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1975 spring offensive information

1975 spring offensive
Part of the Vietnam War

1975 spring offensive NVA's battle plans
Date13 December 1974 – 30 April 1975
South Vietnam

North Vietnamese victory

  • Dissolution of the Republic of Vietnam
  • End of the Vietnam War
1975 spring offensive North Vietnam
Supported by:
1975 spring offensive Soviet Union
1975 spring offensive South Vietnam
Supported by:
1975 spring offensive United States
Commanders and leaders
Lê Duẩn
Văn Tiến Dũng
Lê Trọng Tấn
Trần Văn Trà
Lê Đức Anh
Nguyễn Văn Thiệu
Cao Văn Viên
Ngô Quang Trưởng
Phạm Văn Phú
Dư Quốc Đống (replaced by Nguyễn Văn Toàn)
Nguyễn Khoa Nam
Trần Quang Khôi
Units involved
Bình Trị Thiên Front
Tây Nguyên Front
Southern Regional Headquarters
Southwestern Command
I Corps
II Corps
III Corps
IV Corps
U.S. figures:
In South Vietnam: 270,000[1]
Total forces: 1,000,000[2]
Vietnamese figures::
270,000 men
1,076 artillery pieces, mortars and recoilless guns
320 tanks and 250 armoured vehicles
679 trucks
Six A-37 Dragonfly aircraft[3][failed verification]
Sources 1:[citation needed]
1,110,000 men (710,000 regulars, 400,000 armed CIDG)
1,607 artillery pieces (105mm, 155mm and 175mm), 14,900 mortars, 200+ recoilless guns[4]
2,044 tanks and armoured vehicles
1,556 aircraft and helicopters
579 war ships
On 26 April:
In the perimeter around Saigon: 250,000 men (152,000 regulars)
407 artillery pieces
624 tanks and armoured vehicles
229 aircraft
At 4th Tactical Zone:
175,000 men (66,000 regulars)
386 artillery pieces
493 tanks and armoured vehicles
118 aircraft[3]
Sources 2:[citation needed]
Regular Forces: 495,000
Regional Forces: 475,000
Popular Force: 381,000
Casualties and losses
  • ~8,000 killed
  • 15,999 wounded
Total: ~1.19 million[6]
  • ~30,000 killed
  • 60,000 wounded
  • ~1.1 million surrendered or captured

More than $5 billion (1975 cost) in U.S. supplied hardware were captured
155,000 refugees killed or abducted[7]

The 1975 spring offensive (Vietnamese: chiến dịch mùa Xuân 1975), officially known as the general offensive and uprising of spring 1975 (Vietnamese: Tổng tiến công và nổi dậy mùa Xuân 1975), was the final North Vietnamese campaign in the Vietnam War that led to the capitulation of Republic of Vietnam. After the initial success capturing Phước Long Province, the North Vietnamese leadership increased the scope of the People's Army of Vietnam's (PAVN) offensive and captured and held the key Central Highlands city of Buôn Ma Thuột between 10 and 18 March. These operations were intended to be preparatory to launching a general offensive in 1976.

Following the attack on Buôn Ma Thuôt, the Republic of Vietnam realized they were no longer able to defend the entire country and ordered a strategic withdrawal from the Central Highlands. The retreat from the Central Highlands, however, was a debacle as civilian refugees fled under fire with soldiers, mostly along a single highway reaching from the highlands to the coast. This situation was exacerbated by confusing orders, lack of command and control, and a well-led and aggressive enemy, which led to the utter rout and destruction of the bulk of South Vietnamese forces in the Central Highlands. A similar collapse occurred in the northern provinces.

Surprised by the rapidity of the ARVN collapse, North Vietnam transferred the bulk of its northern forces more than 350 miles (560 km) to the south in order to capture the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon in time to celebrate their late President Ho Chi Minh's birthday and end the war. South Vietnamese forces regrouped around the capital and defended the key transportation hubs at Phan Rang and Xuân Lộc, but a loss of political and military will to continue the fight became ever more manifest. Under political pressure, South Vietnamese President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu resigned on 21 April, in hopes that a new leader that was more amenable to the North Vietnamese could reopen negotiations with them. It was, however, too late. Southwest of Saigon IV Corps, meanwhile, remained relatively stable with its forces aggressively preventing VC units from taking over any provincial capitals. With PAVN spearheads already entering Saigon, the South Vietnamese government, then under the leadership of Dương Văn Minh, capitulated on 30 April 1975.

  1. ^ Forces which actually participated in the offensive. William E. Le Gro, From Cease Fire to Capitulation. Washington, D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History, 1981, p. 28.
  2. ^ Spencer Tucker, Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History, ABC-CLIO, 1998, p 770. "At war's end in 1975, the PAVN numbered nearly 1 million troops, despite the loss..."
  3. ^ a b Theo những cánh quân thần tốc – NXB Công an Nhân dân
  4. ^ "Estimated Number Of Personal Arms Left Behind, 1975". Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  5. ^ Đại tướng Võ Nguyên Giáp với công tác hậu cần quân đội, Vietnam Ministry of Defence
  6. ^ Clodfelter, Micheal (2017). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Encyclopedia of Casualty and Other Figures, 1492–2015, 4th ed. McFarland. p. 695. ISBN 978-1-4766-2585-0.
  7. ^ Wiesner, Louis, Victims and Survivors: Displaced Persons and Other War Victims in Viet-Nam, 1954–1975 (Greenwood Press, 1988), pp. 318–9.

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