4 Asymmetric Warfare < Guerrilla/Unconventional Warfare > Case Study:North Vietnamese/Viet Minh Strategy & TacticsGeneral Vo Nguyen Giap
5 General Vo Nguyen GiapChief of the Viet Minh forces fighting French colonial rule and later the Americans – Architect of Vietnamese strategy and tactics
6 Giap’s Three Stages of Struggle 1) Building the Base2) Guerrilla Warfare3) Mobile Warfare
7 Stage 1: Building the Base Situate headquarters in mountainous, difficult terrain for meetings, supplies and refugeViet Minh win hearts and minds of peasantryBeat/Assassinate landlords/tax collectorsRedistribute land holdingsEducation/literacy campaignsHelp with farmingViet Minh gainTaxesSuppliesIntelligencePorters
8 Stage 2: Guerrilla Warfare Pin-prick attacks meant to frustrate the enemy and incite overblown reprisalsGuerrilla “Pin-Prick” tacticsSabotage (road cutting, damage to vehicles, poison)Traps (homemade bombs, trip wires, pungi sticks, pit traps)Terrorism (attacks on civilian targets, R&R sites)Camouflage (local vegetation, holes, tunnels)Reprisals confirm VM propaganda and drive civilians to VM for support and guidance, increasing their popularity and strength
10 The biggest tunnel systems were in the Iron Triangle and the Cu Chi District, only 20 miles from Saigon. This map gives an idea of the extent of the tunnel system at Cu Chi--the orange lines represent major tunnels. The base area at Cu Chi was a vast network, with nearly 200 miles of tunnels
16 Note the row of rocks on top of bridge beam at the foot of the bridge… Note the row of rocks on top of bridge beam at the foot of the bridge….typical of the warning signs used by the VC/NVA to warn of their mining activities.
17 Stage 3: Mobile WarfareBy 1949, China is equipping the Viet Minh with automatic weapons, mortars, howitzers, trucksAllows for more conventional, regular forcesGuerilla infrastructure allows forViet Minh to movemore quickly andmore stealthily tocarry out open warfare