Why was North Vietnam able to keep a Communist insurgency in South Vietnam alive while North Korea couldn't?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,641
SoCal
#1
Why was North Vietnam able to keep a Communist insurgency in South Vietnam alive as long as it was necessary for them to win the Vietnam War while North Korea was incapable of keeping a Communist insurgency in South Korea alive? Indeed, why were South Vietnam's borders much more porous than those of South Korea?
 
Aug 2016
977
US&A
#2
Because the USA was afraid to invade North Vietnam for fear of instigating WW3. China and the USSR both had a defensive treaty with the North Vietnamese.

The borders were porous because many of their troops came in from Laos and we couldn't officially send troops into the area to stop them. Also, the jungle was dense, and they dug some pretty amazing tunnel systems.

Moronically, we would also abandon areas we had taken so that they could occupy the place again, and we could kill more of them. Of course, a few of us died too.

Basically, our strategy was to kill a ton of them and hope they gave up. It didn't work.

A lot of Viet Cong were south Vietnamese children who were forced to join. So they didn't have to really infiltrate at all.
 
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Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,641
SoCal
#3
Because the USA was afraid to invade North Vietnam for fear of instigating WW3. China and the USSR both had a defensive treaty with the North Vietnamese.
Just how much would invading North Vietnam have helped, though? I mean, even if the U.S. is able to repeal the subsequent Chinese counterattack, it would need to keep a lot of troops on the field in order to permanently hold North Vietnam, no?

The borders were porous because many of their troops came in from Laos and we couldn't officially send troops into the area to stop them. Also, the jungle was dense, and they dug some pretty amazing tunnel systems.
Yeah, there are those factors--which appear to have been very important.

Moronically, we would also abandon areas we had taken so that they could occupy the place again, and we could kill more of them. Of course, a few of us died too.
Why exactly would we abandon these areas?

Basically, our strategy was to kill a ton of them and hope they gave up. It didn't work.
Yep.

A lot of Viet Cong were south Vietnamese children who were forced to join. So they didn't have to really infiltrate at all.
Didn't North Vietnamese troops replenish the Viet Cong's numbers, though?
 
Aug 2016
977
US&A
#4
It would require a lot of troops to hold North Vietnam. However, we did have a lot of troops. The issue is less with China invading and more with MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction. The use of nuclear weapons.

I want to emphasize exactly how beneficial it is for guerillas to operate out of a friendly nation. If we had been able to take and hold North Vietnam, we would have been able to deprive our opponents of huge amounts of manpower, they wouldn't be able to make their own weapons, their top leaders would either be dead, in jail, or effectively exiled from their own nation and war, their ability to pay and feed their troops would be severely hampered, their ability to disseminate propaganda and sway popular opinion would be crippled. Yes, guerillas can still operate, but this makes it far far more difficult for them.

Meanwhile, it doesn't even take the best troops to hold territory. Less-motivated and poorly-trained ARVN troops could be utilized to hold areas of less importance or value.

If we abandoned the areas we took we could let the North Vietnamese move in and kill them again. Notice, I said it was moronic. You can look up “hamburger hill” if you want to know more.

The Viet Cong were an irregular, but still fully official branch of the North Vietnamese armed forces. They recruited wherever they had a chance to. North Vietnam was definitely one of their prime areas for recruitment.

I didn't mention this before but, generally speaking, Vietnam's terrain is far more conducive to a guerilla war than Korea's. Korea is essentially a temperate region and, while mountainous in some areas, the terrain isn't so rough as Vietnam's. A point against the Koreans is also that they were more “civilized” in some respects than the Vietnamese. Accountants tend to make worse soldiers, especially guerillas, than peasants.
 
Oct 2018
137
China
#5
The mistake of the United States itself in the Vietnam War strategy. First of all, the United States did not have a clear enough understanding of the North Vietnamese army itself and the forces behind it. It was thought to be an ordinary public security war. Therefore, the United States’ investment in the Vietnam War was a gradual plus process rather than a concentrated storm, which gave North Vietnam Adequately adapting to space; Secondly, the United States is always taboo in the direct involvement of China and the Soviet Union to trigger a world war, and too much self-binding in the planning of combat space. In particular, during Johnson’s administration, Cambodia cannot enter, Laos cannot enter, and Haiphong can’t Hanoi can't be blown up, the 17-degree line can't be over, and there are too many rules for the military. Therefore, North Vietnam can easily organize the transportation of the aorta from the Ho Chi Minh Trail (Changshan Road), which passes through the hinterland of Laos and Cambodia. In the jungles of the borders of the Indo-China, the Nixon took office and Abrams took over the Vietnam War, and the situation has greatly improved, but it has not been fully liberalized. For example, the assault into Cambodia and Laos is too short and not fatal. Strike; again, the previous Westmoreland mistakenly The mobilization force was used on the Viet Cong guerrillas in the south of Vietnam. The result was not only exhausted, but also the casualties. The 1968 Spring Festival offensive ended with the opportunity of North Vietnam’s exposure, the new expeditionary commander Abrams After changing the strategy to change the strategy of the South Vietnamese Army and the US military's full-time sweeping of the "sweeping and defending" strategy of the various base areas, it greatly reduced the living space of the Viet Cong, and seized the logistics system of North Vietnam, and drove the bottom, so that the Vietnamese Communist Party in South Vietnam The activities in the territory fell into the lowest tide, but it was accompanied by the US’s too hasty withdrawal. I don’t know if the Americans are too eager to get out of Vietnam or have full confidence in the South China’s independence. In the most difficult period of the invasion of the North Vietnamese army, the most difficult period is constantly withdrawing. It’s a big strategic mistake to take a strong force without giving more powerful oppression.
 
Oct 2018
137
China
#6
The US strategic focus has always been in Europe, using only local forces and North Vietnam to implement a limited war. Similar to the Korean War, although a few elite troops were deployed and spent a lot of military expenses, the overall situation did not fully exert a full-scale war against North Vietnam. Of course, it was also taboo that the war expansion in Asia triggered three wars. If we want to say a little more about the factors of the United States itself, it is that war decisions are too much enshrined in public opinion. As an elected government, of course, we must take into account public opinion. However, in terms of specific operations, politicians should have their own independent judgments and choices. The rush to withdraw troops in a good situation is reflected in the public opinion, which clearly determines the direction of the Vietnam War. Did not grow into a reliable armed force. Compared with the opponents of the North Vietnamese Army, the South Vietnamese National Army is more capable than the 1st Division, the Marine Corps, the Paratroopers, and the other units. Although the scale is large, the combat capability, especially the mobile combat capability, is seriously insufficient. It is not enough to compete with North Vietnam on the extremely sinister long border, which makes it difficult for US troops to fight. After the withdrawal of the US military, this lack of ability was exposed. The defeat of the 3rd Division of the Army in the front line of Guangzhi in 1972 was an example.