Central Office for South Vietnam

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The Central Office for South Vietnam (COSVN) was, according to General Tran Van Tra of the People's Army of Viet Nam (PAVN), the southern branch of the Vietnam Workers' Party Central Committee. The COSVN represented the party and conducted all military and political activities in South Vietnam. As such, the COSVN was a semi-mobile field headquarters. It was not, as some U.S. commanders seemed to suggest, a smaller version of the Pentagon Building.[1] COSVN was born out of political split within the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF). The NLF was a broad-front organization, often identified as the the "southern branch of the Vietnam Workers' Party" and was the principle organized opposition to the Republic of Vietnam government.[2] In January 1962, a split within the Vietnam Workers' Party created the COSVN as the southern party called the Peoples' Revolutionary Party of South Vietnam.[3] Despite the appearance of ideological split, it was increasingly clear as the 1960s wore on, that the North Vietnamese Politburo had overall control of COSVN (see also dau tranh). The PAVN supplied the COSVN through the Ho Chi Minh trail.


  1. Tran Van Tra (1993), Tet: The 1968 General Offensive and General Uprising, in Jayne S. Werner and Luu Doan Huynh, The Vietnam War: American and Vietnamese Perspective, M.E. Sharpe, Tran Van Tra, Tet, p. 64
  2. Douglas Pike (1969), War, Peace, and the Viet Cong, MIT Press, Pike-WPVC, pp. 6, 10-11
  3. Pike-WPVC, p. 10-11.