1952-1961 - French Military Regions
Decree 61-QP of June 26, 1952 went into effect on July 1, 1952. The decree, which was signed by Chief of State Bao Dei, stipulated that each of the military regions was to be placed under the authority of a general or other ranking military officer. It also provided that regional boundaries were to coincide with local administrative boundaries. It divided the territory of Viet Nam into four military regions:
- 1st Military Region -- South Viet Nam (the former French colony of Cochin China, also known as "Nam Ky");
- 2nd Military Region -- Central Viet Nam (the coastal provinces, also known as "Trung Ky");
- 3rd Military Region - North Viet Nam (also known as "Ba Ky") including the Northern mountain areas;
- 4th Military Region -- The Southern mountain plateau (vung cao nguyen mien nam), often called the Central Highlands.
Under the provisions of Decree 19-QP of March 19, 1954,
- 2nd Military Region boundaries were changed to include that portion of Viet Nam from the northern border of Quang Ngai Province "up" (presumably to the boundary with the 3rd Military Region);
- 4th Military Region boundaries were changed to include the Central Highlands and Central Viet Nam from the northern border of Quang Ngai ''down" (i.e. to the south).
Under Decree 117-QP of September 6, 1956 the boundaries of the 2nd and 4th Military Regime were changed by this decree. In addition, a new military region, the 3rd Military Region (not to be confused with the former 3rd Military Region in North Viet Nam which was evacuated by the French in 1954-55 as a result of the 1954 Geneva Agreement) was formed. The new boundaries were as follows:
- 2nd Military Region -- Three provinces: Quang Tri, Thua Thien, and Quang Nam (which then included present day Quang Tin Province);
- 3rd Military Region (new) -- Five provinces: Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Pleiku, Kontum, and Phu Yen;
- 4th Military Region -- Five provinces: Ban Me Thuot, Djiriug (later Lam Dong), Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan.
Decree 147/b-QP of October 24, 1956 decree brought about the division of the South (the former French Colony of Cochin China) into two military regions. The 1st Military Region, which formerly encompassed the entire South, was split in two. The eastern provinces (mien dong) retained their designation as the 1st Military Region. The western provinces (mien tay) were designated the 5th Military Region. In addition, a new Capital Military District (Quan khu Thu do), an outgrowth of the former Saigon-Cholon Autonomous Sector established in 1952, was formed.
- 1st Military Region -- Nine provinces: Gia Dinh, Phuoc Long, Binh Long, Long Khanh, Bien Hoa, Tay Ninh, Phuoc Tuy, Binh Tuy and Binh Duong;
- 5th Military Region -- Twelve provinces and one island: Long An, Kien Tuong, Kien Phong, Dinh Tuong, Kien Hoa, Vinh Binh, Vinh Long, An Giang, Phong Dinh, Ba Xuyen, Kien Giang, An Xuyen, and Con Son Island;
- Capital Military District: The City of Saigon.
Decree 147 b-QP followed by two days Decree 143-NV of October 22, 1956 which reorganized and renamed most of the provinces in the southern part of the Republic of Viet Nam
Decree 89-QP of April 16. 1959 changed the boundaries of the 1st and 5th Military Regions and those of the Capital Military District:
- 1st Military Region -- Nine provinces: Phuoc Thanh, Phuoc Long, Binh Long, Long Khanh, Bien Hoa, Tay Ninh, Phuoc Tuy, Binh Tuy, and Binh Duong;
- 5th Military Region -- Eleven provinces and one island; Kien Tuong, Kien Phong, Dinh Thong, Kien Hoa, Vinh Long, Vinh Binh, An Giang, Phong Dinh, Ba Xuyen, Kien Giang, An Xuyen, and Con Son Island;
- Capital Military District: City of Saigon and Gin Dinh and Long An Provinces.
Under Decree 44-QP of February 24, 1960, the 3rd Military Region, created in September 1956, was abolished by this decree. With immediate effect, Quang Ngai and Kontum became part of the 2nd Military Region. Pleiku, Binh Dinh, and Phu Yen became part of the 4th Military Region.
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