Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam


The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (PRG) was formed on June 8, 1969, by North Vietnam as a purportedly independent shadow government opposed to the government of the Republic of Vietnam under President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu. Delegates of the National Liberation Front, as well as several smaller groups, participated in its creation.

The PRG was recognized as the government of South Vietnam by most communist states. It signed the 1973 Paris Peace Treaty as an independent entity, separate from both South Vietnam and North Vietnam. It became the provisional government of South Vietnam following the military defeat of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam on April 30, 1975. On July 2, 1976, the PRG and North Vietnam merged to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam

Chính phủ Cách mạng lâm thời Cộng hòa miền Nam Việt Nam
1969–1976
Anthem: "Liberate the South!"
(Vietnamese: Giải phóng miền Nam)
South Vietnam in its region
CapitalLộc Ninh (1969–75)
Saigon (1975–76)
Common languagesVietnamese
Religion
Buddhism
Confucianism
Taoism
GovernmentUnitary Marxist–Leninist transitional government
Head of state 
Head of government 
Historical eraVietnam War · Cold War
• Government formed
June 8 1969
30 April 1975
July 2 1976
Area
1973173,809 km2 (67,108 sq mi)
Population
• 1973
19,370,000
CurrencyLiberation dong
Preceded by
Succeeded by
South Vietnam
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Today part of Vietnam

History

Background

The Provisional Revolutionary Government was preceded Alliance of National, Democratic, and Peace Forces made up of anti-government forces and headed by Trinh Dinh Thao.[1] The Alliance was a collection of individuals who wanted a new South Vietnamese government but disagreed with the ever-present Northern Communist presence.

There had been talk of setting up an Alliance as early as 1966, but this was halted when South Vietnamese intelligence operatives arrested an influential anti-government organizer, Ba Tra. Ba Tra gave the South Vietnamese government extensive information on anti-government forces working in the city.[2] This setback was compounded by his identification of one of the key cadre in the financial division.[2]

Under torture, Ba Tra identified more figures in the underground, who were then arrested. By 1967, the entire Saigon organization had been sent further underground.[3] The Tet Offensive during 1968 triggered a wave of oppression, forcing many people into the jungle. These people – businessmen, middle class, doctors and other professionals – started The Alliance.

The then-new American president, Richard Nixon, started a process of Vietnamization to allow the American Armed Forces to withdraw from Vietnam. One of the tenets of Vietnamization was responsible government in South Vietnam. To prevent the Americans from installing their own government, a conference was held on June 6–8, 1969, off Route 22 in Cambodia's Fishhook region.[4]

Formation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government

The Alliance as well as other groups met and formed the Provisional Revolutionary Government on June 8, 1969. According to Justice Minister Trương Như Tảng, the new group's main purpose was to help the Vietcong "acquire a new international stature."[5]

There were delegates from the NLF, the Alliance of National, Democratic and Peace Forces, the People's Revolutionary Party (the South Vietnamese communist party) and "the usual assortment of mass organizations, ethnic groups, and geopolitical regions."[4] Banners displayed prominently at the convention proclaimed that "South Vietnam is independent, democratic, peaceful, and neutral".[4]

The PRG reflected a number of nationalist, anti-imperialist and communist political viewpoints, including those of the Vietnam Workers Party (the North Vietnamese communist party). Following the military and political results of the 1968 Tet Offensive and related military offensives in the South, in which the Vietcong suffered serious military losses, the PRG was envisioned as a political counter-force that could influence international public opinion in support of reunification and in opposition to the United States and the Republic of Vietnam.[5]

Activities and goals

The declared purpose of the PRG was to provide a formal governmental structure to the National Liberation Front and enhance its claim of representing "the Southern people".[6] Included in this strategy was the pursuit of a negotiated settlement to the war leading to reunification, organized during the initial phase of Vietnamization.

