Delta, Mike 2 - VC/NVA Part Two

NVA/VC Part Two


VC - NOT MAINFORCE VC - BUT PLAIN JANE VC, seem to have operated on an extended platoon organization based around a HQ squad and no set number of other squads. Each village seemed to provide it's own squad or maybe more, if it was a big village. The HQ always came from a NVA trained cadre from the MAINFORCE VC as near as I could tell at Grunt and MP level. This HQ squad seemed to always have a small squad size base camp in the jungle, and seldom entered the villages and hamlets as a unit.

Squads from hamlets and villages rendezvoused with this HQ squad for operations, and never seem to actually visit the base camp. But they always knew where to find the squad contact point.

Everyone had official RVN citizen ID cards-never saw a dead gook without one!

I think that these guys were organized in approx squads of 6 - 9 guerillas. Most had access to SKS rifles, Hand Grenades, LMG (sometimes) and an RPG. Soldiers in country almost a year before me said they used to have old French, WWII German, and ex ARVN (USA WWII) weapons. I myself picked up as a trophy a WW II German Army Walther 9mm with extra mags off of a dead VC NCO or Officer. And of course these guys all wore the papasan hat, black pjs, and flipflops in addition to weapons - hide the weapons and they were civilians. Units had men and women - men were either under age for ARVN service or overage, or "disabled" but military age.

Mainly used as rear area harassment troops, AP, mining roadways, setting up mantraps, scouts, spies, terrorists, etc. Occasionally used to fight with US troops but preferred to fight with ARVN and National Police troops. Sometime platoons would come together for company and battalion size operations - usually against the ARVN or the National Police units or installations. Operated mainly at night and during bad weather in spite of local superstitions.


Well trained. well armed, brave, brutal, and well led with very good morale. Good at jungle operations, very good at ambushes of any size, day or night. Very casual in their execution of POWs, the wounded, and anyone else that was a threat or as a needed example for all to see...................

Squads of 6 - 9 soldiers, always with AKs, HG, RPG, and RPD machine guns, platoons always with some kind of mortar support, sometimes as large as 120mm mortars, and 122mm rockets (company and battalion size units only had these weapons). Operated day or night, stand fights no problem, but prefer night and bad weather operations (US airpower and artillery handicapped by same was their theory). They were NOT REAL FLEXIBLE THOUGH!!!!!!! Sometimes using the same attack plans , or continuing with what ever the plan was until casualties became too high. Officers seemed to view soldiers like rifle cartridges.

They always tried to recover weapons, wounded and bodies to hide their loses in personnel and to cut down on equipment loss. They never used our M-16s, preferring the much more reliable AK to our weapon. They would use them in a pinch. They liked our M-60s, M79s, and .45 Colts. Our mortars were used against us too - ARVNs kept them in a ready supply of abandoned or sold outright weapons.

The MAINFORCE VC/ NVA always seemed to outnumber us in firefights. This may seem odd but a lot of US companies that had 250 on paper, really had anywhere from 150 -100 in the field in real life. Some were smaller - one company in my battalion had about 90 guys. And although there are 4 fighting Co in a battalion, 1 is always standing down at base camp, so that leaves 3 in the field. My company had 200 men after just a short while in country, in 4 platoons, plus a HQ platoon (mostly at base camp).

Fights were always hard, and it was rare to see the enemy until either they assaulted you, or you assaulted them!!!!! Mostly just shoot at muzzle flashes, dancing leaves/dust (muzzle blast effect), sounds, an occasional man seen running or moving briefly. Same for them! Best way to survive was not become a target or stay in one place too long, Firefights usually start at short range , say 10 - 25 yards or less, and both sides rapidly form firing lines, sometimes trying to get around or on the flanks of the enemy, but mostly a slugfest! Eventually, when they got close enough, they would try to close with us to avoid airstrikes, mortars, and artillery fire.

Night battles always saw them rush our NDP time and time again, sometimes they would get close enough for hand to hand, or penetrate the NDP or the perimeter (you were in real trouble if you were fighting inside a circle in the jungle - you were surrounded) or the firing line.

ARVNs seem to have been organized along the lines of 1950s USA/USMC at first, and later similar to USA/USMC of the 60s.It is hard to tell as I never had much to do with the ARVN, RF or PF troops - some one that served as an MACV or Divisional advisor would be of more help here. I mainly operated with ARVN MP and National Police later. I do know that ARVN's were poorly paid, poorly led, poorly motivated, and poorly equipped with shortages of everything - including the will to fight in line units. Airborne, Ranger, Marines and Seals were all a much better story, as were the ARVN MPs (QC). The RF/PF were real losers, as were the National Police..............

Well, Michael I hope this helped answer some questions. I will answer the others as I can!



1st Infantry Division TAOR (1969)

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