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Sino-Vietnamese War / Third Indochina War


speldwiday
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Hey all,

I'm writing a paper on the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War (THird Indochina War). My intent to explore the reasons for Chinese military failure during their brief incursion into North Vietnam. Right now I am citing the inferiority of Chinese equipment, tactics, and organization as the main causes.

This conflict is a relatively obscure "war" and in my initial research, I've found a lot of conflicting statistics, viewpoints, and references. Any expert opinions, comments, explanations, and/or recommended sources would be most helpful!

Thanks in advance.

~bryan

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It is wrong to assume that the 79 conflict was a debacle for the Chinese. It is true that the Chinese were supposed to have had 20,000+ casualties but they did meet their objective determined by the CMC. Please note that Vietnam had a defence treaty with USSR and thus China had positioned the best units at the Sino-Soviet border and the units that took part in the operation were at best second rate units. Another point is that the Vietnamese had forewarning of the invasion, by as early as 6 months and yet they never prepared their defences properly.

you can visit the link for one of the largest adacemic forum on Chinese Defence http://www.china-defense.com/forum/index.php?

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Indhuren:

Thanks so much for the link and reply.

I totally agree that the 1979 invasion was a strategic/diplomatic victory for the CHinese (especially in regards to displaying the impotency of the "paper polar bear" USSR), but considering that the PLA suffered an extremely high casualty rate against a mainly militia force, I would have to say that the CHinese army was indeed hampered by major tactical/strategic military problems.

Let me know what you think.

~bryan

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I totally agree that the 1979 invasion was a strategic/diplomatic victory for the CHinese (especially in regards to displaying the impotency of the "paper polar bear" USSR), but considering that the PLA suffered an extremely high casualty rate against a mainly militia force, I would have to say that the CHinese army was indeed hampered by major tactical/strategic military problems.

You are correct about the high casualty rate suffered by the PLA. However all the military operations undertaken by the PLA have a political objective to it and as far as China is concerned, a military victory means zilch without a concurrent political/diplomatic victory. Inorder to achieve a political objective, China was willing to sacrifice manpower to any extent atleast until the 1970's and early 80's. The first instance when the Chinese showed that thay are not willing to take high casualties was during the 1989 student's demonstration. Some students were indeed killed but the casualty list could have been more..

Nevertheless, the Chinese themselves understand the extreme sacrifice the PLA made in 1979. Most of the soldiers who died were from South China and I heard that many movies and songs were made eulogising the soldiers.....

Another reason for the "military" disaster in 79 was the lingering effect of the GPCR. Infact the high point of the PLA was the 1962 military victory over India in the border war. After that has been a long period of decline. The PLA wisened up on the tactics after 1979 which can be seen in the success in the 4th Indochina war (1984-87) when PLA really whopped PVA......

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