During the period 1969–70, most of the PRG's cabinet ministries operated near the Cambodian border. Starting on March 29 to late April 1970, the US and South Vietnamese offensives forced the PRG to flee deeper into Cambodia. The stressful escape caused many of the PRG officials (such as Trương Như Tạng) to need extensive medical furloughs. After Trương Như Tạng returned, he noticed that new cadres from the north were causing problems for the non-communist members of the PRG.[7] One member in particular, Ba Cap, harshly denounced most of the PRG as bourgeois.[8] Tạng complained to the higher members of the North Vietnamese government, but was rebuffed. Tạng later saw this as the point when the PRG turned from being an independent South Vietnam-based alternative government to being a mouthpiece for Northern Vietnamese communists.[9]

The central bodies of the PRG functioned as a provisional government. The PRG maintained diplomatic relations with many countries of the Non-Aligned Movement, such as Algeria, as well as with the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.

After the surrender of Saigon on April 30, 1975, the PRG assumed power in the South and subsequently participated in the political reunification of the country.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-M0804-0725, Berlin, 10. Weltfestspiel, Teilnehmer

A youth representative of the PRG greets a young man from a Soviet-aligned unidentified African nation. Both are attending a 1973 World Youth Conference held in East Germany and organised by the Free German Youth.

Thông-cáo thành-lập tòa-án xét-xử tư-sản mại-bản, Sàigòn, 26 tháng 05 năm 1976 (1)
Thông-cáo thành-lập tòa-án xét-xử tư-sản mại-bản, Sàigòn, 26 tháng 05 năm 1976 (2)

Personnel

Post Name Took office Left office Party
Chairman of Consultative Council (President) Nguyễn Hữu Thọ 6 June 1969 2 July 1976 People's Revolutionary Party and Democratic Party of Vietnam
Chairman of Government (Prime Minister) Huỳnh Tấn Phát 8 June 1969 2 July 1976 People's Revolutionary Party and Democratic Party of Vietnam
Vice-Chairman Phung Van Cung 8 June 1969 1976 Democratic Party of Vietnam
Vice-Chairman Nguyễn Văn Kiệt 8 June 1969 1976
Vice-Chairman Nguyen Doa 8 June 1969 1976
Minister of Presidential Palace of Government Tran Buu Kiem 8 June 1969 1976 People's Revolutionary Party and Democratic Party of Vietnam
Minister of Defense Trần Nam Trung 8 June 1969 1976 People's Revolutionary Party
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Thị Bình 8 June 1969 1976 People's Revolutionary Party
Minister of the Interior Phung Van Cung 8 June 1969 1976
Minister of Justice Trương Như Tảng 8 June 1969 1976
Minister of Economy and Finance Cao Van Bon
Duong Ky Hiep (acting since 1975)
8 June 1969 died 1971
Minister of Information and Culture Lưu Hữu Phước 8 June 1969 1976
Minister of Education and Youth Nguyễn Văn Kiệt 8 June 1969 1976
Minister of Health, Social Action and Disabled Soldiers Dương Quỳnh Hoa 8 June 1969 1976 People's Revolutionary Party

National anthem

The national anthem of the Government was To Liberate the South (Vietnamese: Giải phóng miền Nam). The song was written in 1961 by Lưu Hữu Phước (1921–1989) and adopted at that time as the anthem of the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam.

Vietnamese lyrics

Giải phóng miền Nam, chúng ta cùng quyết tiến bước.
Diệt Đế quốc Mỹ, phá tan bè lũ bán nước.
Ôi xương tan máu rơi, long hận thù ngất trời.
Sông núi bao nhiêu năm cắt rời.
Đây Cửu Long hùng tráng, Đây Trường Sơn vinh quang.
Thúc giục đoàn ta xung phong đi giết thù.
Vai sát vai chung một bóng cờ.

Vùng lên! Nhân dân miền Nam anh hùng!
Vùng lên! Xông pha vượt qua bão bùng.
Thề cứu lấy nước nhà! Thề hy sinh đến cùng!
Cầm gươm, ôm sung, xông tới!
Vận nước đã đên rồi. Bình minh chiếu khắp nơi.
Nguyện xây non nước sáng tươi muôn đời.

