Vietnamese soldier and journalist who fought against France and the US before becoming a critic of the communist government

Bui Tin, who has died aged 90, fought against French and US forces before turning into a thorn in the side of the Vietnamese government. Usually described as a war hero, he was a participant in key episodes of Vietnam’s wars as a soldier, journalist and official historian who was familiar with his country’s leading figures.

His first brush with history came in 1954 at the siege of Dien Bien Phu, where – as a political officer – he was wounded in the battle that ended French colonial rule. He next spent several years in Vinh, in northern central Vietnam, training officers and soldiers to be infiltrated into the south in anticipation of conflict with President Ngo Dinh Diem, seen by the US as a bulwark against communism in south-east Asia.

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