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Who Were the Viet Cong?



Viet Cong advance in 1968

Three Lions, Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The Viet Cong were Vietnamese supporters of the communist National Liberation Front in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War (known in Vietnam as the American War).

The Viet Cong fought against both the government of South Vietnam and the armed forces of the United States between 1959 and 1975. Initially a loose grouping of guerrilla fighters, the Viet Cong increased markedly in professionalism and in numbers over the course of the conflict.  The Viet Cong were supported and trained by the government of communist North Vietnam.

The group was disbanded in 1976, after Vietnam united under communist rule.

The name Viet Cong comes from the phrase cong san Viet Nam, meaning "Vietnamese communist," although the term is derogatory, so perhaps a better translation would be "Vietnamese commie."


Pronunciation: vyet kong

Also Known As: VC, Charlies (U.S. Army slang)

Alternate Spellings: Vietcong


"The Viet Cong tried to create a popular uprising in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War with their 1968 Tet Offensive, but were able to seize control of just a few small districts in the Mekong Delta region."

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