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History

Military history of Vietnam

World War II (Anti-Japanese Campaign 1944–1945) First Indochina War
First Indochina War
(Against France
France
and French-sponsored local forces, 1946–1954) Second Indochina
Indochina
War ( Vietnam
Vietnam
War) (Against the United States
United States
and South Vietnamese forces, 1954–1975) Cambodian–Vietnamese War
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
(Against the Khmer Rouge, 1977–1989) Sino-Vietnamese War
Sino-Vietnamese War
(Against China, 1979) Sino-Vietnamese border conflicts (border clashes with China, 1979–1990) Vietnamese border raids in Thailand
Vietnamese border raids in Thailand
(Against the Khmer Rouge insurgents and Thailand, 1979–1989) Thai–Laotian Border War
Thai–Laotian Border War
(Against Thailand
Thailand
to defend its ally, Laos, 1987–1988) Clashes in Cambodia
Cambodia
(Against the co-premier Norodom Ranariddh
Norodom Ranariddh
and the Khmer Rouge, 1997) Insurgency in Laos
Laos
(secret war in Laos
Laos
against Hmong separatists, 1975–present)[2] War against rebellions 1975–1992 (against FULRO
FULRO
and several insurgent groups) United Nations peacekeeping
United Nations peacekeeping
mission in Central African Republic (2015-now) United Nations Mission in South Sudan
United Nations Mission in South Sudan
(2015-now)

Ranks Military ranks of Vietnam

The People's Army of Vietnam
Vietnam
(PAVN; Vietnamese: Quân Đội Nhân Dân Việt Nam), also known as the Vietnamese People's Army (VPA), is the military force of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The PAVN is a part of the Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Armed Forces and includes: Ground Force (including Strategic Rear Forces), Navy, Air Force, Border Defence Force, and Coast Guard. However, Vietnam
Vietnam
does not have a separate Ground Force or Army branch. All ground troops, army corps, military districts and specialised arms belong to the Ministry of Defence, directly under the command of the Central Military Commission, the Minister of Defence, and the General
General
Staff of the Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Army. The military flag of the PAVN is the flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with the words Quyết thắng (Determination to win) added in yellow at the top left. During the French Indochina
Indochina
War (1946–1954), the PAVN was often referred to as the Việt Minh. In the context of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War (1959–1975), the army was referred to as the North Vietnamese army (NVA). This allowed writers, the U.S. military, and the general public, to distinguish northern communists from the southern communists, or Viet Cong. However, both groups ultimately worked under the same command structure. According to Hanoi's official history, the Viet Cong
Viet Cong
was a branch of the VPA.[3] In 2010 the PAVN undertook the role of leading the 1,000th Anniversary Parade in Hanoi
Hanoi
by performing their biggest parade in history.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Before 1945 1.2 Establishment 1.3 French Indochina
Indochina
War 1.4 Vietnam
Vietnam
War 1.5 Sino-Vietnamese conflicts (1975–1990)

2 Today

2.1 International presence

3 Organisation 4 Service branches

4.1 Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Ground Forces

4.1.1 Structure 4.1.2 Military regions 4.1.3 Main force 4.1.4 Local forces

4.2 Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Navy 4.3 Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Air Force 4.4 Vietnam
Vietnam
Border Defence Force 4.5 Vietnam
Vietnam
Coast Guard

5 Ranks and insignia 6 Equipment 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

History[edit] Before 1945[edit] See also: Military history of Vietnam The first historical record of Vietnamese military history dates back on the era of Hồng Bàng, the first recorded state in ancient Vietnam
Vietnam
to have assembled military force. Since then, military plays a crucial role on developing Vietnamese history due to its turbulent history of wars against China, Champa, Cambodia, Laos
Laos
and Thailand. The Southern expansion of Vietnam
Vietnam
resulted with the destruction of Champa
Champa
as an independent nation to a level that it didn't exist anymore; total destruction of Luang Prabang; the decline of Cambodia which resulted to Vietnam's annexation of Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta
and wars against Siam. In most of its history, the Royal Vietnamese Armed Forces was often regarded to be one of the most professional, battle-hardened and heavily trained armies in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
as well as Asia
Asia
in a large extent. Establishment[edit]

General
General
Võ Nguyên Giáp
Võ Nguyên Giáp
on the date of the PAVN's establishment in 1944. Chief of General
General
Staff Hoàng Văn Thái
Hoàng Văn Thái
wearing a pith helmet and holding the flag.

