Leader of the Vietcong Ho Chi Minh won the Vietnam war because the Vietnamese people supported Ho Chi Minh and the Vietcong as Heroes and not as the Communist Villains they were portrayed as by the Anti-Communists fighting them.
History Of Ho Chi Mihn & The Vietcong
Ho Chi Mihn was born in 1890 in Central Vietnam at a time when Vietnam was part of French Indochina which was a French Colonial territory.
In his student years, Ho Chi Minh boarded a French Steamer where he took a job in the Kitchen, and thereafter he lived in Paris working as a Photographer for close to 10 years.
During his time in France, Ho Chi Mihn was also politically active as a Member of the French Communist Party.
During the World War 1 Versaille Peace Talks, Ho Cho Mihn attempted to petition American President Woodrow Wilson to grant Vietnam independence from France.
Needless to say, Ho Chi Mihn’s petition for the independence of Vietnam was unsuccessful which led to Ho Chi Mihn travelling to the USSR to study Communism in Moscow returning to his Native Vietnam in 1940.
During the flurry of World War 2 in 1945, Ho Chi Mihn took control of the Northern Vietnamese City of Hanoi and he became the leader of the new democratic state of Vietnam.
South Vietnam still remained under French control however, and the battle for the control of South Vietnam would lead to the Vietnam War between the Communist North and Anti-Communist South.
This ultimately led to American involvement in Vietnam as America supported the Southern Anti-Communist forces.
Vietcong Weapons and Tactics In The Vietnam War
Despite the portrayal of the Vietcong as Communist Villains, the Vietcong is responsible for probably one of the biggest Military upsets in History.
Led by Ho Chi Mihn, the National Liberation Front (NLF) was the military wing of the Vietnamese Communists, or Vietcong based in North Vietnam.
The Vietcong waged a bitter guerilla campaign against South Vietnam and its allies, most notably the United States.
The Vietcong was primarily a guerilla army that was supplied by China and the Soviet Union.
The AK-47 was the standard weapon of choice coupled with heavy machine guns for Helicopter defence as well as Mortars and rocket propelled Grenades.
A lot of the weaponry was also Home made with supplies often being scavenged from discarded American Bombs and artillery.
The Vietcong also designed highly effective contaminated Booby traps known as “Punji traps” made of sharp spikes and placed in hidden in pits.
In addition to inflicting injuries from the spikes, the Booby traps also infected enemy soldiers and were amongst the most feared Vietcong weapons.
Sheer infantry numbers was also another factor in favour of the Vietcong enabling it to sustain massive casualties.
An underground tunnel system known as the Ho Chi Mihn Trail was built and it enabled the Vietcong to easily blend with the terrain and secretly transport Military supplies from neighbouring Cambodia.
All these factors combined to enable the Vietcong to wage a successful Guerilla War against the US Army which the Communists viewed as a continuation of the Anti-Colonial struggle that had begun with the expulsion of the French from North Vietnam prior to US Military involvement in South Vietnam.
Legacy Of Ho Chi Mihn & The Vietcong
Although Ho Chi Minh died in 1969 and did not witness the independence of Vietnam, he was an important symbol of Vietnamese unification throughout the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War ended in 1976 with a US troop withdrawal and the unification of Vietnam which marked the realisation of Ho Chi Mihn’s dream when he first petitioned President Wilson at Versaille at the end of World War 1.
Its safe to say the sheer ‘swarm’ of infantry that was required to make up for the massive losses suffered by the Vietcong during the Vietnam War was in itself a testament to how far the Vietnamese people were willing to go to show their support for Ho Cho Mihn and the Vietcong because they shared the same dream of a Unified Vietnam as a logical consequence of the process of French decolonisation.
For this reason, the Vietnamese people supported Ho Chi Mihn and the Vietcong as Heroes and did not view Ho Chi Mihn and the Vietcong as Communist villains.
The Vietnam War itself was part of a broader global Cold War conflict and left a stain on the collective American memory that was only removed after American Victory in the First Gulf War.