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

Describe the military tactics used by both the USA and the Vietcong forces in Vietnam an the 1960's

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

GCSE History Coursework Describe the military tactics used by both the USA and the Vietcong forces in Vietnam an the 1960's: From the outset of the Vietnam War, the Americans had a very arrogant attitude, and believed that the war would be won within a matter of months, and this was due to the US never, up to this point, having been beaten. They underestimated the enemy vastly. The American troops were also very racist towards the Vietnamese, and had no respect for them or their religion. The only thing the Americans really respected was money, and the Vietnamese, in comparison were living in poverty. The Vietcong realised that in order to win the war, they must first win the "hearts and minds" of the peasants. If they succeeded in this, then they could be provided with shelter, food and so forth, and at the same time enlist more troops, and above all else, the peasants would see that communism is the way forward for Vietnam. In order to do this, they operated by a special code when dealing with the peasants: 1) To not do anything which is likely to damage the land, crops, houses, or people's possessions 2) To not insist on buying or borrowing land that people are not willing to lend or sell 3) To never break their word 4) To not do or speak of anything that is likely to make people believe that they hold them in contempt 5) ...read more.

Middle

Agent orange was a chemical defoliant that was used to clear areas of terrain where the VC were suspected to be, but it also caused birth defects among women. Another favourite weapon used by the USA was Napalm. It was a mixture of petroleum jelly mixed with phosphorous, that was dropped from fighter-bombers over suspected VC inhabited areas. A small amount was needed, and it would burn through to the bone and victims would die of phosphorous poisoning. America would use a combination of troops that were closely supported by planes and helicopters. The planes would be mounted with a gun known as "Puff the magic dragon", a devastating 30mm cannon that could rip up any thing with a "wall of lead". The VC were ill-equipped compared to the Americans but they had an established route called the "Ho Chi Minh Trail", that was a complex web of jungle tracks that ran from North Vietnam to Saigon, through Laos and Cambodia, carrying about 60 tons of aid per day. In the beginning of the war it, would take around six months for a soldier to navigate the trail, but as the route became used more often, the more experienced soldiers could get through it in six weeks. The Americans tried to bomb this route, but it was invisible from the air, and so impossible to hit with any accuracy, especially from a B52 bomber that was inaccurate from a great height anyway. ...read more.

Conclusion

The US wanted to stay as far away from the enemy as possible, whereas the Vietnamese wanted to be as close as possible to the American troops, so that the Americans could not rely on helicopters coming to kill the enemy. For the Vietnamese this was a very simple task, because not only did the Americans litter everywhere, they also smelt different to the jungle, with all their drugs, cigarettes and western food. Very often, the Vietcong could smell the Americans coming. Even after seeing that they were getting nowhere, the US troops still used the same European fighting tactics, the same weaponry and generally did not adapt well. The Vietcong, on the other hand, ate, slept and lived as the jungle, and so were undetectable. They had, in comparison to the US, very primitive weaponry, but this did not matter, as they were so resourceful, and used tactics to suit their equipment. They also had far more experience than the Americans in fighting wars on this terrain, and had an almost inexhaustible supply of troops, as they had something to fight for: their beliefs and their right to independence and their country. The American troops had no objective, and were fighting for what in their eyes was a totally unimportant country where all the inhabitants did was grow rice and become communists all day, and the majority did not even know where Vietnam was! ...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. Free essay

    Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950's and 1960's

    Johnson was basically given the power to give armed support to assist any country requesting 'help' in defence of its 'freedom'. President Johnson now had the power to fight communism. So on February 11th 1965, Operation Rolling Thunder began. It was a joint- attack by ARVN and US warplanes, where

  2. Describe the military tactics and weapons used by both the USA and the Vietcong ...

    as the fighting was on their homeland, and they could afford to wait for a victory. The US however couldn't as the war was costing them money and lives, so they had to engage the enemy quickly. This was a big problem for the Americans as they were trained in

  1. Why did military tactics cause USA to withdraw from Vietnam?

    Other non-explosive traps used were bamboo whips, bow traps, pits and spiked balls. The most feared traps however, were explosive and typically constructed from American materials including unexploded bombs and seized ammunition caches. Grenades were the typical booby-trap; triggered by tripwires or remote detonation, they caused often-fatal injuries.

  2. How did the poets and the songwriters of the 1960's react to the Vietnam ...

    So 'on November 2nd 1965' this is when the Americans were just starting to get fully involved in the Vietnam War, America was and still is 'multi coloured' country but was it multi minded? America in the 60's was a very racist country and it still is.

  1. The USA should have been successful in Vietnam because of its technological and military ...

    Senator Fulbright, the leading opponent of the war, said in October 1966 that 'The picture of the world's greatest superpower killing or seriously injuring 1,000 non-combatants a week...is not a pretty one. It can produce a distortion the world image of the United States'.

  2. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s?

    The Americans had the technology and the resources to fight a full-scale war whereas the North Vietnamese did not have the resources in the south to face the Americans face on so they turned to guerilla tactics. So in the beginning of the war, the USA used their technology to

  1. American History.

    - For example: William Hill Brown wrote The Power of Sympathy (1789) to warn women about seduction; Royall Tyler wrote The Contrast (1787) about good vs. bad behavior; and the most popular book of the time was Mason Locke Weem's Life of Washington (1800)

  2. Describe the military tactics used by both the USA and Vietcong forces in Vietnam ...

    a total of 500,000 was sent to Vietnam in 1968. The main problem in Vietnam for the Americans was the geography of the country, Below the partion line, there are massive mountains which means USA cant use there mass fire power or tanks, so marines and helicopters are used in

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