Vietnam
Vietnam
General
General
Staff in First Indochina War
First Indochina War
and Vietnam
Vietnam
War, from left: Prime Minister Phạm Văn Đồng, President Ho Chi Minh, General
General
Secretary Trường Chinh
Trường Chinh
and General
General
Võ Nguyên Giáp

The PAVN was first conceived in September 1944 at the first Revolutionary Party Military Conference as "armed propaganda brigades" to educate, recruit and mobilise the Vietnamese to create a main force to drive the French colonial and Japanese occupiers from Vietnam.[4] Under the guidelines of Hồ Chí Minh, Võ Nguyên Giáp
Võ Nguyên Giáp
was given the task of establishing the brigades and the Armed Propaganda Unit for National Liberation came into existence on 22 December 1944. The first formation was made up of thirty one men and three women, armed with two revolvers, seventeen rifles, one light machine gun, and fourteen breech-loading flintlocks.[5] The United States' OSS agents, led by Archimedes Patti – who was sometimes referred as the founding father of the PAVN due to his role, had provided ammunitions as well as logistic intelligence and equipments and they had also helped training these soldiers which was later become the vital backbone of the later Vietnamese military to fight the Japanese occupiers as well as the future wars. The group was renamed the " Vietnam
Vietnam
Liberation Army" in May 1945.[6] In September, the army was again renamed the " Vietnam
Vietnam
National Defence Army."[6] At this point, it had about 1,000 soldiers.[6] In 1950, it officially became the People's Army of Vietnam. Võ Nguyên Giáp
Võ Nguyên Giáp
went on to become the first full General
General
of the VPA on 28 May 1948, and famous for leading the PAVN in victory over French forces at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu
Battle of Dien Bien Phu
in 1954 and being in overall command against U.S. backed South Vietnam
Vietnam
at the Fall of Saigon
Fall of Saigon
on 30 April 1975. French Indochina
Indochina
War[edit] Main article: First Indochina
Indochina
War On 7 January 1947, its first regiment, the 102nd 'Capital' Regiment, was created for operations around Hanoi.[7] Over the next two years, the first division, the 308th Division, later well known as the Pioneer Division formed by the 88th Tu Vu Regiment and the 102nd Capital Regiment. By late 1950 the 308th Division had a full three infantry regiments, when it was supplemented by the 36th Regiment. At that time, the 308th Division was also backed by the 11th Battalion that later became the main force of the 312th Division. In late 1951, after launching three campaigns against three French strongpoints in the Red River Delta, the PAVN refocused on building up its ground forces further, with five new divisions, each of 10–15,000 men, created: the 304th Glory Division at Thanh Hóa, the 312th Victory Division in Vinh
Vinh
Phuc, the 316th Bong Lau Division in the northwest border region, the 320th Delta Division in the north Red River Delta, the 325th Binh Tri Thien Division in Binh Tri Thien province. Also in 1951, the first artillery Division, the 351st Division was formed, and later, before Battle of Dien Bien Phu
Battle of Dien Bien Phu
in 1954, for the first time in history, it was equipped by 24 captured 105mm US howitzers supplied by the Chinese People's Liberation Army. The first six divisions (308th, 304th, 312nd, 316th, 320th, 325th) became known as the original PAVN 'Steel and Iron' divisions. In 1954 four of these divisions (the 308th, 304th, 312nd, 316th, supported by the 351st Division's captured US howitzers) defeated the French Union
French Union
forces at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, ending 83 years of French rule in Indochina. Vietnam
Vietnam
War[edit] Main article: Vietnam
Vietnam
War

Vietnamese troops in Vietnam
Vietnam
War, 1967

Soon after the 1954 Geneva Accords, the 330th and 338th Divisions were formed by southern Vietminh members who had moved north in conformity with that agreement, and by 1955, six more divisions were formed: the 328th, 332nd, and 350th in the north of the DRV, the 305th and the 324th near the DMZ, and the 335 Division of soldiers repatriated from Laos. In 1957, the theatres of the war with the French were reorganised as the first five military regions, and in the next two years, several divisions were reduced to brigade size to meet the manpower requirements of collective farms. By 1958 it was becoming increasingly clear that the South Vietnamese government was solidifying its position as an independent republic under Ngô Đình Diệm
Ngô Đình Diệm
who staunchly opposed the terms of the Geneva Accord that required a national referendum on unification of north and south Vietnam
Vietnam
under a single national government, and North Vietnam prepared to settle the issue of unification by force.

