If you want to understand who the Vietcong were then you’re in the right place.
Under the dedicated and inspired leadership of Ho Chi Mihn, the Vietnamese Communists, or Vietcong, were the military branch of the National Liberation Front (NLF).
Most Vietcong troops were armed with Chinese versions of the Russian AK-47 submachine gun. They also used a range of effective Soviet and Chinese light and medium machine guns, and infrequently, heavy machine guns. In particular, heavy machine guns were valued for defense against American helicopters.
This is the core of the who the Vietcong were, an underground but highly capable guerilla force.
For destroying armored vehicles or bunkers, the Vietcong had highly effective rocket propelled grenades and recoilless rifles. Mortars were also available in large numbers and had the advantage of being very easy to transport.
Many weapons, including booby traps and mines, were homemade in villages. The materials ranged from scavenged tin can to discarded wire, but the most important ingredients were provided by the enemy. In a year, dud American bombs could leave more than 20,000 tons of explosives scattered around the Vietnamese countryside. After air-raids, volunteers retrieved the duds and the dangerous business of creating new weapons began.
Local forces also designed weapons, some designed to frighten intruders, but others were extremely dangerous. “Punji traps” — sharp spikes hidden in pits — could easily disable an enemy soldier. Punjis were often deliberately contaminated to increase the risk of infection.
The Vietcong were masters at moving through and blending into the local terrain. Their underground Tunnel Base system and the Ho Chi Mihn Trail which they used to transport Military supplies across the Cambodian Border are prime examples of their ingenuity and in the course of the Vietnam War, the Americans witnessed the tenacity of this guerilla Army, knowing, respecting and understanding exactly who the Vietcong were.
In addition to Ho Chi Mihn’s visionary leadership, a number of VietCong Generals developed strategy superior to their American enemy, and in the final analysis contributed significantly to the VietCong’s success in Vietnam.
In paying tribute to the VietCong’s Generals, we’ve posted a link to an article on General Giap, one of the VietCong’s most esteemed Generals.
The Vietnam War was also characterised by War Crimes against Civilians, the most infamous of which is the ‘My Lai Massacre’ where a US Army Patrol Unit, in a fit of rage caused by their failure to successfully neutralise the VietCong threat during a patrol, indiscriminately murdered an entire village of Vietnamese men, women and children in the village of My Lai.
In 1968. the VietCong launched the ‘Tet Offensive’ marking a turning point in the Vietnam War which eventually ended in victory for the VietCong,
The Vietnam War itself was part of a broader global Cold War conflict. Its left a bitter taste, and stain on the collective American memory. Since its defeat in Vietnam, America has overcompensated for this loss through an aggressive Foreign Policy.
We salute the tenacity of the VietCong, and the Vietnamese people in their successful resistance to both American and French Imperialism, even in the face of a relentless American Napalm Bombing campaign that killed more Vietnamese Civilians than it destroyed legitimate Military targets.
Peep the links below for more on who the Vietcong were.
Links & Credits