Italians wish long life by raising a glass and saying ‘cent’anni’. May you live a hundred years!
Vietnam’s celebrated general and companion of Ho Chi Minh celebrated his 100 birthday on 25 August 2011.
In frail health, the old soldier who engineered the defeat of France at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 after a 54 day campaign which resulted in over 2000 dead, 5000 wounded, and 11.000 prisoners, thereby ending the first Vietnam War.
Giap displayed his military flair and genius by drubbing the Americans during the Second Vietnam War ten years later during the 1968 Tet Offensive, and laid down the strategy for the eventual fall of Saigon and the retreat of the US in 1975.
At his century mark, the general has joined the high ranks of a military strategist and is bigger than life in the annuals of history.
His ‘Guerre du peuple, armee du peuple’ stands the test of time and is a manual of guerrilla warfare, a war which he characterises by citing a Vietnamese saying: a war of elephants against ants’.
Happy birthday Vo Nguyen Giap, and many more years of life!