Infiltrators on the move in Laos
Laos
down the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Trail.

In May 1959 the first major steps to prepare infiltration routes into South Vietnam
Vietnam
were taken; Group 559 was established, a logistical unit charged with establishing routes into the south via Laos
Laos
and Cambodia, which later became famous as the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
trail. At about the same time, Group 579 was created as its maritime counterpart to transport supplies into the South by sea. Most of the early infiltrators were members of the 338th Division, former southerners who had been settled at Xuan Mai from 1954 onwards. Regular formations were sent to Southern Vietnam
Vietnam
from 1965 onwards; the 325th Division's 101B Regiment and the 66th Regiment of the 304th Division met US forces on a large scale, a first for the PAVN, at the Battle of Ia Drang Valley
Battle of Ia Drang Valley
in November 1965. The 308th Division's 88A Regiment, the 312th Division's 141A, 141B, 165A, 209A, the 316th Division's 174A, the 325th Division's 95A, 95B, the 320A Division also faced the US forces which included the 1st Cavalry Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the 173d Airborne Brigade, the 4th Infantry Division, the 1st Infantry Division, and the 25th Infantry Division. Those PAVN formations were seen as extremely brave forces by the US forces. Many of those formations later became main forces of the 3rd Division (Yellow Star Division) in Binh Dinh (1965), the 5th Division (1966) of 7th Military Zone (Capital Tactical Area of ARVN), the 7th (created by 141st and 209th Regiments originated in the 312th Division in 1966) and 9th Divisions (first Division of National Liberation Front of Vietnam
Vietnam
in 1965 in Mekong
Mekong
Delta), the 10th Dakto Division in Dakto – Highland in 1972 south of Vietnam.

Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Army signals

General
General
Trần Văn Trà one-time commander of the B2 Front (Saigon) HQ confirms that even though the PAVN and the NLFV were confident in their ability to defeat the regular ARVN forces, US intervention in Vietnam
Vietnam
forced them to reconsider their operations. The decision was made to continue to pursue "main force" engagements even though "there were others in the South – they were not military people – who wanted to go back to guerrilla war," but the strategic aims were adjusted to meet the new reality.

We had to change our plan and make it different from when we fought the Saigon regime, because we now had to fight two adversaries — the United States
United States
and South Vietnam. We understood that the U.S. Army was superior to our own logistically, in weapons and in all things. So strategically we did not hope to defeat the U.S. Army completely. Our intentions were to fight a long time and cause heavy casualties to the United States, so the United States
United States
would see that the war was unwinnable and would leave.[8]

Captured communist photo shows VC crossing a river in 1966.

