1963 South Vietnamese coup d'état

In November 1963, President Ngô Đình Diệm and the Personalist Labor Revolutionary Party of South Vietnam were deposed by a group of CIA supported Army of the Republic of Vietnam officers who disagreed with Diệm's handling of the Buddhist crisis and the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong threat to South Vietnam. In South Vietnam, the coup was referred to as Cách mạng 1-11-63 ("1 November 1963 Revolution").[3]

1963 South Vietnamese coup d'état
Part of the Buddhist crisis of the Vietnam War
Date1–2 November 1963

Coup successful

  • Military Revolutionary Council takes power; political prisoners released
  • Ngô Đình Diệm and Nhu arrested and assassinated, Lê Quang Tung and Hồ Tấn Quyền summarily executed
  • Ngô Đình Cẩn arrested; tried and executed in May 1964
  • The Republic of Vietnam weakened and becomes increasingly dependent on the United States

ARVN rebels
RVNMD rebels
RVNAD rebels
RVNAF rebels

Supported by:
 United States

 Republic of Vietnam

Commanders and leaders

Trần Văn Đôn
Dương Văn Minh
Nguyễn Cao Kỳ
Lê Văn Kim
Tôn Thất Đính
Nguyễn Hữu Có
Đỗ Mậu
Trần Thiện Khiêm
North Vietnam Phạm Ngọc Thảo
(spy of North Vietnam)

Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.
Lucien Conein

Phan Khắc Sửu
Trần Văn Hương
Ngô Đình Diệm Executed
Ngô Đình Nhu Executed
Ngô Đình Cẩn Executed
Lê Quang Tung Executed
Hồ Tấn Quyền Executed
Huỳnh Văn Cao
Two battalions of the 5th Division[1]
Two marine battalions
Two airborne battalions
Miscellaneous trainee units and air force aircraft
~150 men of the Presidential Guard[2]
ARVN Special Forces
Casualties and losses
9 dead
46 wounded
4 dead
44 wounded
Civilians: 20 dead, 146 wounded.

The Kennedy administration had been aware of the coup planning,[4] but Cable 243 from the United States Department of State to U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., stated that it was U.S. policy[5] not to try to stop it. Lucien Conein, the Central Intelligence Agency's liaison between the U.S. Embassy and the coup planners, told them that the U.S. would not intervene to stop it. Conein also provided funds to the coup leaders.[6]

The coup was led by General Dương Văn Minh and started on 1 November 1963. It proceeded smoothly as many loyalist leaders were captured after being caught off-guard and casualties were light. Diệm was captured and executed the next day along with his brother and adviser Ngô Đình Nhu.

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