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The Cambodian Civil War was a military conflict that pitted the forces of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and their allies the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Viet Cong against the government forces of the Kingdom of Cambodia and, after October 1970, the Khmer Republic, which were supported by the United States and the Republic of Vietnam .

Cambodian Civil War
Part of the Vietnam War, the Indochina Wars, and the Cold War
11ACRCambodia1970.jpg
South Vietnamese tanks entering a town at Cambodia in 1970.
Date 11 March 1967 – 17 April 1975
(8 years, 1 month and 6 days)
Location Cambodia
Result

Khmer Rouge victory

Belligerents
Kingdom of Cambodia
Khmer Republic
 United States
 South Vietnam

National United Front of Kampuchea:
Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rumdo
Khmer Việt Minh
 North Vietnam

Việt Cộng
Commanders and leaders
Lon Nol
Sisowath Sirik Matak
Long Boret
Richard Nixon
Pol Pot
Khieu Samphan
Ieng Sary
Nuon Chea
Son Sen
Norodom Sihanouk
Strength
  • Cambodia 30 000 (1968)
  • Cambodia 35 000 (1970)
  • Cambodia 100 000 (1972)
  • Cambodia 200 000 (1973)
  • Cambodia 50 000 (1974)
  • Cambodia 4.000 (1970)
  • Cambodia 70 000 (1972)
  • North Vietnam 40 000-60 000 (1975)
Casualties and losses
240,000–300,000 killed

The Cambodian Civil War (Khmer: សង្គ្រាមស៊ីវិលកម្ពុជា) was a military conflict that pitted the forces of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (known as the Khmer Rouge) and their allies the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the Viet Cong against the government forces of the Kingdom of Cambodia and, after October 1970, the Khmer Republic, which were supported by the United States (U.S.) and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).

The struggle was complicated by the influence and actions of the allies of the two warring sides. People's Army of Vietnam (North Vietnamese Army) involvement was designed to protect its Base Areas and sanctuaries in eastern Cambodia, without which the prosecution of its military effort in South Vietnam would have been more difficult. The Cambodian coup of 18 March 1970 put a pro-American, anti-Vietnamese government in power and ended Cambodia's neutrality in the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese Army (PAVN) was now threatened by a newly unfriendly Cambodian government.

Between March and June 1970, the North Vietnamese moved many of its military installations further inside Cambodia to protect them from U.S. incursions and bombing, capturing most of the northeastern third of the country in engagements with the Cambodian army. The North Vietnamese turned over some of their conquests and provided other assistance to the Khmer Rouge, thus empowering what was at the time a small guerilla movement. The Cambodian government hastened to expand its army to combat the North Vietnamese and the growing power of the Khmer Rouge.

The U.S. was motivated by the desire to buy time for its withdrawal from Southeast Asia, to protect its ally in South Vietnam, and to prevent the spread of communism to Cambodia. American and both South and North Vietnamese forces directly participated (at one time or another) in the fighting. The U.S. assisted the central government with massive U.S. aerial bombing campaigns and direct material and financial aid.

After five years of savage fighting, the Republican government was defeated on 17 April 1975 when the victorious Khmer Rouge proclaimed the establishment of Democratic Kampuchea.

The conflict was part of the Second Indochina War (1959–1975) which also consumed the neighboring Kingdom of Laos, South Vietnam, and North Vietnam individually referred to as the Laotian Civil War and the Vietnam War respectively. The Cambodian civil war led to the Cambodian Genocide, one of the bloodiest in history.

War History in Cambodia Civil War in Cambodia history of cambodia

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