In May 1975 the Pathet Lao
communists gradually orchestrated a takeover of the government in Laos.
American troops and Vietnamese troops would withdraw from Laos and let the Royal Lao and Communist Lao get together to form their own government, but the Pathet Lao
communists and North Vietnamese violated the cease-fire agreement by seizing power in 1975.
Although a possible artefact of the sources, these accounts predate the rise of the Pathet Lao
and raise a question about respective attitudes towards monarchy.
By 1964, the Allies began an air campaign against mobile and stationary targets along the route "from southwestern North Vietnam, through southeastern Laos, and into South Vietnam." Concurrently, air assets were used for CAS missions in support of RLG forces, CIA-supported Hmong tribal forces, and Thai "volunteers." In what became the clandestine ground war in northern Laos, Barrel Roll worked to help the "secret army" hurl back incursions by the PAVN and Pathet Lao
As the Pathet Lao
was on the brink of total victory in 1975, the US evacuated only Vang Pao and his immediate circle.
Likewise, GVP rose to power during the Vietnam War when the Hmong needed a leader to provide leadership in the fight against their enemies--the Pathet Lao
communists and their Vietnamese allies--and a vision of hope for liberation from foreign domination.
Chapters 8 and 9 are especially important, the former chronicling the ramifications of a 1960 coup led by Kong Le and his paratroopers as Pathet Lao
threats increased and the latter telling of US efforts to ensure that an anti-Communist government remained in power while officials figured out who among many Laotians would be "our boy."
supported the Royal Lao government in a civil war in the north against Pathet Lao
Communist forces in three ways.
A Communist group called the Pathet Lao
, which was allied with the North Vietnamese forces and the Viet Cong, struggled during those long decades -- but eventually succeeded -- in overthrowing the royalist government, which was supported by Thailand, South Vietnam and the West.
The story begins with an account of French POWs during the First Indochina War, then moves on to discussing POWs taken in Laos by the Pathet Lao
. We read of those men captured in Viet Nam by the National Liberation Front and the Viet Cong.
Pending a political settlement with the Royal Lao government, the pro-Vietnamese Pathet Lao
, who had fought with the Vietminh against the French, were allowed to regroup in the two northern provinces they already controlled.
During the first Indochina war between France and the communist movement in Vietnam, Prince Souphanouvong helped form the Pathet Lao
(Land of Laos) resistance organization committed to the communist struggle against colonialism.