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Viet Cong

Viet Cong
The flag of the Vietcong, adopted in 1960, is a variation on the Flag of North Vietnam.
NameVietcong (Việt cộng)
National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam
(Mặt trận Dân tộc Giải phóng miền Nam Việt Nam)
Warthe Vietnam War
CaptionThe flag of the Vietcong, adopted in 1960, is a variation on the Flag of North Vietnam.
Marxism � Leninism
Left-wing nationalism
Vietnamese nationalism
Ho Chi Minh Ideology
LeadersPLAF: Commander: Nguyễn Hữu Xuyến (1961-1963), Trần Văn Trà (1963-1967), (1973-1975). Hoàng Văn Thái, (1967-1973)
COSVN: Party secretary: Nguyễn Văn Linh (1961-64), Nguyễn Chí Thanh (1964-1967), Phạm Hùng (1967-1975).
NLF: Nguyễn Hữu Thọ (chairman), Huỳnh Tấn Phát (general secretary, vice-chairman), Phung Van Cung (vice-chairman), Võ Chí Công (vice-chairman).
PRG: Huỳnh Tấn Phát (president), Madame Nguyễn Thị Bình (foreign minister), Trần Nam Trung (minister of defense), Trương Như Tạng (minister of justice)
ClansNational Liberation Front for Southern Vietnam
Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (PRG)
People's Liberation Armed Forces (PLAF)
Alliance of National Democratic and Peace Forces
Central Office for South Vietnam (COSVN)
HeadquartersMimot, Cambodia (1966-72);
Loc Ninh, South Vietnam (1972-75)
AreaIndochina, with a focus on South Vietnam
NextVietnam Fatherland Front
AlliesNorth Vietnam, Soviet Union, China
OpponentsSouth Vietnam, United States
BattlesSee full list

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The Vietcong ( ), or National Liberation Front (NLF), was a political organization and army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War (1959 � 1975). It had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized peasants in the territory it controlled. Many soldiers were recruited in South Vietnam, but others were attached to the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), the regular North Vietnamese army. During the war, communists and anti-war spokesmen insisted the Vietcong was an insurgency indigenous to the South, while the U.S. and South Vietnamese governments portrayed the group as a tool of Hanoi. This allowed writers to distinguish northern communists from the southern communists. However, northerners and southerners were always under the same command structure.

Southern Vietnamese communists established the National Liberation Front in 1960 to encourage the participation of non-communists in the insurgency. Many of the Vietcong's core members were "regroupees," southern Vietminh who had resettled in the North after the Geneva Accord (1954). Hanoi gave the regroupees military training and sent them back to the South along the Ho Chi Minh trail in the early 1960s. The NLF called for Southerners to "overthrow the camouflaged colonial regime of the American imperialists" and to make "efforts toward the peaceful unification." The Vietcong's best-known action was the Tet Offensive, a massive assault on more than 100 South Vietnamese urban centers in 1968, including an attack on the US embassy in Saigon. The offensive riveted the attention of the world's media for weeks, but also overextended the Vietcong. Later communist offensives were conducted predominately by the North Vietnamese. The group was dissolved in 1976 when North and South Vietnam were officially unified under a communist government.

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