In January 1979 the Vietnamese overthrew the Beijing regime is focused on the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Besides January 1979 differed considerable nationalism of the Vietnamese communists expelled from Vietnam many Chinese diaspora has long lived in the city and in the north of the country.
In response, the Chinese Communists also differ considerable nationalism, the evening February 16, 1979 attacked Vietnamese border.
By the way, the beginning of the attack just before sunset - a Chinese operational and tactical reception, spent during the Korean War 1950-53 .: night action avoids US air strikes, then dominant in the skies of Korea.
A quarter-century Chinese Vietnamese attacked again with little or no participation of aircraft - almost all of the PLA Air Force will be deployed to the north of China, close to the Soviet and Mongolian border, to repel a possible impact on the superior quality of Aviation of the USSR ...
Vietnam also attacked 22 infantry divisions, six territorial divisions of local troops, about 600 tanks and self-propelled guns, over 4,000 field artillery pieces and mortars.
In the first echelon advancing infantry 9 and 6 territorial divisions. Village on the Vietnamese-Chinese border is very difficult, covered with rainforest mountains, therefore, as in the past, the Chinese army units were formed porters.
PLA troops confronted with the Vietnamese side 10 infantry divisions peacetime, two tank brigades and 15 regiments of the local troops.
We assumed that this war was a failure for China. Well, something like the Soviet-Finnish, where "finami" were Vietnamese. With this one could agree, but needed some refinement.
According to estimates and the Soviet and Western experts Chinese infantry showed tenacity and tactical skill rather high fighting in mountainous and wooded terrain. Repeatedly Chinese skillfully bypassed enemy strongholds, operated at night, widely used commando squads infiltrated deep into the enemy's defenses, etc.
Even tanks in a completely unsuitable for their area used by various tactical methods. Vietnamese Cao Bang was surrounded by classic for World breakthrough tank units with troops of infantry to armor the enemy's rear. On rough terrain tanks artmashiny often acted as infantry support.
Both Western and our specialists noted the high discipline and morale of Chinese soldiers, including a prisoner - the practice of ideological Maoism has not changed the market pragmatics.
At the same time, the weaknesses of the Chinese army were insufficient technical equipment - motor weakness, poor communication, etc.
It's funny that the strengths and weaknesses of the Vietnamese army were largely similar to the Chinese ...