't know we were awake when they slept, we attacked when the enemy weren't on guard.We have to win……”)

One of the most unconventional Tây Sơn tactics was to conduct combat operations during the middle of the night and disengage before dawn. The Tây Sơn troops would spend the day hidden in secret shelters and would only strike again when the situation was advantageous for successful combat.

The French Clergyman Le Breton wrote in a letter on August 2, 1788: "As it happened Nguyen Hue returned to Phu Xuan in early July. He had rushed his troops so fast that many of his soldiers died of fatigue and heat. Even the elephants and horses, they died too."

According to Nguyễn Huệ's own account, he once led an infantry and cavalry contingent in a ten-day-long march from Phú Xuân to Thăng Long in order to catch and execute Vũ Văn Nhậm. The reliability of this remarkable feat is supported by an entry in the Diary of the Bac Ha Missionary Church. The report on the strength of King Quang Trung sent to the Central Church reads: "He (Nguyen Hue) moved like a hurricane to the North that only took 10 days, the long distance has killed many of his elephants and horses after 3 to 4 days."

2. The outcome

The number of Qing Army enemies who survived the battle of Ngoc Hoi tried to run back to Thang Long, but in Thuong Tin (Hanoi), they were attacked by the Tay Son army and suffered heavy losses. Although the Nguyen hated the Tay Son army, later on, their historians still had to admit that "the Ngoc Hoi fort was shattered, the dead enemy troops piled up on top of each other". Both Admiral Hua The Hanh and General Thuong Duy Thang of the enemy died in battle.

3. Meaning of the march to Dai Viet

The swift march of the Tay Son in only 41 days defeated the Qing army, leaving its mark in history books as one of the most heroic victories of medieval Vietnamese history. The Spring of the Year of the Rooster (1789) is a heroic demonstration: “When the country was invaded, the whole country united to kill the enemy with all the strength of patriotism.”