Quick links to topics

Vietnam War Project - planning the enemy troops Part 1

Back in the mid 1990's I found a gem in a second hand book shop - an actual military pamphlet on the Enemy forces of the Vietnam War printed in 1970. This book lists the equipment, tactics and orbats for VC and NVA troops, although the majority of the NVA is to be found in part two, which I don't have.

Basically I can break my enemy troops down into three groups: the Village Guerrillas, VC Local Main Force Troops/Main Force Troops and NVA.

 These troops are trained and equipped at levels according to the order they are listed: Village Guerrillas are the poorest equipped and trained, with the NVA having the best training and equipment.

 The photos below are from links on the TAG web site. I do not own the photos and have not saved them on my PC - they come from the URL for the photos on the TAG web site.

Village Guerrilla

     Basically farmers by day and VC by night, the Village Guerrilla forces will have older weapons and they could  have an LMG or a single Mortar to play with.

 Generally organised in village or hamlet forces, with a number of hamlets being able to form in to a Village Platoon if the need arises.

 Hamlets seemed to have troop strengths between 10 to 15 in number, with up to four Hamlets forming the Village Platoon.

  At the Hamlet level you could find VC armed with Rifles or Carbines, but once you gather the VC into a Village Platoon you might expect to find up to 3 SMGs, 2 LMGs and 1 Mortar.

old French MAT 49 SMGs
old French MAS-36 bolt action rifles
Chinese type 56 carbine
VC Local Force Troops/Main Force Troops

- full time VC troops organised into district platoons/companies, or provincial companies/battalions. Local Force troops are better equipped and trained than the Village Guerrillas, but have a lower standard to the VC Main force troops.
 Local Force troops will operate within the confines of their own districts or province, where as the VC Main force troops are used through out the country.
 VC Main Force Troops are also used for the principal task of mounting a counter offensive. VC Main force troops are usually trained and supplied in friendly populated areas, and can be expected to be found near neighbouring Communist countries whilst being formed and trained.

Type 56 RPD LMGs. 
RPG-2 grenade launchers. 
Captured US weapons 

AK 47 Assault Rifle

LMGs and RPGs


30 cal MG

M16 Assault rifles
A typical ORBAT for a VC Local Force squad is one of 7 men equipped with  1 x LMG, 1 x SMG, 4 x older rifles/carbines and 1 x RPG-2.

A typical ORBAT for a VC Main Forces squad is one of 8 men equipped with 1 x LMG, 2 x AK 47, 1 x RPG 2 and 4 x older rifles/carbines. 

Three such squads made a platoon within their own force type.

A Heavy Weapons platoon for both type of forces consisted of the following:

1 x 7.62 mm HMG, 2 x RPG-7, 2 x 60mm Mortar.


David Martyn said...

Hi I`ve been painting my Viet-nam figures & looking at your blog & picking up some good tips.
The painting is going well the U.S infantry are done and VC are coming on. I have bought some ANZCS & are up next.
Could the VC main force be soley equipped with AK-47s for wargaming purposes?

Shelldrake said...

G'day David - thanks for the comment.

There is no reason you couldn't have your VC with just AK-47s for the purpose of your games.

I went with ORBATs that list the weapon breakdown as "Typical". I dare say this would differ from area to area and depend on how close to a chain of supply units were.

At the end of the day go with what you feel like, or can actually buy to build your army.

David Martyn said...

G`day shelldrake :-) I`ve brought a few packs of the assault group figures you have pictured in your blog, bit of a hoch poch of weapons. I may go for the district ORBATS ,maybe a platoon of "AKs"later, Have you bought any Westwind figs?
I made some hooches out of beach sand
mats living by the coast as \I do and they look good with the woven texture looking to scale as well

Shelldrake said...

The only Westewind figures I have purchased are the villagers, which I have yet to paint up :-/

But they do mix in ok with the TAG figures, which is good.

I would love to see some photos of your hooches.