Kampuchean Revolutionary Army

The Kampuchean Revolutionary Army were the armed forces of the state of Democratic Kampuchea.

On April 17th 1975 the Khmer Rouge marched into Phnom Penh and the transition from being a rebel army to masters of a new country began. The country was renamed to Democratic Kampuchea, a constitution was made, and it began foreign relations with other countries.

To read more about the foreign relations of Democratic Kampuchea click here.

Kampuchean Revolutionary Army

The Khmer Rouge as they were nicknamed were the armed wing of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. Once they had come to power these guerrillas were molded into a regular army to protect the new state of Democratic Kampuchea. It replaced the Khmer Rouge-dominated CPNLAF (Cambodian People’s National Liberation Armed Forces) force as the armed forces of the nation.

Who led the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army?

Son Sen, alias Comrade Khieu was a member of the central committee of the Communist Party of Democratic Kampuchea and functioned as Minister of Defence/Head of the military during the time of the Democratic Kampuchean regime. He would continue in his military role in subsequent rebel governments until meeting his brutal end at the hands of Pol Pot in Anlong Veng.

To read more about Anlong Veng click here.

In reality very little was done without the say so of Pol Pot the leader of the Khmer Rouge.

How strong was the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army?

At its inception it had a fighting force of 68,000 seasoned veterans. which gradually increased as more people, including children were drafted into the army.

the Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea had 230 battalions in 40 regiments in 14 brigades. The command structure in units was based on three-person committees led by the political commissar. .

Kampuchean Revolutionary Navy

The navy consisted of 22 vessels of varying sizes, 3 of which were destroyed during the Mayagüez Incident!

Kampuchean Revolutionary Air Force

The Air Force consisted of 121 aircraft of carrying degrees, some US craft inherited from the Khmer Republic as well as Soviet and Chinese planes. 5 t-29 Trojans were destroyed during the Mayagüez Incident.

Fighting ability of the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army?

Due to the paranoia of the Khmer Rouge regime many senior officers were killed, or defected to the resistance force led by the Vietnamese. After the Vietnamese invasion the government of Democratic Kampuchea was to fall within months.

After the Khmer Rouge retreat it was renamed into the National Army of Democratic Kampuchea as a way to appear more like a united front.