The Viet Cong

The People's Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF), more popularly known as the Viet Cong (VC), was the military arm of the National Liberation Front (NLF). Established at the end of 1960, the VC was created by the North Vietnamese communists to escalate the armed struggle in South Vietnam. In the early 60's they grew rapidly and by 1964, totaled over 30,000 soldiers.

The Viet Cong were organized into three levels: regular forces operating under the command of the southern communist leadership, full time guerrillas organized into companies serving under provincial leadership and finally, a part time self-defense militia, composed of units organized into squads and platoons used primarily for village defense. Primarily, the VC were guerrillas, and it has been said that no one has ever developed an adequate defense against guerrilla warfare. They wore no uniforms, dressed in the same type of clothing as the local peasants, and blended into the landscape when their mission was complete. The VC would periodically launch hit-and-run attacks on government installations, military outposts and even district towns in the South. Its most celebrated victory was at the village of Ap Bac in early 1963, when VC soldiers inflicted heavy casualties on the Southern Vietnamese units. The VC also played a primary role in the Tet offensive in early 1968, where they attacked villages, towns and cities in the South. Eventually, the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) superseded the VC's combat role and by the end of the war in 1975, the Viet Cong's participations were only minor. After the war, the remaining VC were integrated into the PAVN.

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