• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

America in Vietnam

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

December 2001 History Coursework Blaine Emmett 11G As America went to war with Vietnam, people expected that they would win with relative ease. Even at that time in world history, America was the strongest military force in the world and had never previously lost a war. They faced what was an unestablished military force composed of two factions, The Vietcong (VC) and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). There were fundamental differences in their fighting methods. The main difference between the two sides' tactics was that the Americans had access to bomber planes like B-52's. These allowed rapid dispersion of bombs on military targets. However, this proved unsuccessful. We can speculate as to reasons of the failure of this tactic. One could say that the bombs weren't as accurate as in modern day, and therefore there was a risk of missing targets. Even today, bombs and missiles are not one hundred per cent accurate. It is also possible that it was hard to find genuine and credible targets in an under-developed country such as South Vietnam. ...read more.

Middle

Although statistics are varied, it is rumoured that the tonnage of bombs used in Vietnam was double that used throughout the entire duration of World War Two. One source, Vietnam 1939-75 states that "the United States Air Force dropped more bombs on North Vietnam than all the bombs dropped in the Second World War." This statistic gives people the sheer enormity of the bomb raids. The indiscriminate bombing gave a negative public image of American troops during the war. One soldier was told "We don't accept any drinks from killers," after he tried to buy drinks for people in a bar. Never before had the American people been sceptical of it's own military aims and objectives. People developed opinions from the emotive propaganda photographs released by the media. This had a detrimental effect in the "Battle for Hearts and Minds" - i.e. the propaganda war. The NVA and NVA reacted wisely to bombing raids. They dug an intricate network of tunnels that had multiple uses. ...read more.

Conclusion

These kinds of tactics didn't stop here; massacres like My Lai were even more horrific and violent. Seymour Hersh, a prize-winning journalist, told how one soldier "stepped within two feet of a boy and shot him in the neck with a pistol." This is fairly reliable secondary evidence (based on the author's journalistic credibility) and shows that soldiers abused tactics. Of the communist factions, the North Vietnamese Army was the most conventional - in that they wore uniforms. They still used guerrilla style 'hit and run' tactics, which were utilitised as an effective way of fighting against a larger opposition i.e. the U.S. The VC and NVA had successful political policies and military strategies. They used less sophisticated tactics, but they won the war for the communists. The American public was embarrassed, not only had they lost to an unestablished military force, they had come out of Vietnam with a negative public image. The Vietnam War serves as an example to show that it is not always the best-equipped and most sophisticated side that wins wars; and that the application of tactics is vital. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    The drug culture mushroomed. Communal living groups of "dropouts" who rejected mass culture received widespread attention. People more than 30 years old reacted angrily against the flamboyant youth (always a small minority of the young generation) who flouted traditional standards, glorified self-indulgence, and scorned discipline.

  2. History of the United States

    had prevented the achievement of many of Kennedy's legislative goals by the time of his death. Johnson, who in 1964 won an enormous victory over the Republican presidential candidate, Barry GOLDWATER, and carried on his coattails a large Democratic congressional majority, proceeded with consummate political skill to enact this broad program.

  1. American History.

    These reasons include... "Overcrowding" - England had experienced a dramatic population boom,? resulting in social and economic upheaval (inflation, falling wages, peasants losing their land b/c of the enclosure movement, many homeless people, rapidly growing cities). Competition - The English government was concerned about losing g?round in the competition with

  2. The role of Saddam Hussain in serving the aims of America in the Middle ...

    These activities caused a great deal of concern amongst the leaders of these countries, especially in Kuwait, and it would have been only natural for them to seek American help after these events, but the regimes managed to contain the situation and put a stop to Iranian movements inside their countries.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work