USA and Vietcong forces in the 1960’s. Essay

The tactics used by the Vietcong and US military forces were really different and changed during the class of the war. At the beginning of the war the Vietcong ( NLF ) ground forces was aggressive whilst the US ground forces was defensive. The Gulf of Tonkin incident became America’s alibi to go aggressive towards the Vietcong.

In 1965 General W. Westmoreland developed the scheme of “search and destroy” . Its aim was to happen and kill any members of the NLF. US soldiers found this hard nevertheless as the Vietcong ever dressed in civilian vesture. and killing provincials by error was non uncommon ; “if he’s dead and Vietnamese. he’s a V. C. ” was the position of the military personnels transporting out the hunt and destroy missions.

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It was clear from the beginning of war that the US had far more technologically advanced arms than the Vietcong. which they used throughout the struggle. B-52 bombers wholly dropped 8. 000. 000 dozenss of bombs between 1965 and 1973which equated to 300 dozenss of bombs per individual life in Vietnam. This was over three times the sum dropped during the whole of World War Two. Aside from bombs the US besides dropped a considerable sum of napalm. a mixture of gasoline. phosphoric and a chemical thickening which attaches itself to the tegument doing hideous “fifth-degree” Burnss to the victim. which could quite frequently be an luckless US soldier. Agent Orange. a complex biological arm was dropped over a batch of the thick flora of Vietnam. doing all works life to decease. potentially to expose any concealment Vietcong.

The US pioneered the development of anti-personnel bombs. smaller than those dropped from the B-52s. such as the “pineapple” . which changeable sherds and acerate leafs of metal in all waies. With the many different developments of anti-personnel bombs it was the US’s purpose non to kill the North Vietnamese but to wound them severely. It cost the Vietcong worse in clip and resources to assist the injured. whilst dead merely needed burial. Ironically. the Vietcong’s supply of explosives for mines and suchlike largely came from the 800 dozenss of US bombs that were dropped every month which failed to detonate.

In order to counter the powerful and technologically-advanced US ground forces. the Vietcong employed “guerrilla” tactics which had been used to great consequence in Mao Zedong’s triumph in winning China for communism. The Vietcong were split into little groups of between three and 10 soldiers. known as a cell. Cells worked together but knowledge between them was kept to a lower limit so that if the cell or portion of it was captured and tortured. any confessions made would non damage the Vietcong side really much.

The cells. who dressed in civilian vesture. would travel between South Vietnamese small towns winning the support of the NLF from the villagers. They would assist the provincials. non make anything against their wants and educate them on poorness and other issues. in exchange for nutrient. political and sometimes even military support.

To get the better of the more powerful enemy. a guerilla has to order the footings of warfare to it’s advantage. The Vietcong chose the scene of the boundary lines of the thick dense woods of South Vietnam as ambuscade was really easy. Another of the proficient progresss on America’s side was the realization that the chopper could straight convey the military personnels straight into the bosom of the conflict and acquire them out once more rapidly. However there was a monolithic hazard related to this.

Once the US had decided on a landing country for the chopper it was non hard for it to be changeable and destroyed by the Vietcong even in the few seconds it was touching the land.

After the military personnels had been dispatched they would be surrounded on most sides by an unseeable enemy hidden in the wood. doing the US’s undertaking a incubus.

It was non that the Vietcong and NLF leaders did non care that 1000s of their soldiers were being sent into conflict and being killed. It is that they had the will to go on making so until the US gave up. Physical losingss to the US were non every bit great as those losingss from the American person’s position of the war. This I will explicate in the following and concluding inquiry ; “Why was there such different reactions in the USA to the country’s engagement in the struggle in Vietnam in the 1960’s. ”