Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The Army of the Republic of Vietnam known as the South Vietnamese army, were the ground forces of the South Vietnamese military from its inception in 1955 until the Fall of Saigon in 1975. It is estimated to have suffered 1,394,000 casualties during the Vietnam War; the ARVN began as a post-colonial army trained and affiliated with the United States and had engaged in conflict since its inception. Several dramatic changes occurred throughout its lifetime from a'blocking-force' to a more modern conventional force using helicopter deployment in combat. During the U. S. intervention, the role of the ARVN was marginalised to a defensive role with an incomplete modernisation, transformed again most notably following Vietnamization as it was up-geared and reconstructed to fulfil the role of the departing U. S. forces. By 1974, it had become much more effective with foremost counterinsurgency expert and Nixon adviser Robert Thompson noting that Regular Forces were well-trained and second only to U. S. and IDF forces in the free world and with General Creighton Abrams remarking that 70% of units were on par with the U.
S. Army. However, the withdrawal of American forces through Vietnamization meant the armed forces could not fulfil all the aims of the program and had become dependent on U. S. equipment, given it was meant to fulfill the departing role of the United States. At its peak, an estimated 1 in 9 citizens of South Vietnam were enlisted and it had become the fourth-largest army in the world composed of Regular Forces and more voluntary Regional Militias and Village-level militias. Unique in serving a dual military-civilian administrative purpose in direct competition with the Viet Cong political and armed wing, the PLAF; the ARVN had in addition became a component of political power and notably suffered from continual issues of political loyalty appointments, corruption in leadership, factional in-fighting and occasional open conflict between itself. After the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese army, the ARVN was dissolved. While some high-ranking officers had fled the country to the United States or elsewhere, thousands of former ARVN officers were sent to reeducation camps by the communist government of the new, unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Five ARVN generals commit suicide on Black April to avoid captured by PAVN/VC. On March 8, 1949, after the Élysée Accords the State of Vietnam was recognized by France as an independent country ruled by the Vietnamese Emperor Bảo Đại, the Vietnamese National Army was soon created; the VNA fought in joint operations with the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps against the Viet Minh forces led by Ho Chi Minh. The VNA fought in a wide range of campaigns including but not limited to the Battle of Nà Sản, Operation Atlas and the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Benefiting from French assistance, the VNA became a modern army modelled after the Expeditionary Corps, it included infantry, signals, armored cavalry, airforce, navy and a national military academy. By 1953 troopers as well as officers were all Vietnamese, the latter having been trained in Ecoles des Cadres such as Da Lat, including Chief of Staff General Nguyễn Văn Hinh, a French Union airforce veteran. After the 1954 Geneva agreements, French Indochina ceased to exist and by 1956 all French Union troops had withdrawn from Vietnam and Cambodia.
In 1955, by the order of Prime Minister Diệm, the VNA crushed the armed forces of the Bình Xuyên. On October 26, 1955, the military was reorganized by the administration of President Ngô Đình Diệm who formally established the Army of the Republic of Vietnam on December 30, 1955; the air force was known as the Vietnamese Air Force. Early on, the focus of the army was the guerrilla fighters of the Vietnam National Liberation Front, formed to oppose the Diệm administration; the United States, under President John F. Kennedy sent advisors and a great deal of financial support to aid the ARVN in combating the insurgents. A major campaign, developed by Ngô Đình Nhu and resurrected under another name was the "Strategic Hamlet Program", regarded as unsuccessful by Western media because it was "inhumane" to move villagers from the countryside to fortified villages. ARVN leaders and President Diệm were criticized by the foreign press when the troops were used to crush armed anti-government religious groups like the Cao Đài and Hòa Hảo as well as to raid Buddhist temples, which according to Diệm, were harboring NLF guerrillas.
The most notorious of these attacks occurred on the night of August 21, 1963, during the Xá Lợi Pagoda raids conducted by the Special Forces, which caused a death toll estimated to range into the hundreds. In 1963 Ngô Đình Diệm was killed in a coup d'état carried out by ARVN officers and encouraged by American officials such as Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. In the confusion that followed, General Dương Văn Minh took control, but he was only the first in a succession of ARVN generals to assume the presidency of South Vietnam. During these years, the United States began taking more control of the war against the NLF and the role of the ARVN became less and less significant, they were plagued by continuing problems of severe corruption amongst the officer corps. Although the US was critical of the ARVN, it continued to be US-armed and funded. Although the American news media has portrayed the Vietnam War as a American and North Vietnamese conflict, the ARVN carried the brunt of the fight before and after large-scale American involvement, participated in many major operations with American troops.
Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh, born Nguyễn Sinh Cung known as Nguyễn Tất Thành, Nguyễn Ái Quốc, Bác Hồ or Bác, was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader, Chairman and First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Vietnam. He was Prime Minister and President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, he was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 at the Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi as well as the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Hồ Chí Minh led the Việt Minh independence movement from 1941 onward, establishing the Communist-ruled Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954 at the battle of Điện Biên Phủ, he stepped down from power in 1965 due to health problems. After the war, the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. Any description of Hồ Chí Minh's life before he came to power in Vietnam is fraught with ambiguity, he is known to have used at least 50 and as many as 200 pseudonyms.
Both his place and date of birth are subjects of academic debate since neither is known with certainty. At least four existing official biographies vary on names, dates and other hard facts while unofficial biographies vary more widely. Hồ Chí Minh was born and given the name of Nguyễn Sinh Cung in 1890 in the village of Hoàng Trù, his mother's village. Although this is his accepted birth year, at various times he used five different birth years: 1890, 1891, 1892, 1894 and 1895. From 1895, he grew up in his father Nguyễn Sinh Sắc's village of Làng Sen, Kim Liên, Nam Đàn, Nghệ An Province, he had three siblings: a clerk in the French Army. As a young child, Cung studied with his father before more formal classes with a scholar named Vuong Thuc Do. Cung mastered Chinese writing, a prerequisite for any serious study of Confucianism, while honing his colloquial Vietnamese writing. In addition to his studious endeavors, he was fond of adventure and loved to fly kites and go fishing. Following Confucian tradition, his father gave him a new name at the age of 10: Nguyễn Tất Thành.
Thành's father was a Confucian scholar and teacher and an imperial magistrate in the small remote district of Binh Khe. He was demoted for abuse of power after an influential local figure died several days after having received 102 strokes of the cane as punishment for an infraction. Thành's father was eligible to serve in the imperial bureaucracy, but he refused because it meant serving the French; this exposed Thành to rebellion at a young age and seemed to be the norm for the province where Thành came of age. In deference to his father, Thành received a French education, attended lycée in Huế, the alma mater of his disciples, Phạm Văn Đồng and Võ Nguyên Giáp and his enemy, Ngô Đình Diệm, it was believed that Thành was involved in an anti-slavery demonstration of poor peasants in Huế in May 1908, which endangered his student status at Collège Quốc học. However, a document from the Centre des archives d'Outre-mer in France shows that he was admitted to Collège Quốc học on 8 August 1908, several months after the anti-corvée demonstration.
The exaggeration of revolutionary credentials was common among Vietnamese Communist leaders, as shown in North Vietnamese President Tôn Đức Thắng's falsified participation in the 1919 Black Sea revolt. In life, he would claim the 1908 revolt had been the moment when his revolutionary outlook emerged, but his application to the French Colonial Administrative School in 1911 undermines this version of events, he chose to leave school. Because his father had been dismissed, he no longer had any hope for a governmental scholarship and went southward, taking a position at Dục Thanh school in Phan Thiết for about six months traveled to Saigon. Thành worked as a kitchen helper on a French steamer, the Amirale de Latouche-Tréville while using the alias Văn Ba; the steamer departed on 5 June 1911 and arrived in Marseille, France on 5 July 1911. The ship left for Le Havre and Dunkirk, returning to Marseille in mid-September. There, he applied for the French Colonial Administrative School, but his application was rejected and he instead decided to begin traveling the world by working on ships and visited many countries from 1911 to 1917.
While working as the cook's helper on a ship in 1912, Thành traveled to the United States. From 1912–1913, he may have lived in New York City and Boston, where he claimed to have worked as a baker at the Parker House Hotel; the only evidence that Thành was in the United States is a letter to French colonial administrators dated 15 December 1912 and postmarked New York City and a postcard to Phan Chu Trinh in Paris where he mentioned working at the Parker House Hotel. Inquiries to the Parker House management revealed no records of his having worked there. Among a series of menial jobs, he claimed to have worked for a wealthy family in Brooklyn between 1917–1918 and for General Motors as a line manager, it is believed that while in the United States he made contact with Korean nationalists, an experience that developed his polit
A college-preparatory school is a type of secondary school. The term can refer to public, private independent or parochial schools designed to prepare students for higher education. In the United States, there are public and charter college preparatory schools and they can be either parochial or secular. Admission is sometimes based on specific selection criteria academic, but some schools have open enrollment. Fewer than 1% of students enrolled in school in the United States attend an independent, private preparatory school, compared to 9% who attend parochial schools and 88% who attend public schools. Public and charter college preparatory schools are connected to a local school district and draw from the entire district instead of the closest school zone; some offer specialized courses or curricula that prepare students for a specific field of study, while others use the label as a promotional tool without offering programs that differ from a conventional high school. The term "prep school" in the U.
