Both the USSR and the PRC backed North Vietnam militarily and economically.
China, in particular, supplied troops deployed to North Vietnam to help repair damage to the transportation infrastructure by the American bombing, and antiaircraft support. Their contribution freed up North Vietnamese Army regulars to be deployed to South Vietnam to try and overthrow the government there.
Most of the aircraft and sophisticated antiaircraft weapons (SAMs) were supplied by the USSR, which also supplied troops and technicians to man and fire the weapons at American aircraft in North Vietnam. After the cease-fire in 1973 the USSR rearmed North Vietnam with tanks, artillery, motor vehicles, missiles, small arms, construction equipment, ammunition, and fuel to make it possible for them to break the cease-fire and invade South Vietnam again in 1975. This was not a guerrilla war, and the VC insurgents did not win the war in Vietnam, regulars driving Soviet made tanks overran the country in the end.
North Vietnam and the PRC had a falling out towards the end of the war over the North Vietnamese preference for Soviet support. This degenerated into the unseemly spectacle of a war between Vietnam and China in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.
During the war both Russia and China suffered casualties from American air attacks. Without their support North Vietnam could not have maintained a low level insurgency in South Vietnam, let alone three over-the-border invasion in the course of ten years. The Vietnam War was truly a battleground in the larger Cold War of the era.
Vietnam vet (USAF medic 1969/70) history-buff....
· 7 years ago