During the Vietnamese Lunar New Year Tết
Tết
holiday starting on 30 January 1968, the PAVN launched a general offensive in more than 60 cities and towns throughout south of Vietnam
Vietnam
against the US Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam-(ARVN), beginning with operations in the border region to try and draw US forces and ARVN troops out of the major cities. In sequential coordinated attacks, the U.S Embassy in Saigon, Presidential Palace, Headquarters of ARVN and ARVN's Navy, TV and Radio Stations, Tan Son Nhat International Airport
Tan Son Nhat International Airport
in Saigon were attacked and invaded by commando forces known as "Dac Cong". This offensive became known as the "Tet Offensive." The offensives caught the world's attention day-by-day and demoralised the US public and military, both at home and abroad. The PAVN sustained heavy losses of its main forces in southern military zones. Some of its regular forces and command structure had to escape to Laos and Cambodia
Cambodia
to avoid counterattacks from US forces and ARVN, while local guerrillas forces and political organisations in South Vietnam were exposed and had a hard time remaining within the Mekong
Mekong
Delta area due to the extensive use of the Phoenix Program
Phoenix Program
and were never restored. Although the PAVN lost militarily to the US forces and ARVN in the south, the political impact of the war in the United States
United States
was strong.[9] Public demonstrations increased in ferocity and quantity after the Tet Offensive. Onwards from 1970, the 5th, 7th, and 9th divisions had fought in Cambodia
Cambodia
against US forces, ARVN, and Cambodian Prime Minister Lon Nol's troops but they had gained new allies: the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
and guerrilla fighters supporting deposed Prime Minister Sihanouk. In 1975 the PAVN were successful in aiding the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
in toppling the Lon Nol's US-backed regime, despite heavy US bombing. After the withdrawal of most United States' combat forces from Indochina
Indochina
because of the Vietnamization
Vietnamization
strategy, the PAVN launched the ill-fated Easter Offensive
Easter Offensive
in 1972. Although successful at the beginning, the South Vietnamese repulsed the main assaults with U.S. air support. Still North Vietnam
Vietnam
gained significant territories. Nearly two years after the full United States' withdrawal from Indochina
Indochina
in accord with the terms of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, the PAVN launched a Spring Offensive aimed at uniting Vietnam. Without direct support of its US ally, and suffering from stresses caused by dwindling aid, the ARVN was ill-prepared to confront the highly motivated PAVN, and despite numerical superiority of the ARVN in tactical aircraft, armoured vehicles and overwhelming three to one odds in regular troops, the PAVN quickly secured victory within two months and captured Saigon on 30 April 1975, effectively ending the 70 years of conflict stemming from French colonial invasion of the 19th century and unifying Vietnam. Sino-Vietnamese conflicts (1975–1990)[edit] Main articles: Cambodian–Vietnamese War
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
and Sino-Vietnamese conflicts 1979–90 Towards the second half of the 20th century the armed forces of Vietnam
Vietnam
would participate in organised incursions to protect its citizens and allies against aggressive military factions in the neighbouring Indochinese countries of Laos
Laos
and Cambodia, and the defensive border wars with China.

The PAVN had forces in Laos
Laos
to secure the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Trail and to militarily support the Pathet Lao. In 1975 the Pathet Lao
Pathet Lao
and NVA forces succeeded in toppling the Royal Laotian regime and installing a new, and pro- Hanoi
Hanoi
government, the Lao People's Democratic Republic,[10] that rules Laos
Laos
to this day. Parts of Sihanouk's neutral Cambodia
Cambodia
were occupied by troops as well. A pro US coup led by Lon Nol
Lon Nol
in 1970 led to the foundation pro-US Khmer Republic
Khmer Republic
state. This marked the beginning of the Cambodian Civil War. The PAVN aided Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
forces in toppling Lon Nol's government in 1975. In 1978, along with the FUNSK
FUNSK
Cambodian Salvation Front, the Vietnamese and Ex- Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
forces succeeded in toppling Pol Pot's Democratic Kampuchea
Democratic Kampuchea
regime and installing a new government, the People's Republic of Kampuchea.[11] During the Sino-Vietnamese War
Sino-Vietnamese War
and the Sino-Vietnamese conflicts 1979–90, Vietnamese forces would conduct cross-border raids into Chinese territory to destroy artillery ammunition. This greatly contributed to the outcome of the Sino-Vietnamese War, as the Chinese forces ran out of ammunition already at an early stage and had to call in reinforcements. While occupying Cambodia, Vietnam
Vietnam
launched several armed incursions into Thailand
Thailand
in pursuit of Cambodian guerillas that had taken refuge on the Thai side of the border.

