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

The USA should have been successful in Vietnam because of its technological and military supremacy/ however, the USA failed to use this supremacy effectively to defeat a smaller, less advanced enemy. Do you agree or disagree with the interpretat

Extracts from this document...


History coursework question 2 'The USA should have been successful in Vietnam because of its technological and military supremacy/ however, the USA failed to use this supremacy effectively to defeat a smaller, less advanced enemy.' Do you agree or disagree with the interpretation? Explain your answer using sources D to K and knowledge from your studies. In the Vietnam War America failed to win the war even though they had loads of technology and a huge military supremacy because they failed to use this correct fully and didn't have any real tactics. America had many different types of weapons such as saturating bombing from their B-52 planes, which were the most highly advanced at the time of the war. Another example of things that were more advanced than the Vietcong army was chemical warfare, there were 3 types of this and they were Napalm, Agent Orange and agent blue. These all killed many innocent Vietnamese peasants which many American citizens disagreed with. The Vietcong fought against the American army by using things such as guerrilla warfare, the Ho Chi Minh trail and their tunnelling systems. In the end Vietcong won the Americans because they had outstanding knowledge of the surround land of where they were fighting such as the jungle areas, this benefited them as the Americans had better supremacy in both technology and military. The war that they were fighting was the war to take over Vietnam, this war was still continuing after both France and Japan had attempted to win and both been defeated by the Vietminh army. They both lost this war because they didn't know the area well enough to take any short cuts and also they didn't have enough troops as they had not long came out of the second world war. ...read more.


They thought that this would have made it easier for them to fight the Vietcong because they would be able to see their enemy, they also thought it would help to win the war. However the Vietcong had an underground tunnel that had been there for 20 years so it didn't make it any harder for them to hide from the Americans. You couldn't totally rely on this source because it had was designed to be sold in a newspaper; even though the source is fact based it would still not be completely truthful because it was only aimed at those who could read and were educated at the time. Also if it were totally truthful people would probably not buy it because it would be boring and not very interesting. This source also shows that the statement in the question was true because they had invented chemical warfare and the Vietcong only had basic weapons. Source H is a diagram of the tunnel system that had been there for at least 20 years before America started to fight the Vietcong, this was because they had used them to fight against both France and Japan; the Vietcong could live in these tunnels for around 3 months at a time; the source is from a text book which would be reliable and useful as it would have been researched. The source only gives a basic outline of the tunnels with a little bit of detail; the tunnels would have been miles longer. This makes it have limits because you cannot tell what they were totally like or the reality of them. The source was produced after the war so that you could get an insight of what they were like; if the Americans found the entrances to the tunnels ...read more.


The American army were very different to the Vietcong because they were very technologically superior and also Hi-tech; not only did they have the basic artillery but they had the latest planes which where the B-52 bombers and they had helicopters. Onto of this they had chemical warfare that they made called Napalm; Defoliants named Agent Orange and agent blue, these killed innocent peasants and failed to stop the Vietcong guerrillas. The Vietnamese peasants they captured they made them leave Vietcong controlled areas and live in defended strategic hamlets in loyal areas. ARVN sent American troops out on patrol, which were then supported by air and artillery when they got attacked. The Americans called the Vietcong 'Charlie' and ARVN sent out search and destroy patrols for them; however these patrols were clearly visible and the Vietcong found it easy to ambush them, this then led to the Americans burning whole villages known as 'Zippo raids' and they then carried out the unprovoked My Lai massacre in 1968. Overall I agree with the statement because America were more advanced on the ground and in the air with technology than the Vietcong because the Vietcong never had any major bombs, planes, helicopters or chemical warfare; they only really had basic weapons, tunnels and trails to supply weapons. The Vietcong where also more military superior than America because they had both men and woman fighting in the war; they also had started to train children to plant bombs and mines; demine the American bombs and mines, then reuse them to make new weapons for the Vietcong to use. Even though the Americans were more technologic than the Vietcong they failed to win the Vietcong army because the American soldiers had no knowledge of the area that they where fighting in and they also failed to use their weapons effectively. Alison Sowerby 10DBP ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 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 GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 essays

  1. John Keegan, a modern military historian suggests that Haig was an efficient and highly ...

    Source C is split into 3 main points firstly Haig is talking about how the nation cannot bear to have losses and it is a fact in every war or battle no matter who has the most men or best training or best weapons there will be casualties on both sides.

  2. Why did America withdraw from Vietnam in 1973?

    Pictures from this war of dead American and Vietnamese (north and south) soldiers were shown to the American public via TV and news papers etc. which decreased the opinion in mass proportion of the war leading to more protests etc.

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

    To counter the ambush tactic the US increased the use of helicopters. They were used to move troops into an area. When the Vietcong had been found and their position reported, the troops would be removed by helicopter and massive air strikes would be called up.

  2. using the sources available, why did America loose to Vietnam?

    In the film there is a scene where a demonstration is shown at Kent state, the school where some students were shot dead by snipers. In the scene there are lots of protesters or "long hairs" as they are referred to in the film by Ron Covic's mother.

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

    When one of those hit the ground, it exploded into thousands of metal pellet. Napalm was a bomb which exploded and showers the surrounding victims with burning petroleum jelly.

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

    The Americans also used helicopters, which were a major benefit to the US army. These helicopters did not need a landing zone and can drop off soldiers in thirty seconds and they could pick up casualties quickly and easily. The helicopters were very effective for their size and range.

  1. An Outline of the Vietnam War

    This gave Johnstone the excuse he needed to launch attack on the Noth Vietnamese; he passed the Tonkin Resolution. The USA soon began bombing North Vietnam factories, railways and bridges however they often missed their targets hitting schools and hospitals. By 1966, these bombings were happening 164 times a day.

  2. How coverage of Vietnam in the USA led to demands for peace

    The Maddox defended itself and fired back and hit all three boats and caused one to sink. The next day, the Maddox was commanded to go back to the Gulf of Tonkin after sailing back into international waters and during the night of 3rd August 1964, the commander of the

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