Hai Phong (written in Vietnamese as Hải Phòng) traces its origin to its 1887 founding as a seaport province by the French Colonial Empire. From 1954 to 1975, Hai Phong served as the most important maritime city of North Vietnam under the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV). The French naval attack on Hai Phong on 23 November 1946 (known as the Hai Phong Massacre), which killed 6,000 civilians, precipitated the First Indochina War (1946-1954). Late in the Second Indochina War (1955-1975), Hai Phong was subjected to heavy bombing by the US Navy and Air Force strike aircraft because it was North Vietnam’s only major port. In 1976, it became one of the direct-controlled municipalities of reunified Vietnam along with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.