Both in Cambodia
Cambodia
and in Laos, the heavily armed and battle-hardened People's Army of Vietnam
Vietnam
were a valuable ally to the Pathet Lao
Pathet Lao
and the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
forces, providing economic and military aid, also with new weapons, technologies and intelligence. Some claimed that just like the US Army's relationship with the ARVN, Kingdom of Laos
Laos
and the Khmer Republic, the PAVN was the real power standing behind them and played key roles in bringing both the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
and Pathet Lao
Pathet Lao
to power. When Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
began the Cambodian Genocide, targeting Vietnamese as well, it was instrumental in toppling his regime. Today[edit] In modern times, the PAVN has actively been involved in Vietnam's workforce to develop the economy of Vietnam, to co-ordinate national defence and the economy, as for the result of its long-relationship of Vietnamese economic development within military history. The PAVN has regularly sent troops to aid with natural disasters such as flooding, landslides etc. The PAVN is also involved in such areas as industry, agriculture, forestry, fishery and telecommunications. The PAVN has numerous small firms which have become quite profitable in recent years. However, recent decrees have effectively prohibited the commercialisation of the military. Conscription
Conscription
is in place for every male, age 18 to 25 years old, though females can volunteer to join. International presence[edit] The Foreign Relations Department of the Ministry of National Defence organises international operations of the PAVN. Apart from its occupation of half of the disputed Spratly Islands, which have been claimed as Vietnamese territory since the 17th century, Vietnam
Vietnam
has not officially had forces stationed internationally since its withdrawal from Cambodia
Cambodia
and Laos
Laos
in early 1990. The Center for Public Policy Analysis and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as Laotian and Hmong human rights organisations, including the Lao Human Rights Council, Inc. and the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., have provided evidence that since the end of the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, significant numbers of Vietnamese military and security forces continue to be sent to Laos, on a repeated basis, to quell and suppress Laotian political and religious dissident and opposition groups including the peaceful 1999 Lao Students for Democracy protest in Vientiane
Vientiane
in 1999 and the Hmong rebellion.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] Rudolph Rummel has estimated that 100,000 Hmong perished in genocide between 1975 and 1980 in collaboration with PAVN.[23] For example, in late November 2009, shortly before the start of the 2009 Southeast Asian Games
2009 Southeast Asian Games
in Vientiane, the PAVN undertook a major troop surge in key rural and mountainous provinces in Laos
Laos
where Lao and Hmong civilians and religious believers, including Christians, have sought sanctuary.[24][25] At 2014, Vietnam
Vietnam
had requested to join the United Nations
United Nations
peacekeeping force, which was later approved. The first Vietnamese UN peacekeeping officers were sent to South Sudan, marked the first involvement of Vietnam
Vietnam
into a United Nations' mission abroad. Organisation[edit]

PAVN's structure

The Commander-in-Chief
Commander-in-Chief
of the Armed Forces is the President of Vietnam, though this position is nominal and real power is assumed by the Central Military Commission of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam. The secretary of Central Military Commission (usually the General
General
Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam) is the de facto Commander and now is Nguyễn Phú Trọng. The Minister of National Defence oversees operations of the Ministry of Defence, and the PAVN. He also oversees such agencies as the General
General
Staff and the General
General
Logistics Department. However, military policy is ultimately directed by the Central Military Commission of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam.

Insignia of the General
General
Staff

Ministry of Defence: is the lead organisation, highest command and management of the Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Army. General
General
Staff Department: is leading agency all levels of the Vietnam People's Army, command all of the armed forces, which functions to ensure combat readiness of the armed forces and manage all military activities in peace and war. General
General
Political Department: is the agency in charge of Communist Party affairs – political work within PAVN, which operates under the direct leadership of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Central Military Party Committee. General
General
Military Intelligence Department: is an intelligence agency of the Vietnamese government and military. General
General
Logistical Department: is the agency in charge to ensure the full logistical and military unit. General
General
Technical Department: is the agency in charge to ensure equipped technical means of war for the army and each unit. General
General
Military Industry Department: is the agency in charge guide task to defence perform and production.

