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War of Resistance in Laos History

From 1964 to 1973, the war in Indochina escalated. From US air bases established in Thailand, US bombers were soon trans-secting Eastern and North-Eastern Laos, North Vietnam and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail on bombing missions. In order to fulfill their orders to release all bombs, B-52 captains would arbitrarily empty their bomb bays over civilian areas in Laos when returning from Vietnamese air strikes;

From 1964 to 1973, the war in Indochina escalated. From US air bases established in Thailand, US bombers were soon trans-secting Eastern and North-Eastern Laos, North Vietnam and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail on bombing missions. In order to fulfill their orders to release all bombs, B-52 captains would arbitrarily empty their bomb bays over civilian areas in Laos when returning from Vietnamese air strikes; On a per capita and tonnage basis, Laos is the most heavily bombed nation in the history of warfare. Saturation bombing of PL and NVA strongholds was carried out intensely, but the PL simply moved their headquarters into cave complexes near Sam Neua.

With growing guerrilla resistance in South Vietnam, the US military began forming a special CIA-trained army in Laos to counter the growing power of the PL. Largely comprised of Hmong tribesmen under the command of the Royal Lao Army (RLA) General Vang Pao - himself a Hmong - this army of 10,000 was a division of the RLA, trained for mountain warfare. The troops were not mercenaries in the true sense of the term. They were however, US and Thai trained, and US paid. There were more Thais and Lao Theung than Hmong in the RLA by the end of the 1960s.

There were, as well, a rotating number of US Air Force pilots, stationed in Long Tieng and Savannakhet, that flew regular missions as forward air controllers, spotting targets for bombing and fighter strikes in Laos and Vietnam.

By 1971 Chinese troops in Laos were in evidence, comprised mostly of an air defence force of 6000 to 7000, mostly concentrated along a complex of roads the Chinese were building in Luang Nam Tha, Udomxai and Phongsali Provinces. As many as 16,000 Chinese road workers laboured in Laos during the war.

 
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