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

To what extent can it be argued that the use of guerilla warfare tactics by the Vietcong against the US military was the key factor in explaining the American lack of success in the Vietnam War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent can it be argued that the use of guerilla warfare tactics by the Vietcong against the US military was the key factor in explaining the American lack of success in the Vietnam War? The Vietnam War has been regarded with much controversy - both during the War, and after its conclusion in 1973. America came under heavy criticism because it seemed to the world that its presence there was unjustified. Many countries saw America's presence as purely strategic and economical rather than for the protection of South Vietnam's people as America had first claimed. This worldwide lack of support included many protestors at home in America. This was devastating for the morale of the hundreds of thousands of young 'grunts'. Throughout the war American losses, both financial and military were astounding. Never before had a country with America's degree of power and worldwide influence been so unsuccessful when combating an economically underdeveloped country such as Vietnam. Admittedly North Vietnam did receive aid from both the Soviet Union and China but despite this, Vietnam has to be seen as a Third World country defending their homeland from the world's biggest super power. ...read more.

Middle

However the NVA and other Northern Vietnamese forces used it as a way to distract America from the Tet offensive itself . Put a footnote here to indicate you have a source for this claim. From early 1962 America encouraged Diem to adopt a policy of 'strategic hamlets', fortified villages in which the Vietnamese peasants would hopefully be isolated from the Vietcong. This strategy only created further opposition to Diem and the US regime as the people disagreed with being forced to leave their ancestral homelands and farms to build the blockades. Link to Vietnamese culture - ancestor worship - bones of ancestors buried in land nearby. Another incident that shows poor American preparation and execution But you haven't been talking about poor preparation and execution in the paragraph before - you've been talking about the fact that their behaviour was insensitive. You therefore need to introduce this slightly differently - perhaps - 'an event that highlights in an extreme form the insensitivity of American soldiers in their approach to the Vietnamese is the My Lai massacre of May 1968. This incident was a well-publicised tragedy that was has often been put down to the utter frustration that the American troops were experiencing. ...read more.

Conclusion

You need to provide a source for your comment about low levels of morale. Unfortunately for the Americans, the low morale led to what seemed like an infinite stream of problems for their war effort. Many of the most obvious causes for the US lack of success could be ultimately put down to a lack of morale and vice-versa. The causes and consequences of US lack of success often appear to be intertwined. Jon - there's lots that's good about this, but the one crucial problem is that the factor you highlight at the beginning of the essay - namely, Vietcong guerrilla tactics, is not mentioned at all in the essay. What you have to do is to discuss these tactics in some detail, provide evidence of how these tactics resulted in massive casualties for the Americans. Explain how Vietcong tactics didn't allow America to gain the advantage from their much higher levels of military technology. In your concluding paragraph you need to tease out all the factors to explain why you consider that guerrilla tactics was the key factor - perhaps bringing out, though, in some detail how all the other factors played a part in allowing the guerrilla tactics to be so successful. 1 The Battle for Khe Sanh, The USA and Vietnam 1945-75 - Vivienne Sanders ...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. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    Furthermore, U.S. strategy was premised on a major rebuilding of German industry-something profoundly threatening to the Russians. Ideally, Americans viewed a thriving Germany as the foundation for revitalizing the economies of all Western European countries, and providing the key to prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic.

  2. To What Extent can it be argued that America Had an Imperialist Policy, Which ...

    For the purpose of this essay not all the issues raised in the declaration of independence are required so I will highlight the points that I feel are needed to answer the question best. Firstly the declaration refers to 'He' meaning the King of Great Britain describing the injustices he has subjected the American colonies to.

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    The assassination was quickly forgotten as events in the south took center stage. Operation Defensive Shield Suicide attacks by Palestinians in Israel against civilians that had started in 1995 had become much more frequent and savage and by early 2002 the situation for the Israelis was becoming unbearable.

  2. Vietnam - reasons the US lost the war.

    "Critics in the government, the military, and elsewhere claim that the media was dominated by the antiwar journalists who poisoned the American public against the war by delivering superficial and negative coverage of the conflict. (pg 177 Walter). This shows how Walter noticed that people attentions were grabbed by the over coverage the news released.

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

    This allowed them to use helicopters and other expensive forms of war equipment. On the other side of the spectrum, you have a North Vietnam. Admittedly, they were funded by the Communists in Russia and in China but that was not really saying much economically.

  2. Was the My Lai Massacre a failure in the Rules of Engagement or a ...

    The definition of Rules of Engagement is 'Directives issued by competent authority which delineate the circumstances and limitations under which United States Forces will initiate and/or continue combat engagement with other forces encountered.'0 The rules of behavior are: If possible the enemy will be warned first, then asked to surrender.

  1. To what extent was the Civil War the main factor in the Bolshevik

    However, the credibility of the extract from Trotsky's diary is questionable as he would have known that this would have been seen after his death but Moynahan does provide support for the evidence to establish that it was a victory which was needed to secure consolidate power.

  2. How was opposition to the Vietnam War portrayed in contemporary literature, film and popular ...

    more comedic side of things, maybe as a way to cover up the failure. One of these shows was called M.A.S.H. It was set in South Korea during the Korean War. It was a comedy, which focused on a group of doctors and nurses whose job it was to tend

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