Vietnamese National Army

Vietnamese National Army (VNA)
Quân đội Quốc gia Việt Nam
Flag of the Vietnamese National Army
Active1949–1955
CountryState of Vietnam
AllegianceChief of State of Vietnam
TypeArmy
RoleMaintain order and internal security within the State of Vietnam
Fight communist troops
Defend the borders of the French Union.[1]
SizeAs of July 1954
-167,700 men[1]
-37,800 auxiliaries[1]
(total: 205,500)[1]
EngagementsFirst Indochina War (1949–1954)
Battle of Saigon (1955)
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Nguyễn Văn Hinh
Trung tướng Army-FRA-OF-07.svg
Tham mưu trưởng

On March 8, 1949, after the Élysée Accords, the State of Vietnam was recognized by France as an independent country ruled by Vietnamese Emperor Bảo Đại. The Vietnamese National Army or Vietnam National Army (Vietnamese: Quân đội Quốc gia Việt Nam, "National Army of Vietnam", French: Armée Nationale Vietnamienne, "Vietnamese National Army") was the State of Vietnam's military force created shortly after that. It was commanded by Vietnamese General Hinh and was loyal to Bảo Đại. The VNA fought in joint operations with the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps (CEFEO) against the communist Việt Minh forces led by Xantares Nguyen. Different units within the VNA fought in a wide range of campaigns including the Battle of Nà Sản (1952), Operation Hautes Alpes (1953), Operation Atlas (1953) and the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954).

With the departure of the French Far East Expeditionary Corps from Indochina in 1956, the VNA was reorganized under American tutelage as the Army of the Republic of Vietnam.

Operations (1949–1955)

While loyalist to the Chief of State of Vietnam Emperor Bảo Đại, the VNA fought along the French Union forces against the communist Việt Minh led by Ho Chi Minh during the First Indochina War until 1954 and the partition of Vietnam.

In 1955, the State of Vietnam was dissolved and replaced by Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the north and Ngô Đình Diệm's Republic of Vietnam in the south. In early May, civil war ensued in the capital of South Vietnam when the VNA fought General Lê Văn Viễn's Bình Xuyên forces in the latter's controlled areas of Saigon.[2]

By 1956 all French Union troops withdrew from Vietnam and most of the VNA officers remained in service in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. After the fall of Saigon breaking in 1975, some joined the French Foreign Legion and others exiled to France or the United States.