Historical Dictionary



The origins of the People’s Army of Laos can be traced to the activites of Kaisôn Phomvihān and his Vietnamese communist allies operating in northwestern Vietnam in the late 1940s. In February 1948, the Indochinese Communist Party created the Northern Lao Assault Team (Doi Xung Phong Lao Bac) to conduct political propaganda, create local armed groups, and expand the resistance into northern Laos. Kaisôn was the team’s Lao leader. In January 1949, thanks to this propaganda work and the personal support of Vo Nguyen Giap, Song Hao, and Le Tan Trong, the northern Lao assault team became the embryonic Lao armed force known as Latsavong. However, it was not until Advisory Group 100 arrived in September 1954 in the regrouping zones for the Pathet Lao in Phongsaly and Samneau that a true Pathet Lao army emerged following the signing of the Geneva Accords. See also ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FOR THE FRONTIER; ARMY, ASSOCIATED STATE OF LAOS; COMMITTEE FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS; COMMITTEE FOR THE EAST, LAO ISSARA; HOANG VAN HOAN; NGUYEN KHANG; NGUYEN THANH SON; PARTY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE.