The organisation detailed below is, in effect, a VC Main Force Company, although you could take elements of this organisation for Regional forces. Local forces were not organised to this level, being an assortment of combatants and arms.
Similarly, other than Main Force units, the weapons carried by Regional and Local forces would be an incredible assortment of old and relatively new. A lot of SKS carbines, old WWII vintage rifles, SMG's etc. Very few AK-47's would be evident, even in Main Force units until towards the end of the war.
One very important point to remember when using these units (and regular NVA) is the critically short amount of ammunition available.
Also remember that, following the Tet offensive of February 1968, the VC virtually ceased to exist as a coherent fighting force, having been almost destroyed in depth by the allies. Engagements with VC units after this date will involve confronting substantial numbers of regular NVA cadre troops within the ranks of the VC and a commensurate increase in the quality of weaponry and support fire!
For a frank assessment of the VC see Delta, Mike 2
|VC Local Guerrillas
These were the archetypal 'farmers by day, soldiers by night', comprising those either too old or too young to fight in the regular VC units and dressed as local peasant farmers.
Whilst their primary activities consisted of intelligence gathering, sniping and emplacing booby traps, these troops were employed in the support of VC Regional and Main Force units operating in their locality as porters, scouts and guides.
Force size was dependent on the size of the local village or hamlet and ranged from a single 3 man cell to a platoon of 3-4 squads. Generally operated at the squad level of 12 men.
VC Mainforce Regional Guerrillas
The Mainforce Regional units of the Vietcong more often than not operated as independent companies but often split up and dispersed into platoons, squads and cells. These soldiers were full-timers and were better equipped and trained than the local guerrillas. The personnel of these units were often local to the area in which they served.
Generally these units operated within their home region and fought as fully formed units.
VC Mainforce Regulars
Known as 'hard hats' since they wore the ubiquitous pith helmet, these forces operated and were organised along traditional military lines. Organised into battalions consisting of 3 Rifle Company's and a Combat Support Company these troops were, on the whole, well trained, aggressive and well led.
On larger operations they could be organised and deployed as regiments of 2-3 battalions.
ORGANISING A VIET CONG INFANTRY COMPANY
|COMPOSITION OF COMPANY|
|1 x Company HQ Section|
|3 x Rifle Platoons (each 1 x Platoon HQ Section, 4 x Rifle Squad)|
|Combat Support Elements (Attached)|
|Company HQ Section|
|1 x Captain|
|1 x Lieutenant|
|1 x RTO|
|2 x Runner|
|Rifle Platoon HQ Section|
|1 x Lieutenant|
|1 x Senior Sergeant|
|1 x Runner|
|1 x Sergeant|
|1 x Corporal|
|1 x RPD 7.62mm MG|
|6 x Riflemen|
|1 x Sergeant|
|2 x Corporal|
|1 x .30 Cal MG (3 crew)|
|1 x 60mm Mortar (3 crew)|
|1 x 57mm RR (3 crew)|
|3 x Riflemen|
|Most accounts of engagements with the VC
mention almost prolific use of RPG', in particular the RPG-2 and RPG-7. In
my wargames units I usually substitute 1 Rifleman in each squad for an RPG
thus giving the squad significantly greater offensive firepower.
The attached Combat Support Elements of the Company are not fixed, unlike the Weapons squads of the US Rifle Platoon and are very versatile. All VC operations were carefully planned and executed and invariably involved considerable supporting fire for the Rifle Company's involved. Main Force units would often be supported by Weapons Platoons consisting of heavier weapons such as 12.7mm AAMG's, 81/82mm Mortars and larger caliber Recoilless Rifles (normally 75mm).
For a brief introduction to VC defensive tactics see Defensive Tactics - this relates primarily to larger VC units.
|BATTALION: Battalion HQ, Political Staff, 3 x
Rifle Company, 1 x Combat Support Company, 1 x Signal Platoon, 1 x Recon
Platoon, 1 x Sapper Platoon. As in other armies, battalions were organised
into Brigades, Regiments and Divisions. The nature of the war however,
with overwhelming US Artillery and Air power, precluded the fielding of
large formations for any period of time longer than was necessary to carry
out a particular mission. As a result units were dispersed quite widely,
either in the sanctuaries of Laos and Cambodia or in Base Camps in very
remote areas such as the A Shau Valley.
This dispersal of units was one of the main reasons that allied forces were unable to bring the enemy to combat in significant numbers as predicated in the classic policy of Search & Destroy and resulted in the numerous fire fight engagements rather than pitched Divisional strength engagements.
A Complete Order of Battle for 1967 is available detailing the deployment of VC forces in the four Tactical Zones
If you have any further information, or you know where I can find more information then please contact me
Inside 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