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What different tactics were used by both sides in an attempt to win the conflict?

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What different tactics were used by both sides in an attempt to win the conflict? In the Vietnam War the tactics used by both sides were completely different. America wanted a conventional war; this was because they were a superpower well equipped and were not trained to fight a guerilla war. The Vietcong couldn't fight a conventional war because of lack of weapons and no training but they had knowledge of the land terrain to suit them and their tactics, which meant they were suited for a guerilla war. Both these sides used tactics they thought would help them win the war. The Vietcong tactics were based on the guerilla tactics developed by Mao Tse Tung in China. The NLF were organised in small groups of three to ten soldiers and were known as cells. The knowledge they had of each other was limited and therefore if captured and tortured, a soldiers confessions wouldn't harm the NLF much. The NLF would not go into combat unless it outnumbered the enemy and was certain of winning. ...read more.


Hiding the base areas had always been a high priority for the Vietcong. Now, with American planes everywhere, it was more vital than ever to protect them. In remote jungles there were few problems, but nearer cities and towns it was more difficult. In order to protect their bases from the air strikes the Vietcong built enourmous systems of underground tunnels. The tunnels were not just shelters, they were fighting bases capable of providing support for troops. Even if a village was in enemy controll, the NLF beneath were still able to conduct offensive operations. Even if the American troops found the entrance to the tunnels, which were often boobytrapped if abandoned, they could not go into them as they were often too small for the larger American soldier. In an attempt to disrupt North Vietnamese sea routes used to funnel supplies into the south, Operation Market Time, a joint effort between the U.S Navy and the South Vietnamese Navy commenced. ...read more.


The U.S soldiers found this difficult as the Vietnamese civilians and members of the NLF looked alike and civilians were often killed by mistake. In January,1968, the turning point of the war occured as 84'000 Vietcong guerillas aided by NVA troops launched the Tet Offensive attacking more than one hundred cities and towns throughout South Vietnam. The enemy even attacked the U.S embassy in Saigon in which Vietcong commando's invade the building. The Vietcong were eventually beaten back with losses of 40'000 men but they had proved that the Americans were still not in control of the country, and although they had lost the military battle,they had won a psychological battle. Air forces proved essential for Americas miltary effort in Vietnam, so much so that many air combat innovations occurred over the course of the war. New tactical ideas ranged from search and destroy missions to bombing raids. The Vietcongs tactics were highly successful against the Americans. They would avoid pitched battles against the Americans unless the odd's were clearly in their favour. To counter the American build-up, Vietcong recruitment was stepped up and more North Vietnamese Army troops were infilerated into South Vietnam. James Knight ...read more.

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