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Describe the Military Tactics of the Vietcong and the Us

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Introduction

DESCRIBE THE MILITARY TACTICS OF THE VIETCONG AND THE US DURING THE VIETNAM WAR IN THE 1960'S The US and Vietcong had very different tactics during the Vietnam war, for a variety of reasons. The primary reason was, each side had very different resources and capabilities. The US, a technologically advanced Superpower, were fighting the Vietcong, a group of Communist rebels from South Vietnam who were mainly 'farmers by day, fighters by night,' in other words, peasants. The remaining Vietcong were made up of two other types. The first were the smallest group. These were the North Vietnamese highly trained, paid soldiers. The remainder were the territorial forces which worked part time and received some pay and were able to be promoted to the first group. The Vietcong's tactics were to use guerrilla warfare against the US because they knew in any other type of warfare the US would win. They set up all sorts of booby traps along jungle trails, including 'Punji Traps'. ...read more.

Middle

US troops exploited this to move around by boat. To overcome the problem of the jungle terrain, helicopters were used to ship troops in and out of otherwise inaccessible areas. Helicopters were also used to supply US troops with artillery and other necessities, to evacuate casualties, and were armed for use directly in conflict. The helicopter was so important in the Vietnam war that it came to symbolise it. The US found the Vietcong very awkward to find because they didn't wear any uniform and looked like ordinary Vietnamese citizens, so the US troops went about burning any villages that could have been sheltering the Vietcong. US troops didn't speak any Vietnamese so their methods of finding the Vietcong were not very effective. Any reasonably young Vietnamese men were immediately suspected of being Vietcong. Because of the US's futile attempts at finding all Vietcong, the US had to resort to more expensive alternatives. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some of the biggest bases were in Pleiku, Danang and Kesanh. Westmoreland also set up smaller supply bases closer to North Vietnam from which US troops would leave for missions and then return to afterward. The US therefore had to spend a lot on all this, compared to the Vietcong, who were supplied with everything they needed by North Vietnam, Russia and China who also later sent troops to help them. Trained North Vietnamese soldiers infiltrated South Vietnam by well established routes, mainly through Laos. Once in South Vietnam local guides would lead the soldiers half way from the previous supply base to half way past the next one. Consequently the guides from one supply base only needed to know the location of that particular one, thus guarding against giving away important information in the event of their capture by US troops. To summarise, the US and Vietcong fought using very different tactics, related to their knowlege, resources and capabilities. Daniel Allan 11GS ...read more.

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