The general definition of the Vietcong is the fighting forces of the NLF (The National Liberation Front for South Vietnam.) It is short for Viet Nam Cong San, which loosely translates to Vietnam Communist. This term was not completely accurate as members of the Vietcong were not all Communists. "Most were not Lao Dong members; many scarcely thought of themselves as political, at least in any ideological way. Our allies among the resistance veterans were also largely nationalist rather than political. But we also had Party activists among us, some open, some surreptitious." (Truong Nhu Tang, PG 68) This definition does not tell us who these people really were, or what they lived through. In the following report, I hope to give you a better understanding of just who the Vietcong were and what they were fighting for.
When we hear the term Vietcong, we tend to think of guerillas hiding in the jungle. In reality, the Vietcong was composed of many more people than just the soldiers. The NLF supported and directed much of the Vietcong activities. The NLF itself consisted of people from all walks of life, from wealthy landowners, to bankers, doctors, professors, and peasants. There was little discrimination in the Vietcong; everyone willing to fight for the cause was welcomed. Men, women, young, and old, Communist Party members and those who had no real political affiliation.
History of the NLF, Beginnings of Vietcong
After years of suffering under colonialism, the Vietnamese yearned for a unified country and a solid government of their own that could govern the entire country fairly and protect all interests. The most recent political leaders had been either puppets held by the strings of a foreign power, or had been unable to garner support among the civilians and had eventually alienated many of the people.
For anyone to truly understand where the Vietcong got their ingrained nationalism and loyalty, you would need t…