26. Revolutionary historical relic of Minh Dam Base Area

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Minh Dam Mountain, Phuoc Hai Town, Dat Do District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, Vietnam ( Chỉ đường )
0254 3854 152
Minh Dam Base Area (also known as Minh Dam mountain) is located in the Southeast of Dat Do District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, has a mountain range in the East-West direction over 8 km long, with an average altitude of over 200 m. Revolutionary historical relic of Minh Dam Base Area was recognized as a Revolutionary Historical Site according to Decision No. 57VH/QD dated January 18th, 1993 of the Ministry of Culture and Information.

Dat Do is a coastal district in Ba Ria – Vung Tau province that was re-established in 2004, including 06 communes and 02 towns: Dat Do Town, Phuoc Hai Town, Phuoc Long Tho Commune, Long Tan Commune, Lang Long Commune, Loc An Commune, Phuoc Hoi Commune, Long My Commune, with an area of 18,905 ha, a population of about 74,000 people; the East borders Xuyen Moc District – East Sea; the West borders Long Dien District – Ba Ria Town; the South borders the East Sea; the North borders Chau Duc District; The district has a coastline of 17.5km, with Loc An seaport that used to be a wharf to receive weapons sent by unnumbered ships from the Central Government to support the Southern battlefield.

During the two resistance wars against the French and the Americans, Dat Do was the key for the enemy’s attack, and was also the key to directing the resistance of the Ba Ria – Long Khanh Provincial Party Committee. The struggle of Dat Do people at that time was very fierce, arduous but also very heroic; in many places, examples of heroic sacrifice of the people – comrades contributed to writing on the heroic pages of Dat Do and Minh Dam base were one of the heroic historical evidences.

Since the end of the nineteenth century, the Chau Vien – Chau Long range has been stretched along the territory of communes: Tam Phuoc, Phuoc Hai, Long Hai, Long My to form a coastal wall corresponding to a length of 9km, a width of nearly 4km and a height of 355.6m above sea level. Covering the mountain range are very solid granite and quartz, the rocks have formed many discreet and interconnected caves that can withstand the powerful attack of the enemy. On the mountain, there are Ngoc Tuyen freshwater springs and a system of crevices and streams to ensure favorable conditions of on-site logistics. Minh Dam is also a forest with many large and small trees, intertwined vines, a place for survival and development of many types of animals such as wild boar, monkeys, deer, rabbits, many reptiles and birds…

On the night of July 13, 1993, Chau Vien association secretly spread leaflets and hung 6 hammer and sickle flags in Dat Do, Long My and Ba Ria, the largest flag was hung on the top of Chop Mao – the highest peak of the Minh Dam mountain range.

Minh Dam base is also the birthplace of Party branches in the two districts of Dat Do and Long Dien; most of the provincial, district and commune officials operated here. In February 1934, the first Party Committee of Ba Ria province was established at the house of Mr. Tran Ba Thien (Phuoc Hai commune, Dat Do) including 3 comrades: Comrade Tran Van Cu as Secretary, Nguyen Van Long, Ho Tri Tan.

The name Minh Dam was determined in late 1948 when Ba Ria Provincial Party Committee decided to choose Phuoc Buu and Long My as a base for the resistance against the French . Minh Dam is the name of two comrades Bui Cong Minh and Mac Thanh Dam, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Long Dien District Party Committee, who sacrificed their life during a business trip in Phuoc Trinh hamlet, Tam Phuoc commune, Long Dien district on November 17, 1948. In memory of the two brave and loyal sons of the revolution, the Party Committee and people of Long Dat district have named the two mountain ranges Chau Vien and Chau Long as Minh Dam mountain since then.

Minh Dam base has stood through two periods of resistance against the French and the Americans. The Party Committees and people’s governments of the communes are closely united, determined to fight, and persistently clinging to their last breath to preserve Minh Dam area, determining that this was the place where the central leadership of the resistance was concentrated.

Minh Dam Base consists of 4 main areas: Chau Vien, Da Che, Da Giang, Gieng Gach. There are many caves in the mountain, so it is convenient to build important bases such as: District Party Committee, District team, Military medicine, Military forces, Town level…

The period of resistance against France:

In the difficult situation of being pinned down by the enemy, always looking for ways to sabotage the revolution, around the base, there were many enemy bases that bombed and shelled day and night. The District Party Committee withdrew to establish a base in a rugged mountainous area to operate, but the revolutionary movement still flourished, revolutionary soldiers remained calm, mastered the situation to combine with guerrilla forces to create resounding victories. The masses were always the root of the revolution; despite being banned by the enemy, the logistics of supply still operated normally, the communication between the base and the people were always close.

