• 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...


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.


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.


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 ...

    Within the same week the Russians created a new Communist Information Bureau (Cominform), including representatives from the major Western European communist parties, to serve as a vehicle for imposing Stalinist control on anyone who might consider deviating from the party line.

  2. Vietnam - reasons the US lost the war.

    With this understand we realized how the anti-war became so powerful. It was the role of the press who discourage "Many people believe that Nixon and other government officials disliked the press converge because it exposed their flawed policies to the world.

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

    They also would have never expected a North Vietnamese attack in the towns so that it caught them by surprise. They fought with conventional methods such as tanks which also surprised the Americans as they thought that the North Vietnamese could not afford tanks and other armaments.

  2. What can you learn from Source A about the reasons for US involvement in ...

    may have lost sight of their actual goal, which was to rid South Vietnam of communism. In Source C, Caputo mentions that the Viet Cong avoided head on fighting stating that it was a, "rare occasion the VC chose to fight a set-piece battle".

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

    family utilised the vulnerability of the Whites and removed this figurehead for the Monarchists thus leading them to believe that the war effort and the counter-revolution was futile. This also strengthens the point that although removing opposition was relatively an easy process, it still was necessary and the Whites did pose a threat.

  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

  1. To what extent did guerrilla tactics of the Vietcong enable them to achieve victory?

    After the Japanese defeat he continued to improve the Democrat republic of Vietnam army's armaments and in 1946 the Vietminh declared war on the French. Giap's tactics for defeating the French began with guerrilla warfare designed to demoralise and confuse the enemy, it was completely revolutionary style of warfare to

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

    Using these interpretations it will be easier to analyse the actions taken by America and to find to what extent America had an imperialist policy. Now I have explored the meaning of imperialism I will go on to examine the ideals that were set down in the declaration of independence on 4th July 1776.

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