World

As Vietnam mourns hero war general, some question if there will be another leader like him

  • Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, second left, and former President Tran Duc Luong, left, pay respects to  late Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap at the National Funeral House in Hanoi, Vietnam Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Vietnam's top leaders gathered to pay their last respects to the military mastermind who drove the French and the Americans out of Vietnam, who died last week at 102. (AP Photo/Hoang Dinh Nam, Pool)

    Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, second left, and former President Tran Duc Luong, left, pay respects to late Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap at the National Funeral House in Hanoi, Vietnam Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Vietnam's top leaders gathered to pay their last respects to the military mastermind who drove the French and the Americans out of Vietnam, who died last week at 102. (AP Photo/Hoang Dinh Nam, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former Communist Party General Secretaries Le Kha Phieu, right, and Nong Duc Manh arrive to pay respects to late Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap at the National Funeral House in Hanoi, Vietnam Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Vietnam's top leaders gathered to pay their last respects to the military mastermind who drove the French and the Americans out of Vietnam, who died last week at 102. (AP Photo/Hoang Dinh Nam, Pool)

    Former Communist Party General Secretaries Le Kha Phieu, right, and Nong Duc Manh arrive to pay respects to late Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap at the National Funeral House in Hanoi, Vietnam Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Vietnam's top leaders gathered to pay their last respects to the military mastermind who drove the French and the Americans out of Vietnam, who died last week at 102. (AP Photo/Hoang Dinh Nam, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former Communist Party Secretary General Do Muoi, front center, is helped to walk to pay respects to late Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap at the National Funeral House in Hanoi, Vietnam Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Vietnam's top leaders gathered to pay their last respects to the military mastermind who drove the French and the Americans out of Vietnam, who died last week at 102. (AP Photo/Hoang Dinh Nam, Pool)

    Former Communist Party Secretary General Do Muoi, front center, is helped to walk to pay respects to late Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap at the National Funeral House in Hanoi, Vietnam Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Vietnam's top leaders gathered to pay their last respects to the military mastermind who drove the French and the Americans out of Vietnam, who died last week at 102. (AP Photo/Hoang Dinh Nam, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

The death of wartime Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap has triggered public mourning in Vietnam the likes of which have been unseen since Ho Chi Minh passed away more than four decades ago.

And given the current leaders, it may not be witnessed again, according to many of the 150,000 people who lined up to pay respects to the so-called "Red Napoleon."

The ruling Communist Party orchestrated the sendoff, and Giap's body was laid in state in Hanoi on Saturday. The country's top leaders paid their final respects, and unrelated public events were cancelled.

Giap is best remembered for leading Vietnamese forces to victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Throughout most of the war against the United States, Giap was defense minister and armed forces commander.