English translation

To liberate the South, together we advance.
To destroy the American imperialists, and annihilate the traitors.
Oh bones have broken, and blood has fallen, the hatred is rising high
Our country has been separated for so long.
Here, the magnificent Mekong River, here, Trường Sơn Mountains glorious,
Are urging us to advance to kill the enemy,
Shoulder to shoulder under a common flag.


Arise! Oh you brave people of the South!
Arise! Let us go through storms.
We've sworn to save our homeland; we've sworn to fight till the end!
Hold your swords and clutch your guns, let's advance!
The nation's fortune is rising, dawn's light abound.
We're devoted to build the shining eternal nation.

Notes

  1. ^ Porter 1993, pp. 27–29
  2. ^ a b Tảng 1985, p. 131
  3. ^ Tảng 1985, p. 132
  4. ^ a b c Tảng 1985, p. 147
  5. ^ a b Tảng 1985, p. 146
  6. ^ Tảng 1985, pp. 146–147
  7. ^ Tảng 1985, p. 186
  8. ^ Tảng 1985, p. 188
  9. ^ Tảng 1985, pp. 188–189

References

  • Porter, Gareth (1993). Vietnam: the politics of bureaucratic socialism (1993 ed.). Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-2168-6. - Total pages: 227
  • Tảng, Truong Như; David Chanoff, Van Toai Doan (1985). A Vietcong memoir (1985 ed.). Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 978-0-15-193636-6.- Total pages: 350

External links

Government
Leaders
National anthem
Preceded by
Republic of Việt Nam
Provisional Revolutionary Government
1975 – 1976
Succeeded by
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Coordinates: 10°45′N 106°40′E / 10.750°N 106.667°E

Bangladesh–Vietnam relations

Bangladesh–Vietnam relations refer to the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Vietnam.

Central Office for South Vietnam

Central Office for South Vietnam (abbreviated COSVN ; Vietnamese: Văn phòng Trung ương Cục miền Nam), officially known as the Central Executive Committee of the People's Revolutionary Party from 1962 until its dissolution in 1976, was the American term for the North Vietnamese political and military headquarters inside South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was envisaged as being in overall command of the communist effort in the southern half of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), which included the efforts of both People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), the Viet Cong, and the People's Revolutionary Party. Some doubted its existence but in his memoirs the American commander in South Vietnam, General William Westmoreland, spoke of it as something whose existence and importance were not in doubt.According to PAVN Major General and later dissident Trần Độ, COSVN did, in fact exist and was responsible for organising and directing the Viet Cong and served as overall command. It was however hierarchically directed by the Central Office (Trung ương Cục) which directed overall strategy, and was directly controlled by Hanoi. COSVN existed to operate the Viet Cong military and political effort.MACV had imagined COSVN as a physically large, permanent structure due to their ability to carefully coordinate and direct Viet Cong activity entirely. It had become a near obsessive fixture for US and South Vietnamese leadership, given that it coordinated the complete activities of the Viet Cong. In fact these two organizations were composed of individuals living in thatched huts in the jungle just like all the guerrillas, and so there was no physical structure of any kind and existed as a highly-mobile headquarter to direct the Viet Cong war effort. The apparatus of the CO and COSVN had to move around all the time in order to avoid bombing and search and destroy operations conducted by the Americans, and was both physically capable of defending itself and highly mobile to continue to the nature of the war. Therefore, it can be stated that the CO and COSVN never had any kind of physical form.US and South Vietnamese intelligence services had continually targeted COSVN for nearly a decade, given their near total importance in controlling the war effort. It had become an obsession of Richard Nixon in his view to win the war.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff claimed to have located the enemy’s headquarters inside Cambodia — what the United States called the Central Office for South Vietnam, or COSVN. The chiefs envisioned it as a ‘Bamboo Pentagon,’ concealed beneath the jungle’s canopy. They thought that if you could blow up this central headquarters, you could cripple the enemy’s capacity to command and control attacks on US forces in South Vietnam. McCain said the United States should destroy it and win the damn war.

