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Vietnamese History: Tiền Ngô Vương (前吳王) or Ngô Vương (吳王), reign: 939-944
Ngô Quyền (897-944) was Dương Đình Nghệ’s favorite and most loyal general. He served under Dương Đình Nghệ’s command and married one of his daughters. After he saw his mentor and father-in-law killed, Ngô Quyền sought revenge. He challenged and defeated Kiều Công Tiễn in 938. The latter, before his death and battle with Ngô Quyền, had sent an emissary to China to ask for help. The Chinese emperor sent an army to the South to rescue Kiều Công Tiễn in 938. Ngô Quyền had been warned of their coming and waited at Bạch Đằng River to destroy the Chinese army, the first of his many victories at the famous river. Ngô Quyền then ascended to the throne and took the name Ngô Vương. He moved the capital back to Cổ Loa Thành. He reigned for only five years, until 944, when he died at age 47. A short reign for an ambitious emperor to reorganize the country. Nevertheless, Ngô Vương ushered in a new Vietnamese era of continuous independence and self-governance.
1st Battle of Bạch Đằng River (白藤江): To defeat the Chinese army coming to supply aid to his rival, Ngô Vương cleverly planted iron spikes underneath the Bạch Đằng River and timed the attack of the Southern Han navy. The attack began during high tide in order to conceal the spikes beneath the water. After the Vietnamese held the enemy in place for a few hours, the tides receded and the spikes impaled the boats. The Vietnamese forces followed this impalement with fire attacks, which annihilated the huge warships. The Southern Han navy and the Prince of Southern Han were killed. This tactic was repeated again during the Trần Dynasty by Trần Hưng Đạo against the third Mongol Invasion.
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