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

How Effective Were The Tactics Of Search And Destroy And Defoliation During The Vietnam War?.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐How effective was the Tactics of Search and Destroy and Defoliation. Throughout the Vietnam War, there were many tactics used by the USA and General Westmoreland such as Search and Destroy and Defoliation. Throughout all, the tactics of Search and Destroy proved to be the most controversial. These tactics were primarily used to force the end of the war and force the spread of communism away and win ?Hearts and Minds? of the Vietnamese people. Search and destroy was mainly used to seek out the enemy and to eliminate its forces within the area. Many of these missions took place as General Westmoreland believed that, if they were able to lower the enemy forces and moral by a substantial amount it would win them the war. This he thought could be achieved by the USA?s superiority of firepower including intensive aerial bombardment and the uses of helicopters and tanks. Similarly, he used to the advantage of the huge amount of soldiers available in the USA. He already had approximately 16,000 men, but in1964 the troop number topped almost 500,000 men. However, these men were not adequately trained for the terrain and situation in Vietnam. Most of these men had been through only 12 weeks of training. This was hardly enough to ensure their survival. This made it extremely difficult for the soldiers as the enemy (Vietcong/Vietminh) and NVA were more trained to fight in this terrain. ...read more.

Middle

Many soldiers would lie on their count. Then this information was falsified in the information sent back to the USA. Additionally, after a raid, they could barely tell the difference between a dead VC and a dead Civilian, so they would estimate how many were killed. But, to add the VC would also try and remove dead bodies were ever possible. However, the effectiveness of Search and Destroy could now be call into question. Throughout the continuation of Search and Destroy Operations and raids the VC and NVL thought of ways to counter these tactics. This made it extremely difficult for US troops to keep the ?high? body count. This led to the US Troops to find more serviceable ways of using the Search and Destroy tactic, which meant going hands on into the suspected villages and looking for evidence to show that they were aiding Vietcong soldiers, if they found any traces of them facilitating the VC they would burn the village. This type of Search and Destroy method was called a Zippo Raid due to the type of lighter used. However, this tactic can be called into question as many South Vietnamese civilians were injured and badly affected in these raids. This would affect the US ethos of Winning the Hearts and Minds of the Vietnamese. What this actually did was it provoked the South Vietnamese people against them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many air force planes contained defoliate to help save lives in the field. The code named used for these kinds of attacks was ?cowboy?. However, you cannot judge Defoliation to be a success. One aspect was to un-cover the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Trail allowed VC to transport ammunition, guns and food to areas in the South were VC were talking refuge. The trail went through a vast type of terrain varying from jungles to mountainous regions. The US never found the Trail after countless defoliation and search missions due to the fact that the trail never went through Vietnam itself, it went through Neighbouring countries such as Cambodia. Moreover, the preposterous amount of Defoliants exposed to civilians caused major birth defects to new born babies. In addition, Agent Orange was not the only type of chemical used in the Vietnam War. There was a substance called Napalm used additionally. Napalm was used from about 1965 to around 1972. Napalm is an adhesive petroleum which is an almost jelly like substance, but when ignited sticks practically to anything. Napalm was first used in flamethrowers for the US ground troops. They burned sections of the forest down in hopes of eliminating guerrilla fighters. Later into the War B-52 Bombers began to drop bombs containing the substance napalm. These bombs were quite deadly as they were capable of destroying 2500 square yards. The amount of Napalm used was three times as much as that was used in World War II. ...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. Why was there opposition to the Vietnam war?

    Johnson called North Vietnam a "fourth-rate, raggedy ass little country." How do sources C, D and E contradict this view? President Johnson believed that this war would be a quick and easy victory, as America was a superpower, with the latest technology for war, and he saw North Vietnam as a "fourth-rate, raggedy ass little country."

  2. What different tactics did both sides use in an attempt to win the conflict ...

    In 1964 the Americans started to patrol the coast of Vietnam. In the Gulf of Tonkin, US ships that were secretly supplying the South Vietnamese commandos were attacked twice. The US congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave the president a 'blank cheque' to fight the war in South East Asia as he saw fit.

  1. How was the opposition to the Vietnam war protrayed in contemporary literature, film and ...

    The poem I have chosen is called America by Curt Bennet. I have specifically chosen this poem because it shows the Vietnam War from the American soldier's point of view. In the poem it begins to tell us from the start about the suffering they went through.

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

    After seeing how people protested in Vietnam the American public also felt like they could protest in the future hence why people protested so soon into the Iraq war ? the Vietnam War resulted in change in how people felt about protesting and this proves its long term significance.

  1. How effective were the US tactics of 'Search and Destroy' and 'Defoliation' in the ...

    This made the tactic ineffective because US leaders couldn't do anything without civilian support, so this could have seriously hindered their ability to fight in the war. Another disadvantage is that the Viet Cong weren't affected by the tactic. After the USA burned down the village, the Viet Cong moved

  2. How effective were the US tactics of search and destroy and defoliation in the ...

    Women were raped, children and elderly shot even thought they were all innocent. The final body count came to 300. As this was the first war the media and newspapers got involved in the public in the USA eventually became aware of this tragedy.

  1. Discuss the effectiveness of US tactics such as 'defoliation' and 'search and destroy'

    meant that promotions were more likely, in fact ?one study revealed that American commanders exaggerated body counts by 100 percent? [1] so how much change could the tactic truly have brought? Furthermore, while some search and destroy missions were successful with the US forces supposedly winning the body count battle,

  2. Throughout the Vietnam War, the Americans used various tactics to try and defeat their ...

    The Viet Cong managed to thrive as they were supplied from the North, along the Ho Chi Minh trail, of which the route was unknown to American forces.

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