Haiphong, North Vietnam's second city and major port, is strengthening its defensive measures. The North?
Haiphong, North Vietnam's second city and major port, is strengthening its defensive measures. The North Vietnamese claimed that the city was one of the centres of population raided by United States aircraft in November. The Americans counter-claimed that the targets were all in the south of the country, below the 19th parallel.
Since the latest American attacks also included a helicopter-raid on a prisoner-of-war camp, the North Vietnamese in Haiphong are training in techniques of repelling commando attacks and street fighting.
The militia is mounting a round-the-clock guard on important buildings and installations in the city.
Schoolchildren, who returned from evacuation in the country at the beginning of the American bombing pause, are now being drilled in the use of air raid shelters. Many new shelter have been constructed, and important buildings have sand-bag defences to shield them from bomb blasts.
Haiphong owes its great strategic importance to its position as gateway for the country's essential supplies of aid -- including munitions, weapons and medical supplies -- from abroad.