Legendary Vietnamese general dies
CNN- Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, a man credited with major victories against the French and the American military, has died, according to local media reports. Giap was 102.
Giap is credited with the Tet offensive and the siege of Dien Bien Phu.
He earned a doctorate and students remember him as unusually passionate about military strategy. Theory became reality for Giap in the early 1940s when he joined Ho Chi Minh and battled French colonial forces.
Born into a family of rice farmers, Giap got involved in politics at an early age. At 18 his politics got him thrown in jail, under suspicion of revolutionary agitation.
In 1954, Giap led an operation known as the siege of Dien Bien Phu. The battle lasted nearly two months and claimed thousands of lives but at the end, Giap emerged victorious. The French left Vietnam that same year.
When American forces became involved in Vietnam, Giap championed guerrilla tactics, a fighting style that became one of the hallmarks of the conflict.
Giap also planned the Tet offensive against American forces in 1968. The surprise attack targeted dozens of cities in South Vietnam. The U.S. Embassy was briefly overrun. Both sides suffered heavy casualties before the offensive was eventually repulsed. The Tet offensive is thought of as a major turning point in the conflict.