Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on May 3 attended a launching ceremony for a project to preserve a historical relic in Cao Quy village, Lien Khe commune, Thuy Nguyen district, the northern port city of Hai Phong.
The project, which also include the construction of a 3.5-km road linking a highway to the 30,700-sq.-m relic site, costs a total of VND427 billion (US$18.6 million). The site will house an exhibition centre with many historical objects locally unearthed to be put on show.
Speaking at the ceremony, PM Phuc recalled the three glorious military victories against foreign invaders on the Bach Dang river section which runs through the locality. He described the one in 1288 against the Yuan-Mongol army as representing the power of the people’s war, heroism, staunch will and solidarity of the Vietnamese nation.
The discovery and excavation of Bach Dang stake ground in Lien Khe commune, Thuy Nguyen district, Hai Phong city is an important piece of evidence which helps provide further traces back to the great Bach Dang Victories in the history, experts have said.
The first battle took place in the year 938, when Ngo Quyen defeated 20,000 Chinese naval troops. The second battle occurred 43 years later when Le Dai Hanh wiped out Song enemies from China. The third Bach Dang battle in 1288 is attached to General Tran Quoc Tuan, who helped the Tran Kings to win over the Mongolian invaders.
Three temples dedicated to King Le Dai Hanh, General Tran Quoc Tuan and King Ngo Quyen were built in traditional architectural style with natural wood and stones. A new road leads to intricately carved stone bridges and the three statues of the General and the Kings near the Bach Dang wharf. In the river, fields of sharpened logs have been recreated as historical evidence of Vietnam’s past glorious victories
The local authorities, along with the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology and the relevant functional agencies, excavated the relics on 950 m2 in Cao Quy village, Lien Khe commune, Thuy Nguyen district. 27 wooden stakes dating from 1270-1430 were found buried in the ground, which were part of the old riverbed that had been filled over the time.
Based on archaeological survey results combined with historical documents, scientists initially identified that Cao Quy stake yard may be related to the great Bach Dang Victory in 1288, witnessing the Tran dynasty’s army and people defeat the Mongol invaders on the Bach Dang river.
Assoc. Prof., Dr. Bui Van Liem, former Deputy Director of Vietnam Institute of Archaeology, a member of the group involved in excavating the site, said that historical relics in Thuy Nguyen district, along with scientific evidences on identification of different specimens, have contributed to supplementing the evidences in the initial identification of the battle of Bach Dang on this piece of land.
Experts also confirmed that archaeological results in Lien Khe commune have a special significance, helping researchers and specialised agencies to identify to be accurate to a further degree regarding the battle of Bach Dang. With historical evidences, maps and recorded documents as well as archaeological foundlings, it was initially determined that Thuy Nguyen was also a battlefield centre of Bach Dang Victory in 1288.
Describe from the Vietnam National Museum of History on Bach Dang wooden stakes dated 1288 AD, which discovered in Chanh River, Yen Hung district, Quang Ninh province in 1976, said that these are vestiges of the naval battle against the Mongol in 1288 at Bach Dang River commanded by Supreme Commander Tran Hung Dao. The stakes are about 1.5-3m long and dark brown. One end was driven into the river base. One pointed end has many fissures as the result of water corrosion. For naval battles, the stakes were fixed when the tide was down, the average distance between the stakes was about 0.9-1.2m. In addition to stakes that stood straight, some were inclined 45 degrees in order to target boats that went near the river bank. Based on a thorough study of the advantages of the terrain and ups and downs of the tide, together with scientific calculation and exact prediction, the naval battle using stakes showed the military genius of Tran Hung Dao, as well as the unique warfare tactics and military creativity of the Dai Viet people during the Tran Dynasty.
The Mongols’ defeat in 1288 crushed the Mongols’ ambitions to conquer all of Southeast Asia and it still known as one of Vietnam’s greatest victories in its military history.