In this 1968 Armed Forces information film (AFIF 172), viewers see several Viet Cong/COSVN propaganda films (captured by American forces near the Cambodian border) that show military operations, logistics and demolition planning, and non-military activities of the Viet Cong from their point of view. The film begins with a shot of the motion picture trademark of COSVN or the Central Office for South Vietnam, the communist organization and command headquarters that is directing the communist war effort against the Republic of Vietnam. An American man watches teh films on a Moviola and speaks to the camera about the value of the captured COSVN propaganda films. The title of the first film is translated to “Military Operation by the 9th Viet Cong Main Force Division in retaliation for the bombings of Hanoi and Haiphong” (01:51). A division political officer speaks to his division prior to an assault (02:00). Officers and soldiers where cards and posters pledging vengeance for the bombings of the northern cities. The political officer passes out ropes to be used on captured prisoners. A bugler sounds the attack, and the soldiers run through the jungle to attack an American armored personnel carrier. Footage shows the dead American soldiers; the survivors are taken prisoner and marched through the jungle barefoot. The next film begins with a Viet Cong attack against Allied forces in South Vietnam (03:38). Communist soldiers march down a road; women and children carry supplies for the Viet Cong. U.S. helicopters fly overhead—most likely UH-1 Iroquois (04:03). Men carry machine guns and prepare to attack a South Vietnamese outpost. South Vietnamese and American troops walk into the ambush (04:45), and the Viet Cong open fire. Footage shows the dead soldiers as the Viet Cong strip the corpses of their weapons. At camp, Viet Cong clean the captured weapons and ammo and ready them for the next assault (05:38). A Viet Cong commander plots an attack against a South Vietnam hamlet (06:06). The Viet Cong soldiers jog through the jungle with branches on their backs for camouflage. They march past an overturned Caltex tanker truck (06:40). South Vietnamese prisoners are marched off for interrogation. Communist supporters in the hamlet welcome the Viet Cong with dancing and singing in honor of the “liberators.” Next, viewers see the demolition operations of the Viet Cong. Men wade through a body of water carrying food and equipment above their heads; in this case, the men carry bags of rice (08:31). Armed women help make up the Viet Cong’s transportation force and pass along supplies (09:00). Men and women walk reinforced bicycles loaded with supplies. A demolition expert dissembles an unexploded bomb. Viet Cong fashion boobytraps for the jungle (10:10). Viet Cong forces and members of a local community walk on a railroad (10:34), where they destroy a railroad track that leads to a derailed government train. Footage shows where explosives have created small gaps in railroad tracks. An officer uses a small model bridge to brief a guerilla unit on a demolition mission (11:41). Men squat in the jungle and prepare explosive charges. The Viet Cong climb the bridge to plant the explosives at preplanned locations. The explosives are detonated and the bridge is destroyed. The final propaganda film shown is of non-combat work of COSVN officials (13:33). Banners and signs welcome Chinese journalists to the COSVN camp. Viet Cong and Chinese officials toast each other and exchange photographs of Ho Chi Minh and Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong). A North Vietnamese entertainment troupe performs for the Chinese writers (14:12). The Chinese correspondents visit a Viet Cong printing plant, which publishes the Vietcong Liberation newspaper and other propaganda leaflets. A man demonstrates the printing press. Next, viewers see Viet Cong carry wounded soldiers to the main COSVN hospital (15:20), which is an underground hospital. Nguyen Chi Thanh, 4-star general, visits the hospital (16:19); he meets with some of the wounded men there. The film concludes with footage from the COSVN meeting to plan the winter-spring offensive of 1967, which features the COSVN’s political chief as the main speaker (17:06).
Central Office for South Vietnam was the American term for the North Vietnamese political and military headquarters inside South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Some doubted its existence but in his memoirs the American commander in South Vietnam, General William Westmoreland, spoke of it as something whose existence and importance were not in doubt.
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