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North Vietnamese Army NVA - Military Regions / Corps

Formally the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and People's Liberation Armed Force (PLAF), these two are known to Americans as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC). The NVA had four Military Regions (1-4) in North Vietnam, and established numbers for regions in South Vietnam. The VC had a separate numbering system.

Military Region 5 covered the northern half of South Vietnam (the ARVN I CTZ and II CTZ south to Dar Lac and Khanh Hoa provinces). It organized the 1st, 2nd and 3rd VC Regiments; the 1st was engaged against the Marines in Quang Ngai Province in Aug 1965 during Operation Starlite. In fall 1965 it reorganized its forces into 2nd and 3rd Divisions and 10th Regiment. MR 5 was roughly the same for the NVA and VC. The lowlands from Da Nang to Nha Trang was the B-1 Front or B-1 Theater.

  • Tay Nguyen Front was subordinate to MR 5, and established Sep 1964. It covered the central highlands parallel to the Ho Chi Minh trail. This is also shown as the B-3 Front or B-3 Theater. (It also roughly corresponded to part of the VC's MR 10 and part of MR 1.)
  • Tri-Thien-Hue Military Region was carved out in Apr 1966 (Quang Tri and Thua Thien provinces). It was in control of the B-4 Front and the B-5 Front (established Jun 1966; the latter along Route 9 and the former the rest of the area). By the end of 1966 the region as such stopped trying to control the two fronts, which remained separate until Mar 1972. (B-5 front then operated under the control of Military Region 4, the southernmost region in North Vietnam.) The B-4 and B-5 Fronts were combined in Nov 1972.

70 [or 70B?] Corps was established Oct 1970 to coordinate Divisions 304, 308, 320 and other units along Route 9 and in Laos. It was still active in Mar 1972, in the Quang Tri area.

Southern Regional Headquarters controlled Military Regions 6 to 9 and the Saigon-Gia Dinh Special Zone. These were known collectively as the B-2 Theater.

Military Region 6 covered the rest of ARVN's II CTZ and the very northern part of III CTZ (Quang Duc, Tuyen Duc, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Lam Dong, and Binh Tuy provinces). (The westernmost elements of this and MR 7 fell into the VC's MR 10.)

Military Region 7 (or Eastern Nam Bo Region) covered the ARVN's III CTZ, roughly from Saigon to the north (Phuoc Long, Long Khanh, Phuoc Tuy, Binh Long, Binhy Dong, Bien Hoa, Tay Ninh, and Hau Nghia provinces). In Oct 1967 this region took over the Saigon-Gia Dinh Special Zone. (This was roughly the VC's MR's 1 and 4.)

Military Region 8 was southwest of Saigon, running from Cambodia to the South China Sea (Long An, Kien Tuong, Sa Dec, Dinh Tuong, Go Cong and Kien Hoa provinces). (This was largely the VC's MR 2.)

Military Region 9 covered the southernmost part of South Vietnam (Ghau Doc, An Giang, Vinh Long, Vinh Binh, Phong Dinh, Ba Xuyen, Kien Giang, Bac Lieu and An Xuyen provinces). (This was largely the VC's MR 3.)

CORPS used in the FINAL PHASE of the WAR

1st Military Corps established in the north 24 Oct 1973 (Divisions 308, 312, 320B; AA Division 367; Artillery Brigade 45; Tank Brigade 202; Engineer Brigade 299), and moved to the south late Mar 1975 for the final push on Saigon.

2nd Military Corps established 17 May 1974 in Tri Thien Front (Divisions 304, 324, 325; AA Division 367; Tank Brigade 203; Artillery Brigade 164, Engineer Brigade 219). Following the collapse of the ARVN in I CTZ in 1975 it pushed elements down the coast.

3rd Military Corps established 26 Mar 1975 utilizing the command staff of the Tay Nguyen Front (Divisions 10, 316, 320; Artillery Regiments 40 and 675; AA Regiments 234 and 593; Tank Regiment 273; Engineer Regiment 7). It controlled the push on Saigon through eastern South Vietnam in the final offensive.

4th Military Corps established 20 Jul 1974 (Divisions 5, 7, 9; Artillery Regiment 24; AA Regiment 71; Engineer Regiment 25; Sapper Regiment 429). This led the attack on Saigon from the northwest; shifting Division 5 and gaining Division 341. This corps grew out of Group 301, established 18 Mar 1971 (Divisions 5, 7 and 9 and Artillery Regiment 28) to control forces operating against the ARVN invasion of Cambodia that year..

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