Workers Vanguard No. 1080
11 December 2015
Correction on North Vietnamese Military
1 December 2015
In the WV#1078 article “Down With U.S. Imperialism’s Anti-China Trade Pact!” we write: “The collectivized property forms central to Vietnam’s economy are a gain of the social revolution that overturned capitalism, when Communist-led guerrilla forces defeated first the French and then the U.S. imperialists and their Vietnamese puppet forces.” It is incorrect to state that it was “guerrilla forces” that defeated the U.S. imperialist colossus and their Vietnamese puppets. By the time of the victory of the communist-led forces in Vietnam in 1975, the character of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam/National Liberation Front (DRV/NLF) military forces had changed dramatically from the early years of the war. We point this out explicitly in the article “Take Saigon!” (WV#65 28 March 1975) where we describe the final offensive of the war:
The battle for Ban Me Thuot spotlights a very important aspect of the current offensive. The DRV/NLF attack was spearheaded by a sizeable tank column. Throughout the current offensive DRV/NLF forces have employed sophisticated weapons such as tanks, armored personnel carriers, heavy artillery and radar-aimed anti-aircraft guns against the ARVN. This is no guerrilla offensive such as in 1968.
Additionally, the DRV had an air force, including Chinese and Soviet-supplied MiG fighters, hardly typical of guerrilla forces. In fact, they were so successful, the U.S. Navy established the Topgun fighter pilot training school to thwart the Vietnamese fliers in 1969.