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Viet Cong

The National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam (or National Liberation Front) was known to American soldiers in Vietnam as the Viet Cong -- from a contraction for the Vietnamese phrase Việt Nam Cộng Sản, or "Vietnamese Communist."

This originally derogatory phrase was used by the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) government of South Vietnam under President Ngo Dinh Diem to describe his political opponents, many of whom were Communists, starting after the partition of Vietnam between the RVN in the South and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) in the North which took place in 1954. Later, during the Vietnam War, the RVN and the United States government used this expression to refer to the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam (NLF) and its guerrilla army, the People's Liberation Armed Forces[?] (PLAF). (The NLF and the PLAF themselves never used this expression to refer to themselves, and always asserted that they were a national front of all anti-RVN forces, communist or not.) It is this use of "Viet Cong" that most people in the United States and Europe are most familiar.

In 1969, the National Front formed a provisional Republic of South Vietnam which took power after the fall of Saigon in 1975.

See also North Vietnamese Army



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