S. is associated with private, elite institutions that have selective admission criteria and high tuition fees. Prep schools can be day schools, boarding schools, or both, may be co-educational or single-sex. Day schools are more common than boarding, since the 1970s co-educational schools are more common than single-sex. Unlike the public schools which are free, they charge tuition; some prep schools are affiliated with a particular religious denomination. Unlike parochial schools, independent preparatory schools are not governed by a religious organization, students are not required to receive instruction in one particular religion. While independent prep schools in the United States are not subject to government oversight or regulation, they are accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies for educational institutions. In most parts of Europe, such as Germany, the Netherlands, France and Scandinavia, there are state-funded secondary schools specializing in university-preparatory education.
These go by many names depending on the country but may be called gymnasia, athenaea, a lycee or a liceo, depending on the nation. In France, certain private or public secondary schools offer special post-secondary classes called classes préparatoires, equivalent in level to the first years of university, for students who wish to prepare for the competitive exams for the entrance in the Grandes écoles, prestigious graduate schools. Unlike American prep schools they begin after high-school graduation; the most famous French classes préparatoires are exceptionally intensive and selective, taking only the best students graduating from high schools but not charging fees. As a result, 90% of the students in the scientific classes préparatoires become engineers or scientists. High school graduates that chooses to attend a classe préparatoire have the choice between 3 main curriculums: Science and litterature. To gain admission into engineering or business grandes écoles. A Gymnasium is a particular type of school in Germany and other countries in Europe, with the goal to prepare its pupils to enter a university.
Germany's oldest Gymnasien include Gymnasium Paulinum, Gymnasium Theodorianum and Gymnasium Carolinum. In Italy, there are several kinds of high schools, both public and private, whose curriculum has as a primary aim the preparation for university; these are called "Liceo", plural "Licei". The name comes from "Lyceum", the Latin rendering of the Ancient Greek Λύκειον, the name of a gymnasium in Classical Athens dedicated to Apollo Lyceus; this original Lyceum is remembered as the location of the peripatetic school of Aristotle. Until 1969, the Liceo Classico was the only secondary education track that allowed a student access to any kind of Italian university, while other secondary education tracks allowed only a restricted access path. There are four main types of Liceo: Liceo Classico, Liceo Scientifico, Liceo Artistico (focusing on artistic subjects as Art History and Drawing and Liceo Linguistico. Other kind of high schools referred to as "technical institutes" offer the possibility to attain university after graduation, although they form students to have some kind of professional prospective after graduation.
In the Netherlands, the official terminology is voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs meaning "preparatory academic education". The vwo is divided into the gymnasium; these are identical in duration and level of education, except that the gymnasium includes Latin and Ancient Greek as compulsory subjects in the first few years, a pupil must include at least one of these classical languages in his final exams. In the Netherlands, education is state funded for both special schools. In the Slovak Republic, gymnázium is one of the school types providing secondary education that leads to the maturita exam, a prerequisite for higher education. Gymnáziums
Nguyễn Văn Thiệu
Nguyễn Văn Thiệu was the president of South Vietnam from 1965 to 1975. He was a general in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, became head of a military junta, president after winning a scheduled election, he established rule over South Vietnam until he resigned and left the nation a few days before the fall of Saigon and the ultimate North Vietnamese victory. Nguyễn Văn Thiệu was born on 5 April 1923 in Phan Rang in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam. Thiệu was a descendent of the Tran Dinh dynasty of Annamese nobles, he joined the communist-dominated Việt Minh of Hồ Chí Minh but quit after a year and joined the Vietnamese National Army of the French-backed State of Vietnam. He rose up the ranks and, in 1954, led a battalion in expelling the communists from his native village. Following the withdrawal of the French, the VNA became the ARVN and Thiệu was the head of the Vietnamese National Military Academy for four years before becoming a division commander and colonel. In November 1960, he helped put down a coup attempt against President Ngô Đình Diệm.
