It had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized peasants in the territory it controlled. Although the terminology distinguishes northerners from the southerners, communist forces were under a single command structure set up in Hanoi gave the regroupees military training and sent them back to the South along the Ho Chi Minh trail in the early s.

The NLF called for southern Vietnamese to "overthrow the camouflaged colonial regime of the American imperialists" and to make "efforts toward the peaceful unification". Later communist offensives were conducted predominantly by the North Vietnamese. The organization was dissolved in when North and South Vietnam were officially unified under a communist government. Military forces of the non-communists regrouped in South Vietnamwhich became a separate state.

Elections on reunification were scheduled for July A divided Vietnam angered Vietnamese nationalists, but it made the country less of a threat to China.

The Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the past and Vietnam in the present did not and do not recognize the division of Vietnam into two countries. As the Sino-Soviet split widened in the following months, Hanoi began to play the two communist giants off against each other. The North Vietnamese leadership approved tentative measures to revive the southern insurgency in December An assassination campaign, referred to as "extermination of traitors" [20] or "armed propaganda" in communist literature, began in April Tales of sensational murder and mayhem soon crowded the headlines.

The North Vietnamese Communist Party approved a "people's war" on the South at a session in January and this decision was confirmed by the Politburo in March. About of the "regroupees" of were sent south on the trail during its first year of operation. Propagandists celebrated their creation of battalions of "long-hair troops" women.

Bythe Sino-Soviet split was a public rivalry, making China more supportive of Hanoi's war effort. The level of violence in the South jumped dramatically in the fall offrom 50 guerrilla attacks in September to in October. President John F. Kennedy decided in November to substantially increase American military aid to South Vietnam. By mid, there were 12, U. North Vietnamese leaders debated the issue of "quick victory" vs "protracted war" guerrilla warfare.

But there were a wide variety of targets, including clinics and medical personnel. Major reversals in andas well as the growing American presence in Vietnam, inspired Hanoi to consult its allies and reassess strategy in April While Beijing urged a fight to the finish, Moscow suggested a negotiated settlement. The Parrot's Beakan area in Cambodia only 30 miles from Saigon, was prepared as a base of operations. At this point, there were aboutU.

Wheelerchairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffestimated that Tet resulted in 40, communist dead [65] compared to about 10, U. The truth was that Tet cost us half our forces. President Lyndon Johnson and Westmoreland argued that panicky news coverage gave the public the unfair perception that America had been defeated. By the end ofthere was little communist-held territory, or "liberated zones", in South Vietnam, according to the official communist military history.

However, the capture of the Plain of Jars and other territory in Laos, as well as five provinces in northeastern Cambodia, allowed the North Vietnamese to reopen the Ho Chi Minh trail. In response to the anti-war movementthe U. Congress passed the Case—Church Amendment to prohibit further U.The name is said to have first been used by South Vietnamese Pres. Ngo Dinh Diem to belittle the rebels.

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Though beginning in the mids as a collection of various groups opposed to the government of President Diem, the Viet Cong became in the military arm of the National Liberation Front NLF. After they were joined by former elements of the southern Viet Minha communist-oriented nationalist group. The overwhelming majority of the Viet Cong were subsequently recruited in the South, but they received weapons, guidance, and reinforcements from North Vietnamese Army soldiers who had infiltrated into South Vietnam.

During the Tet Offensive ofthe Viet Cong suffered devastating losses, and their ranks were later filled primarily by North Vietnamese soldiers. For the most part, the Viet Cong fought essentially a guerrilla war of ambush, terrorismand sabotage; they used small units to maintain a hold on the countryside, leaving the main population centres to government authorities.

Under terms of the agreement reached at the peace negotiations held in Paris in —73, the PRG won acknowledgment of its authority in areas under its control, pending general elections to determine the future of South Vietnam.

Following the full-scale North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam and the subsequent rapid collapse of the government of South Vietnamese Pres. The following year, when reunification of the country was accomplished, the PRG joined other political groups in forming a National United Front.

Real governmental power was subsequently exercised by the Vietnamese Communist Party and its North Vietnamese leadership. Viet Cong.

viet cong soldier

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Carlos Hathcock

Thank you for your feedback. Viet Cong Vietnamese military and political organization. See Article History. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.Hathcock's record and the extraordinary details of the missions he undertook made him a legend in the U.

Marine Corps. Hathcock was born in Little RockArkansas on May 20, He grew up in Wynne, Arkansasliving with his grandmother after his parents separated for the first 12 years of his life. While visiting relatives in Mississippihe took to shooting and hunting at an early age, partly out of necessity to help feed his poor family.

He would go into the woods with his dog and pretend to be a soldier and hunt imaginary Japanese with the old Mauser his father brought back from World War II. He hunted at that early age with a. Higgins single-shot rifle. Hathcock dreamed of being a Marine throughout his childhood, and so on May 20,at the age of 17, he enlisted in the U. InHathcock started his deployment in the Vietnam War as a military policeman and later became a sniper after Captain Edward James Land pushed the Marines into raising snipers in every platoon.