Service branches[edit]

Signal of Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Army

The Vietnamese People's Army is subdivided into the following service branches:

Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Ground Forces (Lục quân Nhân dân Việt Nam) Vietnam People's Navy
Vietnam People's Navy
(Hải quân Nhân dân Việt Nam) Vietnam People's Air Force
Vietnam People's Air Force
(Không quân Nhân dân Việt Nam) Vietnam Border Defence Force
Vietnam Border Defence Force
(Biên phòng Việt Nam) Vietnam Coast Guard
Vietnam Coast Guard
(Cảnh sát biển Việt Nam)

The People's Army of Vietnam
Vietnam
is a "triple armed force" composed of the Main Force, the Local Force and the Border Force. As with most countries' armed forces, the PAVN consists of standing, or regular, forces as well as reserve forces. During peacetime, the standing forces are minimised in number, and kept combat-ready by regular physical and weapons training, and stock maintenance. Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Ground Forces[edit] Within PAVN the Ground Forces have not been established as a full Command, thus all of the ground troops, army corps, military districts, specialised arms belong to the Ministry of Defence, under directly command of the General
General
Staff . The Vietnam
Vietnam
Strategic Rear Forces (Lực lượng dự bị chiến lược) is also a part of the Ground Forces. It is widely regarded as probably one of the best armies in Southeast Asia, and also one of the most prominent armies in Asia. Structure[edit]

Infantry Armour Artillery Special
Special
Operation Force Motorized Infantry Engineer Medical Corps Signal

Transport Technology Chemical Ordnance Military Court Ensemble Military Athletes Military Bands

Military regions[edit]

Vietnam
Vietnam
Map with eight Military Districts and four Corps

PAVN soldiers during a parade in 2015.

Vietnam
Vietnam
self-produced Scud-B tactical ballistic missiles[26]

1st Military Region: command the North East of Vietnam. Headquarters: Thái Nguyên 2nd Military Region: command the North West of Vietnam. Headquarters: Việt Trì, Phú Thọ 3rd Military Region: command the Red River Delta. Headquarters: Hai Phong 4th Military Region: command the North Central of Vietnam. Headquarters: Vinh, Nghệ An 5th Military Region: command the South Central Vietnam
Vietnam
include the Central Highlands and Southern Central coastal provinces. Headquarters: Da Nang 7th Military Region: command the South East Vietnam. Headquarters: Ho Chi Minh City 9th Military Region: command the Mekong
Mekong
Delta. Headquarters: Cần Thơ Hanoi
Hanoi
Capital City Special
Special
High Command: commands the capital of the state. Headquarters: Ha Noi

Main force[edit]

Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Army

Ministry of Defence

Command

General
General
Staff

Services

Ground Force

Air Force

Navy

Border Guard

Coast Guard

Ranks of the Vietnamese Military

Ground Force ranks and insignia

Air Force ranks and insignia

Navy ranks and insignia

Border Guard ranks and insignia

Coast Guard ranks and insignia

History of the Vietnamese Military

History of Vietnamese military ranks

Military history of Vietnam

PAVN reconnaissance troops in 2015.

The Main Force of the PAVN consists of combat ready troops, as well as support units such as educational institutions for logistics, officer training, and technical training. In 1991, Conboy et al. stated that the PAVN Ground Force had four 'Strategic Army Corps' in the early 1990s, numbering 1–4, from north to south.[27] 1st Corps, located in the Red River Delta region, consisted of the 308th (one of the six original 'Steel and Iron' divisions) and 312th Divisions, and the 309th Infantry Regiment. The other three corps, 2 SAC, 3 SAC, and 4 SAC, were further south, with 4th Corps, in Southern Vietnam, consisting of two former PLAF divisions, the 7th and 9th. The IISS Military Balance 2016 attributes the Vietnamese ground forces with an estimated 412,000 personnel. Formations, according to the IISS, include 8 military regions, 4 corps headquarters, 1 special forces airborne brigade, 6 armoured brigades and 3 armoured regiments, two mechanised infantry divisions, and 23 active infantry divisions plus another 9 reserve ones. Combat support formations include 13 artillery brigades and one artillery regiment, 11 air defence brigades, 10 engineers brigades, 1 electronic warfare unit, 3 signals brigades and 2 signals regiment. Combat service support formations include 9 economic construction divisions, 1 logistical regiment, 1 medical unit and 1 training regiment. 1st Corps - Binh đoàn Quyết thắng (Corps of Determined Victory): First organised on 24 October 1973 during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, 1st Corps had a major role in the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Campaign that ended the war. Stationed in Tam Điệp District, Ninh Bình. The combat forces of the corps include:

