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

Describe the military tactics used by both the USA and the Vietcong forces in Vietnam in the 1960s

Extracts from this document...


Describe the military tactics used by both the USA and the Vietcong forces in Vietnam in the 1960s During the Vietnam war both the USA and the Vietcong used very contrasting military tactics. The USA chose to use their superior technical and military might to overcome the Vietcong quickly and effectively. The USA felt this would suffice. Although the Vietcong chose to use their guerrilla tactics and used the lush canopy and shrubbery of the jungle to their advantage. Instead of fighting battles which they would almost certainly lose, due to the advanced weaponry of the US forces. Originally following the setting up of the Republic of Vietnam (GVN) using US military and political aid, the Communist Party attempted to reunify the country via political means alone. This involved the use of internal political pressure. The president of the GVN at that time was Ngo Dinh Diem who claimed his government was under attack from the Communists in the north, claiming the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) wanted to take the nation by force. This was not the case till 1959 when the Communist Party approved the use of revolutionary violence alone to liberate South Vietnam. ...read more.


In March 1965, the first US combat troops arrived in Vietnam at Danang. The US aimed to fight a battle of attrition which would wear the Vietcong down. Although the Vietcong were determined to go on till victory. In 1967 critics saw this US strategy as an indication of the fact that the US was losing the initiative and it was not even a strategy in itself. The US had never come up against guerrilla warfare on this scale before. The US troops found it hard to combat these guerrilla tactics of the Vietcong. The US no longer aimed to capture land but kill as many Vietcong as possible. Philip Caputo who volunteered to fight in Vietnam said: "The rare occasion when the VC chose to fight a set-piece battle provided the only excitement, but beyond adding a few more corpses to the body count, these encounters achieved nothing. Our mission was not to win terrain, but simply to kill. The pressure on unit commanders to produce enemy corpses was intense. It is not surprising that some men acquired a contempt for human life." ...read more.


As the numbers fell the VC took advantage by launching attacks on ARVN forces near Hue, around Kantoum and Saigon. The US did send massive supplies to help but the ARVN had lost all will to fight, hence by 1975 Vietnam was all Communist. The war was fought between both forces in very different ways. The US used their superior weaponry in conventional warfare and used a policy of attrition which was destined for failure against the guerrilla warfare tactics of the VC. The Vietcong chose not to fight the South Vietnamese people by angering and disrespecting them. The VC tried to be their friends. The US failed to do this and consequently they found no help from the people. The Vietcong were very good at this form of warfare and were very brave and committed. The US soldiers were attacked day and night and lost much sleep. Although the VC where aided by Russia in the form of military hardware. Without this the task would been far harder. Although it was the adaptability, perseverance and strength of mind that allowed the VC to defeat their foes so effectively. As well as US complacency and arrogance. Benjamin Kolb 11MJA WCS ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Explain why the US withdrew its forces from the Vietnam War in 1973

    4 star(s)

    This meant the US forces became a symbol of hostility and invasion the Vietnamese people. Throughout the Vietnam War, troop morale was dangerously low with the average age of a soldier being 19, with the average age of death being 22.8 years.

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

    They never chose to fight unless they were certain of a win, and always attacked in small groups with little force and then ran away. Due to these tactics, they would need the support and welcome of peasants as the soldiers would need food, shelter and a place to hide when they were being attacked by the US.

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

    Americans also used Zippo raids named after a common American cigarette lighter. During these raids the US forces, set fire to the homes of farmers and other peasants. A way in which the US forces tried to get the Vietcong forces from internally was to put Agent Orange into their water supply.

  2. Explain why there were such different reactions in the USA to the country's involvement ...

    An example is Country Joe and The Fish's Vietnam Song, which contained lyrics such as, "Well, come on generals, let's move fast; Your big chance has come at last. Now you can go out and get those reds. 'Cause the only good commie is the one that's dead".

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

    President Richard Nixon won the vote because he promised his country that he would remove all troops from Vietnam by using a procedure called Vietnamisation, he also won the vote by saying he would make a peace movement which meant an American withdrawal and the takeover of South Vietnam by the communist North.

  2. History Controlled Assesment- Success' of USA military

    this was to force North Vietnam and the Viet Cong to surrender, and agree towards South Vietnam being a separate country. In addition to halt the flow of equipment and men to the Viet Cong in South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

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

    The source is from Great Battles of the First World War and was published in 1989. Anthony Livesey had no motive or any reason to be biased, so I would say this source is probably reliable. The source states an opinion about Haig but it does not explain or give any evidence to tell us why Livesey has this opinion.

  2. I think that the four most significant themes in the Vietnam War were protest ...

    medical services the Somalian?s desperately needed, soon after giving the locals what they needed the American?s left ? they did this because they were hesitant to stay in another country. Although the Americans went to Somalia to help the people ? it wasn?t always seen like that by the locals

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