In 1965, nearly 400 US warplanes attempted to wipe out COSVN in an aerial attack, but had no effect on the elusive shadow command. Near-daily B-52 raids against its headquarters in Memot, Cambodia failed to kill any of its leadership and insertion of US / RVN Special Forces teams usually wound up dead or returning with heavy casualties, and it was described as "poking a beehive the size of a basketball". COSVN and CO continued to exist, evolving into the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam in 1969, and narrowly avoided capture of its entire headquarters by ARVN and Cambodian forces during the Escape of the Provisional Revolutionary Government but still maintained its direct activities as serving as a Hanoi intermediary.

Communist Vietnam

Communist Vietnam may refer to:

Democratic Republic of Vietnam, also known as "North Vietnam"

Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, South Vietnamese government after the Fall of Saigon

Socialist Republic of Vietnam, also known commonly as "Vietnam"

Communist Party of Vietnam

Viet Cong

Giải phóng miền Nam

"Liberate the South" (Vietnamese: Giải phóng miền Nam), also known as "Release the South", was the national anthem of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam from 1969 to 1976.

Huỳnh Tấn Phát

Huỳnh Tấn Phát (15 February 1913, near Mỹ Tho, French Indochina – 30 September 1989, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) was a South Vietnamese communist politician and revolutionary. He was a member of the First National Assembly (Democratic Republic of Vietnam), chairman of the Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam, and, after unification, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam.Huỳnh Tấn Phát joined the Communist Party of Vietnam in March 1945, and began revolutionary activities in Saigon, whereupon he was appointed Deputy Director of Information and Press Committee for the South. When the French re-occupied Saigon after World War II, they had him arrested and sentenced to two years in prison. Upon his release he resumed his revolutionary activities and in 1949 was appointed commissioner UBKCHC south, and the District Commissioner UBKCHC for Saigon - Cholon.

Huỳnh Tấn Phát became chairman of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (PRG) on its formation in 1969. Upon the surrender of the South Vietnamese government on 30 April 1975, the PRG became the nominal government of South Vietnam. He held this post until 2 July 1976, when the country was reunified with the North, making him the only communist South Vietnamese prime minister. From 1976 to 1982 he was a vice premier in Vietnam, and in 1982 he became a Vice President of the Council of State.For his devotion to the revolution he was awarded the Order of Ho Chi Minh.

List of Prime Ministers of Vietnam

The Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Thủ tướng Chính phủ nước Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam), known as Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Vietnamese: Chủ tịch Hội đồng Bộ trưởng) from 1981 to 1992, is the highest office within the Central Government. The prime minister is simultaneously the Secretary of the Government Caucus Commission, a Party organ on government affairs, and Deputy Chairman of the Council for Defence and Security, an organ of the National Assembly. Throughout its history, the office has been responsible, at least in theory but not always in practice, for handling Vietnam's internal policies. Since Vietnam is a one-party state, with the Communist Party of Vietnam being the sole party allowed by the constitution, all the prime ministers of the Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic have been members of the party while holding office. The current prime minister is Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, since 7 April 2016. He is sixth-ranked in the Political Bureau (Politburo).[note 1]The Office of the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic traces its lineage back to Hồ Chí Minh, the first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic. The office has no official connection, or lineage, to the heads of government of the former South Vietnam (with the exception of Huỳnh Tấn Phát, a communist and the last head of government of South Vietnam). Officially there have been 8 prime ministers of Vietnam, but there have been 29 prime ministers of Vietnam if the prime ministers of the Empire of Vietnam and South Vietnam are counted.The Prime Minister is elected by the proposal of the President of Vietnam to the National Assembly and is responsible to the National Assembly, which elects all ministers to government. Activity reports by the Prime Minister must be given to the National Assembly, while the Standing Committee of the National Assembly supervises the activities of the Central Government and the Prime Minister. Finally, the deputies of the National Assembly have the right to question the Prime Minister and other members of government.

