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
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
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,
|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
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
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
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
Generally these units operated within
their home region and fought as fully formed units.
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
|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
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
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