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

Why did America withdraw its forces from Vietnam in 1973?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did America withdraw its forces from Vietnam in 1973? After 30 years of war, the capital of South Vietnam, Saigon, fell into communist hands. Two years earlier, the US army left Vietnam defeated. Many factors made the Americans admit defeat. There are three areas, which account for the withdrawal of US troops: War factors including: failure of US military tactics; differences in experience between US and opposition forces; poor morale of US troops from the experiences of the war. Social factors that include: opposition to war particularly in America; unpopularity of South Vietnamese government; and the cost of war. International factors including: support for VC forces from Russia and China: 'Operation Rolling Thunder' was the American bombing campaign over North Vietnam. It was supposed to last 8 weeks but lasted 31/2 years. More bombs were dropped in this campaign than were dropped in the whole of the Second World War. North Vietnam had very few factories, meaning that bombing was ineffective. Another US tactic was called 'Search and Destroy' which was to find the enemy and destroy them. ...read more.

Middle

The VC was less sophisticated but they stayed close to the US troops. This meant Americans couldn't bomb the VC without killing themselves. The VC weren't scared of death and they had a real cause for fighting. The American soldiers consumed drugs and alcohol because their morale was so low and this made them even less effective to fight against the VC. The lack of US experience in guerrilla warfare undermined their morale. The American soldiers didn't believe in what they were fighting for. This meant they weren't properly motivated for fighting. The opposition to war from many civilians at home reduced morale even more because they felt that they had little support from their own people. The morale was so low that between 1966-1973 there were 503,000 cases of desertion. Racial tension was also a large problem. This tension was between black and white troops because at this time the white community was treating black people in an awful way. Black soldiers were commonly called the 'beast' and white soldiers would laugh behind the black soldiers back. ...read more.

Conclusion

The longer lasting costs were that people became more confident about protesting against the government and future protesters targeted nuclear weapons. All of these factors had great consequences on the withdrawal of US forces but poor US tactics and the poor morale of the US forces are the most important ones. Many of these factors interlink. The fact that the US soldiers were unable to fight their enemy face to face meant that their morale was very low. The commonly known 'Zippo Raids' in which peasants houses were burnt down to discourage peasants from helping Vietcong only increased the support for VC and the unpopularity of the Americans. The use of chemicals meant Americans at home thought of the war being a crusade were dashed making the US government very unpopular. Protests in USA made morale lower for troops in Vietnam. The government had planned the 'Great Society' but the war was costing $20 a year and Linden B Johnson had to cut spending making war in America even more un-popular. Francis Hine-Hughes Page 1 ...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. Explain Why The USA Withdrem its Forces From Vietnam in 1973

    He introduced his policy of 'Vietnamisation' whereby responsibility for the war was handed to the South Vietnamese whilst America offered military support. This allowed US troops to gradually withdraw. Troop strength fell dramatically to 95,000 by 1972. As part of 'Vietnamisation', Nixon opened peace negotiations with Russia and China.

  2. Vietnam - Why did the USA withdraw it's troops in 1973?

    Morale began to decline, as many soldiers realised the war was going badly, and lost confidence in their officers; this caused many to desert. Drug taking increased, as they could be purchased cheaply, and were easily available throughout South Vietnam.

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

    The guerrilla tactics used by the Vietnamese caused incessant paranoia among the American troops, as they never knew where the enemy was. The soldiers were always wary of ambushes and booby-traps. American morale was badly affected, particularly as often they could not distinguish between a civilian and a Vietcong.

  2. Why did the US withdraw from Vietnam in 1973

    However, journalists could obviously not employ this method with the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). The North Vietnamese government controlled what was reported about their army's activities. This situation meant the media provided the public with an explicit insight into the horrific deaths of American soldiers, the terrible effects of defoliants,

  1. Why did the American forces withdraw from Vietnam in 1973? The Americans got involve ...

    In fact a lot of inexperienced US soldiers walked into traps. Fifthly, the Vietcong knew the area well whereas Americans didn't. On the other hand, US troops has taken drugs due to stress. This slows down their reactions and they have to rely on drugs which make them weak.

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

    Amazingly, holes connected from the ground fed the people fresh air and let out hot steam from the kitchens, and the US forces still couldn't find them! Tiny trap doors were designed to fit the samatotype of the Vietnamese into the forest floor, and viewpoints were made from undergroound to

  1. Explain why the US withdrew its forces from Vietnam in 1973?

    The Vietnamese were very resilient and kept going on meagre rations, surrounded by inhospitable conditions. They weren't afraid of dying for their cause, which becomes clear from the statistic that 1 million NVA men were killed in the war, out of a population of only 18 million.

  2. Armed forces.

    Historical Record of the Life Guards (London: Clowes: 1836) Regimental Museum Household Cavalry Museum Combermere Barracks Windsor More go to http://www.btinternet.com/~britishempire/empire/forces/armyunits/britishcavalry/1sttroopofhorseguards.html Artillery Horse artillery Battery Sergeant-Major The other picture of the Battery Sergeant-major is a coloured engraving from a photo. He has gold braiding. The back end of a 12-pounder is accurately shown.

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