Lộc Ninh

Lộc Ninh is a town in southern Vietnam, one of at least four with the same name. It is a rural district of Bình Phước Province in the south-east region of Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, the 1967 "First Battle of Loc Ninh" and the 1972 "Battle of Loc Ninh", took place in Bình Phước province, near the Cambodian border at the northern end of Highway 13, north of the presently named Ho Chi Minh City (né Saigon). Lộc Ninh served as the seat of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam from its formation in 1969 until the Fall of Saigon in 1975.

Madame Binh Graphics Collective

The Madame Binh Graphics Collective (MBGC) was the propaganda arm affiliated with the May 19th Communist Organization. They were active from 1977 until the MBGC faded away in 1983.

Within a structure of collaborative authorship, the all-women collective made a stylistic range of posters, prints, and street art on anti-racist subjects and in support of national liberation movements. They also taught classes in drawing, design, and silk-screening.Much of the collective’s archive was bought in 1981, before the collective was raided by the FBI. Many of the purchased posters were donated to the Hampshire College Archive in 1991, as part of the Karen DiGia Collection. One of their most well-known posters is a photograph of Assata Shakur with the text “Assata Shakur is welcome here” below. It is signed with the pseudonym “The Republic of New Afrika.”

They were named after Madame Nguyễn Thị Bình, a signer of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 on behalf of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam.Members included: Mary Patten, Laura Whitehorn, Margo Pelletier, Wendy Grossman, Lisa Roth, Eve Rosahn, and Donna Borup.

Minister of Foreign Affairs (Vietnam)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs is the Government of Vietnam member in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moreover, member of Council for National Defense and Security. Since 2007, the Minister of Foreign Affairs served as Deputy Prime Minister and member of the Politburo. However, Hoàng Minh Giám, Ung Văn Khiêm, Xuân Thủy, Nguyễn Dy Niên are not the member of Politburo. The current Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs is Phạm Bình Minh

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Vietnam)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the central government institution charged with leading the foreign affairs of Vietnam. The current Foreign Minister is Phạm Bình Minh.

Nguyễn Hữu Hạnh

Nguyễn Hữu Hạnh served in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, rising to the rank of Brigadier General. His first son Second Lieutenant Nguyen Huu Tai, born in 1948, was killed in a raid on Chau Thanh district, Tien Giang province.

Hanh assisted South Vietnam President Dương Văn Minh in the announcement that there would be a transfer of power to the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam.

Nguyễn Thị Bình

Nguyễn Thị Bình (born Nguyễn Châu Sa; 26 May 1928) is a Vietnamese communist leader and politician who negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference on behalf of the Viet Cong, or National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam.

PRG

PRG can mean:

Parti radical de gauche (Radical Party of the Left), France

Paul Roos Gymnasium, school in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Post/Redirect/Get, in web applications

prg, ISO 639-3 language code for the Old Prussian language

Prague Václav Havel Airport, IATA code

Programming Research Group, Oxford University 1965-2011

Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, Viet Cong party

Pseudorandom generator, of deterministic but pseudorandom numbers

Provisional Revolutionary Government

Provisional Revolutionary Government may refer to:

Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, formed on June 8, 1969

Interim Government of Iran (1979), also known as the Provisional Revolutionary Government

The legislature of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (1918–19)

The government of Brazil headed by Getúlio Vargas, 1930–1934

The government of Hungary led by János Kádár, 1956

Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Workers and Peasants of the Ukraine

Reunification Day

Reunification Day (Vietnamese: Ngày Thống nhất), Victory Day (Ngày Chiến thắng) or Liberation Day (Ngày Giải phóng or Ngày Giải phóng miền Nam) or the official name of Day of liberating the South for national reunification (Giải phóng miền Nam, thống nhất đất nước) is a public holiday in Vietnam that marks the event when North Vietnamese and Việt Cộng forces captured Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) on April 30, 1975. This signalled the end of the Vietnam War, known in Vietnamese as Chiến tranh Việt Nam (Vietnam War) or Kháng chiến chống Mỹ cứu nước ("Resistance War Against American invasion"). It was the start of the transition period toward reunification, which occurred in the national election for national reunification on July 2, 1976, when the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam and Democratic Republic of Vietnam merged, forming the modern-day Socialist Republic of Vietnam.The anniversary is marked by several festivals around the date.