That is the expression of trust between the people and the Party, the key to making victory in the anti-French period.

[The most difficult years were in 1951 and 1952, drought – crop failure, French invaders destroyed crops, killed cattle, soldiers and cadres had to eat bamboo shoots, bananas, tubers, tubercles… but we still persisted in fighting the enemy, every day shooting against the enemy sweeping around Minh Dam base, Road 44 area. We combined with the local army of the District and the 300th Battalion to carry out a few battles in Truong Soi – Road 23 (March 15, 1953) and threatened Con O Fort (May 1954).]

The period of resistance against the United States:

In early 1962, the United States began to implement the “strategic Hamlet National Policy” in order to separate the people from the Party so that it could easily pursue the annihilation of the revolution. On traffic roads: 52, 44 front, 44 rear roads, the enemy set up many checkpoints and searched all goods and food people brought to the fields to prevent people from supplying supplies to the revolution. Road 52 has outposts: Phuoc Hoa Long, Phuoc Loi, Bo Dap, Lo Gom, Chua That, Cau Ba Mia, Phuoc Hai, Con O, Cau Tum. Road 44 has the following outposts: Che Ben, Lo Vo, Long Hai, Dinh Co.

At that time, revolutionary organizations had to withdraw to the active Minh Dam base, and from here we launched battles to destroy strategic hamlets, enemy roads, and smash their raids.

On Minh Dam base, there are the following main caves:

Cave of the District Party Committee (1969 – 1972): At a height of 150m – 200m, this is a place that fully gathers the wisdom and revolutionary energy of the District Party Committee as a symbol of the spirit and will to fight resiliently and unyieldingly of Long Dat militia. In the area around the cave, all departments and divisions are fully arranged such as propaganda, information, security, academic affairs, security…

Cave of the District Military (1969 – 1972): at a height of 210m (area of 2mx3m), this is the place where the District Military Executive Committee organized direct command of the armed forces, ambushed, intercepted and broke many US-National barbaric waves, set up many resounding and heroic victories of the army and people of Long Dat.

Cave of the Military Medical Staff: at the height of over 270m, this is the place to receive wounded soldiers, with quick and light means of treatment.

In order to move up the mountain, we had to move along many different roads, but mainly the slope of Ong Dia (through Cave B2) at a height of 120m or Hon Dung at a height of 217m…

Hon Da Che: At a height of 323m, this is the place to raise the flag of the National Liberation Front during the period of resistance against the United States. It was here that the District Party Committee organized the armed forces and the people to implement the plan, organize battles, block attacks, and sweep for many days and nights by the US and the puppet regime.

Tam Tinh stream: this place was previously named Ngoc Tuyen stream, which was a place to rest and meet and exchange contact information of revolutionary comrades. Due to the meeting and exchange, many romantic relationships also originated from here. Typically, the love of Comrade Nguyen De (later Lieutenant General of the 9th Military Region) and Ms. Quy (daughter of a nun) at Bong Lai Pagoda is mentioned through two verses:

“Bong Lai is a rocky fairyland

Anyone who loves Miss Quy should manages to climb.”

Continuously from 1966 to 1972, the US military and its vassals have continuously used all conspiracies and cunning tricks to destroy Minh Dam base; the most advanced and modern weapons at that time were used here such as: E3 mines, Jip mines, grenades, B52 bombs (including 5t bombs), spraying chemical poisons, blocking the road to food supply… but under the direction of the Provincial Party Committee, the District Party Committee with the slogan “Determined to keep Minh Dam”, the revolutionary soldiers persevered to hold out, fight constantly, not only with weapons but also with economics and politics.

During the war, not only the masses but also the abbots, monks, nuns, and Buddhists enlightened the revolution very early. On Minh Dam mountain, there are many pagodas that are places to raise, hide, and protect cadres when attacked by the enemy. The most prominent are Gach Pagoda, Thien Thai Pagoda, Long Phuoc Pagoda and some buddhists of these pagodas also entered the war zone to join the resistance. The battle for Nuoc Ngot Fort also had the great help of monks, nuns and buddhists of Bong Lai Pagoda.

