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Transformation of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954-1975

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Technical Report,05 Jun 2015,26 May 2016

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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The Peoples Army of Vietnam transformed from a militia-based fighting force to a modern combined arms formation between the end of the First Indochina War 1954 to the end of the Second Indochina War 1975. They did this to internally unify Vietnam and with external support from other nations. There were many reasons that transformation was not in the best interest of Democratic Republic of Vietnam, including the absence of a diverse economy, a military tradition based on the militia, and the fact that they had been successful in fighting foreign invaders without a modern force. Using three battles during the Second Indochina War as a lens, the transformation is evident the Battle of Ia Drang during the Pleime Campaign, the Siege of Khe Sanh during the Tet Offensive, and the Battle of An Loc during the 1972 Easter Offensive. The PAVN transformed over 21 years from a militia, infantry-based force to one capable of combined arms maneuver.

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