In the Overseas Vietnamese community, the day is remembered as the "Fall of Saigon", "Black April" (Tháng Tư Đen), "National Day of Shame" (Ngày Quốc Nhục) or "National Day of Resentment" (Ngày Quốc Hận). This is a commemorative day for exiled Vietnamese who served, were affected, and displaced in those overseas communities, and as such is a day of reflection. Many Americans of multiple ethnicities observe the day for remembrance and solidarity.

South Vietnam

South Vietnam, officially the Republic of Vietnam (RVN, Vietnamese: Việt Nam Cộng Hòa; French: République du Viêt Nam, lit. Vietnam[ese] Republic), was a country that existed from 1955 to 1975, the period when the southern portion of Vietnam was a member of the Western Bloc during part of the Cold War. It received international recognition in 1949 as the "State of Vietnam" (a self-governing entity in the French Empire), which was a constitutional monarchy (1949–1955). This became the "Republic of Vietnam" in 1955. Its capital was Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). South Vietnam was bordered by North Vietnam to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, Thailand across the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, and the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia across the South China Sea to the east and southeast.

The Republic of Vietnam was proclaimed on 26 October 1955, with Ngô Đình Diệm as its first president, after having briefly served as premier under Emperor Bao Dai who was exiled. Its sovereignty was recognized by the United States and 87 other nations. It had membership in several special committees of the United Nations, but its application for full membership was rejected in 1957 because of a Soviet veto (neither South nor North Vietnam were members of the UN during the Vietnam War, but the united Vietnam became a member state in 1977). South Vietnam's origins can be traced to the French colony of Cochinchina, which consisted of the southern third of Vietnam which was Cochinchina [Nam Kỳ], a subdivision of French Indochina, and the southern half of Central Vietnam or Annam [Trung Kỳ] which was a French protectorate. After the Second World War, the anti-Japanese Viet Minh guerrilla forces, led by Ho Chi Minh, proclaimed the establishment of a Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi in September 1945, issuing a Declaration of Independence modeled on the U.S. one from 1776.In 1949, anti-communist Vietnamese politicians formed a rival government in Saigon led by former emperor Bảo Đại. Bảo Đại was deposed by Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm in 1955, who proclaimed himself president after a referendum. Diệm was killed in a military coup led by general Dương Văn Minh in 1963, and a series of short-lived military governments followed. General Nguyễn Văn Thiệu then led the country after a U.S.-encouraged civilian presidential election from 1967 until 1975. The beginnings of the Vietnam War occurred in 1959 with an uprising by the newly organized National Liberation Front for South Vietnam (Viet Cong), armed and supported by the northern Democratic Republic of Vietnam, with other assistance rendered by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact communist satellites, along with neighboring People's Republic of China and North Korea. Larger escalation of the insurgency occurred in 1965 with the landing of United States regular forces of Marines, followed by Army units to supplement the cadre of military advisors guiding ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) southern forces. A regular bombing campaign over North Vietnam was conducted by offshore U.S. Navy airplanes, warships, and aircraft carriers joined by Air Force squadrons through 1966 and 1967. Fighting peaked up to that point during the Tet Offensive of February 1968, when there were over a million South Vietnamese soldiers and 500,000 U.S. soldiers in South Vietnam. Later on the war turned into a more conventional fight as the balance of power became equalized. An even larger, armored invasion commenced during the Easter Offensive following US ground-forces withdrawal, and had nearly overran some major northern cities until beaten back.

