The Tactics of the Vietcong during the Vietnam

Conor Bulman
The Vietnamese People
Vietnam was invaded by the French in 1859.
 By the end of the Vietnamese conquest (1888)
most Vietnamese were rice farmers.
 The French separated Vietnam into three different
districts for administrative purposes.
 The capital of the north was Hanoi, the centre
capital was Hue and the south capital was Saigon
 Vietnam at the time was spilt in to the native
Vietnamese and the colonial French.
The Effect of WW II on the Vietnam
There was a power
vacuum left.
The Vietnamese
were left with the
The French troops
were released
without weapons
The Japanese left
The Truman Doctrine
President Harry S. Truman presented the Truman
Doctrine to congress.
 It was an anti-communist declaration that would
shape American foreign policy for four decades.
 It committed America to step in and support the
Greece government against communist pressure.
 The same mindset was shown when the
communist Vietcong started to fight the
democratic government.
Why America Intervened
The Americans invaded Vietnam because they
thought the communists were going to “win” by
taking over a country.
 The ruling class of America pushed for the
invasion because communist’s opposed their very
 Troops were sent to help bolster the French
The Vietcong
The People’s Liberation Armed Forces, more
commonly known as the Vietcong, was the military
arm of the National Liberation Front.
 They were established at the end of 1960.
 They were organized in to three different levels,
regular forces, full time guerrillas and a part time
self defence militia.
Guerrilla Warfare
Guerrilla warfare is used by armies to fight armies
that are much bigger than themselves.
 The term guerrilla comes from a Spanish word
meaning “little war”.
 It originated from small bands of Spanish soldiers
fighting Napolean’s army in the peninsular war
Guerrilla Tactics
The tactics date back to Sun Tzu, the Chinese
strategist who lived 2000 years ago.
 They were adapted by Mao Zedong, the leader of
the communist china.
 The National Liberation Front (NLF) based their
tactics on Mao.
The Effect of the peasants
One of the Vietcong's first actions was to gain the
favour of the peasants
They gained the favour by following a certain set
This included working for their food and repairing
the houses.
The peasants thus helped the Vietcong by hiding
them and some even joined them to fight for the
future of equality they were promised.
The Cu-Chi Tunnels.
The famous tunnels used by the Vietcong were
the Cu-Chi tunnels.
 They are located approximately 70 KM from Ho
Chi Minh city.
 They were dug in the late 1940’s.
 They allowed the Vietcong to travel must easier
then they would above ground.
Weapons used by the Vietcong
Between 1950 and 1960 America supplied south
Vietnam with weapons used during the second
world war.
 These included the M-1 Garand, hand grenades,
Thompson submachine guns and the M-1
 The Vietcong largely supplied themselves with
stolen south Vietcong weapons.
The CHICOM influence.
The CHICOM were a group of Chinese
 The CHICOM supplied a small amount of the
Vietcong’s weapons.
 Some of the communist issued weapons were
SKS Semi-automatic carbines, potato masher
style grenades and the well known rocket
propelled grenades (RPG)
1) “The American War: Vietnam” by Jonathan
 2)
 3)

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