Land later recruited Marines who had set their own records in sharpshooting; he quickly found Hathcock, who had won the Wimbledon Cup, the most prestigious prize for long-range shooting, at Camp Perry in Snipers often did not have an acting third party present, making confirmation difficult, especially if the target was behind enemy lines, as was usually the case.

Hathcock estimated that he had killed between and enemy personnel during his time in the Vietnam War. Rewards put on U. Hathcock held the record for highest bounty and killed every known Vietnamese marksman who sought him to collect it. These Marines were aware of the impact Hathcock's death would have and took it upon themselves to make themselves targets in order to confuse the counter-snipers.

One of Hathcock's most famous accomplishments was shooting an enemy sniper through the enemy's own rifle scopehitting him in the eye and killing him. The sniper, known only as the "Cobra," had already killed several Marines and was believed to have been sent specifically to kill Hathcock. Hathcock took possession of the dead sniper's rifle, hoping to bring it home as a "trophy", but after he turned it in and tagged it, it was stolen from the armory.

A female Viet Cong platoon leader called "the Apache woman," with a reputation for torturing captive U. Marines, was killed by Hathcock around the firebase at Hill Hathcock only once removed the white feather from his bush hat while deployed in Vietnam.

On September 16,Hathcock's career as a sniper came to a sudden end along Highway 1north of LZ Baldywhen the LVT-5 he was riding on struck an anti-tank mine. Hathcock pulled seven Marines from the flame-engulfed vehicle, suffering severe burns some third-degree to his face, arms and legs, before someone pulled him away and got him in water because he did not realize he was burnt that badly.

While recovering, Hathcock received the Purple Heart. Nearly 30 years later, he received a Silver Star for this action. Due to his extreme injuries suffered in Vietnam, he was in nearly constant pain, but he continued to dedicate himself to teaching snipers. InHathcock's health began to deteriorate, and he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He stayed in the Marine Corps, but his health continued to decline. And, just 55 days short of the 20 years that would have made him eligible for regular retirement pay, he received a permanent disability separation.

Being medically discharged, he received percent disability pay. He fell into a state of depression when he was forced out of the Marines because he felt as if the service had kicked him out. During this depression, his wife Jo nearly left him but decided to stay. Hathcock eventually picked up the hobby of shark fishing, which helped him to overcome his depression. Hathcock once said that he survived in his work because of an ability to "get in the bubble", to put himself into a state of "utter, complete, absolute concentration", first with his equipment, then his environment, in which every breeze and every leaf meant something, and finally on his quarry.

But I never did enjoy killing anybody. It's my job.Thanks for connecting! You're almost done. Connect to your existing Cracked account if you have one or create a new Cracked username. Even if your knowledge of the Vietnam War comes exclusively from Hollywood films and Texan textbooks that only refer to it as "that one the good guys lost," you've probably heard about the Viet Cong.

They were a bunch of jungle-fighting guerrilla warriors who killed American boys via night-time ambushes and terrifying traps. Well, that's one side of the story. Here's another: They were a bunch of scared mostly young kids fighting in a massive conflict for very personal reasons.

We sent a writer out to Vietnam to speak with Nguyen Hoa Giai. He fought as a Viet Cong from the late s to the end of the war in the mid-'70s. Here's what he told us.

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Air Force. I became a Viet Cong guerrilla in the late s, when I was It wasn't because I was a Communist, or because I ran away to join the circus and just got wildly sidetracked. Here he is palling around with Allied soldiers:. Via Medicinthegreentime.

I was just mad at how the South was pushing all of its excess money into the major cities like Saigon. The South Vietnamese government seemed to ignore small towns and villages, like mine. Ngo Dinh Diem the leader of South Vietnam at the time even took away our farms and put them under the control of a single rich guy who'd supported the French in World War II.

8 Things Vietnam War Movies Leave Out (By an Enemy Soldier)

This happened all over South Vietnam and was called "land reform," rather than the far more accurate "serious, deep, and exploratory boning. The French, who had controlled Vietnam since the s, always saw the locals as "lower," and we never forgave them for refusing to give us independence.

Ho Chi Minh was snubbed twiceand after the second time he reacted. My uncle also wanted independence and would do anything, including support Communism, to get it. Via War Remnants Museum. Once the fighting started, a lot of people died, well over a million on our side alone. For the war to continue, a constant stream of new fighters had to join up, and they didn't have the benefit of such luxuries as "functional equipment" or "the slightest idea what to do.Usually this type of photos were taken for propaganda purposes.

North Vietnamese women were deeply involved at all levels of the military campaign throughout the war, especially at the business end, fighting against the American-led forces in the jungle. The Viet Cong forces were very successful at acquiring and using American made arms, which led directly to most of their big successes in the early to mids. South Vietnamese local garrisons meant to protect rural areas from Viet Cong influence often simply gave arms and ammunition to the local Viet Congs to avoid being slaughtered.