With absolute trust in the revolution, with the spirit of sacrificing ingenuity and creativity, the soldiers at the base overcame all difficulties, solved the tactic of “M16-E3 mine barrier”, defeated the system of “underground mounds” and smashed the strategy of “shield fence”, opened the enemy’s grip, held on among the people, built facilities, fostered forces, fought quickly to return the invaders with fierce battles, consumed and destroyed the enemy.

This place once marked a glorious period of typical battles such as:

On June 8, 1966, the 173rd Parachute Brigade coordinated with South Korean soldiers and the Puppet Government Forces with the support of tanks, artillery to attack Minh Dam for 10 days and nights, fighting fiercely; the C25 company and guerrillas of the communes destroyed and excluded 100 defenders from fighting to firmly protect Minh Dam base area.

In May 1968, the enemy organized a major raid, combining B52 flying fortress tanks and Tay Tay Lan artillery. The Australian army launched a large-scale raid on Minh Dam; during the first 7 days, the enemy used B52 strategic bombers, dropped thousands of tons of bombs on Minh Dam base. In this raid, Company 25 of the District and the guerrillas of the communes used homemade mines bundled into 3 bombs along the path of bulldozers to block and attack Australian tanks and motor vehicles, and placed grenades on tree branches; as long as tree trunks wobbles, the grenades would explode; thanks to this creative attack, Minh Dam was able to hold on, and dozens of tanks, bulldozers and the enemy abandoned their bodies here. This was the longest and most fierce raid on Minh Dam base ever. Officers and soldiers in the base were resilient and persistent, held on to fight for more than 100 days and nights (August 1968), firmly protecting Minh Dam base.

On February 2, 1969, the 25th company (including 23 comrades – only 21 comrades with guns) combined with the guerrillas of Long My commune divided into 3 attacks and destroyed a “Crazy Buffalo” company of the 18th Division, seized many guns, equipment and military equipment of the enemy in Bao Tay, Long My commune. This was the first battle in which C25 and the commune’s guerrillas faced a notorious main army company and won. After this battle, Ba Ria – Long Khanh province expanded the way of fighting in the whole province, causing heavy damages to the enemy.

In June 1969, C25 assigned platoon 1 (8 comrades) to attack the enemy right at the key rock area – Ong Pha dam – So Bong – Hon Mot pagoda. We used M16-E3 mines which were manually planted near the keystone area, luring the enemy into the prearranged minefield. As a result, the enemy fell into a minefield, killing and wounding over 33 people. They sent a HU-IA helicopter to retrieve the bodies, but encountered an anti-tank mine that we had installed and exploded, causing serious damages to the helicopter. Thanks to this battle, we were able to remove the enemy’s shield fence installed around Minh Dam base. Minh Dam base is the vitality, the strong revival of revolutionary movements in the locality, the heart of Dat Do people in general and the surrounding communes in particular for the revolution. The land and the people’s hearts are the strongest walls for revolutionary forces to cling to, fight and win. With those great and important meanings, this place was recognized by the Ministry of Culture and Information as a national historical relic on January 18, 1993. In order to deeply express the tradition of “When drinking water, remember its source, when eating fruit, remember who planted the tree”, in order to remember the gratitude of the compatriots and comrades of Dat Do district, Long Dien who sacrificed their lives through two resistance wars: against the French and the US to protect the Southwestern border of the Fatherland, Dat Do district, Long Dien started construction of the martyrs’ temple at Minh Dam base in 2004 and inaugurated in 2007 with an area of nearly 2 hectares, with a total cost of up to VND 21 billion. In the temple, 2,692 martyrs are worshiped, including 7 Heroes of the Armed Forces including Vo Thi Sau, Nguyen Thi Hoa, Nguyen Thi Dep, Chau Van Biec, Nguyen Hung Manh, Ta Van Sau, and Cao Van Ngoc.

Currently, Minh Dam base has a harmonious combination of monuments, mountains, forests and the sea, which is a potential for tourism development. On an annual basis, this place welcomes over 200,000 domestic and foreign delegations to organize programs of root tourism, sightseeing and camping. This has truly become a place of revolutionary traditional education for today’s young generation.

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