NVA Forces

North Vietnam Flag

North Vietnamese Army - Page Title

North Vietnam Flag


QUYET-TAN DANH-THANG GIAC MY XAM-LOC  "Determined to Fight American Aggression"The North Vietnamese Army was a formidable fighting force. Although ostensibly fighting what was originally a guerilla war, after Tet in 1968 the NVA took on the main responsibility for the war in South Vietnam. Organised and equipped as a regular army the NVA were extremely well motivated; tenacious and merciless when on the attack (see Offensive Tactics) and elusive on the defense (see Defensive Tactics). If they had a single weakness it was, like many communist armies, an inflexible approach to the changing tactical situation. The consequence of this was extremely high rates of attrition amongst it's soldiers. Many NVA units were completely decimated (battle of the Ia Drang for instance) and subsequently withdrawn from the theatre to be rebuilt.

Fighting against the NVA was a totally different situation than confronting VC, even Main Force VC units, since the NVA had integral weapons platoons and, certainly in the DMZ, reasonable artillery supporting fire. For a frank, first-hand, discussion of what it was like to fight the NVA see Delta, Mike 2

 

ORGANISING AN NVA INFANTRY COMPANY

COMPOSITION OF COMPANY
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Company HQ Section
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 3 x Rifle Platoon (each 1 x Rifle Platoon HQ Section, 4 x Rifle Squads)
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Weapon Platoon (1 x Weapons Platoon HQ Section, 1 x Mortar Squad, 1 x HMG Squad, 1 x Recoilless Rifle Squad)
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes)

1 x Recce Squad


Company HQ Section
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Captain
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Senior Sergeant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x RTO
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Runner

Rifle Platoon HQ Section
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x 2nd Lieutenant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Senior Sergeant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Runner

Rifle Squad
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Sergeant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x RPG
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x RPD LMG
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 6 x Riflemen

Weapons Platoon HQ Section
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x 2nd Lieutenant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Senior Sergeant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Runner

Mortar Squad
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Sergeant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 2 x Corporal
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 6 x Rifleman
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 3 x 82mm Mortar (3 crew/ Mortar)

HMG Squad
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Sergeant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 2 x Corporal
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 6 x Rifleman
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 3 x 12.7mm HMG

Recoilless Rifle Squad
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Sergeant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Corporal
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 6 x Rifleman
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 3 x 75mm Recoilless Rifle

Recce Squad
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Senior Sergeant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 1 x Sergeant
Clss14a1_3.gif (122 bytes) 10 x Rifleman

NOTES:

NVA has a Grunt in his sights!All soldiers are equipped with the AK-47 (see also NVA Smallarms)

See NVA Rank Insignia

The RTO in the Company HQ section is used rather differently than that in an Allied force. The NVA communications were with Battalion only and very infrequent - usually involving a single situation report on a daily basis. The RTO was NOT used as a means of communication between the Company HQ and it's constituent Platoons - this was generally done by using a runner, signal rockets etc. 

A complete NVA Order of Battle is available for the year 1967 detailing NVA deployments in the Four Tactical Zones.

Unlike their counterparts, the Viet Cong, the NVA were not indiginous to their Areas of Operation. As a result, apart from as security around their bases, their use of Booby-Traps was not as extensive as the VC use of such devices.

 

SOURCES

NVA Infantryman advancingInside the VC and the NVA, Michael Lanning & Dan Cragg, Ballantine Books, 1992, ISBN 0 8041 0500 6

Buckle For Your Dust, Greg McCauley, Paddy Griffith Associates, ISBN 0 9521 488 2 X

Armies of the Vietnam War 1962-75, Men-At-Arms Series 104, P. Katcher & M. Chappel, Osprey (Reed International Books), ISBN 0-85045-360-7

 

 

If you have any further information, or you know where I can find more information then please contact me and let me know. Thanks.

 

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