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National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam

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National Liberation Front (NLF) flag
The National Front for the Liberation of Southern Vietnam (Vietnamese Mặt Trận Dân Tộc Giải Phóng Miền Nam), also known as the National Liberation Front (NLF) and as Front National de Liberté (FNL), was the primary rebel organization fighting the Colonialist French regime and later the US-backed Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The NLF asserted that it was a national front of all elements opposed to the existing government, whether communist or not. Its military organization was known as the People's Liberation Armed Forces.

The NLF was nominally independent of the North Vietnamese armed forces and not all NLF members were Communists. However, as the war with the Americans escalated North Vietnamese personnel increasingly formed the miltary staff and officer corps of the NLF as well as directly deploying their own forces.

American soldiers and the South Vietnam government typically referred to their guerrilla opponents as the "Viet Cong".

In classic tactics of partisan warfare NLF aimed to create 'liberated zones' within South Vietnam, and the US/ARVN response - breaking up traditional villages and moving peasants to fortified hamlets - proved to be largely self-defeating, certainly in terms of public opinion in the United States itself.

In 1969, the NLF formed a provisional Republic of South Vietnam which took power briefly after the fall of Saigon in 1975 and before the reunification of the country under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976. By this time non-Communist influence in the NLF had been eliminated.

The U.S. military complained that the NLF often diguised themselves as civilians, and thus U.S. troops could not tell the difference between the NLF and civilians. During the Vietnam War, U.S. policy was to treat captured NLF and North Vietnamese regulars as Enemy Prisoners of War under the Geneva Convention of 1949.es:Frente Vietnamita de Liberación Nacional hu:Dél-Vietnami Nemzeti Felszabadítási Front no:Front National de Liberté (Vietnam) sv:FNL

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