308th Division 312th Infantry Division 390th Division 367th Air Defence Division 202nd Tank Brigade 45th Artillery Brigade 299th Engineer Brigade

2nd Corps - Binh đoàn Hương Giang (Corps of the Perfume River): First organised on 17 May 1974 during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, 2nd Corps had a major role in the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Campaign that ended the war. Stationed in Lạng Giang District, Bắc Giang. The combat forces of the corps include:

304th Division 306th Infantry Division 325th Division 673rd Air Defence Division 203rd Tank Brigade 164th Artillery Brigade 219th Engineer Brigade

Vietnamese troops on Spratly Island

3rd Corps - Binh đoàn Tây Nguyên (Corps of the Central Highlands): First organised on 26 March 1975 during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, 3rd Corps had a major role in the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Campaign and the Cambodian–Vietnamese War. Stationed in Pleiku, Gia Lai. The combat forces of the corps include:

10th Infantry Division 31st Infantry Division 320th Infantry Division 312th Air Defence Regiment 273rd Tank Regiment 675th Artillery Regiment 198th Commando Regiment 29th Signal Regiment 545th Engineer Regiment

4th Corps - Binh đoàn Cửu Long (Corps of the Mekong): First organised 20 July 1974 during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War, 4th Corps had a major role in the Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Campaign and the Cambodian–Vietnamese War. Stationed in Dĩ An, Bình Dương. The combat forces of the corps include:

7th Infantry Division 9th Infantry Division 324th Infantry Division 71st Air Defence Regiment 24th Artillery Regiment 429th Commando Regiment 550th Engineer Regiment

Local forces[edit] Local forces are an entity of the PAVN that, together with the militia and "self-defence forces," act on the local level in protection of people and local authorities. While the local forces are regular VPA forces, the people's militia consists of rural civilians, and the people's self-defence forces consist of civilians who live in urban areas and/or work in large groups, such as at construction sites or farms. The current number stands at 3–4 million part-time soldiers. Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Navy[edit] Main article: Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Navy Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Air Force[edit] Main article: Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Air Force Vietnam
Vietnam
Border Defence Force[edit] Main article: Vietnam
Vietnam
Border Defence Force Vietnam
Vietnam
Coast Guard[edit] Main article: Vietnam
Vietnam
Coast Guard As mentioned above, reserves exist in all branches and are organised in the same way as the standing forces, with the same chain of command, and with officers and non-commissioned officers. It is modeled after the United States
United States
Coast Guard with some Vietnamese charasteristics. Ranks and insignia[edit] Main article: Vietnamese military ranks and insignia

The Highest ranks – General
General
Officers:

Ranks Translation Ground Forces Air Force Navy Border Defence Vietnam
Vietnam
Coast Guard

Đại tướng Army General

Thượng tướng/ Đô đốc Colonel General/ Admiral
Admiral
(Navy)

Trung tướng/ Phó Đô đốc Lieutenant General/ Vice Admiral
Admiral
(Navy)

Thiếu tướng/ Chuẩn Đô đốc Major General/ Rear Admiral
Admiral
(Navy)

Equipment[edit] Main article: List of equipment of the Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Ground Forces

BM-21 launch vehicle (Russian: БМ-21 "Град"), (Grad) a Soviet truck-mounted 122 mm multiple rocket launcher.

From the 1960s to 1975, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
was the main supplier of military hardware to North Vietnam. After the latter's victory in the war, it remained the main supplier of equipment to Vietnam. The United States had been the primary supplier of equipment to South Vietnam; much of the equipment abandoned by the US Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
(ARVN) came under control of the re-unified Vietnamese government. The PAVN captured large numbers of ARVN weapons on 30 April 1975 after Saigon was captured. Now, Russia
Russia
remains as the biggest arms-supplier for Vietnam, even after 1986, there are also increasing arms sales from other nations, notably from India, Israel, Japan, South Korea
South Korea
and France. In 2016, President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
announced the lift of the lethal weapons embargo on Vietnam, which has increased Vietnamese military equipment choices from other countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and the other Western countries as well, which could enable a faster modernization of the Vietnamese military. Notes[edit]

Footnotes

^ In the Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Army, the Ground Force hasn't been established as an independent Command, all of the ground forces, army corps, specialised arms belong to the Ministry of Defence (Vietnam), under directly command of General
General
Staff ( Vietnam
Vietnam
People's Army).

