Vietnam War Dictionary

Pathet Lao

Pathet Lao (Land of the Lao) was the common name of the Lao People's Liberation Army (LPLA), which was the military arm of the communist Lao Patriotic Front (LPF). The LPLA was born out of the Latsavong detachment, which had been formed in January 1949, and fought with the Viet Minh against the French Union Forces during the first Indochina war.

During the 1960’s and early 70’s the North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao battled against the Royal Lao Government’s forces, which were supported by the U.S. After Communist victories in South Vietnam and Cambodia, the Pathet Lao took control of Laos, establishing it as the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic in December 1975.

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