During this time, he converted to Roman Catholicism and joined the regime's secret Cần Lao Party. Despite this, Thiệu agreed to join the coup against Ngô Đình Diệm in November 1963 in the midst of the Buddhist crisis, leading the siege on Gia Long Palace. Diệm was captured and executed and Thiệu made a general. Following Diệm's death, there were several short-lived juntas. Thiệu moved up the ranks of the junta by adopting a cautious approach while other officers around him defeated and sidelined one another. In 1965, stability came to South Vietnam when he became the figurehead head of state, while Air Marshall Nguyễn Cao Kỳ became prime minister, leading a junta that ended the cycle of coups with two years of continuity, although the men were rivals. In 1967, a transition to elected government was scheduled. To allow the two to work together, their fellow officers had agreed to have a military body controlled by Kỳ shape policy behind the scenes; the opposition claims that the election was rigged, though an article in Time magazine from 1967 quotes South Vietnamese citizens saying that they thought the election was more fair than any under Diệm.
Leadership tensions became evident, Thiệu prevailed, sidelining Kỳ supporters from key military and cabinet posts. Thiệu passed legislation to restrict candidacy eligibility for the 1971 election, banning all would-be opponents, while the rest withdrew as it was obvious that the poll would be a sham. During his rule, Thiệu was accused of turning a blind eye to and indulging in corruption, appointing loyalists rather than competent officers to lead ARVN units. In 1968, he was caught out by the Tết Offensive due to complacency, during the 1971 Operation Lam Sơn 719 and the communists' Easter Offensive, the I Corps in the north of the country was under the command of his confidant, Hoàng Xuân Lãm, whose incompetence led to heavy defeats until Thiệu replaced him with Ngô Quang Trưởng. After the signing of the Paris Peace Accords—which Thiệu opposed—and the American withdrawal, South Vietnam resisted the communists for another two years until the communists' final push for victory, which saw the South invaded by the entire North Vietnamese Army.
Thiệu gave contradictory orders to Trưởng to stand and fight or withdraw and consolidate, leading to mass panic and collapse in the south of the country. This allowed the communists to generate much momentum and within a month they were close to Saigon, prompting Thiệu to resign and leave the country aboard an American helicopter, just before the communists completed their conquest, he settled near Boston, Massachusetts, USA, preferring not to talk to the media, until his death in 2001. Born in Phan Rang on the south central coast of Vietnam, Thiệu was a son of a small, well-off landowner who earned his living by farming and fishing. Thiệu was the youngest of five children. According to some reports, Thiệu was born in November 1924, but adopted 5 April 1923, as his birthday on grounds that it was a more auspicious day, his elder brothers raised money so that he could attend the elite schools run by France, who were Vietnam's colonial rulers. Although not yet a Catholic, Thiệu attended Pellerin, a French-run Catholic school in Huế, the imperial seat of the Nguyễn dynasty.
He returned to his hometown after graduating. During World War II, Imperial Japan seized control. Ninh Thuận was taken over by the Japanese in 1942, but the reaction from the locals was muted, Thiệu continued to work the ricelands alongside his father for another three years; when World War II ended, Thiệu joined the Việt Minh, led by Hồ Chí Minh, whose goal was to gain independence for Vietnam from France. With no rifles, Thiệu's class of Việt Minh recruits trained in jungle clearings with bamboo, he rose to be district chief, but left the movement after just one year, following the return of the French to southern Vietnam in 1946 to contest Việt Minh control. Thiệu said, "By August of 1946, I knew... They shot people, they overthrew the village committee. They seized the land." He defect
The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War, in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union and other communist allies; the war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U. S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. American military advisors began arriving in what was French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U. S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state.
The Việt Cộng known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U. S. involvement escalated in 1960, continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. By 1964, there were 23,000 U. S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U. S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U. S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam known as the North Vietnamese Army engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces; every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966.
U. S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces and airstrikes. The U. S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; the Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders. S. forces. Gradual withdrawal of U. S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U. S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.
S. Congress; the capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, 58,220 U. S. service members died in the conflict, a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War; the end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea.
Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s. Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam War is the most used name in English, it has been called the Second Indochina War and the Vietnam Conflict. As there have been several conflicts in Indochina, this particular conflict is known by the names of its primary protagonists to distinguish it from others. In Vietnamese, the war is known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ, but less formally as'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ', it is called Chiến tranh Việt Nam. The primary military organizations involved in the war were as follows: One side consisted of th
French Indochina known as the Indochinese Union after 1887 and the Indochinese Federation after 1947, was a grouping of French colonial territories in Southeast Asia. A grouping of the three Vietnamese regions of Tonkin and Cochinchina with Cambodia was formed in 1887. Laos was added in 1893 and the leased Chinese territory of Guangzhouwan in 1898; the capital was moved from Saigon to Hanoi in 1902 and again to Da Lat in 1939. In 1945 it was moved back to Hanoi. After the Fall of France during World War II, the colony was administered by the Vichy government and was under Japanese occupation until March 1945, when the Japanese overthrew the colonial regime. After the Japanese surrender, the Viet Minh, a communist organization led by Hồ Chí Minh, declared Vietnamese independence, but France subsequently took back control of French Indochina. An all-out independence war, known as the First Indochina War, broke out in late 1946 between French and Viet Minh forces. In order to create a political alternative to the Viet Minh, the State of Vietnam, led by former Emperor Bảo Đại, was proclaimed in 1949.
On 9 November 1953 the Kingdom of Cambodia proclaimed its independence. Following the Geneva Accord of 1954, the French evacuated Vietnam and French Indochina came to an end. French–Vietnamese relations started during the early 17th century with the arrival of the Jesuit missionary Alexandre de Rhodes. Around this time, Vietnam had only just begun its "Push to the South"—"Nam Tiến", the occupation of the Mekong Delta, a territory being part of the Khmer Empire and to a lesser extent, the kingdom of Champa which they had defeated in 1471. European involvement in Vietnam was confined to trade during the 18th century, as the remarkably successful work of the Jesuit missionaries continued. In 1787, Pierre Pigneau de Behaine, a French Catholic priest, petitioned the French government and organised French military volunteers to aid Nguyễn Ánh in retaking lands his family lost to the Tây Sơn. Pigneau died in Vietnam but his troops fought on until 1802 in the French assistance to Nguyễn Ánh; the French colonial empire was involved in Vietnam in the 19th century.
For its part, the Nguyễn dynasty saw Catholic missionaries as a political threat. In 1858, the brief period of unification under the Nguyễn dynasty ended with a successful attack on Da Nang by French Admiral Charles Rigault de Genouilly under the orders of Napoleon III. Diplomat Charles de Montigny's mission having failed, Genouilly's mission was to stop attempts to expel Catholic missionaries, his orders were to stop the persecution of missionaries and assure the unimpeded propagation of the faith. In September 1858, fourteen French gunships, 3,000 men and 300 Filipino troops provided by the Spanish attacked the port of Tourane, causing significant damage and occupying the city. After a few months, Rigault had to leave the city due to supply illnesses. Sailing south, de Genouilly captured the poorly defended city of Saigon on 18 February 1859. On 13 April 1862, the Vietnamese government was forced to cede the three provinces of Biên Hòa, Gia Định and Định Tường to France. De Genouilly was criticised for his actions and was replaced by Admiral Page in November 1859, with instructions to obtain a treaty protecting the Catholic faith in Vietnam, but refrain from territorial gains.
French policy four years saw a reversal, with the French continuing to accumulate territory. In 1862, France obtained concessions from Emperor Tự Đức, ceding three treaty ports in Annam and Tonkin, all of Cochinchina, the latter being formally declared a French territory in 1864. In 1867 the provinces of Châu Đốc, Hà Tiên and Vĩnh Long were added to French-controlled territory. In 1863, the Cambodian king Norodom had requested the establishment of a French protectorate over his country. In 1867, Siam renounced suzerainty over Cambodia and recognised the 1863 French protectorate on Cambodia, in exchange for the control of Battambang and Siem Reap provinces which became part of Thailand.. France obtained control over northern Vietnam following its victory over China in the Sino-French War. French Indochina was formed on 17 October 1887 from Annam, Tonkin and the Kingdom of Cambodia; the federation lasted until 21 July 1954. In the four protectorates, the French formally left the local rulers in power, who were the Emperors of Vietnam, Kings of Cambodia, Kings of Luang Prabang, but in fact gathered all powers in their hands, the local rulers acting only as figureheads.