Citations

^ a b International Institute for Strategic Studies
International Institute for Strategic Studies
(3 February 2014). The Military Balance 2014. London: Routledge. pp. 287–289. ISBN 9781857437225.  ^ "HISTORY – The Hmong". Cal.org. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ Military History Institute of Vietnam,(2002) Victory in Vietnam: The Official History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954–1975, translated by Merle L. Pribbenow. University Press of Kansas. p. 68. ISBN 0-7006-1175-4. ^ Leulliot, Nowfel. "Viet Minh". free.fr. Retrieved 11 October 2016.  ^ Macdonald, Peter (1993). Giap: The Victor in Vietnam, pp. 32 ^ a b c Early Day: The Development of the Viet Minh Military Machine" ^ Conboy, Bowra, and McCouaig, 'The NVA and Vietcong', Osprey Publishing, 1991, p.5 ^ "Interview with PAVN General
General
Tran Van Tra".  ^ "Political lessons – The Vietnam
Vietnam
War and Its Impact". Americanforeignrelations.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ Christopher Robbins, The Ravens: Pilots of the Secret War in Laos. Asia
Asia
Books 2000. ^ David P. Chandler, A history of Cambodia, Westview Press; Allen & Unwin, Boulder, Sydney, 1992 ^ Centre for Public Policy Analysis Archived 6 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine., (CPPA),(30 August 2013), Washington, D.C. ^ THE HMONG REBELLION IN LAOS: Victims of Totalitarianism or terrorists?, by Gary Yia Lee, PhD ^ "Vietnamese soldiers attack Hmong in Laos". Factfinding.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ "Joint-Military Co-operation continues between Laos
Laos
and Vietnam". Factfinding.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ "Combine Military Effort of Laos
Laos
and Vietnam". Factfinding.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ "Vietnam, Laos: Military Offensive Launched At Hmong". Rushprnews.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ "Laos, Vietnam: Attacks Against Hmong Civilians Mount". www.cppa-dc.org/id41.html. 20 May 2008. [dead link] ^ "Laos, Vietnam: New Campaign to Exterminate Hmong". Prlog.org. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ "President Obama Urged To Address Laos, Hmong Crisis During Asia Trip, Student Protests in Vientiane". Pr-inside.com. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ "Hmong: Vietnam
Vietnam
VPA, LPA Troops Attack Christians Villagers in Laos". Unpo.org. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ "Laos, Vietnam
Vietnam
Peoples Army Unleashes Helicopter Gunship Attacks on Laotian and Hmong Civilians, Christian Believers". Nickihawj.blogspot.com. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ Statistics of Democide Rudolph Rummel ^ "Vietnam, Laos
Laos
Crackdown: SEA Games Avoided By Overseas Lao, Hmong in Protest". Onlineprnews.com. 7 December 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ Media-Newswire.com – Press Release Distribution (26 November 2009). "SEA Game Attacks: Vietnam, Laos
Laos
Military Kill 23 Lao Hmong Christians on Thanksgiving". Media-newswire.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.  ^ "Worldwide Ballistic Missile Inventories - Arms Control Association". armscontrol.org. Retrieved 11 October 2016.  ^ See also "Modern Military of Vietnam". Defence Talk. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 

References[edit]

Conboy, Bowra, and McCouaig, 'The NVA and Vietcong', Osprey Publishing, 1991. Military History Institute of Vietnam,(2002) Victory in Vietnam: The Official History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954–1975, translated by Merle L. Pribbenow. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-1175-4. Morris, Virginia and Hills, Clive. 'Ho Chi Minh's Blueprint for Revolution: In the Words of Vietnamese Strategists and Operatives', McFarland & Co Inc, 2018. Tran, Doan Lam (2012). How the Vietnamese People's Army was Founded. Hanoi: World Publishers. ISBN 978-604-7705-13-9. 

External links[edit]

Ministry of Defence Vietnam People's Army of Vietnam
Vietnam
English Edition Center for Public Policy Analysis, Washington, D.C.

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