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Indo China Wars 1945 - 1975. Covering, French Indo China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc.

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Vietnamese use of CHI-COM gear
Old 09-05-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
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Default Vietnamese use of CHI-COM gear

I am new to the forum and am really enjoying the wealth of information provided here. I am currently working on a display of NVA gear and uniforms and so does any one know how much CHI-COM gear was in use by the 1972 easter offensive? I know relations between China and Vietnam deteriorated toward the end of the war, but when was Chinese aid at its apex? Any help or info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:12 PM   #2
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Hi,

Chinese material and training was given to the Vietnamese Communists (Viet Minh then later PAVN) from 1950 onwards. It was provided on a massive scale right from the beginning and continued right up until the Chinese invaded Northern Vietnam in February 1979.

At the beginning, in the early to mid 1950's, the Chinese PLA gave the Vietnamese their cast-off weaponry. This was mainly Chinese made K98 Mauser rifles commonly called 'Chiang Kai Shek'. Also their other weapons and such as the copied Czech ZB26 and ZB30 machine guns, Captured U.S. weaponry and artillery (105mm guns and 57mm recoilless guns). Russian and Chinese made Soviet WWII weapons were also supplied in large quantities like the PPSh41 submachine gun. They issued the Vietnamese with their own web gear, haversacks, canteens, and in some cases their tunics (which appear to have first been worn in the occupation of Hanoi in 1954-55). From the early 1960's the Chinese supplied SKS rifles and AK47 assault rifles (Type 56).

The web gear and weaponry certainly seem to have been provided in great amounts right up until the late 1970's when relations became frostier. The issue becomes confused very early on as the Vietnamese were very good at copying items supplied to them by others. Uniforms and the ubiquitous sun hat seem to be Vietnamese in origin?
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I guess the combos of Vietnamese and Chinese gear could be endless. I hope to have some photos posted of my display soon for the forum to critique.

Thanks Vic
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:30 AM   #4
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Although not directly related, the author Philip Short touches upon the subject of Chinese aid and assistance to the various Indochinese Communist movements in his book 'Pol Pot: History of a nightmare'. Although he focuses mainly on the Chinese relationship with Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge, he also features a lot of detail about the relationships between the Vietnamese and Chinese, and with both of them with Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge. He describes the changing nature of the relations and the aid given to the various protagonists by China - who at one point were giving aid to both the Khmer Rouge AND Le Duan's PAVN.

The Chinese relationship with Vietnam was an odd one. They started off by giving massive material aid and training, when the Viet Minh were embrionic and weak. It is generally accepted that their intention was to exert a controlling influence over the fledgling Indochinese Communist movements, much like the USSR in Eastern Europe post-WWII. However, under Ho Chi Minh and later Le Duan, the Vietnamese, unlike the Cambodians and Laotians, became very much independent very early on. The Chinese continued to provide weapons and hardware into the late 1970's. I don't think uniforms were supplied as the PAVN had their own clothing and headwear.

I would say, from looking at photos of the Khmer Issarak, Khmer Rouge, Viet Cong, PAVN (NVA), North Korean and Chinese PLA from that era that weapons and webbing were very much Chinese supplied, but not headwear, footwear or clothing.
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