Haiphong is one of the most important port cities in Vietnam; with the advantage of having a deep-water port, maritime transport there is very developed. Haiphong is also the third largest city in Vietnam. The name means "coastal defense". Haiphong is also called "The City of the Red Flamboyant" because of the many flamboyant trees planted in the city.
Haiphong was originally founded by Lê Chân, the female general of a Vietnamese revolution against the Chinese led by the Trưng Sisters (Hai Bà Trưng) in the year 43 C.E. The area which is now known as Duong Kinh District was once known as Hai tan Phong thu ("defensive coastal area"), and served as the second capital of the Mac dynasty (1527–1592). At the end of Nguyen Emperor Tu Duc's reign, the headquarters of An Duong District was also moved to Hang Kenh Communal House, which now belongs to Le Chan district.
In 1881, the city was the site of a devastating typhoon which claimed up to 300,000 lives.
Haiphong was one of Vietnam's major ports and trading centers. When the country was invaded by the French, the city became France's main naval base in Indochina. After World War II, when Vietnam attempted to regain its independence, Haiphong was the site of the first military action undertaken by the French, as punishment for the death of three French soldiers. Some sources claim that the French heavy cruiser Suffren bombarded the city, while others claim it was not Suffren but 3 avisos or sloops, supported by Suffren, the ships that bombarded the city and adjacent fields in an aggression that contributed to the start of the First Indochina War. French infantry forces under the command of Jean-Étienne Valluy invaded the city and fought house to house with support from armored units and jet fighters.
Vietnam War Edit
Late in the Vietnam War, Haiphong was subjected to heavy bombing by US Navy and Air Force strike aircraft because it was North Vietnam's only major port. U.S. Admiral Thomas H. Moorer planned the mining of Haiphong harbor which took place on 8 May 1972 and which he claimed never caused a single casualty. The city, however, was completely unaffected by the war due to the establishment of a prohibition zone surrounding it. After the war, the city recovered and became a significant industrial center.