French troops landed in Vietnam in 1858 and by the mid-1880s they had established a firm grip over the northern region. From 1885 to 1895, Phan Đình Phùng led a rebellion against France. Nationalist sentiments intensified in Vietnam during and after World War I, but all the uprisings and tentative efforts failed to obtain sufficient concessio
The Vietnamese Rangers, properly known in Vietnamese as the Biệt Động Quân and known as the ARVN Rangers, were the light infantry of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Trained and assisted by American Special Forces and Ranger advisers, the Vietnamese Rangers infiltrated beyond enemy lines in daring search and destroy missions. Trained as a counter-insurgency light infantry force by removing the fourth company each of the existing infantry battalions, they expanded into a swing force capable of conventional as well as counter-insurgency operations, were relied on to retake captured regions. During Vietnamization the Civilian Irregular Defense Group program was transferred from MACV and integrated as Border Battalions responsible for manning remote outposts in the Central Highlands. Rangers were regarded as among the most effective units in the war, the most well-led ARVN unit and formed part of the highly-mobile response units operating in key areas. Part of this was due to the specialized role of these units, given that they had their origins in French-raised Commando Units, the GCMA which were drawn from Viet Minh defectors and Tai-Kadai groups, operating in interdiction and counter-intelligence roles, were trained for counter-insurgency and rough-terrain warfare in the region.
Ranger Units had a US Military Adviser attached to these units although operated independently. The foremost counterinsurgency expert Sir Robert Thompson remarked in 1974 that the ARVN as a whole were the third-best trained army in the free-world and second only to the Israelis in counter-insurgency, with the Rangers, ARVN Airborne and Marine Division forming the vanguard. With improvements in the ARVN from 1969 onward and the growing prestige of the Airborne and Marine Division, depredation had caused the Central Highlands-based Rangers to become manned by deserters, released convicts and Montagnards the unit continued to perform critical roles in the Easter Offensive and frontier skirmishes in 1973 and 1974. A total of 11 U. S Presidential Unit Citation were issued to the 22 original Ranger Battalions, including one unit whom earned three total citations from two different presidents. See List of Non-US Presidential Unit Citations in Vietnam; the French established a commando school in Nha Trang in 1951.
After the American Military Assistance Advisory Group took over the military advisory role, the school was converted to a Ranger school in 1956. In 1960, when the Vietnam War began in earnest, the Vietnamese Rangers were formed. Rangers organized into separate companies with U. S. Army Rangers were assigned as advisers as members of the Mobile Training Teams, at Ranger Training Centers, at the unit level as members of the Military Advisory Command Vietnam. A small number of Vietnamese Ranger officers were selected to attend the U. S. Army Ranger School at Ft. Benning. In 1962, BDQ companies were formed into counter-insurgency Special Battalions but by 1963 Ranger units were organized into battalions and their mission evolved from counter-insurgency to light infantry operations. During 1966, the battalions were formed into task forces, five Ranger Group headquarters were created at corps level to provide command and control for tactical operations; the Ranger Group structure was maintained until 1970 as U.
S. force reduction commenced. The Civilian Irregular Defense Group situated along the Laotian and Cambodian borders under control of 5th U. S. Special Forces Group, was integrated into the Ranger command. Thus, the Rangers assumed an expanded role of border defense; the conversion of CIDG camps to 37 combat battalions with 14,534 men, more than doubled the Ranger force size. Within the early 1970s before the fall of Saigon, the rangers lost its appeal. Although many wanted to join the ranks of the Rangers, the popularity of the Airborne and Marine divisions grew at a faster rate. Many Rangers Battalions were decimated during Operation Lam Son 719. Part of the reason for this was orders by Nguyễn Văn Thiệu to halt advances into Laos, just as these units inserted by helicopter had captured the objective, allowing for the newly-armoured 308th Division to move in and surround the outposts. Several Ranger Groups would face well-camouflaged armoured and artillery attacks during the Battle of Kontum and Battle of An Lộc as well as other engagements in the Easter Offensive.
Ordered to defend every inch by Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, the Ranger Group and regular units were deployed across the 1300 km border. This had left the region vulnerable to well-coordinated piercing attacks from Trần Văn Trà and the B2 Front. A series of contradictory orders from Thieu, a strategy known as "Light at the Top, Heavy at the Bottom" in which President Thieu neither consulted with his staff nor advisers had sealed the end of the Rangers; the Central Highlands were to be abandoned held orders to recapture major cities, followed by another order to retreat had created disarray which the armored, heavy artillery and mobile infantry of the PAVN seized upon. In the closing days of the war in 1975 most Ranger units were destroyed. Many fought back independently. In Saigon, Rangers fought until the morning of 30 April when they were ordered to lay down their arms, as their nation-The Republic of Vietnam capitulated to the communist force. Most of the Ranger officers were considered too dangerous by the communist government and sentenced to long periods of incarceration in the "re-education" camps.
There were Ranger liaison platoons of 45 to 52 men assigned to each ARVN Corps/CTZ headquarters. They were supposed to insure the "proper use" of the Rangers. At their height in 1975 there