Tuesday, 22 July 2008
A group of ARVN moving on. Cholon, May 1968.
A photo of a group of South Vietnamese infantry moving on.
The ARVN were of a very varied quality. During the Tet offensive the Peoples Self Defense Forces and the Hamlet Security Forces had fought very well. When it came to defending their own village the South Vietnamese was every bit as good as the Viet Cong.
On a larger scale units like the Parachute and Marine divisions were excellent. Certain of the Ranger units were also very good.
There were problems with the command structure of certain divisions and corruption was rampant.
The army had originally been trained to fight a regular style war when the Viet Cong fought a guerrilla style. Then the army adapted and changed tactics but the North Vietnamese then came in with regular forces.
I always felt that one of the main problems was that whereas the Vietcong and North Vietnamese were prepared to die for what they believed in the South Vietnamese had no future to believe in and only performed well when their own families were menaced.