Myth: The guerrilla forces of the Viet Cong were made up of southern nationalists and their strategies and tactics led to the defeat of the US and in the end, the ARVN forces

Fact: The guerrilla forces were originally made up of Viet Minh fighters left behind in South Vietnam, in violation of the Geneva Accords. Later southerners were recruited or impressed into their ranks.

  • When the Geneva Accords were signed, the communists left behind about 30,000 Viet Minh with instructions to remain quiesent until getting instructions from the North.
  • As resentment toward the Diem government began to rise, the Viet Minh began recruiting local Vietnamese into their ranks and began a low intensity assassination campaign of local government officials.
  • In 1959 the North began sending Viet Minh south, after indoctrinating them in communist doctrine and training them in military tactics.
  • After the Tet offensives of 1968, much of the Viet Cong ranks were filled with North Vietnamese soldiers, because the ranks of southerners had been decimated that year.
  • By the last years of the war, the bulk of the communist forces came from the North, and the Viet Cong had very little influence on the battles that were fought.

Confirming Evidence

Sober thoughts on April 30 : The South Vietnam Liberation Front and Hanoi Myth and Reality

The Aftermath of Geneva, 1954-1961

The Viet Cong

Battlefield Vietnam: A Brief History

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War