Despite a truce agreement under the Paris Peace Accords, concluded in January 1973, after a torturous five years of on and off negotiations, fighting continued almost immediately afterwards. The North Vietnamese regular army and Viet Cong launched a major second combined-arms invasion in 1975, termed the Spring Offensive. Communist forces overran Saigon on 30 April 1975, marking the end of the Republic of Vietnam. On July 2, 1976, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam merged to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Trương Như Tảng

Trương Như Tảng (born 1923, Cholon, French Indochina) is a Vietnamese lawyer and politician living in France. He was active in many anti-South Vietnamese organizations before joining the newly created Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam as the Minister of Justice. He spent many years in the jungles near and in Cambodia until the Fall of Saigon in 1975. He quickly became disillusioned with the newly imposed North Vietnamese regime and escaped the reunited Socialist Republic of Vietnam via a boat in August 1978. He was sent to a refugee camp in Indonesia before moving to Paris, France, to live out his life in exile.

Viet Cong

The Việt Cộng (Vietnamese: [vîət kə̂wŋmˀ] (listen)), also known as the National Liberation Front, was a mass political organization in South Vietnam and Cambodia with its own army – the People's Liberation Armed Forces of South Vietnam (PLAF) – that fought against the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War, eventually emerging on the winning side. 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 activists insisted the Việt Cộng was an insurgency indigenous to the South, while the U.S. and South Vietnamese governments portrayed the group as a tool of Hanoi. Although the terminology distinguishes northerners from the southerners, communist forces were under a single command structure set up in 1958.The headquarters of the Viet Cong based at Memot came to be known as Central Office for South Vietnam or COSVN by its Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) and South Vietnamese counterparts, a near-mythical "bamboo Pentagon" from which the Việt Cộng's entire war effort was being directed. For nearly a decade the fabled COSVN headquarters, which directed the entire war effort of the Viet Cong was the target of the RVN/US war effort, and which would have collapsed the insurgency war effort. US and South Vietnamese Special Forces sent to capture them usually were killed very quickly or returned with heavy casualties to the point that teams refused to go. Daily B-52 bombings had failed to kill any of the leadership during Operation Menu despite flattening the entire area, as Soviet trawlers were able to forewarn COSVN, whom used the data on speed, altitude and direction to move perpendicular and to move underground.North Vietnam established the National Liberation Front on December 20, 1960, to foment insurgency in the South. Many of the Việt Cộng's core members were volunteer "regroupees", southern Việt Minh 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 Hồ Chí Minh trail in the early 1960s. The NLF called for southern Vietnamese to "overthrow the camouflaged colonial regime of the American imperialists" and to make "efforts toward the peaceful unification". The PLAF's best-known action was the Tết Offensive, a gigantic assault on more than 100 South Vietnamese urban centers in 1968, including an attack on the U.S. embassy in Saigon. The offensive riveted the attention of the world's media for weeks, but also overextended the Việt Cộng. Two further offensives were conducted in its wake, the mini-Tet and August Offensive. In 1969 the Việt Cộng would establish the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, a shadow-country in South Vietnam intended to represent the organisation on the world stage and was immediately recognised by the communist bloc and maintained diplomatic links with many nations in the Non-Aligned Movement. Later communist offensives were conducted predominantly by newly mechanised PAVN forces, as the ability of the Việt Cộng to recruit among the South Vietnamese became much more limited. The Việt Cộng remained an active military and political front. The organisation was dissolved in 1976 when North and South Vietnam were officially unified under a communist government.

Political and military organization of the Việt Cộng was complex, with a series of well-constructed, overlapping networks, committees and organisations; see strategy, organization and structure. Material aid was primarily provided through the well-established, ingenious Hồ Chí Minh trail, which withstood the most sustained bombing campaign in history while expanding the war effort; see logistics and equipment. They had further developed a complex insurgency warfare method capable of countering overwhelmingly superior numbers and technology, retaining the strategic initiative during much of the war. According to the Pentagon Papers, 90% of large firefights were initiated by the PAVN/VC and 80% were well-planned VC operations throughout most of the war and as early as 1966 US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara expressed doubt about the US ability to win the war (see NLF and PAVN battle tactics).

Vũ Văn Mẫu

Vũ Văn Mẫu (25 July 1914 – 20 August 1998) was the last Prime Minister of South Vietnam and served under President Dương Văn Minh leadership.

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