Van Tien Dung

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Van Tien Dung (1917-2002) was a general of the People's Army of Viet Nam, who was the field commander for the 1975 invasion of South Vietnam, and later a member of the Politburo of Vietnam's ruling party.

He was a protege of Vo Nguyen Giap, and had served with him throughout the Indochinese revolution, including being chief of staff and director of logistics for the Dien Bien Phu campaign.[1] Before the Second World War, he had been imprisoned by the French, in 1939, for belonging to the Indochinese Communist Party. Many of the 1930s revolutionaries came from an intellectual background; he was a textile worker. He escaped and joined the Viet Minh in China.

During the 1975 offensive, Tran Van Tra, who had been the field commander for the Tet Offensive, was his deputy.

In February 1980, he joined the Party's Politburo and appointed Minister of Defense. However, he was dropped from the Politburo in 1986 when they moved to the market-based doi moi economic principles of General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh. After being criticized too autocratic in the people's army congress. He was replaced as defence minister the next year.[2]


  1. Karnow, Stanley (1983), Vietnam, a History, Viking Press, pp. 664-665
  2. "Personality Profile: General Van Tien Dung", Pointer: Journal of the Singapore Armed Forces 29 (April-June 2003)