Any factual error or typo? Let us know. Contact About us Privacy Policy.

X x x x x x

Home Vietnam War. A Viet Cong guerrilla stands guard in the Mekong Delta.

viet cong soldier

Most American soldiers that went into service with the M where given virtually no training on how to care for the weapon, they assumed it would need the same amount of cleaning as the M, and M1-garand designs. Once cleaning kits were dispensed and troops were trained how frequent to clean the weapon, failure rates on the M16 drastically went down.

Still they were high for a service weapon.Air Force.

viet cong soldier

I became a Viet Cong guerrilla in the late s, when I was Here he is palling around with Allied soldiers:. I was just mad at how the South was pushing all of its excess money into the major cities like Saigon.

The South Vietnamese government seemed to ignore small towns and villages, like mine. Ho Chi Minh was snubbed twiceand after the second time he reacted. My uncle also wanted independence and would do anything, including support Communism, to get it. Once the fighting started, a lot of people died, well over a million on our side alone. Supporting Communism or the dream of a united Vietnam was less a motivator than wanting revenge for the death of a parent, loved one, or child.

Most of them were aware that Stalin and Mao each had movements named after them Stalinism and Maoismso they just assumed Socialism was named after a guy named Social and Communism was named after a guy named Commun.

A distressing number of my co-soldiers still thought we were fighting France. When we told them we wanted a Socialist society, they just said yes because they were mostly poor, grieving peasants living through a shortage of damnsand thus had none to spare for politics.

Your movies tend to portray the Viet Cong as deadly jungle warriors, blending into the foliage and melting out of the wild to launch continuous surprise assaults on various Rambos. We had no more mastery over the jungle than a kid from Oregon has over Death Valley. So the jungle was alien to many of us, and unlike most of the American soldiers, we were stuck spending our entire war there. They were prone to collapse, and if that happened over a barracks or a mess hall it was likely to kill more people than an air raid.

So we did most of our moving around outside, under the questionable cover of grass mats. This meant we were not only completely open to rain storms … but also to murderous animals. Easy to forget until you met a goddamn tigerthat is.

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And so many people were killed by snakes. There were also rats as large as cats, mosquitoes, spiders, and centipedes to contend with.

Armed adversaries give you comparatively good odds of survival. Mother Nature has things uglier than bullets in her arsenal. Movies always make the fighting between Viet Cong and American soldiers look like gruesome, close-up gunfighting. That kind of stuff happened, sure, but only when absolutely everyone fucked up. During more than a decade of fighting, I saw living enemy soldiers up close only three times.

The first time was right after a firefight, and we were shocked to see how blackened the bodies were. None of us had seen a black person before. Some people thought they were myths. All of them were either dead or near-death. We shot the wounded survivors with a pistol. We were in no condition to provide them with medical care. It seemed kinder than letting them bleed out.

The younger guerrillas, who were less attuned to death, even cried. Thanks to Hollywood, you probably picture the VC as constantly popping out of holes in the ground like deadly gophers. But like I said before, my group avoided those cramped, rickety tunnels full of death traps like, well … like cramped, rickety tunnels full of death traps.The name is said to have first been used by South Vietnamese Pres.

Ngo Dinh Diem to belittle the rebels. Though beginning in the mids as a collection of various groups opposed to the government of President Diem, the Viet Cong became in the military arm of the National Liberation Front NLF. After they were joined by former elements of the southern Viet Minha communist-oriented nationalist group.

viet cong soldier

The overwhelming majority of the Viet Cong were subsequently recruited in the South, but they received weapons, guidance, and reinforcements from North Vietnamese Army soldiers who had infiltrated into South Vietnam. During the Tet Offensive ofthe Viet Cong suffered devastating losses, and their ranks were later filled primarily by North Vietnamese soldiers. For the most part, the Viet Cong fought essentially a guerrilla war of ambush, terrorismand sabotage; they used small units to maintain a hold on the countryside, leaving the main population centres to government authorities.

Under terms of the agreement reached at the peace negotiations held in Paris in —73, the PRG won acknowledgment of its authority in areas under its control, pending general elections to determine the future of South Vietnam. Following the full-scale North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam and the subsequent rapid collapse of the government of South Vietnamese Pres. The following year, when reunification of the country was accomplished, the PRG joined other political groups in forming a National United Front.

Real governmental power was subsequently exercised by the Vietnamese Communist Party and its North Vietnamese leadership. Viet Cong. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Viet Cong Vietnamese military and political organization. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription.

Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Despite massive U. On January 30,disregarding a truce called for the Tet lunar new year holiday, the communists…. American advisers tried vainly to arrest the disintegration of South Vietnam with advice on counterinsurgency and state-building….

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