Duringthe Vietnam War, the Viet Cong were also known as the National LiberationFront.
The Viet Cong were a communist political organization in South Vietnam.They were allied with North Vietnam and the troops of Ho Chi Minh. In 1965, HoChi Minh and North Vietnamese leadership ordered a change in the way the war inthe South was to be fought.
Pitched battles against the Americans were to beavoided, unless the battle would be in the North’s favor. Instead, they decidedto opt for ambushes and attacks to create the element of surprise. TheViet Cong started out as a group of guerrilla fighters, but increased intoprofessional fighters who increased their numbers.
Some served as spies, whileothers served as fighters. Their tactics were often brutal and they wererelentless. Plus, they had the advantage of fighting in their own territory,which they exploited as often as possible.
Despite being more technologicaladvanced, the Americans were faced with an uphill battle against guerrillawarfare that they were not suited for. The Viet Cong were able also travelthrough tunnels thatwere used not only for escape, but for kitchens, hospitals, headquarters,warehouses and barracks. Viet Cong also utilized hidden trails for suppliesfrom the Chinese and Soviet Union. The North Vietnamese and the Viet Congwere heavily aided by the peasants who designed primitive weapons, built Punji stakes andre-usedAmerican Dud bombs that they scavenged for. Viet Cong troops had no standardequipment and used whatever weapons were available. The peasantsoften hid the Viet Cong after surprise attacks on American soldiers.
Inaddition, it was difficult for American soldiers to implement “search anddestroy” tactics, since the guerrillas were often disguised as peasants. Often,innocents were killed because of this. It was easy for the Viet Cong to recruitpeasants because of this issue. Still, in many cases, peasants were forced tojoin the Viet Cong because they felt that they had no other choice. Basically,the Viet Cong relied on the support of the population, even a passive support,and would return in kind when such support was provided (Tovy, 2010).
Opposition to the organization or support of the South Vietnamese or Americangovernments resulted in cruel measures, and would often end in executions(Tovy, 2010). Inaddition,the Viet Cong would also stay very close to the American soldiers to make theAmerican Airforce useless, because the United States did not want to bomb theirown troops. Evasionand concealment were the main tactics used by the Viet Cong. The jungle made iteasy for them to accomplish those goals.